Washington Restaurant Weekly: General election is on November 3 – remember to vote!

Washington Restaurant Weekly: General election is on November 3 – remember to vote! https://wahospitality.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/WashingtonRestaurantWeekly_WebsiteBanner-467x198.jpg

Make sure your ballots are in the mail before next Tuesday, the deadline for when your ballot must be postmarked in order to be counted. There are major stakes in this election for the hospitality industry. In the 30th Legislative District, including Federal Way, Teri Hickel, who has been endorsed by the WRA, is running in a special election for the State House of Representatives. We need more hospitality industry-friendly legislators, like she would be, in Olympia. Tacoma voters face a momentous choice between the WRA-supported Measure 1B, which would bring a reasonable, phased in $12 minimum wage, and Measure 1, which would immediate increase Tacoma’s minimum wage to $15, severely damaging businesses and non-profits in the city. And if you live in Seattle, remember to vote in your City Council elections. The Seattle Restaurant Alliance (SRA) has endorsed the following 2015 Seattle City Council candidates for the general election:

Many of these candidates will need help with last minute election efforts such as door-belling, phone banking and fundraising. We encourage you to engage in these efforts! They are great opportunities to meet and talk with the candidates about the issues important to you and your business. Candidate contact information can be found on their individual websites. For more information about our endorsed candidates and the districts they are running in, click here to view our candidate map. For more information or questions, contact out the WRA’s Morgan Hickel at morganh@warestaurant.org.

Tacoma mayor speaks out in favor of WRA-supported $12 minimum wage measure

Last week Tacoma Mayor Marilyn Strickland and Reggie Frederick, the owner of Tacoma’s Chalet Bowl, released a collaborative op-ed in the News Tribune. Their opinion piece highlighted the importance of a reasonable alternative to the extreme Measure 1 ($15 Now) on the Tacoma ballot, and explained why they support Measure 1B, which would offer a phased in increase in the minimum wage of $12 an hour over two years. As they put it, “The Tacoma City Council put Measure 1B on the ballot to give voters a solid reason to vote in favor of raising the minimum wage and provide an alternative to the ‘all or nothing’ solution that calls for an immediate jump to $15 an hour.” The $15 Now Measure 1 would increase the minimum wage in Tacoma by 58 percent overnight, making it the highest minimum wage in the nation, leaving businesses no time to plan and adjust to the drastic change. Measure 1B would increase the minimum wage by 27 percent, a plan that Mayor Strickland and Reggie Frederick believe is a reasonable step to addressing income inequality without crippling Tacoma’s small businesses, nonprofits and economic health. “We believe that Measure 1B works best for Tacoma. It’s a major step forward, but not an immediate leap that may cause businesses to trip, fall and fail.” If you have any questions about the proposed legislation, contact your local GA Coordinator Samantha Louderback at samanthal@warestaurant.org.

Olympia City Council discusses minimum wage, paid sick leave, predictive scheduling

The Olympia City Council held a special session Tuesday evening to discuss the possibility of raising the city’s minimum wage. The study session was in response to Councilmember Jim Cooper proposing legislation that includes three main sections focused on minimum wage, paid sick leave and predictive scheduling. The councilmember’s proposed legislation would raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2017 for large employers (25 employees or 500 for franchisees) or in 2019 for small employers (less than 25 employees or less than 500 for franchisees). Along with a minimum wage increase, Cooper proposed paid sick leave for all employees, accruing one hour for every 40 hours worked with 56 hours of unused sick leave carried over the next calendar year. The last part of Cooper’s proposal includes predictive scheduling, requiring an employer to provide an employee a written work schedule at least 21 days prior to the first day of that work schedule.

The Council weighed the pros and cons of an increased minimum wage in front of a packed room of people from the community. It is unclear when the Olympia City Council will act, but they did seem interested in following Tacoma and Seattle’s enactment of a taskforce to study the economic impacts of an increase in the minimum wage. In a memo to the council, Councilmember Cooper made it clear that the goal of his proposed legislation is to begin the first of many discussions about how to address income inequality in the City of Olympia. The local WRA Government Affairs Team was in attendance Tuesday evening, and will continue to monitor this issue closely. If you have any questions about the proposed legislation, contact your local GA Coordinator Samantha Louderback at samanthal@warestaurant.org. You can read Councilmember Cooper’s proposed legislation here.

The WRA welcomes Evan Fassler

Evan Fassler has joined the WRA as its local government communication manager. In this position, Evan will serve as the liaison between the Communications Department and the local government efforts of the Government Affairs Department. As local governments find themselves under increasing pressure to raise minimum wages and create new workplace regulations, the WRA is focusing, as never before, in the local arena. Evan will be a vital part of communicating these efforts to our members. Evan, who hails from Carnation, in East King County, graduated from California State University, Bakersfield, with a major in political science and a minor in marketing. He served as campaign manager for Washington State Sen. Steve O’Ban, as legislative assistant for King County Councilmember Peter von Reichbauer and California State Sen. Jean Fuller. Additionally, Evan has worked in real estate. Evan can be contacted at evanf@warestaurant.org.

My Cheese Shoppe and H.I.H.I.T. on this week’s DineNW radio show

Don’t miss this week’s DineNW radio show, now online. Co-hosts Andy Cook and Paul Schlienz kick off the show by interviewing Laurie Sanders-Polen, owner of Puyallup’s My Cheese Shoppe. Ross Boylan and Andy then discuss health-care solutions with Joe Peoples of Hospitality Industry Health Insurance Trust (H.I.H.I.T.).

Washington Restaurant Market Watch: U.N. agency sees possible red meat-cancer link

You’ve probably heard the cliché before: Anything that tastes good is probably bad for you. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), an arm of the United Nations’ World Health Organization, this is the case when it comes to red meats. The IARC’s report was based on a review of 800 studies. This association between cancer and red meat was observed primarily for colorectal cancer although the agency also established connections between red meat and pancreatic cancer and prostate cancer. Read more…