1. New Mayor Ed Murray is holding a press conference this morning where he will "discuss next steps to raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour for all Seattle City employees."
Murray announced last month that he's put together a task force that included labor leaders, small business owners, the chamber, and socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant among others to come up with a plan to raise the minimum wage citywide to $15.
In other $15 minimum wage news:
Sawant, who sees her job as pulling the task force to the left—meaning getting to $15 faster-than-not and without too many exemptions or else she'll run an initiative campaign—announced a January 12 rally for $15 at the labor temple in Belltown where she and others will speak.
2. One debate over raising the minimum wage is likely to be over "total compensation."
Task force member, Five Point and Lost Lake restaurant owner Dave Meinert, who supports increasing the minimum wage, likes to point out that the lefty calculation of living wages includes paying for health care and so he believes businesses should get credit for "total compensation."
Meanwhile, another task force member, Service Employees International Union 775 leader David Rolf, shoots back:
Let’s talk about total compensation. Some of these guys want to say that the menu value of a shift meal is part of compensation. So if it costs $14 on the menu at the Old Fashioned Spaghetti Factory to get a plate of spaghetti and meatballs with a side of garlic bread and a coke, they want to say we feed people on the shift. That’s the company store. That has zero value once it hits the street.
You can’t pay your rent with healthcare. I think what needs to happen is we need to have a plan to get to $15.
$30,000 a year in Seattle, where the average rent for a one bedroom apartment is like $1,100, a one bedroom. Never mind if you have a family, or a kid, and something like 30 percent of fast food workers do. Um, hello.
A recent statewide survey published in the Huffington Post found that Washington state's minimum wage is actually higher than the living wage.
3. Watch out Amazon.
A startup in New York has created a virtual mall, putting all the East Village hip indie shops and boutiques—tea, books, guitars, clothes—on-line for perusing and shopping.
The Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce, or any shopping district in Seattle, should think about contacting the founder of "E.Vil Mall" and get hooked in to the platform for a Seattle version.