Together, with input from the membership, our board has taken a position on three of the most critical ballot initiatives that will appear on your ballot this fall. These issues will affect your community in different ways and will have lasting impacts on our communities.
In an effort to help you consider these impacts, Poverty Action has taken a position on one statewide ballot initiative: I-522 Labeling Genetically Modified Foods and two local ballot initiatives that have statewide implications. Those two local initiatives are Proposition 1 in the city of Seattle and Proposition 1 in the city of SeaTac. Both of these measures have far-reaching implications for communities across Washington, and while only applicable to those municipalities, could set precedent for other areas in Washington state.
Each of these initiatives impact our vision for a Washington where everyone can prosper. In order to work towards our vision for Washington we have taken the following positions:
- Statewide Initiative
I-522: Labeling for Genetically Modified Foods
Washingtonians should have the right to know if the food they buy in the grocery store has been genetically modified. We believe that every person has the right to an informed choice when selecting food for their families and that includes knowing if their food has been produced from organisms that have had specific changes introduced into their DNA using the methods of genetic engineering. This is about protecting consumers and making sure that every person has the freedom of choice when making decisions to feed their families. Washington deserves full disclosure if their food has been genetically modified.
Poverty Action urges a YES vote for I-522.
- City of Seattle:
Proposition 1: Fair Election Seattle
This fall Seattle voters finally have a chance to bring publicly financed elections back to their city by passing Prop 1. This measure would enact responsible, common sense reforms that place more power in the hands of voters rather than big-moneyed special interests and the 1%. Prop 1 enforces transparency and accountability for those running for municipal office by allowing candidates to opt-in to the system.
Under this Proposition, Candidates would collect 600 contributions between $10 and $50 from Seattle city residents and have those small contributions publicly matched up to $210,000. Fair Elections candidates can spend no more than $245,000 on their campaign. The system would be paid for by dedicated funding which would cost the average homeowner just 50 cents a month. Fair Elections Seattle is a model that could re-energize the way local races are conducted, with politicians talking about the issues and spending time with voters, rather than cozying up to fundraisers.
Poverty Action urges a YES vote on Seattle’s Proposition 1.
- City of SeaTac:
Proposition 1: $15 Minimum Wage for SeaTac
Every person deserves a living wage and the dignity of work. Unfortunately, employers at Washington state’s largest airport, SeaTac, are among the lowest paid airport workers in the country. Prop 1 will immediately help more than 6,000 people who live, work, and/or shop in SeaTac, including jet fuelers, hotel housekeepers, baggage handlers, rental car employees, and many more. This proposition would raise the minimum wage to $15/hour for some of the most underpaid airport workers in the country. Additionally, the proposition would fix an egregious form of wage theft. Currently, many hotels and restaurants in SeaTac pocket the tips and service charges that many guests and customers believe go to their servers.
Prop 1 would require SeaTac hotels and hotel restaurants to do the right thing and give tips and service charges to the employees who perform the actual services. Prop 1 would put more money in the pockets of SeaTac workers and their families, helping them afford groceries, rent, gas, clothing, and other necessities, while boosting our local economy by an estimated $54 million every year.
Poverty Action urges a YES vote on Proposition 1 in the City of SeaTac.