Support $15 for City Employees, Human Services Funding, Affordable Housing, and the Fight against Income Inequality

People's Budget

Come to the City Council Budget Meeting, 8:30 am on Friday, Nov. 14th

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

On Friday, November 14th, from 8:30 am to 12:00 noon, the Seattle City Council will vote on its amendments to Mayor Murray’s 2015-2016 proposed budget. While waging a broader struggle against a business as usual budget, I am fighting for every change that can improve ordinary people’s lives right here and now, or pave the way for fundamental change in the future.

Come to Council Chambers, make your voice heard, and show your support for the following issues:

* All City employees should be paid at least $15 an hour.

It’s shameful that the City still pays poverty wages to about 1,500 employees. The City Council should make Mayor Murray keep his promise to set an example and raise City employees to 15 immediately. Incidentally, this could have been funded by limiting City executive pay and reducing City officials’ salaries.

* Homeless shelters for women, tent cities, and homeless hygiene services should get funding, along with other basic human services.

Councilmembers will vote on my proposals to add $120,000 to support year-round women’s homeless shelters (SHARE/WHEEL) and $100,000 to help people living in Tent Cities. They will also vote on an additional $200,000 in funding for hygiene services for homeless people (the Urban Rest Stop), which I did not propose, but fully support. Moreover, I am fighting for Human Services to receive a $4,000,000 funding increase rather than the City Council’s meager proposal of $250,000.

* Stop wage theft and punish businesses that steal from workers.

The city needs $400,000 to enforce the $15 minimum wage law and crack down on wage theft. I am also pushing for the City Council to consider raising the penalties for businesses that are guilty of wage theft.

* Investigate how the City can build more publicly owned affordable housing.

Working people in Seattle face the fastest rising rents in the country and record high home prices. Clearly, private developers and the capitalist free market cannot solve our affordable housing crisis. I am proposing the City Council research a plan to hold a large bond sale to build tens of thousands of publicly owned affordable housing units on vacant City property. The bonds can be repaid with below-market-rate tenant rents and progressive taxes.

* Investigate how the City can address skyrocketing income inequality.

Washington State has the most regressive tax structure in the country; the poorest 20% of the population pay 16.9% of their income in local taxes while the wealthiest 1% pay only 2.8%. I am proposing that the City Council study the prospect of enacting a “millionaires tax” in 2016 to make the super-wealthy pay their fair share. Households earning $1,000,000 or more per year would pay an excise tax to build affordable housing crisis, expand human services, and fund mass transportation.



When: Friday, November 14th at 8:30 am
Where: Council Chambers, Floor 2, Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Ave.
What: Support $15 for City Employees, Human Services Funding, Affordable Housing, and the Fight against Income Inequality


Read more on how this struggle for concrete changes to the Mayor’s budget proposal relates to our efforts to build the People’s Budget Movement so in that in the future we have a budget that satisfies human need rather than corporate greed. Also check out the Voices of the People’s Budget: Robby Stern, Jess Spear, Katie Wilson, Cariño Barragan Taloncon, John Fox, and Sharon Lee.

Between now and Friday, please email and call Councilmembers to advocate for the issues above which are especially important to you.

Councilmember Contact Information

Sally Bagshaw: 206-684-8801,
Tim Burgess: 206-684-8806,
Sally Clark: 206-684-8802,
Jean Godden: 206-684-8807,
Bruce Harrell: 206-684-8804,
Nick Licata: 206-684-8803,
Mike O’Brien: 206-684-8800,
Tom Rasmussen: 206-684-8808,

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