In the category of surprising, yet encouraging, a day after the Chamber sent a letter to the Mayor highlighting the need for a community task force to discuss the minimum wage, the Mayor led the City Council to establish just such a task force.
The Chamber's letter clearly touched a nerve and brought to the fore a rumbling that could be heard throughout Tacoma - the 15 Now proposal is just too extreme for Tacoma.
Because of the tight timeline for the Council to act if it wants to put something on the ballot, the Mayor asked councilmembers to provide names for the task force in just 3 days.
The names are now out with appointments made last Tuesday at that night's council meeting. The people tasked with hashing out the minimum wage issue in Tacoma are:
• Kelly Chambers, owner of Visiting Angels
• Sarah Cherin, political and public policy director for United Food and Commercial Union 21
• Gregory Christopher, pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church & head of the Tacoma chapter of the NAACP
• Odette D’Aniello, owner of Celebrity Cake Studio
• Michelle Douglas, executive director for the Rainbow Center
• Liz Dunbar, executive director for Tacoma Community House
• Eric Hahn, vice president for General Plastics & a member of the Workforce Central board
• Dennis Farrow, owner of Advanced Technology Construction
• Reggie Frederick, owner of Chalet Bowl
• Jason Kinlow, owner of A Taste of Philly
• Elizabeth Lewis, a minimum-wage worker at Staff Pro & 15Now Supporter
• Ali Modarres, director of the Urban Studies at University of Washington Tacoma
• Abranna Romero Rocha, a student at Lincoln High School & 15Now Supporter
• David Strong, executive director for AIDS Housing Association of Tacoma & pastor at Greater Christ Community Church
• Brenda Wiest, legislative affairs coordinator for Teamsters 117
• Russ Heaton (alternate), owner of Doyle’s Public House• Robert Taylor (alternate), member field director for Service Employees International Union 1199
The list clearly contains more non-profit entities than anything else which should make the conversation interesting as it may focus more on how to help the least fortunate rather than how to punish people for running businesses.
We hope all members will carefully consider what the best solution for Tacoma is rather than trying to represent a narrow constituency group.