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It is sunny in Seattle right now. We don't get too much of that over here. As we laze around here, in the suns healing rays, many Seattelites wonder: when am I ever gonna get paid enough to afford my rent next month?, and the month after that too.

And so we organize against the enterprise system.

The fruits of our efforts are paying off, both locally and nationally:

Mayor Ed Murray is expected to release his plan to raise Seattle’s minimum wage as soon as today. No matter what happens in the $15 wage debate, Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant has already won.

If the Seattle City Council passes a $15 wage in the coming months (as appears likely), Sawant will appropriately get credit for coming out of nowhere to commandeer the city’s political agenda.

Who had heard of her before last August*? For that matter, who (aside from Socialist Alternative newspaper subscribers) had a quick jump to a $15 wage on their radar a year ago? Yet the political fear of Sawant’s organizing skill has put a radical economic policy on greased rails. In process-loving Seattle, the minimum wage is happening as quickly as a lightning strike.

This is how we are here now in Progressive Seattle: Bold, Swift, and Decisive.

America's workers should take America back from the business elite. The business elite are slow and dated, and their ideas are stale now.

In solidarity, workers unite!

Originally posted to Seattle Socialist on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:49 PM PDT.

Also republished by Good News and In Support of Labor and Unions.

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Comment Preferences

  •  No offense, but didn't Bold, Swift, and Decisive (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, Chas 981, bleeding blue

    Seattle just vote down a sixth of its public bus capacity?

    Everybody wins a few and loses a few. Even Seattle.

    •  One issue (0+ / 0-)

      The problem is that we had one issue in that election.  Vote for more money for busing.  

      Streichholzschächtelchen

      by otto on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:21:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Not only was it one issue, it was county wide (0+ / 0-)

      vs state wide or City of Seattle. So yes, we sucked in this off year, off cycle one issue vote to raise taxes and car tabs for transit...thanks for rubbing our noses in that, what you got?!
      Next up let's get to work on 'right to work' in WA State!
      Peace and Blessings!

      “When you victim-blame, be aware that in all likelihood, at least one woman you know and love silently decides she cannot trust you.” ` Steph Guthrie

      by Penny GC on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:59:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks for explaining that. (0+ / 0-)

        RE: the countywide vote on $60 car tabs in the middle of a major recession.

        Seattle by itself still does better than 95%+ of the rest of American cities, even if we lose a vote here or there occasionally. I mean, really who doesn't?

        Mayor Ed Murray is a good guy too BTW. A strong progressive.

        "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

        by Seattle Socialist on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 03:13:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  United we stand/divided we fall. We fell this (0+ / 0-)

          time but we stand up, dust ourselves off and start all over again!
          With, not against! Hoping to make it to the meet-up, maybe see you there!?!
          Peace and Blessings!

          “When you victim-blame, be aware that in all likelihood, at least one woman you know and love silently decides she cannot trust you.” ` Steph Guthrie

          by Penny GC on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 04:21:41 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yeah, sometimes we might be bold, but.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wu ming, poco

      ....never would I call us swift or decisive.

      The "Seattle Process" is what it's called. We really have to hash it over before we get to resolution.

      We were going to build a monorail. We had 4 votes along the way, the last one killed it mid-stream.

      We realized we needed to do something about our aging viaduct after the quake of 2001. After years of discussion and voting about how to replace it (or not), all we have after 13 years is a hole in the ground with a dead boring machine in it.

      Sawant is messing with the powers that be. We wouldn't even be talking about an eminent $15 min. wage if she hadn't been elected....(or rather I should say, we'd be talking about it for the next 10 years).

      •  Tongue-in-cheek.. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bleeding blue

        RE: "swift and decisive.."

        I was laughing when I wrote that too BTW..

        Seattle needs a Chris Christie maybe.

        He's "bold and decisive". Im not so sure about "swift" though. (swift with a friggin pasta fork maybe..)

        "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

        by Seattle Socialist on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:53:50 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Heh, I sort of figured that (0+ / 0-)

          Nobody who knows Seattle would ever use the adjectives "swift" and "decisive" about how we do things 'round here.

          •  Olympia (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            bleeding blue

            Im actually in Oly. Im just helping out the Seattle folk because I was in on part of the hubbub in Seattle last year on a personal level. I was a bit of a catalyst in some ways, even. Ill just leave it at that. Lets just say I know most of the players involved. Too well, in some cases.

            Olympia town process is even slower than Seattle process BTW.

            Hey Hey: 85 degrees tomorrow!

            "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

            by Seattle Socialist on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 10:47:54 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  RE: "Sawant is messing with the powers that be..." (0+ / 0-)

          You ain't just whistling dixie my friend.

          The "powers that be" came together because of something that happened with Seattle in 1971.

          Not to many people realize that ALEC and The Heritage Foundation were founded as a result of the congressional cancellation of the Boeing SST Project, in 1971:

          The congressional debate over the supersonic transport (SST) in the spring of 1971 was the catalyst for the founding of a conservative public policy organization that could get the right information to members of Congress and to their staffs on time.

              Prior to votes in the House and Senate in March, supporters and opponents of the SST lobbied Congress furiously. Backers argued that continuing development of the giant high-speed airliner (federally funded since 1962) was necessary to maintain American superiority in aerospace technology and marketing, and to avoid unemployment in the aerospace industry. The opposition charged that a fleet of SSTs would contaminate the atmosphere and could even "trigger a cancer-producing fallout." It also asserted that no broad-based market existed for the aircraft which, they said, would cater only to wealthy travelers. Shortly after the Senate voted--by only 51-46--to halt government support of a supersonic transport plane, two young conservative staffers met for one of their frequent breakfasts in the basement cafeteria of the U.S. Capitol. Twenty-eight-year-old Paul M. Weyrich was press secretary to Senator Gordon Allott (R-Colo.). Edwin J. Feulner Jr., just thirty, was administrative assistant to Congressman Philip Crane, an outspoken conservative Republican from Illinois. Both young men had been inspired by Barry Goldwater's principled run for the presidency in 1964 and called themselves movement conservatives.

          Joe Coors' decision to commit his company to a prominent role in public affairs was reinforced when he read it confidential 5,000-word memorandum by Lewis F. Powell, a prominent Democratic attorney in Richmond, Virginia (later named to the Supreme Court by President Nixon). At the invitation of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Powell detailed What he called the "broad attack" on the free enterprise system, criticized the general "apathy and default" of American business, and urged business executives to take "effective action" against the threat. After making a number of recommendations (such as naming an executive vice president to coordinate corporate action), Powell ended his memorandum bluntly: "Business and the enterprise system are in deep trouble, and the hour is late."

              Coors recalls that the Powell memorandum "stirred" him up and convinced him that American business was "ignoring" a crisis. He wondered why business leaders and organizations weren't speaking out more forcefully against President Nixon's "new economic policy" which included a ninety-day freeze on all wages and prices and a Cost of Living Council that would work with labor and business to achieve continued wage and price "stability." The Colorado conservative was also impressed by a speech given by former Treasury Secretary Henry Fowler, who exhorted him and other business leaders to become more politically involved.

          http://www.nytimes.com/...

          "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

          by Seattle Socialist on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:17:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  suburban king county voted it down (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      poco, bleeding blue

      seattle voted for the measure.

    •  Seattle is planning (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bleeding blue

      a vote in the fall which would raise property taxes to restore service for buses with service at least 80% within the city limits. (The vote above was a county wide vote). Also, should control of the state senate return to the democrats in the fall more county wide taxation options may become available.

      Notably, the county wide tax passed by a substantial margin within the Seattle city limits.

  •  Why stop at just $15?? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    otto, worldlotus, jbsoul

    Elizabeth Warren is bold. She don't take no mess.

    "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

    by Seattle Socialist on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:03:28 PM PDT

    •  Why not $50? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk

      You have the right to your own opinions, but not your own facts. "I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."- Truman

      by trumanesque on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 04:48:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There's an optimum level for a minimum wage. (0+ / 0-)

        I believe that 15-20 dollars would be the limit due to the fact that productivity has doubled in the last 30 years with all of it going into the pockets of the elite.

        However I fear that politicians would get assassinated if they were to succeed in raising it even to $15. The elite simply don't want to give up any part of their unearned wealth.

        A million Arcosantis.

        by Villabolo on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:11:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What do you mean "optimum" (0+ / 0-)

          What would happen if it is raised above that optimum?

          You have the right to your own opinions, but not your own facts. "I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."- Truman

          by trumanesque on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:12:53 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  A point of diminishing returns where sales will (0+ / 0-)

            drop. Employees cost about 20-30 percent of most companies gross sales which means that a doubling of wages, around $7.50 to $15, will raise the cost by about 10 to 15 cents on the dollar which is fine with me. I would not mind spending that much even though I'm impoverished.

            However there needs to be a limit since $30 or $50 will be too much.

            A million Arcosantis.

            by Villabolo on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 05:38:50 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  Murray campaigned on this last year. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    whenwego
    Murray made the goal of raising the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour part of his campaign for mayor last year.
    And since no agreement has been reached, celebration is premature.
    “If you are a low-wage worker, this is not your day,” Sawant said. “The committee has failed.”
    http://seattletimes.com/...

    Dick Cheney 2/14/10: "I was a big supporter of waterboarding"

    by Bob Love on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:21:29 PM PDT

    •  RE: Ed Murray (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      whenwego, jbsoul
      As for Sawant, I see a pair of ironies about her success. First, Murray has worked hard to seize this issue by appointing a minimum wage advisory committee, and giving it just four months to reach a recommendation. He wants to be the mayor with the highest minimum wage in the country. But if the debate moves to the City Council without strong consensus, Sawant’s grassroots organization will overshadow Murray’s process-driven approach.
      http://blogs.seattletimes.com/...

      "....No Compromise in the Defense of Mother Earth!"

      by Seattle Socialist on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 02:30:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  If Seattle does this (0+ / 0-)

    it will provide a nice natural economic experiment since a large majority of people living in the area live in Seattle suburbs that are separate cities.

    You have the right to your own opinions, but not your own facts. "I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."- Truman

    by trumanesque on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 04:39:47 PM PDT

  •  If we are going to take it back we need to (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    poco

    be aware of how much they are going fight us and how.  The response will be job poaching to states like Texas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.   States where no one can raise minimum wage at the local level.  The elites are completely gloating over the fact that Toyota has moved its headquarters from Ca to Dallas Tx.   The more we fight for higher wages on local level the more this trend will pick up.

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