Forward Seattle—a group of Seattle small business owners who oppose the $15 minimum wage ordinance—have collected 18,000 signatures for a “referendum that would put the Mayor’s and City Council’s $15 minimum wage bill on the November ballot.” The group needs 16,510 valid signatures from Seattle residents to qualify their referendum for the ballot. Forward Seattle has set a goal of 24,000 to ensure against invalid or duplicate signatures.
Rather than using a $15 minimum wage for the purpose of the referendum, Forward Seattle uses $18.13 an hour. From MyNorthwest.com,
“The reason we decided on a $18 is because that’s what it actually is. When they talk about a $15 wage, that’s incorrect. The mayor’s ordinance is actually $18 in 10 years,” Kathrina Tugadi of Forward Seattle told KIRO Radio’s Jason Rantz Show.
Forward Seattle bases its $18.13 minimum wage in 10 years claim on what they see as the inevitable consequence of Seattle’s current $15 minimum wage ordinance timeline, which is based on incorrect information.
“We wanted to make sure the public was fully aware and we wanted to take the time to educate the public on exactly what this means for the city,” said Angela Cough, also of Forward Seattle. “We absolutely want them to vote no.”
“Seattle has approved $15, it’s got to go to the voters. I don’t know if that’s the right number or not. We’ll follow the law. I think there’ll be unintended consequences of small businesses not being able to support that. But that’s not the issue. The issue is that we have to provide not only a good wage, but we gotta provide total compensation. “