Capitol Hill businesses plan huddle on $15/hour strategy

As the City of Seattle pulls together its plans for “public engagement opportunities” later this spring, Capitol Hill’s private sector and largest organizations are moving forward with developing a strategy for responding to the growing call for a $15 minimum wage in the city.

According to an email sent to members last week, the Capitol Hill Chamber is holding a “Income Inequality Members Only Discussion” later this month at Elliott Bay Book Company for “questions and answers, feedback from members and discussion.” Chamber director Michael Wells is a member of Mayor Ed Murray’s Income Inequality Task Force. CHS reported last month on the task force and how City Council member Kshama Sawant is moving the $15/hour cause forward.

Also last month, CHS reported on a letter sent on behalf of a roster of Broadway businesses telling Murray they oppose his support of a $15 minimum wage in Seattle. A handful of participants listed on that letter later clarified that they did not authorize their inclusion in the message sent to City Hall and local media outlets. Earlier, CHS talked with Capitol Hill bar and restaurant owners about possible solutions for raising the minimum wage in the city without damaging small businesses.

Here’s a portion of the Chamber’s announcement:

We’re hosting a conversation amongst Capitol Hill Chamber members around the Mayor’s Income Inequality Task Force and the state of the public policy conversation around minimum wage currently taking place in the City of Seattle.

Chamber ED Michael Wells and Chamber member David Meinert (Lost Lake Café, Big Mario’s) sit on the Mayor’s Income Inequality Task Force and will be on hand to update members on the status of that discussion as well as other timely public engagement opportunities on the issue. There will be ample opportunity for questions and answers, feedback from members and discussion at the event.

We are hoping to have City officials from the Mayor’s office and the Office of Economic Development in attendance. We’ll also be sending out a members only survey to accurately reflect Chamber members concerns and opinions on the matter, so if you can’t make the discussion, your voice can still be heard.

Please know that this is a members only event and it is important for Chamber members to RSVP in a timely manner to make sure that the conversation is confidential and discreet. We will only allow members who have registered to attend and we’ll be checking names at the door.

Date: February 17, 2014
Time: 04:00 PM – 05:30 PM
Location: Elliott Bay Book Company
1521 10th Ave
Date/Time Details: Monday, February 17
4:00 to 5:30 PM
Fees/Admission: FREE for Members Only

CHS is a member of the Chamber and the Chamber is an advertiser on this news site. It represents hundreds of businesses and organizations ranging from one-person start-ups to major organizations like Seattle University. Its newest members, for example, are nonprofit Community Lunch on Capitol Hill and E Pine’s World of Beer. CHS plans to attend the event and report on any official positions arrived at by the organization.

The city’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee web site lists a small roster of planned public discussions planned for the spring including an online “town hall” and a symposium to be held at Seattle University:

  • March 5, 2014: Joint Income Inequality Advisory Committee – Seattle City Council Select Committee on Minimum Wage Public Hearing, location TBD
  • March 1-22, 2014: Online Minimum Wage Town Hall
  • March 27, 2014: Income Inequality Symposium, Campion Ballroom at Seattle University

Image: pnwbot via Flickr

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