Creating Good Jobs in Seattle!

Friday, September 16, 2011 | General | Margy's Blog & Updates

With an 8-1 vote, the Seattle City Council passed a landmark ordinance to ensure workers in all but the city’s smallest businesses can earn paid sick days on the job – one of the strongest such policies in the nation. The Seattle Coalition for a Healthy Workforce, comprised of over 100 local organizations and small businesses that pushed for the measure, lauded the vote.

The crowd in City Council chambers erupts in applause as the Council passes the paid sick leave ordinance by a vote of 8-1

Reflecting broad public support for the measure, Councilmembers received thousands of emails, postcards and phone calls in favor; a recent poll of Seattle voters found 69% supported the legislation passed today.

Many local small business leaders helped craft provisions of the final ordinance.

Following Mayor McGinn’s expected signature in the coming weeks, Seattle will be the 3rd city in the nation with a minimum paid sick days standard, after Washington DC and San Francisco. The state of Connecticut passed a paid sick days bill in June, and voters in Denver will consider a paid sick days ballot measure this fall.

A recent report by the Economic Opportunity Institute estimated that nearly 190,000 people working in Seattle do not earn paid sick days – negatively impacting the local economy and business productivity.

Adapted from an article in Washington Policy Review published by Economic Opportunity Institute. 


News Brief - October 31

Friday, October 31, 2008 | News

Paid Sick Leave

Employers fear paid sick leave will raise their costs
“It’s going to be a killer,” Maliszewski said of the proposal. “Once you start taking away the creativity of small business by forcing them to do certain things, you take away their ability to compete.”
You know what else is a killer? Disease. Especially when workers can’t afford to take time off to treat it.

Wages, Economy

Time to make Vancouver a living wage city
“And if all this sounds expensive, consider this. Better pay translates directly into a healthier local economy. Low-income families spend almost all their money close to home. And businesses that have adopted the living wage report higher productivity and reduced turnover.”
Some things cost more because they are high quality items.

Battlers for a living wage demonized

A new type of capitalism
“The top 1 percent of earners in the United States gained $600 billion annually in income while the bottom 80 percent lost that same $600 billion from 1979 to 2008.”
(…not to mention the $700 billion wealth transfer that is taking place in ‘08.)

The Futility of Class Warfare  

“This pervasive belief in the American Dream — the notion that everyone has a shot at the brass ring — is the most formidable constraint on the effectiveness of the class-warfare card.”

Poverty, Crime

Candidates walk tight line on poverty
“…for a Democrat to talk too much about poverty sounds like talking about welfare – which is not popular with the middle class voters that he’s [Obama] trying to court.”
Poverty talk is divisive and unpopular. Why are we still trying to walk that line?

People are poor in America because they lack values, morals, and ethics
How can you really have a rational discussion when this is the propaganda used against you?

Many States Tax Working-Poor Families Deeper into Poverty

Federal report analyzes crime in 28 cities
“A new report by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis found that unemployment and low wages do not have a significant effect on crime - at least in the short term.”

Memo to Congress: The Labor Market has Changed! Paid Leave is a Necessity

Friday, April 18, 2008 | Margy's Blog & Updates

Here’s an update from The Mobility Agenda’s Senior Research Associate Sarah Sattelmeyer and Executive Director Margy Waller, coauthors of a forthcoming report on work-life policies for the United States

A work-life policy expansion for federal employees is running into some trouble as it moves through Congress, according to today’s Washington Post:

Yesterday, Rep. Kenny Marchant (Tex.), the ranking Republican on the federal workforce subcommittee, and Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said that they were concerned about the cost of providing paid parental leave and whether this was the time to grant a new benefit to federal employees.

Federal employees should not receive increased benefits during an economic slowdown, when companies are cutting back, Issa said. By considering paid parental leave for them, “we are making a statement that we are out of touch,” he said.

Is Representative Issa overlooking some important changes in our economy and labor market:

In her statement yesterday, Maloney thanked Waxman and the subcommittee chairman, Rep. Danny K. Davis (D-Ill.), for moving the bill toward a full committee vote and a floor vote.

The American workplace, she said, has not kept pace with the changing needs of families, especially those that “no longer have a stay-at-home parent to provide care for a new child.”

Outdated family-leave policies, she said, “are a talent drain on the government — they’re an incentive for skilled people to look elsewhere for work at the very time when our government needs them most.”

The Mobility Agenda’s forthcoming report on work-life policy proposals to strengthen the economy and our labor market addresses these issues. Watch for it soon!

Work Life Policies Move Forward

Sunday, March 09, 2008 | Margy's Blog & Updates

The movement to guarantee that all workers have paid time off for work life balance is gaining momentum.

Washington DC just passed the second local law in the nation (despite the limitations of the provision, this is progress) and New Jersey seems poised to pass a law offering paid family and medical leave.

And finally, check out this innovative use of the web to create on “online rally” for paid sick days.

Spend your lunch break today speaking out for paid sick days for all working people.

Join us virtually at the U.S. Capitol for the first-ever Online Rally for Healthy Families — a special online event hosted by the National Partnership and the Healthy Families Act coalition.

Bring your friends and co-workers along….

You can join the rally by visiting and then share your story, upload a photo, take action, and more.

Color me green – I love this creative use of the available technology.