LETTER: ‘ You, Ms. Gregerson, owe us an apology!’

CM Gregerson,

Last night you made a statement that flies in the face of every hard-working middle-class voting citizen of SeaTac.  You said this initiative comes down to a vote of two different classes of people: the people of Gold, and the people of despair.  What an ignorant sound bite.  I believe you owe every middle-class voting citizen of SeaTac an apology.  We are not wealthy and we are not desperate because we continued to improve our educations and skill competence throughout our lives so that we would not spend a lifetime working minimum wage jobs.  We realized that these “starter jobs” were not careers or capable of supporting independent self-sufficient lifestyles.  We also made decisions NOT to have families larger than we could financially support.  We lived within our means at the various levels of our employment and saved money so that we could retire and not have to work the rest of our lives.  We got up and went to work every day, whether we felt like it or not … it was our responsibility to ourselves and our dependents.  We didn’t have “family or safe leave” when we were young.  We, too, were often-times one paycheck away from financial disaster, but we picked ourselves up by our bootstraps and survived.  We didn’t expect or get financial assistance, no one supplemented our food pantries, no one fed our children at school or in the park or packed backpacks of food for our children to take home, no one bought our kids’ school supplies or clothes … these were OUR responsibility and we took care of our responsibilities.

And now you call us “People of Gold”????  Ms. Gregerson has it ever occurred to you that we might be people of long hours, multiple simultaneous jobs, sweat, planning, sacrifice and pride?

You, Ms. Gregerson, owe us an apology!

– Vicki Lockwood

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25 Responses to “LETTER: ‘ You, Ms. Gregerson, owe us an apology!’”
  1. Ron Bensley, Jr. says:

    I didn’t attend the RCM on Tuesday and have not yet watched the SeaTV video, but I am saddened to learn of this.

    Most of us are painfully aware that our nation’s economy has shifted, creating a broader gap between the “haves” and the “have nots”. But it’s not the case that every person opposing this Employment Standards initiative is wealthy or affluent. Nor is it the case that every person opposing this initiative is self-centered and selfish.

    Many of us opposed to this initiative have worked, sometimes for months or years of our careers, in temporary employment jobs with few or no benefits and little job security.

    Many of us opposed to this initiative have experienced the pain and fear of personal unemployment, sometimes on more than one occasion.

    Many of us opposed to this initiative have “done without” things at various times in our adult lives, some of us know how nerve-wracking it can be to pay for things like health benefits, i.e. have some of you ever self-paid the premiums for COBRA health coverage while you were between jobs?

    We want our brothers and sisters in the community to advance in their careers and have satisfying daily lives, but some things I learned during my growing-up years from my parents (who remain married after 56 years) and from my attendance at Cedarhurst Elementary School, the now-defunct Puget Sound Junior HIgh School, and Highline High School, are the following:

    1. There’s no free lunch in this world, if somebody offers us something, it was either an act of personal generosity and kindness or it was taken from someone else via taxation.

    2. Life isn’t fair. Some people will earn more than others. Some people have better skills and abilities at certain things than others. Some people are naturally more attractive, beautiful or handsome than others. Some people suffer disabilities, cancer, illness, blindness or premature death – and others don’t.

    3. Jealousy towards the things others have – craving other peoples’ wealth, other peoples’ houses or belongings or stuff – is personally destructive. Don’t do it.

    4. There’s a big difference between offering a “hand up” and a “hand out”, and it’s much more satisfying over the long term to help individuals to thrive and develop in their careers using their natural life skills to the fullest, than to focus on “entitlement”.

  2. Outsid Observer says:

    Mr. Bensley,

    While I agree that class-warfare arguments should have no place in this discussion, I would also like to point out that there is a difference between craving what others have and demanding back what was taken from you. For many of these workers who had their pay and benefits cut when the airlines started subcontracting their services, this is what they have been and continue to fight for. I understand, but disagree, if you feel that falls under your second point.

    • T. MacKenzie says:

      Why do you continue to insert yourself so vigorously into the affairs of our community? You do not live in SeaTac and would not be adversely affected if this blatantly bad initiative passes? Why don’t you just do as your moniker insinuates and “OBSERVE”? Worry about your own community instead of trying to contribute to the ruin of ours.

      This was not Councilwoman Gregerson’s first political mis-step and, likely, will not be her last. She only sees things as binaries and is ignorant to any in-between areas. I sincerely hope, for the good of the community, that this will be her last term in City government (or any government for that matter).

      • Outside Observer says:

        I agree with Mr. Mackenzie. I will stay out of SeaTac affairs and just observe. I am sorry for being engaged in the postings criticizing these great citizens of SeaTac who care about their community. You will not hear from me again. Thank you and have a great day.

      • Outside Observer says:

        T. MacKenzie,

        I neither endorsed the initiative nor defended Councilmember Gregerson’s words. Whether you recognize it or not, the effects and implications of this initiative go far beyond the city limits of SeaTac; therefore I feel that it is absolutely appropriate for anyone in South King County to weigh in on this, myself included.

        • Concerned Business says:

          “Detroit might be the epicenter, a funhouse mirror and future projection of America. An incredibly depressed city in its death swoon.” – Charlie LeDuff Did you live in Detroit before Outside Idiot??? Because we do not want to be Detroit of the West and that is where SeaTac is Headed.

    • Vicki Lockwood says:


      Do you really think those employees who would be affected by this Initiative are the same people who worked these jobs before they were outsourced? Most of those original people moved on to other jobs paying more than minimum wage because they had other skills and talents. The few who are still there are the ones who could not find or keep another job at a higher wage because they had no other marketable skills. Those few were being overpaid in the old system. Almost all of the current affected employees NEVER worked under the old system, so they have lost nothing. Those who want to make these minimum wage “starter jobs” a lifelong career are those who cannot perform more valuable tasks.

    • Fed Up says:

      I thought we live in free market society. The airlines are businesses – they make decisions that increase their profits. Why should they pay more than market value – do you? These workers are not due anything!

  3. Erin Sitterley says:

    I posted this email to Mia Gregerson Friday evening.

    “Dear Mia,
    Your cynicism is simply breathtaking. Paraphrasing CATHOLIC social teaching to further your own goals? Do tell, are you going to borrow from the same social teaching to lecture us on marriage? Abortion? The death penalty? I’m a practicing Catholic, would you like me to give you a hand with that?

    Mia, you love to talk “respect”. Here’s one for you… try to respect the nature of the teaching you are stealing and passing off as your own. You will have to work a lot harder to convince me that you aren’t cherry-picking convenient concepts to justify what you so callously said to US, the taxpayers, on Tuesday. In the spirit of transparency, though, I would like to know if you thought of “People of gold and people of despair” on your own. I noticed that exact wording is not found in that position statement- are you really that creative?

    Here’s another one: try to respect the hard working people who will have to PAY for this. People like me. The people who only despair when they have to pay their ever growing bills while observing that our City never seems to shy away from or take a stand against that which may only cost us more and more money.

    Yet another for your consideration: Have some respect for those who have come to this great Country, to take advantage of the opportunity it represents. Those who have come here not to demand more, but to work hard and succeed. You seem to think very little of those who make low wages. Calling them “people of despair”. Really? If you lived in MY part of SeaTac, you would have been witness to 20 years of immigrants coming here, seeking a better life. They left their despair BEHIND and embraced opportunity. Most of them have moved on, having found their dream. It has always been inspiring and humbling to witness. I didn’t see that in the faces, signs and t-shirts that were festooned about on Tuesday by those with their hand out.

    People of despair? Having lived here for 24 years, I have witnessed generations of KIDS start at Safeway as baggers and cart pushers, only to see some of them move on to store manager, pharmacist or move to other stores in the area, all at better jobs. When a new teenager is bagging up my groceries, I don’t see despair. I see someone starting out. We usually don’t see them for long… they move ON.

    People of despair? In this terrible economy, to see the relief on a person’s face when they finally land a job, ANY job, to keep the basics on the table while they seek a better situation. That isn’t despair, that is (real) HOPE.

    Mia, you owe me, and every other taxpayer in this city a serious, considerate apology. Even better, you could tender your immediate resignation and stop subjecting all of us to your petty agenda of division and class-warfare. It belittles all of us to have you representing this City.

    Finally, you owe an apology to the St. Vincent DePaul Society for so capriciously co-opting it’s social teaching. If you had a clue what social justice really was, you would never have chosen such writings to justify your position.

    I look forward to hearing your public apologies at the next Council meeting, if not before. “

    • Ron Bensley, Jr. says:

      As I noted in my original comment, the vast majority of Americans understand that structural changes in the U.S. economy in recent decades have created a a broader gap between the “haves” and the “have nots” – what economists generally refer to under a measurement called the “Gini Index”.

      Unfortunately, there is no easy “quick fix” for this problem. I’m not willing to be an apologist for Wall Street. Nor I am willing to be an apologist for our dysfunctional Federal Government which is currently constipated by the months-long “budget sequester”. I’m not willing to defend the ethics of big businesses (whether in aviation or other industries) of terminating staff professionals and replacing them with outsourced contract workers.

      What I am very willing to state, however, is that using the police power of government to compel certain “targeted” categories of business owners – under threat of prosecution – to pay certain “preferred” categories of entry-level employees a 66% premium above the Washington State Minimum Wage – is fundamentally wrong. It is discriminatory in nature.

      Tthis Employment Standards Initiative will place a disproportionate level of harm upon recent immigrants from other countries who work or live in the City of SeaTac. These are the folks who will find the doors slammed shut to entry-level job opportunities which will allow them to feed, clothe and house themselves and their families.

      When travel-and-hospitality-related employers are forced – at gunpoint – by the City government to pay wildly inflated wage levels to entry-level service workers, recent immigrants who lack recognized U.S. educational credentials and recognized U.S. work experience will be disportionately harmed by unemployment. This is not a desirable thing from a public policy perspective OR from a human perspective – recent immigrants often demonstrate a level of personal ambition and work ethic which is astonishing compared with that of some native-born Americans.

      Is the real intention of the proponents of this initiative to actually increase the rate of unemployment – the misery level of folks who actually are able to work, available for work, actively seeking work and willing to work? Is their real intention to increase the ranks of recipients of public welfare programs?

  4. Vicki Lockwood says:

    Anyone want to bet that Mia didn’t even read or understand Erin’s message? Thank you, Erin, for standing up for those who have climbed the vocation ladder with their first rung having been that “starter/minimum wage job”. I for one had some of those jobs on my career path, and I am thankful for every one of them because they helped me to climb that ladder. I even worked a “sub-minimum wage” job at the U of W while a student there in 1964. Minimum wage was $1.25 at that time, but if you were a student they could hire you on campus for $1.00 an hour. I eagerly took one of those jobs working as a clerical aide to a Sociology professor because I didn’t have any commute expense. I was thrilled to have this opportunity, and I learned so much performing my somewhat mundane tasks. My pay was more than the monetary pay!

  5. Inside Observer of SeaTac says:

    All of you are right on! But you must remember that the last time Mia “apologized” for calling a citizen “lunatic”, not to mention her email comment that we citizens act like people in the last stages of syphilis, her apology was written by a professional company hired by the city and paid for by the very citizens she insulted. Yet she got re-elected … Any apology by Ms. Gregerson would be insincere and be paid for by us! I for one am tired of paying for her egregious lack of common sense and ethics.

    • Vicki Lockwood says:

      Inside Observer~
      Thanks for reminding everyone about Mia’s previous synthetic apology.

  6. Outside Observer says:

    To the person who posted at 10:09am on July 27th under the name Outside Observer: I do not appreciate your attempt to assume my identity. I respectfully ask that you cease this deception and ask the administrator of this blog to look into the matter so that it does not happen again.

    I have been honest about my identity to the extent that I feel comfortable doing, and this sort of activity only confirms the reason I must continue to use a pseudonym. If you feel you must take this step in order to “win” your argument and silence dissent, then I am sorry for you; I really thought the people who contribute here were of better character than that.


    Outside Observer

    • T. MacKenzie says:

      “I do not appreciate your attempt to assume my identity.”

      Wait. You mean that someone assumed your assumed identity? You were missing a key word there.

  7. Erin Sitterley says:

    Outside Observer,
    That is the problem with pseudonyms… anyone can assume your fake identity. Sign your real name, then you can claim ownership of it. Stand behind your assertions. What the heck frightens you so much about posting your thoughts on this blog with your real name?

    If you can’t take someone playing with you and your fake name, then you might be in the wrong place. For all we know, you are 10 different people with one fake name (although your writing style and tone are certainly consistent).

    Get over it. Post, don’t post, whatever. Silencing dissent? Sorry, that wouldn’t be the folks on this blog. For that, you need to travel to the city council chambers and talk to Big Tony.

    Erin Sitterley
    A Real person, a Real name

  8. Outside Observer says:

    Erin Sitterley,

    Anyone could assume any name on this blog if they wanted to. There’s nothing stopping me from posting a personally damaging comment under your name right now aside from the fact that I have more respect for you than that. Apparently someone else here lacks that basic decency. If they are willing to do it with my assumed name, what is to stop them from doing the same thing if I post here under my real name? What is there aside from their apparently already-compromised sense of ethics to prevent them from using their knowledge of my identity to do something more malicious?

    And if you would be willing to satisfy my curiosity, why you aren’t giving the same lecture on pseudonyms to Inside Observer and Concerned Business?

    • Erin Sitterley says:

      Posting on public blogs carries inherent risks, such as other people stealing your name, real or not. It is a risk I’m willing to take if I need/want to get a point out there to the masses.

      I was merely pointing out that someone is likely just playing with you. I have no lectures to give anyone. Not interested, and don’t really want to spend time on something like that.

      So, with that in mind, I will sign off. Have a nice evening.

      • T. MacKenzie says:

        Right on. And if someone does slander another’s name by posting fraudulent comments, the Webmaster(s) can track the IP addresses to identify and locate the guilty parties (even IP masking software can be decoded).

  9. Outside Observer says:

    Will the real Outside Observer please stand up! The other so called clone is not the real Outside Observer. The one who has posted with the complaint is the one who spells the original entry to this blog as Outsid Observer. Look above please?

    Have a good evening Outsid Observer.

  10. Concerned Business says:

    I would like a explanation on why one of my post on this blog was removed??? Is the SeaTac Council running this blog and censoring the Citizens in SeaTac?? As the 3 Council members that ran on a ticket of helping small business’s in SeaTac while taking union money are blatant LIARS as they want the so called Golden Ones to close their business’s. So others can take away our hard effort of just trying to survive
    and keep our business’s open.
    For a small city we have the same problems as Big Cities a unelected Mayor that likes to look at porn while at work such as {Wiener} and a unstable Deputy Mayor, Lets bring these issues to light so the people of SeaTac see what kind of Government is here!!!

    • admin says:

      Your previous comment was removed because I found it offensive and uncivil.

      This blog is a totally independent business, called LOL Dudez, LLC (dba South King Media http://www.southkingmedia.com) – which has nothing to do with the SeaTac City Council nor any other political entity.

      However, we reserve the right to moderate all comments, and we remove those which we find offensive/uncivil.

      Thanks for understanding.

      – scott schaefer

    • T. MacKenzie says:

      Are you seriously accusing all three of the City Council “minority” liars? (Prove your accusations or they are merely slander–regardless of who you are referring to.)

      Or is your meaning obscured due to a poorly constructed sentence (not trying to be a jerk, but I just cannot tell…believe me, I know what it’s like to be impassioned while posting and having typos).

      • Concerned Business says:

        I am sorry you did not read the sentence, it stated.As the 3 Council members that ran on a ticket of helping small business’s in SeaTac ,while taking union money are blatant LIARS. You should be able to figure out who I am speaking of. Since you are a grammar specialist . And it would be very easy to prove the lies of those three.