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As Labor Unions Weaken Nationwide, This Controversial Seattle Chapter’s Clout Keeps Swelling

News Coverage | December 20, 2017 | Seattle Magazine

Former Seattle City Council member Nick Licata, who had a front-row seat for the $15 wage debate at city hall, says SEIU’s work on the minimum wage was “necessary, but not sufficient” to pass the compromise. “[United Food and Commercial Workers] and the Economic Opportunity Institute [a progressive think tank] also played major roles, and I don’t think it would have happened without all of them,” Licata says.

The Fight Over The Fight For $15 In Seattle

News Coverage | June 30, 2017 | Huffington Post

As analysts at Washington State’s Economic Opportunity Institute point out, “poor research leads to poor findings.” Among its deficiencies, the University of Washington study excludes workers at chain businesses (from Starbucks to Walgreens), leaving out 40 percent of the city’s workforce.

Rather than being a job killer, a minimum wage boost increases them

Commentary | March 22, 2017 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

It should be no surprise that increases in the minimum wage result in job increases. It is a matter of actual human behavior in the private market, not an imaginary economic model.

Boost of minimum wage can make economy great again

Commentary | December 28, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

I like to think that when we say “make America great again,” we simply want to return to the economic norms of 50 years ago, when Congress periodically and in a bipartisan manner raised the federal minimum wage to keep up with inflation and productivity, when both wages in general and profits increased with productivity increases, and when the average household income was on the rise.

Report: Wash. Families Still Struggle Under Improved Economy

News Coverage | October 26, 2016 | Public News Service

Jobs are coming back and incomes are improving across Washington state, but families still are struggling to pay for the basics, according to a new report. Study author Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Economic Opportunity Institute, believes voters should pass Initiative 1433 this November and raise the minimum wage for workers.

Vote for an opportunity economy

Commentary | October 22, 2016 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

You got your ballot in the mail. Now what? Vote! Our votes up and down the ballot will help shape our state and nation for decades into the future. Among the many important issues and candidates, Initiative 1433 and the Sound Transit measure allow us to directly boost economic opportunity and vitality in our communities.

Workers have earned a better wage, paid sick leave

Commentary | September 23, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

The campaign for president is getting most of the media attention this year, but we have other important decisions to make as voters this November: about giving workers, especially low wage workers, respect, dignity and a fair chance.

Raising wages statewide is a job for We The People

Commentary | June 10, 2016 | South Seattle Emerald

Growing economic inequality compounds racial and gender inequities and deepens divisions in our society and democracy. We all lose – with less innovation, economic vibrancy, and cultural richness – when so many are denied the opportunity to reach their full potential and pursue their dreams. It doesn’t have to be this way.

Creating equity for minimum wage workers

Commentary | April 20, 2016 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

What is the value of work? Is it what you get paid? Economists trained to embrace the private market simply equate the value of your work with your wage. It's simple, easy to understand…and wrong.

Work to create future of better wages, benefits

Commentary | December 31, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Is the future something that will happen to us? No, because as citizens in a democracy, we can make choices and put forward ideas that actually shape that future. So in anticipation of 2016, here are some ideas about how we as a people can shape our own future.

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