Monday, June 30, 2014

Be There! Seattle City Council Hearing: Monday 07/0714, 2:00 PM

Whether you like Seattle Mayor Murray, you must respect him as a political animal, someone who understands well the legislative forest, instinctively aware of impending threats.  Unless there is a postponement, the lawsuit questioning the legality of the Uber-sponsored November referendum will see its first trail date this upcoming Thursday July 3rd. 

It is now extremely clear that Murray understands, like we do, that the referendum is a political overstep destined for the judicial dustbin, prompting him to accelerate his TNC advocacy.  Next Monday, at 2:00 PM, per Murray's request, the Seattle City Council will be considering what action to take concerning two new ordinances put forward by the mayor's administration.  One asks the City Council to commit political seppuku, more commonly known as  hari-kari, disemboweling their own bill.  The other is to immediately implement the mayor's mediation agreement of two weeks ago. 

This kind of panic is sending a message, Murray obviously concerned that he about to lose political momentum, allowing those opposed to his policies to gain a perhaps insurmountable advantage. I truly don't think Murray wants to be asked just why he wants nearly 1000 security cameras to be removed from Seattle's and King County's taxi fleet.  The associated questioning might be embarrassing.  Do you really want to endanger thousands of drivers? Or perhaps even more telling, why is it so personally important  to you to take the cameras out of the cabs?   Mr. Mayor, what is your prime motivation for doing this?

Instead he would rather avoid scrutiny and push his agenda through.  Given that this new agreement will destroy our industry, leastwise as we know it, it is clear that we who care about livelihoods must show up in force Monday and display our joint resolve to scuttle Murray's misguided maneuvering.  Please be there next Monday afternoon.  I will be there, I can guarantee you that.  Tell all your taxi colleagues and friend that its a matter of life and death for our industry.  It is essential we tell the City Council that we do not want the TNC's to dominate the local transportation industry.  Cap them and let them compete fairly.  That is what we want.

Like in the Wild West of Old, it is time to circle the taxi wagons.  We are under attack and it almost getting too late to counter the mayor's efforts.  Clearly the mediation period was a orchestrated pantomime.  Please, lift the curtains and let the real performance begin, time for real and constructive conversation.  The mayor knows how to reach us, all of us easily located in his own telephone book, Murray fully knowing who we are.  Just leave a message, your honor, we'll get right back to you, and that you can be assured is a guarantee.

Change At The Taxi Helm

Last week Puget Sound Dispatch, the dispatching arm of Yellow taxi, experienced an old fashioned palace coup, with Tommy K. being quickly replaced by Amin S., better known as the leader of the WAT (wheelchair van) owners.  It was completely unexpected.  One source told me the impetus was needing someone who thoroughly knew the taxi business.  Amin has been driving over 18 years so he obviously understands the business from both a driver and owner perspective.  And given that he was most recently involved in the mayor's mediation group signals some political savvy.  I wish Amin the best.  And Tommy too, who appears to have quickly rebounded, is making new and positive plans.  We in the industry appreciated Tommy's sense of fairness. Good luck, Tommy, good luck!  Thanks for the helping hand.

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