Public Hearing on Metro Bus Service Funding Proposal Tomorrow


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6/25/2014

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

Public Hearing on Metro Bus Service Funding Proposal Tomorrow

SEATTLE – Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, acting in his capacity as Chair of the Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD) Board, announced a public hearing to listen to resident feedback relating to legislation to preserve King County Metro Transit Service in Seattle.

The legislation under consideration formalizes Mayor Ed Murray’s proposal for a ballot measure which was announced in May. In April, Seattle voters approved Proposition 1 by a margin of two-to-one, but the measure ultimately failed County-wide. Rasmussen’s legislation seeks voter-approval for vehicle license fees and a sales and use tax to fund Metro Transit service in Seattle. The legislation must be passed by the Seattle Transportation Benefit District Board by August 5 in order to be placed on the November 2014 ballot.

The STBD is interested in hearing public feedback on the following:

  1. How would planned Metro Transit service cuts impact you if no action is taken to prevent these cuts?
  2. What is your perspective on an additional vehicle license fee of up to $60 and a 0.1% sales and use tax to prevent planned Metro Transit service cuts in Seattle, and if funds allow, to enhance transit service?
  3. What other information should the Board take into consideration as it develops a potential ballot measure for the November election?

Rasmussen also announced three other meetings scheduled in July; the complete STBD Board Summer Meeting schedule is available online. The STBD is also accepting feedback by phone and email at seattletbd@seattle.gov or (206) 233-5005.

WHAT: Public Hearing regarding raising revenue to preserve King County Metro Transit service

WHEN: Thursday, June 26, 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Council Chambers, 2nd floor
Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, Seattle 98104

WHO: Seattle Transportation Benefit District Governing Board
Public

[View in Council Newsroom]

Public Hearing on Metro Bus Service Funding Proposal Tomorrow


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6/25/2014

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

Public Hearing on Metro Bus Service Funding Proposal Tomorrow

SEATTLE – Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, acting in his capacity as Chair of the Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD) Board, announced a public hearing to listen to resident feedback relating to legislation to preserve King County Metro Transit Service in Seattle.

The legislation under consideration formalizes Mayor Ed Murray’s proposal for a ballot measure which was announced in May. In April, Seattle voters approved Proposition 1 by a margin of two-to-one, but the measure ultimately failed County-wide. Rasmussen’s legislation seeks voter-approval for vehicle license fees and a sales and use tax to fund Metro Transit service in Seattle. The legislation must be passed by the Seattle Transportation Benefit District Board by August 5 in order to be placed on the November 2014 ballot.

The STBD is interested in hearing public feedback on the following:

  1. How would planned Metro Transit service cuts impact you if no action is taken to prevent these cuts?
  2. What is your perspective on an additional vehicle license fee of up to $60 and a 0.1% sales and use tax to prevent planned Metro Transit service cuts in Seattle, and if funds allow, to enhance transit service?
  3. What other information should the Board take into consideration as it develops a potential ballot measure for the November election?

Rasmussen also announced three other meetings scheduled in July; the complete STBD Board Summer Meeting schedule is available online. The STBD is also accepting feedback by phone and email at seattletbd@seattle.gov or (206) 233-5005.

WHAT: Public Hearing regarding raising revenue to preserve King County Metro Transit service

WHEN: Thursday, June 26, 5:30 p.m.

WHERE: Council Chambers, 2nd floor
Seattle City Hall, 600 Fourth Avenue, Seattle 98104

WHO: Seattle Transportation Benefit District Governing Board
Public

[View in Council Newsroom]

Councilmember Rasmussen Proposes Legislation to Avoid Future Cuts to Metro


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6/19/2014

Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

Councilmember Rasmussen Proposes Legislation to Avoid Future Cuts to Metro

SEATTLE – This afternoon Councilmember Tom Rasmussen, acting in his capacity as Chair of the Seattle Transportation Benefit District (STBD) Board, proposed a resolution relating to the STBD. The resolution formalizes the Executive’s proposal for a ballot measure which was announced in May.

In April, Seattle voters approved Proposition 1 by a margin of two-to-one, but the measure ultimately failed County-wide. Rasmussen’s legislation seeks voter-approval for vehicle license fees and a sales and use tax to fund Metro Transit service in Seattle. The legislation must be passed by the Seattle Transportation Benefit District Board by August 5 in order to be placed on the November 2014 ballot.

"I’m pleased to be working in cooperation with Mayor Murray to give voters another opportunity to avoid these crippling cuts to their bus service," said Rasmussen. "Next week’s hearing will provide the public with an opportunity to signal their support for saving Metro service in Seattle," Rasmussen added.

The STBD Board Summer Meeting schedule is available online.

WHAT:
Seattle Transportation Benefit District Board Summer Meeting Schedule

WHEN:
Tuesday, June 24, 10:30am (following City Transportation Committee meeting) – BRIEFING AND DISCUSSION
Thursday, June 26, 5:30pm – PUBLIC HEARING
Thursday, July 10, 2:00pm – DISCUSSION
Thursday, July 17, 2:00pm – DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE VOTE
Thursday, July 31, 2:00pm (if necessary) – DISCUSSION AND POSSIBLE VOTE

WHERE:
Seattle City Hall, Council Chambers
600 Fourth Avenue, Floor 2
Seattle, WA 98124

WHO:
STBD Board Chair Tom Rasmussen
Members of the STBD Board
Public

Interpretation can be available for the following. Please contact Councilmember Tom Rasmussen’s office to request service:

Vietnamese:
Các dịch vụ thông dịch có thể hiện có cho ngôn ngữ sau đây: Tiếng Việt

Spanish:
Se pueden ofrecer servicios de interpretación para el siguiente idioma: Español

Tagalog:
May mga Serbisyo sa Pagsasalinwika na maaaring magamit para sa mga sumusunod: Tagalog

Somali:
Adeegyada Turjubaanista ayaa lagu heli karaa: Soomaali

Korean:
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Simplified Chinese:
可提供以下语言的口译服务:中文

Traditional Chinese:
可提供以下語言的口譯服務:中文

[View in Council Newsroom]

City Council Approves $15/hour Minimum Wage in Seattle


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 6/2/2014

Councilmember Sally J. Clark
Council President Tim Burgess
Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Councilmember Jean Godden
Councilmember Bruce Harrell
Councilmember Nick Licata
Councilmember Mike O’Brien
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen
Councilmember Kshama Sawant

City Council Approves $15/hour Minimum Wage in Seattle
Historic vote addresses income inequality

SEATTLESeattle City Council unanimously approved the adoption of a $15 per hour minimum wage today, making Seattle the first major city in America to take such an action to address income inequality. Beginning April 1, 2015, the legislation will phase-in a $15 per hour minimum wage annually over 3 to 7 years, depending on employer size.

“Today we answer President Obama’s call and the moral call to address the plight of low wage workers,” said Councilmember Sally J. Clark, chair of the City Council’s Select Committee on the Minimum Wage and Income Inequality. “Seattle’s new law puts low wage workers on a path to $15 and does it in a way that respects Seattle’s love for local businesses and world-leading innovation.”

Twenty-four percent of Seattle workers earn hourly wages of $15 per hour or less, and approximately 13.6 percent of the Seattle community lives below the federal poverty level, according to a University of Washington study. Washington State’s minimum wage is currently $9.32 per hour. Effective April 1, 2015, the minimum wage in Seattle will be $10.00 or $11.00 per hour depending on employer size. A chart illustrating the subsequent annual minimum wage increase based on employer size is available here.

“With inaction at the state and national levels, it’s time for cities to demonstrate bold and necessary leadership to address income inequality,” said Council President Tim Burgess. “Seattle has found a workable and careful compromise that recognizes both the harm caused by stagnant wages and the harm to local businesses should we move forward too quickly.”

Mayor Ed Murray forwarded a proposal to the City Council after it had been developed by a stakeholder group, which included representatives of Seattle’s business, labor and non-profit communities and three councilmembers. The Seattle City Council, reviewed relevant studies, held public forums for feedback, hosted industry-specific discussions, considered the Mayor’s proposal and heard thousands of community comments over the first half of 2014.

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw said, “In the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt, ‘The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.’ Today, we have made true progress so people can work and live in our city.”

“Today is an unprecedented step forward for working families in Seattle,” said Councilmember Jean Godden. “Especially for women who tend to make up more than half of low wage workers, a higher minimum wage is a powerful tool to reduce income inequality based on gender.”

“This is a historic moment: the culmination of workers banding together over a year ago to raise the national debate on income inequality. Seattle listened and today, we are acting to help workers earn a living wage,” said Councilmember Bruce Harrell. “This is one of the most important race and social justice-related legislation enacted, most positively impacting people of color, women and immigrants. We must continue working with small businesses and the ethnic minority community to support their growth and help them succeed.”

“Council’s next critical step is to legislate the enforcement of this new law with the creation of an Office of Labor Standards Enforcement,” said Councilmember Nick Licata. “Responsible businesses who follow the law must not be at a competitive disadvantage with those businesses not administering fair labor practices.”

“I am honored to cast my vote today in support of the tens of thousands of working people in Seattle who are about to get a much needed raise,” said Councilmember Mike O’Brien. “Almost a year ago to the day, I escorted fast food workers back to their jobs to ensure they would not face retaliation for striking for better pay, and thanks to the movement they started we are making history today.”

“This legislation sends a message heard around the world: Seattle wants to stop the race to the bottom in wages and that we deplore the growth in income inequality and the widening gap between the rich and the poor,” said Councilmember Tom Rasmussen.

“This is a victory for our movement – it shows the power of working people when we organize and fight for our rights,” said Councilmember Kshama Sawant. “It will inspire millions of people all over the nation to build on this historic step forward. Fifteen in Seattle is just the beginning.”

The legislation will take effect thirty days after Mayor Ed Murray signs the legislation into law. Seattle has a population of approximately 634,535 in 2012, according to the United States Census and is approximately 84 square miles in land area.

[View in Council Newsroom]

Councilmembers Rasmussen, O’Brien, Bagshaw Pledge to Give Seattle Voters Chance to Save Transit Service


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 5/9/2014

Councilmember Sally Bagshaw
Councilmember Mike O’Brien
Councilmember Tom Rasmussen

Councilmembers Rasmussen, O’Brien, Bagshaw Pledge to Give Seattle Voters Chance to Save Transit Service

SeattleCouncilmembers Tom Rasmussen, Mike O’Brien and Sally Bagshaw issued the following statement today:

"Metro bus service is critical to the people of Seattle. It is necessary for those who cannot afford cars and depend on buses to get around. It is essential for our environment that people have multiple options for mobility and it is essential to reducing traffic congestion as well. Too many buses in the city are at capacity, and with ridership at an all-time high we simply cannot afford to lose bus service.

"Seattle voters deserve a chance to preserve bus service in the city and we are committed to giving them that opportunity in November. We are exploring every option available to keep the busses running in Seattle in cooperation with our colleagues on the City Council and Mayor Ed Murray. We are also committed to working with King County Metro and cities in our region to ensure that we preserve and build a strong regional transit system.

"We commend Mayor Murray for his leadership in developing a proposal, which will be released next week. We also commend Keep Seattle Moving for keeping public momentum going to ensure we do not lose the bus service we so critically need in Seattle.

"On Monday, May 19 we will have a briefing in City Council Chambers at 9:30 a.m. to learn more about the impacts of the potential loss of bus service in the City and to learn more about the Mayor’s proposal. We will convene additional City Council meetings as needed throughout the summer to develop a proposal to send to the voters for the November ballot."

Editor’s note: The City’s deadline for submitting a ballot measure to King County Elections for the November election is August 5, 2014.

[View in Council Newsroom]