Our March speaker, Nick Licata, was encouraging us to become citizen activists and more importantly than that, do it effectively! When speaking to elected officials, he urged us to not stop at asking for their support, but ask for their VOTE and even ask for their sponsorship of a bill that will accomplish what you are seeking. He used examples like the $15 per hour campaign to illustrate his suggestions. That campaign illuminated how clueless some politicians can be. If one gave any meaningful thought to the reality of trying to live on the (then) minimum wage in this city, one would realize it isn’t possible. Even $15 will be a struggle. The Washington Economic Institute’s Executive Director, John Burbank, said at a public meeting over a year ago, that if wages had followed the same trajectory as in the 50’s, the minimum wage would be $18 per hour and recently Noam Chomsky said on Alternative Radio, it would be $20 per hour. Boosting low wage workers’ wages not only gives them a living wage, but also boosts their purchasing power, resulting in greater sales at local businesses. Imagine being able to patronize the business where you work!
We were able to begin our stairway cleaning again this month; the rain held off and the small crew of Jeff Floor, Janet Oliver, Tracy Bier, Jim Snell and the two Dianes were able to clean the King St. stairs and to pick up the scattered branches brought down in the recent windstorm. The Senior Center is currently short-staffed with building attendant positions open and it was a big help for us to spruce up the grounds. Diane Morris is sprucing up the Center’s flowerbeds every Thursday morning and is gracious about accepting volunteer help if you are free.
After the stairway work party, Janet Oliver, our resident expert on all things transportation-oriented, took the Snells for a ride on the new link to the University campus. We caught the #8 bus to the Capitol Hill station where we joined what looked like all of Seattle residents trying to board the new train to the new U W station. Despite the crowds in the station, we were able to board quickly and find a seat. Janet sat next to a young woman who was ecstatic about the train and plans to take it every day on her way to college classes. There were musicians in the University station and musicians in the tents at both stops. Not sure what the policy on buskers will be; this may have been part of opening day festivities. Food trucks greeted us outside the U W station. One has to believe that this University stop will relieve some of the pre- and post-game traffic; it conveniently drops riders off at the entrance to Husky stadium. The ride itself was quiet and fast; the escalators up and down were equally smooth and quiet, a far cry from some of the old, creaky wooden escalators one finds in London. Seattle is slowly entering the 21st century!
Be the change you want to see in the world. ~Gandhi
~Diane Morris & Diane Snell