SEATTLE (March 7, 2016) — More than 100 volunteers turned out Saturday for the official kickoff of the Raise Up Washington signature gathering campaign to put Initiative 1433 on this fall’s ballot. If approved by voters, I-1433 would allow all workers in Washington state to earn paid sick and safe leave and raise the state minimum wage incrementally to $13.50/hour.
Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Council, welcomed the enthusiastic crowd to the WSLC’s Seattle office, where the I-1433 campaign is headquartered, and introduced a number of I-1433 supporters to explain why this effort is so important to low-income working families in Washington state. Attendees then got a brief training from the Raise Up Washington staff before hitting the streets later in the day to start collecting signatures.
Makini Howell (pictured at right), owner of the Plum Bistro restaurants and food trucks in Seattle, showed up Saturday to proclaim her support for the I-1433 effort. She says raising wages and offering paid sick leave is not only the right thing to do, it has also lowered employee turnover at her restaurants to “zero,” which improves efficiency and saves her money on recruitment and training costs.
“You want (your employees) to stay long term,” Makini Howell, owner of the Plum Bistro restaurants and food trucks in Seattle. “To do that you have to invest in their paid safe and sick time, you have to invest in their wages, you have to invest in them as a person.”
On Friday, both Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders tweeted their support for the I-1433 campaign.
“Let’s keep our workers safe and healthy,” said Janet Chung of Legal Voice, an organization that advances women’s rights. “No one should have to choose between a paycheck and their and their family’s safety and health. Let’s join the 20 cities and 4 states around the country that have paid sick and safe days!”
TAKE A STAND! Raise Up Washington, the coalition of union, faith and community organizations that support I-1433, are working to gather the 260,000 valid signatures needed by the end of June to qualify I-1433 for this fall’s ballot. YOUR HELP IS NEEDED. Please click here to volunteer to collect signatures, help with office work at the campaign headquarters, or make a contribution to the I-1433 campaign.
Here is the KIRO 7 coverage of Saturday’s I-1433 kickoff event:
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