Comments for 15 Now Tacoma « 15 Now Tacoma Vote YES on Prop 1 for a $15/hour Minimum Wage! Tue, 10 Nov 2015 08:25:30 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on Editorial: After the election by Walter Halftime Tue, 10 Nov 2015 08:25:30 +0000 Getting the minimum wage up is great. Totally stoked. But not getting it up to $15/hr would have been amazing. That would be what my more than what I make now, plus tips even. My one criticism for this campaign is that you guys didn’t campaign enough. The only thing I saw was a little sign posted on Portland ave, two weeks before the elections, which I googled and got me informed. Every person I talked to, who was getting paid mininum wage, up until the election, had no idea there was a minimum wage vote going through city hall. Just like every other bill or policy that gets put through city counsel (and congress) the public at large were unawares. Couldn’t you have put signs up outside Safeways? McDonalds? Home Depots? Burger Kings? Elementary and High Schools? Facebook? #Minimumwage? #15hr? You didn’t crowd fund? Kickstarter? Indigogo? gofundme? There were so many resources at your fingertips that you didn’t take advantage of. It’s not what resources you have available its how resourceful you are that makes a difference. Thats my rant. I wish it had turned out differently and I hope there’s a revote.

Comment on Editorial: After the election by Editor Sat, 07 Nov 2015 21:43:33 +0000 Doug,

Thanks for commenting, and especially thanks for the hard work and dedication you put into this campaign. You have raised some good points.

This fight is not over. You, I, and many other working people will continue fighting for fair pay and working conditions. In fact, it seems to me that the volunteers are not yet ready to disband. From the comments I’ve seen, the conversations I’ve had with the 15 Now Activists, we are not demoralized. The wonderful volunteer-activists of 15 Now Tacoma fully realize that we won a partial victory and are proud of the progress we made, notwithstanding the loss of Initiative 1.

At the same time, it’s important for those of us who engage in these fights to make a realistic and sober assessment of what we did right, what we did wrong, what gains we made, and what losses we suffered. That’s how we learn to be more effective warriors next time. That way, we can be more effective in the next skirmish of our asymmetric political war. Personally, I’ve got no regrets about our campaign. This campaign was an important step in the right direction, and our crew was remarkable.


Comment on Editorial: After the election by Doug Nielson Sat, 07 Nov 2015 11:12:51 +0000 I don’t understand why you say in the article that you lost the election. You didn’t get everything you were asking for, but you did get part of it. Minimum wage workers are getting a raise. And as you say, the conversation is changed in Tacoma. Never before in Tacoma have workers taken advantage of their ability to vote themselves a raise.

Comment on Uncle Weston, Wages, Inflation, and Killing Jobs by Editor Thu, 16 Jul 2015 21:56:14 +0000 Thanks for the question and thanks for writing, Alyce.

Proposition 1 only deals with the minimum wage. It sets the floor, not the upper levels. The answer about how much other people’s wages go up will depend on the arrangement employers and employees work out after the new law takes effect. You’re talking about what economists call “wage compression,” and it may be a temporary phenomenon after Prop 1 becomes law.

Anybody making just slightly above $15/hour now, who has been at the same job and worked their way up, has undoubtedly proven the value of their work. Such people likely will be in a stronger position to ask the employer for a raise.

“Entry level” jobs no longer exist in the sense they did 30 years ago. Half of Tacoma’s workers make less than $15/hour, and their average age is 36. A large percentage are in families that depend, at least in part, on their income. A huge percentage of public assistance goes to working people who can’t make ends meet. A raise in the minimum wage would cut down on public assistance, would help the economy as workers would have more disposable income to spend in local businesses.

Comment on Uncle Weston, Wages, Inflation, and Killing Jobs by Alyce Warren Thu, 16 Jul 2015 17:27:09 +0000 What about employees that worked their way up to $15/hr? Will their wages go up 58% also? Or will their job with increased responsibility stay at $15/hr while the entry level jobs with less responsibility also pay $15/hr? Thank you in advance for your response!

Comment on Why Tacoma Needs A $15/Hour Minimum Wage by Editor Sun, 12 Jul 2015 21:13:48 +0000 Dave, I’m glad you were able to find a job so quickly. Your experience is not so typical. Here are some links to articles about conducting job searches, how long it takes, what you need to do to land a job, and so on.

  1. –From a study at University of California at Davis: Low-wage Work Uncertainty often Traps Low-wage Workers
  2. –From an advice site for job hunters: 15 Myths and Misconceptions About Job-Hunting
  3. –From another site dedicated to helping job hunters: How Long Does it Take to Find a Job?
  4. –Here’s an interesting study: Low Wage Nation: Nearly Half of New Jobs Don’t Pay Enough to Make Ends Meet


Comment on Why Tacoma Needs A $15/Hour Minimum Wage by Dave Sun, 12 Jul 2015 18:13:22 +0000 Actually, I landed my current (low-wage) job with a 10 minute internet search (followed up with a 3 sentence email that led to a 5 minute interview). It wasn’t the first time, either.

Comment on Next Action Group General Membership Meeting by Editor Fri, 10 Jul 2015 08:59:11 +0000 Mr. Randle,

Please accept my apologies for taking 3 days to approve this comment.


Comment on Next Action Group General Membership Meeting by Robert Randle Tue, 07 Jul 2015 00:03:20 +0000 There is doubtless a compelling moral reason to support workers earning more money to take care of their family responsibilities but just how practical is it? A crash course in Microeconomics might be helpful; which I took at UWT. For one thing, there are a certain fixed number of jobs at the prevailing wage rate (job market in equilibrium), and this is taking into account the people who are looking for work and vacancies that have gone unfilled. Imposing a minimum wage rate that is above the prevailing wage rate can result in employers laying off workers or not hiring as many workers at the higher rate. This policy benefits those few workers who are paid the higher wage but at the expense of those who had to be laid off. The most disadvantaged, unproductive workers are the most vulnerable and increasingly likely to be priced out of the job market altogether. In order to survive, employers will have to reduce hours, cut benefits (pensions, health benefits), as well as pass along the increased costs to the consumer.

A better solution might be for an individual employer to pay workers a “living wage” which is in economic terms, an hourly wage rate for a 40-hour work to pay rent or housing for no more than roughly thirty-five percent of the amount earned. If the rent is $210 weekly, this amounts to $840 monthly. $840/0.35= $2,400/160 hrs. = $15/hr. In this example the living wage may very well exceed the minimum wage and it is offered simply as an illustration. The minimum wage might be a good short term remedy to offset higher cost of living expenses but it may not solve the long-term solution of pay inequity; at least not for those who will be the most adversely impacted (economically poor, low-skilled, non-college educated, or workers who do not have vocational/technical school training).

According to the Washington Real Estate Research Institute (WSU) the average price of a 1 bedroom apartment in Tacoma/Pierce County is roughly between $847-853 monthly (assuming it is not a studio). Since this is the case an increase to $15hr would match a “living wage” to that of a “minimum wage” for our city. The question is whether it should be a gradual increase over several years, which seems to be the most practical as opposed to a radical imposition overnight.


Browning, Edgar K and Zupan, Mark A. Microeconomics: Theory and Applications.
New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, 2006. Print.

Parkin, Michael. Microeconomics. New York: Pearson Addison-Wesley, 2005. Print.

Comment on Help Build the “Raise the Wage” Rally, 6/30/2015 by Sarah Jane Morken Tue, 30 Jun 2015 14:22:03 +0000 Alan, this is confusing. You won’t be marching to the rally. You will be marching from the rally to city council meeting. Please change this to “We will march from the rally to the city council at 747 Market Street.”

“The rally itself takes place at the Theater of the Square at 916 Broadway in Tacoma.. We will march to the rally a bit after it begins.”