The leadership team was in Seattle today to interview Seattle City Council candidate Jim Pugel in the November 5 City Council elections that are getting national attention.
Record financial contributions are pouring in for seven races that will determine whether the current council’s philosophy may shift to being more receptive to the needs of the business community. Seven of the council’s nine seats are up for grabs this year.
So far, Washington Retail has endorsed challengers Alex Pedersen in the District 4 race and Heidi Wills in the District 6 race. President/CEO Renée Sunde, Senior VP of Policy & Government Affairs Mark Johnson and Seattle contract lobbyist John Engber met today with Pugel.
The races have gained national attention following Amazon’s recent record-setting $1 million in contributions to a pro-business political action committee last week. The company occupies nearly 50 buildings in Seattle with more than 50,000 employees and 10,000 job openings. It has been getting more involved with the council since council members approved, then abruptly repealed a “head tax” on big business, based upon payroll sizes, to fund housing and homeless services.
Meanwhile, for the past several years, WR has been responding to a series of council regulatory actions that are burdensome and costly for small businesses, from mandatory scheduling requirements to an additional series of employee benefits that compromise customer service and threaten the livelihoods of companies with added expenses and risks.
While WR contemplates other possible endorsements, other business groups are choosing to largely endorse challengers to the council incumbents. The Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE) and People for Seattle have issued separate endorsements for challengers Phil Tavel in District 1; Mark Solomon in District 2; Egan Orion in District 3; Alex Pedersen in District 4; Heidi Wills in District 6; Jim Pugel in District 7 and incumbent Debora Juarez in District 5.
WR will continue to monitor the campaign and promptly report developments as they occur.
Sources include The Seattle Times, governing.com