Thursday, October 20, 2016
► From The Stranger — YES On Initiative 1433 (editorial endorsement) — Thanks to Republicans, all recent attempts to raise the state minimum wage above the current $9.47 via legislative action have failed. I-1433 gives we, the people, the power to raise the minimum wage to $13.50 over four years — $13.50 because that’s the hourly wage one needs to earn to afford rent and bare necessities. This measure would also mandate that employers provide one hour of paid sick and safe time for every 40 hours worked. This is especially critical for food-service workers, who are often pushed to work while sick.
ALSO at The Stand — YES on 1433: Good for workers, good for the state economy (by Jeff Johnson)
► From The Inlander — How Seattle’s $15 minimum wage kneecapped opposition to statewide wage hike — Seattle, thanks to a city council vote in 2014, is already on the road to gradually increasing the minimum wage of all businesses to $15 an hour by 2021… Let’s say you’re a hypothetical Seattle business owner who was opposed to the city’s minimum wage hike. Why would you spend a lot of time fighting Initiative 1433?
► From AP — Inslee and Bryant spar in 3rd debate — Meh.
► In today’s News Tribune — Pam Roach’s Pierce council job would come with pension boost
► In today’s NY Times — Trump won’t say if he’ll accept result of election — Donald Trump refused to say whether he would accept the results of the election, saying, “I will keep you in suspense.” Hillary Clinton replied that his statement was “horrifying.”
► From Politico — Republicans: Gore refused to accept election results, too
► From YouTube — Gore accepts the election results (2000) — “Now the U.S. Supreme Court has spoken. Let there be no doubt. While I strongly disagree with the court’s decision, I accept it. I accept the finality of this outcome… And tonight, for the sake of the unity of our people and the strength of our democracy, I offer my concession.”
► In today’s NY Times — Trump’s contempt for democracy (editorial) — In saying he was not sure if he’d support the election results, Trump added another reason he is not qualified to be president.
► From Politico — Trump calls Clinton ‘such a nasty woman’
► MUST-READ from Vox — Hillary Clinton’s 3 debate performances left the Trump campaign in ruins (by Ezra Klein) — The third and final presidential debate has ended, and it can now be said: Hillary Clinton crushed Donald Trump in the most effective series of debate performances in modern political history. The polling tells the story… And it’s not just the presidential race. Betting markets now predict Democrats will win the Senate. Polls have started showing Democrats in striking distance of the House. The GOP has collapsed into a mid-election civil war, with the party’s presidential nominee openly battling the speaker of the House.
Trump’s meltdown wasn’t an accident. The Clinton campaign coolly analyzed his weaknesses and then sprung trap after trap to take advantage of them. Clinton’s successful execution of this strategy has been, fittingly, the product of traits that she’s often criticized for: her caution, her overpreparation, her blandness. And her particular ability to goad Trump and blunt the effectiveness of his political style has been inextricable from her gender. The result has been a political achievement of awesome dimensions, but one that Clinton gets scarce credit for because it looks like something Trump is doing, rather than something she is doing — which is, of course, the point.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Rep. Newhouse is mum as Trump divides state’s Republicans — Rep. Dave Reichert says Donald Trump has lost his vote. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler says she’ll vote for Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin as a write-in candidate for president. And Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers says she’s still planning to vote for Trump, even though she disagrees with his statements about women. But freshman Republican Rep. Dan Newhouse is keeping mum on the subject.
ALSO at The Stand — McMorris Rodgers’ continued support of Trump is ‘shameful’
► In today’s News Tribune — Green Party’s Jill Stein to speak in Olympia next week
► In today’s Seattle Times — 2,000 Seattle teachers wear ‘Black Lives Matter’ shirts to class — Schools across the district held “Black Lives Matter at School” rallies before classes began for the day. Students, parents and teachers also wore stickers and buttons emblazoned with the “Black Lives Matter” slogan. The purpose of the day was to affirm that “black lives matter in the public schools,” according to organizers, who are members of Social Equality Educators, a group of educators within the Seattle teachers union.
► From KUOW — Washington jobless rate ticks down on strong job growth — Employers in the state added 20,000 jobs on a seasonally adjusted basis last month. It’s a much higher gain than seen in a while.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — New deal will bring 125 workers to the Bellingham waterfront — Itek is a solar panel manufacturer that has experienced significant growth since the company began full production in 2012. The company will move from its current location, tripling its space and adding new equipment and employees.
► In the NY Times — How did Walmart get cleaner stores and higher sales? It paid its people more — In early 2015, Walmart announced it would actually pay its workers more. That set in motion the biggest test imaginable of a basic argument that has consumed ivory-tower economists, union-hall organizers and corporate executives for years on end: What if paying workers more, training them better and offering better opportunities for advancement can actually make a company more profitable, rather than less? … The results are promising. By early 2016, the proportion of stores hitting their targeted customer-service ratings had rebounded to 75 percent. Sales are rising again. That said, the immediate impact on earnings and the company’s stock price have been less rosy.
► From Reuters — Faculty strike hits 14 Pennsylvania state colleges — The faculty at 14 of Pennsylvania’s state colleges walked off the job on Wednesday after long-running negotiations on pay and benefits broke down. Some 5,500 professors and other workers began the strike at 5 a.m. Eastern time. Contract talks between the Association of Pennsylvania State College and University Faculties (APSCUF) and Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education have been going on for two years.
► From The Concourse — Organize or die — Think for a moment about the realistic options for reversing these decades-long trends that have led to this age of staggering income inequality. The wealthy will obviously not voluntarily surrender their gains. That means there are only two ways to begin putting a larger share of earnings in the pockets of the poor and middle class: The government can take measures to make it happen, like raising taxes on the wealthy, more stringently regulating the financial industry, and strengthening the social safety net; or, lower and middle class workers can assert their own power to claim a larger share of the pie… There is only one meaningful way for regular workers to do this: unions.
Workers who are not unionized are leaving money on the table. Because they lack the ability to bargain collectively, they are getting paid thousands of dollars per year less than they could be. Where are those thousands of dollars per year going instead? Into the pockets of executives and investors. And so inequality grows. Simply by unionizing, you can put that money back into your own pocket. Add ten or 20 or 30 million new members into union ranks and you will see the long climb of inequality turn around. This is the tantalizing promise of what can be accomplished if we can significantly increase union membership in America.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Need a union? Contact an organizer!
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.