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Child Care Initiative Backers Sue Seattle Over Ballot

Flickr Photo/Barnaby Wasson (CC-BY-NC-ND)

The backers of an initiative to increase pay and training for child care workers in Seattle have filed suit against the city for the way the measure will appear on the fall ballot.

KUOW’s Ann Dornfeld reports.


The union-backed childcare Initiative 107 is currently set to face off against the city’s proposed tax levy to fund a subsidized preschool program.

Council President Tim Burgess first proposed the preschool program.

In a recent interview, Burgess said the council sent the two initiatives to the ballot as competing measures in compliance with the city charter.

Tim Burgess: “It requires that when two measures are on the same subject, it spells out how that is to be presented to the voters and the voters choose between those two measures.”

Burgess has said that I-107 would conflict with his preschool measure in several ways, including teacher training requirements.

But supporters of Initiative 107 say their child care measure would complement the city’s preschool proposal – not compete with it.

Heather Weiner from Yes for Early Success says her group’s lawsuit asks the court to let voters approve both measures, not be forced to choose between them.

Heather Weiner: “Frankly, if both of these initiatives pass, which is optimally what would happen, and there are any small conflicts between these two, or any overlap, then we could negotiate a solution to that or the court could decide then.”

This is just the latest struggle between the two campaigns.

Yes for Early Success has also filed ethics complaints against the city for allegedly holding closed-door meetings and using public resources to oppose I-107.

I’m Ann Dornfeld, KUOW News.

Year started with KUOW: 2008