March 27 Income Inequality Symposium
On March 27 I will join Councilmembers from Chicago, New York, San Francisco, Philadelphia, San Diego, and San Jose and participate in an all-day symposium at Seattle University to address income inequality. The event is co-sponsored by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray, Seattle University, and Local Progress, a network of local elected officials from around the country committed to shared prosperity and good government that I helped initiate in 2012, and serve as the national chair.
The symposium is intended to inform the community discussion surrounding the minimum wage, and the work of the Mayor’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee. The event is free and open to the public. Advanced registration is encouraged.
The event features these panels and discussions:
Understanding the Problem, 9:45-noon panels
- What is income inequality and why should we be concerned?
- What is a “living wage” in Seattle?
- Who are Seattle’s low-wage workers?
Noon: guided discussion with audience, panelists
Exploring Solutions, 1-3 p.m. afternoon discussion
- What have other cities done?
- Business strategies for investing in workers
Recognizing Costs and Benefits, 3:15-4:15 panel
WHEN: Thursday, March 27, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
WHERE: Seattle University – Campion Residence Hall Ballroom (901 12th Ave, Seattle)
WHO: National experts, elected officials, and local representatives of the Income Inequality Advisory Committee, including but not limited to:
- Seattle Councilmember Nick Licata and National Chair, Local Progress
- Chicago Aldermen John Arena, Toni Foulkes and Roderick Sawyer
- New York City Councilmember Ritchie Torres
- Philadelphia Councilmember Wilson Goode, Jr.
- San Diego Councilmember David Alvarez
- San Francisco Supervisor John Avalos
- San Jose Councilmember Don Rocha
A complete list of panelists, and an agenda for the day’s event, is available online, and copied below.
Attending Councilmembers had this to say about Seattle’s work to address income inequality:
John Avalos, San Francisco Board of Supervisors:
“In San Francisco, we pride ourselves on having the highest minimum wage in the country, at $10.55 an hour. But that’s still not enough on which to raise a family, particularly given our city’s high cost of living. I am tremendously excited about Seattle’s push for a $15 minimum wage. Seattle’s leadership is helping to change the national discourse about work, poverty, and inequality and I look forward to seeing Seattle, San Francisco, and many other cities and states across the country move to significantly raise the minimum wage and empower all working families to have a dignified life.”
Wilson Goode, Philadelphia City Council:
“Too many workers across Philadelphia struggle to get by on poverty wages. No matter how many hours they work, those families don’t have the dignity of livable wages. For years, I have championed economic development policies to reduce income inequality in Philadelphia. I am excited to come to Seattle and join the effort to dramatically raise the minimum wage there. Efforts like these are part of a nation-wide movement to lift families out of poverty and reward hard work with dignity and security.”
Local Progress is a network of local elected officials from across the country committed to a strong economy, equal justice, livable cities, and effective government.
Additional speakers include Lori Pfingst, Center for Budget and Policy; Dorian Warren, Columbia University; Paul Sonn, National Employment Law Project; Michael Reich and Ken Jacobs, U.C. Berkeley; and, Marieka Klawitter and Bob Plotnik, University of Washington.
Below is a poster announcing the symposium; please pass it on to your friend to let them know about this great event.