$15 Minimum Wage Will Appear on November Ballots in Tacoma

It's official - in November Tacomans will get to cast their vote for or against a proposal that would make the city's minimum wage $15 an hour. That's according to the Pierce County elections office, which last week announced that 15 Now Tacoma had gathered enough signatures to get its proposal on the ballot.

The group needed 3,160 signatures, and they gathered 3,231 valid ones from registered Tacoma voters, along with 2,304 signatures ruled invalid for a variety of reasons. But they've got enough to move on to the next phase. 

Meanwhile the City of Tacoma's Minimum Wage Task Force is moving ahead with its exploration of "minimum wage alternatives." The citizen committee will make a recommendation to Tacoma City Council by June 30. There seems to be a good chance of that recommendation differing from the 15 Now ballot measure. If it does, and if the council decides to pursue it, they can't just amend the citizen-approved initiative. They could, however, develop their own proposition for the voters, which could show up on the November ballot alongside the 15 Now proposal.

This is going to get interesting.

You can send your thoughts on the topic to the minimum wage task force via email. Read more from The News Tribune and on the City's minimum wage task force page. Previously from Exit133: Tacoma Minimum Wage Task Force to be Formed.

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Jim C

So 41% of the signatures supporting were found to be invalid? I sincerely hope that a greater level of care and precision went into the feasibility study and economic analysis the $15Now people undertook to come up with their proposal than they put into the initiative process.




June 9, 2015 at 2:41 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Jerry Ramsey

Are there any requirements in the law for employee skills to earn the $15 per hour?

June 9, 2015 at 4:32 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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When I was at the age of 15 back in the early 1970’s I was making around $20 per hour mowing lawns.
Of course I was lucky in that I was mowing the lawns of well to do people and they payed very well plus the lawn mower was theirs and they payed for the gasoline too.That was over 40 years ago though.

June 28, 2015 at 9:29 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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Wow.. and that was the 70s?!! 
My dad, with his Masters degree was making $11,400/yr as a High School teacher… and being in the greens’ industry for 18 yrs, I NEVER made more than $18/hr EVER. (and that was with an A.S. in Horticulture/Cert in Management/WA Pesticide Operator AND Certified Landscape Professional)  - Where did you get $20/hr when a typical retail establishment was paying $3.35/hr mimimum wage in 1982? Hmmmm Sounds like a little wishful thinking.. lol

June 29, 2015 at 2:39 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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At the time I never worked for the middle class (I didn’t know those people).
This is why I was able to have numerous vintage 1960’s electric guitars,HP programmable calculators (like the HP-65,67 and 41c) and microcomputers like the MITS Altair along with numerous electronic projects and other hobbies back then in the 1970’s.
Yes I realized was making more than many adults (just working part time on my own as a teenager) and was very fortunate.

June 29, 2015 at 4:07 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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June 30, 2015 at 8:18 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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National Average Wage Index - Social Security

Year Index
1979   $11,479.46

June 30, 2015 at 8:22 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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(I didn’t know those people)

My suspicions are that if your claims to have funded what you claim are not bullshit too, that the source of funds were not legitimate. 

“I was mowing the lawns of well to do people and they payed very well”  -  The “well to do” do not remain “well to do” by paying four times the national average wage for a fifteen-year old to mow their lawn.  Period.  End of story.  They also do not become “well to do” by being stupid. 

You are full of crap. 

National average wage indexing series, 1951-2013
Year Index
1951 2,799.16
1952 2,973.32
1953 3,139.44
1954 3,155.64
1955 3,301.44
1956 3,532.36
1957 3,641.72
1958 3,673.80
1959 3,855.80
1960 4,007.12
1961 4,086.76
1962 4,291.40
1963 4,396.64
1964 4,576.32
1965 4,658.72
1966 4,938.36
1967 5,213.44
1968 5,571.76
1969 5,893.76
1970 6,186.24
1971 6,497.08
1972 7,133.80
1973 7,580.16
1974 8,030.76
1975 8,630.92
Year Index
1976 9,226.48
1977 9,779.44
1978 10,556.03
1979 11,479.46
1980 12,513.46
1981 13,773.10
1982 14,531.34
1983 15,239.24
1984 16,135.07
1985 16,822.51
1986 17,321.82
1987 18,426.51
1988 19,334.04
1989 20,099.55
1990 21,027.98
1991 21,811.60
1992 22,935.42
1993 23,132.67
1994 23,753.53
1995 24,705.66
1996 25,913.90
1997 27,426.00
1998 28,861.44
1999 30,469.84
2000 32,154.82
Year Index
2001 32,921.92
2002 33,252.09
2003 34,064.95
2004 35,648.55
2005 36,952.94
2006 38,651.41
2007 40,405.48
2008 41,334.97
2009 40,711.61
2010 41,673.83
2011 42,979.61
2012 44,321.67
2013 44,888.16

June 30, 2015 at 8:29 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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Supurb work again !

June 28, 2015 at 9:31 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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I am all for raising the minimum wage. My reasons are simple. One, minimum wage hasn’t risen appropriate to inflation. Period. There hasn’t been a raise in min. wage for years and years that would be considered appropriate to live on. Yet we have people whining and complaining that “it’s too much.. whaaaa”  - WHO ARE YOU people? Chances are you have Bachelors’ and Masters’ degrees and are making in the mid $50s-60s…. So WHY are you concerned that someone wants doesn’t have a B.S. degree and can only find work at $12-15/hr.  Do you feel threatened? Is your elitism being eroded? WHAAA WHAA…  Chances are you never did a lick of hard work in your life, and now, after 4-6 or 8 yrs of UW your entitlement sees your fat A$$ sitting on your throne, judging those around you… OMG. The feelings of superiority…
Look. The Gov’t has locked down the wage for years… Inflation keeps going up and up.. people can’t survive and feed themselves, much less their family!  And if you don’t whine about the min. wage, you’ll whine about homelessness because the man who is homeless? He’s the guy that couldn’t pay his bills on $9/hr. = $240/week B/C his 1 BR apt. costs $800/mo!!  Of course… you’re in REAL ESTATE…. How ironic.  Oh.. and me?  I make $45k yr. and yes, I have a B.S…. and YES, I did work construction and labor ... for years.  Just wake up people. wake up.

June 29, 2015 at 2:49 pm / Reply / Quote and reply

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You have this all wrong.  For me, I really don’t see this issue as an issue of equity or superiority or entitlement.  I see this as an issue of the greater good. 

If $15hr happens overnight, what happens next? Do you see any businesses with storefronts in the downtown core that could handle an almost 60% wage increase?  Take a walk around town.  Who can sustain this and who can’t?  I would imagine that you can kiss many many many small locally owned businesses goodbye.  An immediate 60% jump in wages will decimate Tacoma’s economy - one that, BTW, was just cited as one of the 20 highest cost cities to do business on the west coast. Is Tacoma worth that high cost?

If this passes, you’ll see a mass exodus of business to surrounding areas where there isn’t a B&O tax, mandated sick leave, or $15hr wages, etc.  You’ll see the people that would benefit from the raise eventually outed from their jobs because the wage jump was so high and fast, now employers can get more coveted employees from surrounding communities.  You’ll see small businesses fold or leave Tacoma for areas with more money and a lower cost to do business.

Think this through.

I mean, do minimum wagers deserve a raise?  Hell yes.  Is it smart to make Tacoma an island of high wages and costs to do business?  No way.  Is this the right way to go about it?  Absolutely not.

June 30, 2015 at 8:15 am / Reply / Quote and reply

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