Resolution on Labor’s City of Seattle Budget Priorities

November 21, 2022

WHEREAS, Seattle is the center of the regional economy and the economic driver of the Pacific Northwest, a union town built by the hands and minds of workers; and

WHEREAS, the City of Seattle is in the midst of budget deliberations for a biennial budget that impacts all workers who live and or work in Seattle that will be voted on November 29, 2022; and

WHEREAS, the City of Seattle is one of Washington State’s largest public employers, employing more than 10,000 workers directly and thousands more through contracted services like construction and direct service; and

WHEREAS, MLK Labor, its affiliates, and all working people in our region have a vested interest in the City of Seattle’s budget and its impacts on our lives; and

WHEREAS, 2022 has seen record-high inflation in an already unaffordable city and workers are still suffering from the strain of the COVID-19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, Councilmember Mosqueda convenes unions and their leaders to discuss council business regularly, including on October 4, 2022, when she sought labor’s budget priorities and November 1, 2022, to discuss whether labor’s priorities had made it into the Mayor’s budget; and

WHEREAS, in 2020, Councilmember Mosqueda championed the passage of JumpStart Seattle, a progressive tax to fund affordable housing, equitable development, and a Green New Deal. JumpStart Seattle was a campaign led by a coalition of more than 100 organizations, including MLK Labor. It was the first progressive tax of its kind in Seattle and took months of research, working with stakeholders, and campaigning on behalf of coalition members; and

WHEREAS, due to our upside-down tax code, our city recently faced projected shortfalls of $141 million in 2023 and $152 million in 2024; despite Jumpstart revenue. Although Councilmember Mosqueda’s proposed budget temporarily addresses these shortfalls, the City of Seattle’s revenue can not keep pace with the needs of our growing city; and

WHEREAS, MLK Labor along with many affiliates signed a letter of support to continue investments in JumpStart as developed collaboratively in the original spending plan;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that MLK Labor supports the balancing budget package presented by Councilmember Mosqueda to the full council; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that MLK Labor formally supports the following priorities within this budget or working people of Seattle and King County:

  1. Sufficient resources to fund collective bargaining agreements for the Coalition of City union members and IAFF 27 members, including the cost of living adjustments, wage increases, and economic proposals that recognize the contributions of City workers throughout the pandemic and beyond.
  2. Full inflationary increases for human services workers contracted with the City of Seattle in accordance with the law the Council previously passed
  3. $5 million to stabilize childcare providers so they can ensure working families have a safe place for their children to learn
  4. $1.5 million for abortion services for the uninsured
  5. $120,000 for MLK Labor’s Virtual Hiring Hall
  6. $200,000 workforce development in the cannabis industry; and
  7. Continued funding of Memorial Stadium that supports a strong partnership between the City, Seattle Public School District, and the Trades

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that MLK Labor, through the City of Seattle Revenue Stabilization Taskforce, will continue to advocate for additional progressive revenue on the City of Seattle’s Revenue Stabilization Taskforce; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that MLK Labor will send a copy of this resolution to Seattle City Councilmembers for consideration.

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