City Hall

Josh's Exclusive Behind-the-Scenes Feature on the $15 Minimum Wage negotiations

A candid look at the behind-the-scenes, political turmoil during Seattle's historic $15 minimum wage negotiations.

By Erica C. Barnett July 30, 2014

Josh has a piece in this month's magazine—a seven-page epic—that goes behind the scenes during last spring's $15 minimum wage negotiations. 

He evidently interviewed a lot of people.

And they were evidently, pretty damn candid. Here's Josh's lead: 

MAYOR ED MURRAY THREW OPEN THE DOOR of the small second-story conference room at city hall. “Now you’re just fucking with me!” he told the half a dozen people seated around the table, including Tutta Bella restaurant chain owner Joe Fugere, Ivar’s seafood CEO Bob Donegan, and Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce head Michael Wells—all representatives from the business faction in the city’s historic minimum wage negotiations. 

Red in the face, the mayor took a seat between Fugere and Wells and harangued everyone at the table for botching his $15 minimum wage deal. The meeting with the full committee—the mayor’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee—including representatives from the labor faction, had just collapsed upstairs on the seventh floor. And the media, at the mayor’s invitation, was now waiting, expecting a big announcement.

“You’re just fucking with me,” the mayor repeated, dismissing lead business negotiator Donegan, who explained his notes showed the latest version of the deal wasn’t what they’d all agreed on the night before. Murray simply told the group to “fix it.” 

He stood up, threw open the door again, inadvertently slamming it against his chief of staff, Chris Gregorich, and stormed out.




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