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Equal Pay Opportunity Act

OlympiaWomen are working together here and in Olympia so we aren’t paid only 80 cents on the dollar of what men make here in Washington state. I was honored and inspired to stand with Senator Annette Cleveland and Representative Tana Senn, and so many other women legislators yesterday  to support their proposed state-wide Equal Pay Opportunity Act.

Here in Seattle, the wage gap is worse: women earn 73 cents for every dollar men make.  I’ve been working with my Council colleagues and the Mayor to address our wage gap and ensure our region is one where all people can thrive and earn what they are worth.

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A Mighty Force

A couple of weeks ago, the mayors (three of them) and I sat down to a quick lunch and a meeting of the minds, talking about the region’s disheartening gender wage gap.  We all deplore the fact that the Puget Sound region has the widest gender wage gap in the nation. In this region, women on average are paid 27 percent less than their male counterparts.

That percentage is not inconsiderable.  If women workers here were paid the same on average as men, they would be taking home around $16,000 more a year. Gender Mayor Meeting

At the table in the Norman B. Rice conference room were Mayor Claudia Balducci of Bellevue and Mayor Nancy Backus of Auburn. The two chief … Continue Reading »

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2014 in Review

What a whirlwind 2014 was for all of us working at City Hall. And, the Seattle City Council is still ready to take on even more heavy lifting. We passed 256 ordinances: a dizzying number, from a $15 minimum wage to confirming the first woman ever to serve as Seattle’s Police Chief. To cut to the chase, I am proud to have shaped legislation that delivers new equity and better service that a city as progressive as deserves.gender2

I won’t detail all 256 laws, though you can find them at this link, but I will highlight some of the best. My office in particular stayed the course on gender pay equity, working with my colleagues to pass a Gender Pay Equity … Continue Reading »

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WSDOT Update to Council 12-15-14

I’m no engineer. But I am a Seattleite who cares deeply about the city’s waterfront, long fenced off from the city by an aging two-story viaduct that’s due for replacement. And, as a city councilmember vitally interested in the welfare of the city, I am listening these days to engineers who can tell me what’s happening as contractors tunnel beneath our streets.

WF 1For those reasons and others, I was deeply grateful to the Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT), the engineers and officials who came to a Seattle City Council Monday morning to brief the council on issues involving the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project.

In recent days, the Seattle Times and other local media have been reporting on a soil settlement of … Continue Reading »

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Women in Business: Voula’s Offshore Cafe

It’s no secret that Voula Vlaho loves her customers.  She’ll tell you so herself on days when, stepping out of semi retirement, she shows up at Voula’s Offshore Café on Northlake Way, within sight of Lake Union. voulas1

“I just love to be with people,” says Voula, a spry, compact woman with salt and pepper hair. She’ll give you a maternal hug and point to the wall papered with pictures of her many customers and their children. She believes you have to love your customers. That, she insists, is “Greek philosophy.” She invites customers to call her “mama.”

Known for Greek specialties, good food and generous portions, Voula’s café celebrated 30 years at 658 NE. Northlake Way on Sept. 11. The celebratory … Continue Reading »

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