Non-profit

Respect Workers, Respect Voters

Website:

www.respectworkers.org

Type:

Minimum Wage Advocacy Group

Project of:

Sixteen Thirty Fund

Respect Workers, Respect Voters is a left-progressive labor-union-aligned advocacy organization created to support Initiative 77 in Washington, D.C., that was on the ballot in the 2018 primary season. [1] Initiative 77 would have abolished the “tip credit” that allows employers to credit employees’ tips toward meeting the District minimum wage; while voters approved the measure narrowly, the D.C. Council overrode the initiative in October 2018. [2]

The organization doesn’t appear to be active. It’s most recent tweet was on October 2, 2018. [3]

The organization’s most recent Facebook post was also on October 2, 2018. [4] While social media sites listed respectworkers.org as the campaign’s website, that web address was not active as of summer of 2020. [5]

Parent Organization

Respect Workers, Respect Voters is a project of the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a 501(c)(4) fiscal sponsorship organization managed by the Washington, D.C.-based consultancy Arabella Advisors. [6]

The Sixteen Thirty Fund is known for creating so-called “pop up groups” in battleground political areas during the 2018 midterm election cycle. The Sixteen Thirty Fund “pop up groups” usually have little more than a website, and organize and an intense media campaign. In some cases these groups later become inactive. [7]

Initiative 77

Respect Workers, Respect Voters campaigned in alignment with other left-progressive and labor-union-aligned organizations to abolish the D.C. tip credit. These groups included One Fair Wage and the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United (ROC). [8]

Initiative 77 qualified for the June 2018 District of Columbia primary ballot. The measure raised the mandatory employer-provided wage for tipped workers; under existing law in most states, employers may “credit” tips paid by customers toward meeting the applicable minimum wage. [9] The National Restaurant Association opposed the measure, as did many servers who feared their careers were at stake if the restaurants were forced to close or feared losses in take-home pay from changes in consumer behavior. [10] The measure was supported by the liberal New Venture Fund (like Sixteen Thirty, a part of the Arabella Advisors network of liberal “dark money”[11]) and ROC, a labor union-aligned “worker center.” [12]

However, after the passage of the ballot measure, members of the D.C. Council sought to repeal it. Respect Workers, Respect Voters opposed the effort, advocating the measure take effect. Just days after the organization’s final social media postings, the D.C. Council repealed the measure. [13]

References

  1. “Sixteen Thirty Fund.” OpenCorporates. Accessed January 11, 2019. https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_dc/EXTUID_2696217. ^
  2. Nirappil, Fenit. “D.C. Council Overturns Wage Hike for Bartenders, Servers – Four Months after Voters Approved It,” October 2, 2018. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/dc-council-takes-initial-vote-to-overturn-initiative-77-four-months-after-voters-approved-it/2018/10/02/da906320-c651-11e8-b1ed-1d2d65b86d0c_story.html. ^
  3. Twitter. October 2, 2018. Accessed July 3, 2020. https://twitter.com/RespectDCVoters/status/1047199804714049536 ^
  4. Respect Workers, Respect Voters. Facebook. October 2, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/RespectDCVoters/ ^
  5. Respect Workers, Respect Voters. Facebook. October 2, 2018. https://www.facebook.com/RespectDCVoters/ ^
  6. “Sixteen Thirty Fund.” OpenCorporates. Accessed January 11, 2019. https://opencorporates.com/companies/us_dc/EXTUID_2696217 ^
  7. Ludwig, Hayden R. “Big Money in Dark Shadows.” Capital Research Center. Accessed May 30, 2020. https://capitalresearch.org/app/uploads/CRC_Arabella-Advisors-Dark-Money.pdf ^
  8. “Project Initiative 77.” Metro Washington Council AFL-CIO. Accessed July 4, 2020. http://www.dclabor.org/home/protect-initiative-77 ^
  9. Capps, Kriston and Montgomery, David. “D.C. Voted on Higher Wages for Tipped Workers. Here’s What Happened.” Bloomberg News. June 20, 2018. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-20/how-d-c-voted-on-initiative-77 ^
  10. Capps, Kriston and Montgomery, David. “D.C. Voted on Higher Wages for Tipped Workers. Here’s What Happened.” Bloomberg News. June 20, 2018. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-06-20/how-d-c-voted-on-initiative-77 ^
  11. Ludwig, Hayden. “Big Money in Dark Shadows.” Capital Research Center. Capital Research Center, April 25, 2019. https://capitalresearch.org/publication/big-money-in-dark-shadows/. ^
  12. “Washington, D.C., Initiative 77, Minimum Wage Increase for Tipped Workers (June 2018).” Ballotpedia. Accessed July 22, 2020. https://ballotpedia.org/Washington,_D.C.,_Initiative_77,_Minimum_Wage_Increase_for_Tipped_Workers_(June_2018). ^
  13. Nirappil, Fenit. “‘Poisoning Democracy’: In a City Without Representation in Congress, Repeal of Ballot Measure Angers Residents.” The Washington Post. October 5, 2018. Accessed July 4, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/poisoning-democracy-in-a-city-without-representation-in-congress-repeal-of-ballot-measure-angers-residents/2018/10/04/165c329e-c751-11e8-b2b5-79270f9cce17_story.html ^
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