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City of Renton

Initiative Measure No. 23-02
Voter Initiative to Establish Labor Standards

City of Renton Citizen Initiative Measure No. 23-02 would enact an ordinance creating labor standards for Renton employers.

The proposed ordinance requires covered employers to pay a minimum wage based on that established by the City of Tukwila, offer additional hours to existing part-time employees before hiring new employees or subcontracted services, not retaliate against employees exercising rights created by the ordinance, and comply with administrative requirements. The proposed ordinance creates remedies and penalties for violations. If enacted, the ordinance could not be repealed without voter approval.

Should this Ordinance be enacted into law?



This measure would adopt an ordinance that requires covered employers to (1) pay a minimum wage for all hours worked within Renton, and (2) distribute additional hours to its part-time workers prior to hiring new employees, contractors, or temporary workers if its existing part-time workers have the skills and experience to perform the work.


Covered employers include those who (1) employ at least 15 employees worldwide, or (2) have annual gross revenue over $2 million. The minimum wage starts in July 2024 at $20.29 for large employers and $18.29 for smaller covered employers. The lower wage would be phased to equal that of larger employers in two years, and the wage would be adjusted for inflation annually.


All employers, including those not otherwise covered, would be: (1) required to document and certify compliance, and (2) prohibited from retaliating against any person who exercises rights created by this ordinance. Protected rights include making good faith allegations of violations, inquiring or informing others about the law’s protections, or participating in investigations or claims, even when no violation exists. Any adverse action taken against a person within 90 days of their exercising rights under the ordinance is legally presumed to be prohibited retaliation.


Violations would be primarily enforced through civil lawsuits. Remedies include payment of: attorneys’ fees, unpaid wages, interest, liquidated damages equal to twice the unpaid wages, compensatory damages, and a $5000 penalty for retaliation. Intentional violations could subject employers to revocation of their business license.


In the City of Renton, a minimum wage worker must work 77+ hours per week to afford a one-bedroom apartment. An adult working full-time must earn $23/hour to support themselves with the high cost of living.


Renton employs 60,000+ workers in retail, restaurant, automotive, hospitality, healthcare industries and more. 45,000+ residents commute out of Renton chasing higher wages. 22,000+ workers make less than $19/hour. Over 30% of workers earn wages below living wage standards, according to Census data.


Studies show that increasing the minimum wage benefits small-business owners by; reducing employee turnover and absenteeism, increasing worker productivity, increasing consumer purchasing power, boosting customer satisfaction, and ensuring working families can afford to live in Renton.


Community organizations, small businesses, residents and workers support this initiative; 15+ labor unions, including the machinists’, healthcare workers’, public school teachers’ unions and the MLK Labor Council - representing 150+ unions in King County. In order to maintain competitiveness, we must raise our minimum wage. Renton has a diverse blue-collar history, dubbed “The Town of Payrolls" in the 1900s by the Chamber of Commerce. Voters can live up to our motto and be “Ahead of the Curve” by passing this measure. Join us by voting Yes!

Submitted by: Guillermo Zazueta, Cory Thompson, Neil Sheesley,

Reject Initiative 23-02: Protect Renton's Workforce and Identity. This well-intentioned, but misguided, initiative creates many regulations beyond wages for local businesses.  It threatens our community workforce, will result in job losses and reduced hours for employees, and cause an unstable economic environment for small businesses and Renton residents.


Funded by Seattle Democratic Socialists, this initiative had no consultation with local shops, immigrant-owned restaurants, daycares, family-run stores, or the city, all of whom would be negatively impacted. Significantly higher costs will push businesses to raise prices for survival. Already struggling post-pandemic businesses will be forced to pass on these costs, erasing affordable dining and shopping options we cherish.


Reject this initiative and insist city council find better solutions for Renton that allow our council to adjust for unintended consequences. Enforcing the initiative's compliance requirements will force our City to divert funds from crucial areas, including public safety and social services.


Reject Initiative 23-02, supported by Seattle Democratic Socialists, as it threatens Renton's unique blend of hard work, diverse cultures, and vital small business sector. Rejecting 23-02 preserves Renton's identity, protects our culturally diverse workforce & businesses, and ensures access to affordable daycare, dining, shopping, and services for Renton’s working families.

Submitted by: Diane Dobson, Ramandeep Mann,

This Con statement presents zero facts or figures to justify false claims of negative impacts to local businesses, ignoring positive impacts from increased spending and sales tax revenue. Higher wages retain more qualified workers, reducing employee turnover. Residents and businesses already live in unstable economic environments from stagnant wages, rising rents and inflation.

Our Renton coalition includes the Boeing workers’ union, Valley Medical workers, Renton Education Association and more. Vote Yes, support businesses and workers!

Submitted by: Guillermo Zazueta, Cory Thompson, Neil Sheesley,

Don’t let Seattle Socialist extremists dictate the future of our Renton community.  Since implementing the highest minimum wage in the country a decade ago, Seattle and SeaTac’s affordability crisis and economic instability have gotten exponentially worse.  Renton City Council cannot change this initiative when unintended consequences occur.    

This initiative will harm our seniors, veterans, working families and the most vulnerable as costs of daycare, shopping, food and services increase.  Reject 23-02.

Submitted by: Diane Dobson, Ramandeep Mann,

Simple majority (RCW 35A.11.100 and 35.17.240)

For questions about this measure, contact: Kristi Rowland, Deputy CAO, (425) 430-6400,


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