sooner or later ~ BossFeed Briefing from Working Washington

We are Working Washington

BossFeed Briefing for October 2, 2017. Last Monday, temporary Seattle Mayor Tim Burgess announced a proposal for the city to set up retirement accounts for people whose employers don’t offer them. Last Thursday, the US Supreme Court announced it would hear Janus v. AFSCME, a test case pushed by extreme right-wing groups that could undermine many labor unions. And last Friday, Tom Price resigned as Secretary of Health & Human Services after it was revealed he had already spent $1 million of public money on government and private jets.

Sooner or later 

target strike
May 2014: Target workers in downtown Seattle strike for $15. 

Three things to know this week:

fist Target Corporation announced they’re raising their internal store minimum wage to $15/hour by 2020. Target workers in downtown Seattle walked out on strike in 2014, helping lead the way to the city’s first-in-the-nation $15/hour minimum wage law.

levitatingThe CEO of Equifax lost his job under mounting pressure over the data security disaster at the credit bureau, which stockpiles huge amounts of personal financial information on most Americans. Because the company opted to called the CEO’s departure a resignation, he still has a $90 million payday coming to him.

scales TGI Friday’s has settled a massive wage theft complaint, paying $19 million to address violations affecting tens of thousands of workers. It’s the largest such settlement on record, but it may still be a bargain: the total value of unpaid wages could be more than four times the amount of the settlement.


Two things to ask:

door What if campaigns don’t matter? New academic research suggests that mailers and ads and GOTV doorknocks and other direct voter contact by political campaigns have pretty much zero effect on voter behavior. Clearly people’s minds can and do change over time, and the balance of opinion on different issues can and does shift; but it seems these things typically happen in parallel to campaign contacts, not because of them.

raising hand Did someone ask him? Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is yet again managing to get political writers to speculate about the possibility he might run for President. These writers are the only visible base of support signaling any interest in such a run.


And one thing that’s worth a closer look:

bunny ears While Washington State long ago eliminated the subminimum wage for tipped workers, most states allow employers to pay servers as little as $2.13/hour, and industry lobby groups sporadically make efforts to bring it back here, too. In a new piece in The GuardianRose Hackman weaves together the voices of a range of servers for a good refresher on why this issue matters so much. Tipped workers are mostly women, they’re twice as likely to be living in poverty than other workers, and they’re exposed to extraordinary rates of sexual harassment from customers and managers. Subminimum base wages reduce servers’ ability to confront this harassment; as one put it, “We have to jeopardize our integrity on a daily basis to pay rent.”


Read this far?

tophat Consider yourself briefed, boss.

October 2004 ~ a new harsh reality

The New York Times, In
’04 Florida, Lawsuits Begin Before Election
, October 14, 2004 (Registration required)The Washington Post, Behind
the Scenes, Officials Wrestle Over Voting Rules
, October 10, 2004 (Registration

CNN, Kerry:
GOP suppressing vote in swing states
, October 4, 2004

The Los Angeles Times, Nov.
2 Is V-Day for Blacks in Florida
, October 11, 2004 (Registration required)

Automakers and President Trump would have you to pay more at the pump: Help us fight back!

UCS - Science for a healthy planet and safer world

Who benefits from strong fuel efficiency standards?

Everyone! Especially low- to middle-income drivers and rural drivers. Higher EPA standards give us cars that go further on a gallon of gas, and save us money on our commutes every day. Tell the EPA today: we want to keep our fuel savings.

Tell the Trump Administration: Don’t Gut the Clean Car Standards

At the industry’s request, President Trump is trying to weaken vehicle emissions standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) so automakers can slow down the progress toward making more fuel-efficient cars and trucks. These standards are the single biggest step our country has taken to cut oil use and global warming pollution.

Tell the EPA we want to keep the emissions standards strong!

These standards are not just about reducing oil use and pollution, they’re great for consumers too, already saving more than $47 billion at the pump.In fact, two particular groups benefit the most from these standards: low- to middle-income drivers and rural drivers.

Low- to middle-income drivers tend to spend a larger portion of their paychecks on transportation. Luckily, steady improvements in fuel efficiency have already saved the average middle-income household as much as $17,000 from 1980 to 2014. Strong standards also benefit rural drivers more because they are particularly dependent on personal vehicles, usually having to travel farther to get to work while having less access to public transportation. If we want to protect the most vulnerable American families, we have to make sure the EPA keeps car companies working in their best interests.

The public comment period on reopening these standards ends on October 5send your comment in today!

If the federal fuel efficiency and global warming emissions standards are kept strong, we will nearly double the fuel economy of new cars and light trucks by 2025. And most people finance their vehicles, so even after accounting for the slight extra cost of new technology, more fuel-efficient cars and trucks start saving drivers money the second they drive off the lot.

Thanks to UCS supporters like you, we already have 20,000 public comments urging the EPA to keep the current clean car standards. Add your voice today and help us reach our goal of 30,000!

Take Action

Eleanor Fort
Eleanor Fort
Vehicles Campaign Manager
Clean Vehicles Program
Union of Concerned Scientists