Last week, Unite HERE Local 8 — the hotel workers’ union — turned in signatures to qualify its self-serving initiative for Seattle’s November ballot. The initiative (I-124) in question suggests the goal is to create certain protections against sexual harassment of hotel housekeepers.
Of course — since a union created it — the initiative mainly is intended to blackmail hotel operators and protect union powers when a hotel changes ownership.
The collection of the required signatures gives the Seattle City Council three options: send it to the voters, send it to the voters with an alternative, or approve the law themselves. The council plans to vote on the initiative next week.
But, since she doesn’t believe rules apply to her, that did not prevent Socialist City Council member Kshama Sawant from attempting to move ahead with the union-backed initiative anyway. The liberal blog Publicola reports that Sawant tried to pass a “last-minute motion” at a full council meeting to bypass voters.
Sawant wanted to create a one-week window after which the council could pass the measure into law. Notably, doing so would have “saved the union an expensive ballot box fight.”
According to Publicola, most of Sawant’s fellow council members “weren’t comfortable approving a ballot measure in its own right without a comprehensive vetting and public process, something they don’t believe they can do in one or two weeks, and so, are likely, next week, to simply send the measure to the ballot next Monday.”
Sawant’s motion failed on a 6-2 with only Debora Juarez voting with her. Ultimately, the socialist councilmember proved that she cares more about protecting union campaign cash than letting voters have their say.