Top Issues in Seattle
Washington Retail has formed a Seattle business coalition to help City Council members understand the costs of a series of workplace regulations and requirements. Seattle small businesses now have a clear voice in City Council debates and decisions.
Seattle charter amendment campaign announced to combat homelessness
An alliance of business, civic and community leaders known as Compassion Seattle has announced an initiative signature campaign with the aim of identifying housing and services for the city’s homeless population.
The campaign first must collect 33,600 signatures of registered voters in support to qualify a city charter amendment on the November 2021 election ballot. If approved by voters, it would require the city to identify an additional 2,000 units of emergency or permanent housing within a year as well as related services for the homeless.
The goal of the campaign, in part, is to remove encampments of unhoused people from city parks and in vehicles throughout the city. Retailers are urged to support the initiative to address the ill effects of homelessness on their businesses and the quality of life in Seattle and the region.
The Retail Industry Coalition of Seattle joined other business groups to fight the City Council’s proposed Head Tax in 2018. After passing the tax by a 9-0 vote, the Council saw an enormous public backlash, including a signature-gathering campaign to put a repeal initiative on the ballot. After over 42,000 Seattle residents signed the repeal petitions, the Council reversed course, voting 7-2 to repeal the Head Tax. RICS will continue to advocate for city government to prioritize needs and spend effectively to address those needs.
Paid Sick Leave
WR opposes government-imposed leave mandates that rob businesses of their flexibility to address specific circumstances among employees. Such mandates threaten productivity and impose burdensome costs that hit small businesses especially hard and create a great disadvantage for them. Last year, the Washington Research Council published a brief warning that imposing paid sick leave threatens many businesses by making them less competitive with others not facing the same regulation.