Work the Vote — seattle district 1
Work the Vote is Working Washington's Voters Guide for the 2015 Elections. Follow along here and find out how the candidates for Seattle Council District 1 (West Seattle, South Park) make their case for workers votes.
1) MAKE A BRIEF VIDEO
We asked all 18 candidates for Seattle City Council to make a brief, simple video — using just their voice, their cell phone, and maybe a selfie stick — that answers the question:
HOW WILL WORKERS BE BETTER OFF IF YOU'RE ELECTED?
Here's what the candidates sent in:
2) CHAMBER OF SECRETS?
Big business lobby groups like the Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Restaurant Association are typically the most prominent opponents of higher wages, paid sick days, and other workers rights issues. They also endorse candidates, but their process and agenda are bit of a mystery. We know they have questionnaires and even interviews, but what happens there is rarely made public, and it's not always clear why they end up backing the candidates they do.
So we asked each candidate to go public with the candidate questionnaires they completed for the Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Restaurant Association (aka Washington Hospitality PAC).
In addition, we asked for them to answer two additional questions:
1. If you or your opponent has received an endorsement, direct contributions, or an independent expenditure on your behalf from either of these groups.
2. Why you think these business lobby groups made the endorsements and spent their resources as they did.
Here's what the candidates sent in:
1. Have you or your opponent has received an endorsement, direct contributions, or an independent expenditure on your behalf from either of these groups?
Yes. Both CASE and the Restaurant Association have endorsed and contributed to my campaign and there was an independent expenditure from CASE and the WRA in the primary.
2. Why do you think these business lobby groups made the endorsements and spent their resources as they did?
Obviously you'd have to ask them directly to learn why they endorsed me, but I think they endorsed me because I'm straightforward and willing to talk to people representing all sides of an issue - even the people I don't agree with - in order to make decisions based on complete information. I'm proud of the broad coalition of endorsements I have including unions, environmental groups, women's organizations, and transit advocates. I am a working mom with 3 school age kids and I look forward to representing working families if elected to the Seattle City Council.
3) NO PLACE LIKE HOME?
Affordable housing is a growing crisis in Seattle, so we here's what we asked the candidates:
FIND HOUSING ON CRAIGSLIST OR SOME OTHER SOURCE THAT you COULD AFFORD AS A FULL-TIME MINIMUM WAGE WORKER, THEN PLAN OUT your COMMUTE — BY PUBLIC TRANSIT — TO THE BALLARD TACO BELL (THE SITE OF SEATTLE’S FIRST FAST FOOD STRIKE LINE).
We also asked the candidates to include a link to the listing they picked, how they’d be able to afford it, how much time their commute would take, and anything else they noticed along the the way.
Here's what they sent in:
No response received yet.
Thank you Work the Vote Week for providing this real world experiment. It's been a long time since I've apartment hunted and this is a good reminder of the difficulty and stress involved in finding affordable housing in Seattle.
30% of income is the amount recommended to be spent on housing that is affordable. Affordable housing for a person earning $1,500 a month would be $450. In order to live even somewhat near my work at Taco Bell (or anywhere in the city for that matter), I would need to bring my percentage of income spent on housing up to 50% ($750 which includes rent, utilities, and the landlord-required renters insurance). This would get me a 250 square foot studio apartment that's "70s chic"... The "deposit" is a whopping $800, but $200 is nonrefundable, in contravention of Washington State law that requires deposit to be fully refundable; non-refundable expenses are required to be called "fees."
I would be able to take the 44 to work, but it's a decent amount of walking, and my commute each way would be nearly an hour. This would also cost me $2.75 each way, every day, or another $110/month. This would leave me $640 each month for the following expenses:
misc transport: $50
A livable wage in Seattle according to the self-sufficiency standard of 2014 (with an average rent for a one-bedroom apartment at $1,266) is $22.94/hour for a single-parent household.\
Damn! It's already gone. That is what our housing market is like, with historic vacancy rate of 3.2% (lowest in decades) for low income renters in Seattle.
Check out runforthemoney.org for info about big-dollar independent expenditures in this year's City Council races.
About District 1
Seattle Council District 1 covers West Seattle and South Park. City council races are officially non-partisan — nobody is listed on the ballot as a Democrat, a Republican, or a member of any other party. There is no incumbent in this race — neither of these candidates currently serves on the City Council.
Return your ballot by NOVEMBER 3RD
Ballots will be mailed out in mid-October, and must be postmarked by Election Day, Tuesday, November 3, 2015.