Ballot measure would spark $40 million+ in direct community benefit if passed by SeaTac voters
It's official: King County Elections has now certified that the SeaTac Good Jobs Initiative has met the required signature threshold, and after a public hearing by the SeaTac City Council next month, the Good Jobs Initiative will head to the November ballot. The landmark measure will support good jobs and healthy communities by raising standards for thousands of poverty-wage workers at Sea-Tac Airport and surrounding large hotels, parking lots, and other major transportation & tourism employers.
"I'm pleased that the SeaTac Good Jobs Initiative is moving forward," said Ubax Gurdheere of the African Business Association of Puget Sound, which represents small businesses in the area, including 21 in the City of SeaTac. "When the initiative passes in November, our small businesses in SeaTac and surrounding areas will thrive because the workers will have more money to spend at their neighboring small businesses as well as in the community at large."
The Good Jobs Initiative has quickly won widespread support from local businesses, workers, and community leaders because it simply ensures that companies which do well in the SeaTac community have to do right by the SeaTac community. It is estimated that the City of SeaTac and surrounding communities could see an infusion of nearly $40 million a year when the initiative becomes law— a spark which will help boost the entire regional economy.
"It was easy to gather signatures because people in this community understand that if we have more good jobs here in SeaTac, everyone benefits," explained Chris Smith, who works for poverty wages as a fueler at Sea-Tac airport and lives in the city SeaTac. "Passing the Good Jobs initiative would mean I might be able to get by with just one job instead of two. Instead of spending almost 20 hours a day going from one job to the other, I'd be able to spend more time with my kids. It's not that complicated: good jobs means healthy communities."
The SeaTac Good Jobs Initiative would set workforce standards for more than 6,000 low wage transportation and hospitality workers in SeaTac, including paid sick leave, a living wage of $15/hour, and opportunities for full-time employment. The initiative will only apply to those large businesses which are located in SeaTac because of the enormous public investment in our airport — it specifically exempts small retailers, small hotels, and small restaurants. The SeaTac Good Jobs Initiative fact sheet has more details on what the initiative will do and who it will affect.
While this measure would break new ground in our region, similar standards have been set around other West Coast airports — including LAX, San Jose, Oakland, and San Francisco — which continue to thrive, attract new business, and contribute vigorously to the local economy. For more information, see the report Below the Radar, issued in March 2013 by Puget Sound Sage.
Media availability: Low-wage workers and community members who helped lead the campaign to qualify the Good Jobs Initiative for the ballot are available for comment. Please contact Sage Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange an interview.
The SeaTac Committee for Good Jobs includes a broad array of workers, faith and community supporters, union members and retirees.
Contact: Sage Wilson, Working Washington: email@example.com