1. In an unscientific survey, KING 5 asks its readers: Do you support raising car tabs by $60, and sales taxes by 0.1 percent to prevent cuts to bus service of up to 17 percent (AKA April 22nd's Proposition 1)?
The vast majority say no: 74 percent oppose tax increases to pay for transit, and just 26 percent support it.
2. But maybe they should? As the Seattle Times' (only sane reporter on this issue) Mike Lindblom points out, the Proposition 1 vote impacts more than just transit; in fact, 40 percent of the spending would go to King County roads, which are falling into disrepair. Those upgrades would benefit all road users, including bus riders, pedestrians, and drivers.
3. In an op/ed trashing Prop. 1 (not to be confused with its separate editorial trashing Prop. 1), Seattle Times guest columnist Bill Eager argued recently that the Seattle/King County Municipal League has said the county needs to get its cost under control, implying that the Muni League does not support Prop. 1.
The only problem? As the Seattle Transit Blog reports, the Municipal League not only gave Metro a glowing review in its 2013 report on Metro, it also, um, endorsed Proposition 1.
4. And BTW for those who think Metro can just magically fund itself by increasing bus fares: They've done that already, four times since 2008, and increasing fares another quarter—to $2.50 off-peak, $2.75 during peak hours—would only raise $6.6 million. As STB points out, with a $60 million annual budget gap, fares would have to go up to between $4.50 and $5.25 each way to simply keep service at current levels; that is, they'd have to be higher than any municipality in the nation.
The Municipal League not only gave Metro a glowing review in its 2013 report on Metro, it also, um, endorsed Proposition 1.
Ballots are out in the mail for the April 22 election.
5. Finally, it's Equal Pay Day—the day we ladies "celebrate" the fact that our wages have finally caught up to what men made in the previous year.
Women in the U.S. still make less than 80 cents for every dollar earned by men for the the same jobs. In Seattle, as city council member Jean Godden notes on her blog, the disparity is even worse, with women earning 73 cents for every dollar earned by a man.
6. Over at the Economic Opportunity Institute, Family Values @ Work Consortium director Ellen Bravo points out one big reason why: In the U.S., at least, women remain the primary caregivers for children, elders, and other family members, and we don't have a system that requires most employers to give caregivers time off to have babies, take care of children, or care for sick relatives. That time, in short, is seen as "time off." In Bravo's words, "Having a baby may be a joy – but it’s not a break."