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Seattle Times letters to the editor

Topic: Seattle

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June 2, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Minimum wage: A $15 wage would knock entry-level job seekers out of the market

The love affair over giving low-wage employees a $15 minimum wage is growing daily [“Workers see $15 wage as ‘peace of mind’,” Local News, June 1]. Who came up with $15 as what was required to make life easier for these unfortunate people? If I recall, someone who started it all just picked it…


Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: $15, Ed Hickey, entry-level jobs

May 21, 2014 at 7:05 PM

$15 minimum wage would support a student; encourage the economy instead

$15 would support a student, and many others As a high-school student about to graduate, I believe the change in the minimum wage to $15 would be highly effective for all residents in the Seattle [“New poll shows big support for $15 minimum wage,” Local News, May 14]. This new poll that shows big…


Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: $15 minimum wage, Annette Alt, businesses

May 19, 2014 at 6:58 PM

Seattle crime: ‘De-policing’ a troubling trend

I read that police actions on low-level crime have declined by huge percentages over the past few years [“Report cites plunge in SPD enforcement of low-level crime,” Local News, May 14]. Either everyone in Seattle has gotten much nicer, or police are avoiding contact in potentially incendiary situations. After the multitude of accusations, investigations,…


Comments | More in crime/justice | Topics: crime, Cynthia M. Cole, de-policing

May 11, 2014 at 8:40 AM

Minimum wage: Hard for small businesses, self-employed to adapt

The Seattle Times especially well-written editorial on the minimum wage proposal for the City of Seattle may give pause for those who view a $15-an-hour wage a welcome step up to the middle class for the working poor [“An economic gamble in Seattle as $15 minimum wage becomes reality,” Opinion, May 3]. As…


Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: $15 minimum wage, John May, Minimum Wage

May 6, 2014 at 12:36 PM

Readers weigh in on Seattle mayor’s plan for a $15 minimum wage

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Gabriel Campanario / The Seattle Times

Last week, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray announced a plan to move the city toward a $15 minimum wage, which would be phased in over three to seven years depending on the size of business and whether workers receive tips or benefits in addition to salary.

The Seattle Times wrote in an editorial, “If Seattle must go to $15 — and that appears a political reality — there are elements to like in this deal. It includes significant phase-in time, allowing employers to adjust to higher costs, and it incentivizes businesses to contribute to health care, at least for some time.” And added, “But this should not be considered merely tinkering, but a re-engineering of the Seattle economy.”

Readers have sent in quite a few letters in response to this coverage with their own perspectives of the wage hike. If you’d like to add your voice, send your letter to:

What’s not being considered by supporters

When columnist Jerry Large asserts that Seattle is a step closer to equality because of reaching an agreement that must be approved by the City Council, he must have ignored several things [“Seattle off to promising start on plan to raise minimum wage,” Local News, May 4].

The increase in hourly wages could be whisked away in a heartbeat by higher rents, higher prices for Big Macs or higher prices at stores in low-income neighborhoods.

Equality in Seattle does not mean a thing for equality for 10,000 or so other places in the United States with slightly less liberal city council members.

There are very few highly desirable or even moderately desirable neighborhoods in King County, and a few thousand dollars more in take-home pay every year will make people not one inch closer to being able to afford a house in one of those neighborhoods.

If the cost of employing a person is higher than the revenue that person brings in, that person won’t be on the payroll for very long. People will lose jobs, and therefore be more unequal to others than before. Some people will get raise, other people will get substantial cuts in income.

Get set for higher inequality, Seattle. You deserve it.

Eric Tronsen, Seattle

Teenagers would need to move out of Seattle to find jobs

It would appear Seattle parents have between four and seven years to move to the suburbs so that they can teach their children the responsibility and value in obtaining a starter job.

From there, teenagers can learn


Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: $15 minimum wage, David Smukowski, Elaine Phelps

February 18, 2014 at 6:05 AM

Pike-Pine corridor: Neighborhoods need improvement as well

This rendering shows how this section of Second Avenue could look. (GUSTAFSON GUTHRIE NICHOL)

I see that the city gave the Downtown Seattle Association a $150,000 grant, part of which went to developing a plan to improve the Pike-Pine corridor [“Pike-Pine corridor focus of design ideas to spur renaissance,” Local News, Feb. 12]. Apparently the association wants to have a “world-class destination corridor,” similar to Chicago’s Magnificent Mile.

Here we go again, with our world-class city obsession. With this foot in the door, I wonder how much more money they’ll get from city coffers to carry out this vision, while our neighborhoods wallow in second-class status. For example, where I live, there are hardly any sidewalks, protected bike lanes, or curbs and drains.


Comments | Topics: Downtown Seattle Association, Pike-Pine corridor, Robert Koch

February 10, 2014 at 7:07 PM

Native American heritage: Good news for Daybreak Star

What wonderful news! [“Snoqualmie Tribe donating $150,000 to Daybreak Star Center,” Local News, Feb. 4] I visited the Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center in Seattle’s Discovery Park some years ago and was disappointed to see it struggling then. As a center for Native American art and culture, Daybreak Star has been doing its best…


Comments | More in Native Americans | Topics: Daybreak Star Indian Cultural Center, Discovery Park, Lyn F. Lambert

January 29, 2014 at 6:09 AM

Reader Roundtable: Should Seattle move to a $15 minimum wage?


In November, voters in SeaTac approved a $15 minimum wage for airport-related work and now activists are taking that fight to Seattle. The issue is gaining national traction as well, with Obama pushing for a federal minimum wage of $10.10 in his State of the Union speech last night. Seattle Times readers debate the merits and downsides of raising the minimum wage to $15 in Seattle:

My small business would also be adversely affected

Thank you Judith Gille for stating so eloquently an important point that is being missed in the $15 an hour minimum wage discussion: the unintended consequences to small businesses like hers and mine, local businesses that make Seattle a special place to live [“A neighborhood business can’t support a $15 minimum wage,” Opinion, Jan. 27].

I have written to the mayor and the City Council expressing my concerns that a sudden and dramatic increase in what is already the biggest cost for most small businesses could be disabling. Large corporations with Seattle storefronts already enjoy many advantages due to their tremendous buying power and greater access to capital. Those advantages would allow them to absorb more easily this kind of dramatic change. It is small businesses that would be the most affected.

I don’t think you will find a small Seattle employer who does not support living wages because so many of us work long hours for very low pay, and so many of us have missed paychecks so that our employees and our businesses could keep moving forward. The $15 an hour minimum wage movement is grounded in good intentions, but the reality of the impact this kind of sudden change would have on small business has not been thoroughly considered.

Judy Neldam, owner of Grateful Bread

Small businesses have nothing to fear

I don’t think small businesses would have to worry about a shortage of good employees if the minimum wage were raised to $15.

Look at the economy: Our city’s unemployment rate is still above 5 percent, and even college graduates (such as guest columnist Sandi Halimuddin) are struggling to find full-time work.


Comments | More in minimum wage | Topics: Anthony Bencivengo, John Yackshaw, Judy Neldam

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