OVERTURN 77: SAVE OUR JOBS, SAVE OUR BUSINESSES, SAVE DC

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We, the undersigned, are petitioning to SAVE OUR TIP CREDIT and are asking DC Council Members to OVERTURN Initiative 77 in Washington, DC.

We are the tipped employees, the restaurant owners & hospitality operators, the family members of these workers, the people that depend on these small businesses in DC to thrive (e.g. cab drivers and vendors), and the DC residents that proudly support our local businesses.

Please hear our voices - we are counting on you to support us and make the informed decision to overturn this detrimental initiative. We are looking for you to continue to lead us in the amazing direction that DC's restaurant industry has been going. DC is known for its thriving, vibrant and diverse businesses - many of which are small, independent businesses that form the heart of DC!

If Initiative 77 is not overturned, this will have a severe, negative impact on all restaurants and their employees. Here are just a few of the very important reasons why this initiative should be overturned:

  • Initiative 77 included several misleading statements asking voters to support provisions that are already law under the "Fair Shot Minimum Wage Act of 2016.”
  • Many voters were unclear as to what they were voting for due to the misleading language on the ballot.
  • Initiative 77 was supported by less than 10% of District registered voters.
  • This initiative will cut workers' pay and limits opportunities for advancement. Tipped workers will be making less as operators are forced to change their business model, while the public will tip less based on 77's passing, which has already been occurring.
  • DC and its businesses will lose tax-paying workers that will look to Virginia and Maryland for employment.
  • Tax-paying small business owners and operators who regularly create jobs for the District will have to cut staff and shifts to combat this new financial burden. Even worse, many of these small businesses will not survive this unforeseen strain that was not originally allocated for and will CLOSE.
  • Tipped workers already receive the same minimum wage (if not MORE) as all other workers under the “Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016.” Tipped workers will also receive the same increases yearly in proportion to increases in the CPI just like all other workers, which is already law.
  • 96% of DC's 1,700 nightlife and hospitality establishments are locally owned-and-operated independent small businesses. This initiative hurts the small businesses. We are asking you to think of these workers and owners and protect them NOW.
  • The tip credit allows restaurant owners to keep labor costs down while ensuring prices are reasonable for people dining out. Restaurants will be forced to raise their prices drastically to help cover costs. This will make it very difficult for average citizens to be able to afford eating out.
  • Service standards that are now practiced at most restaurants would no longer exist. A restaurant will not be able to afford to fully staff their service floors which will lead to fewer people working, more automated service and substandard customer service.
  • The other seven states that organizations are carelessly referencing are unlike DC's thriving and respected restaurant and tipped business culture. None of these states have had a tip credit in the past 20 years, if at all. Please protect what makes DC great.
  • Far from being demeaning, the tipping system is empowering for servers and bartenders, allowing us to be respected for our craft and encouraging us to provide the best customer service possible.

We can find another way to combat concerning issues, but Initiative 77 is not the answer.  It only creates more issues DC will not be able to recover from and the DC we all love and are proud of will not be the same. Let us work together for a better solution. But today, please help us by doing the right thing for DC, its businesses, and its visitors, and SAVE OUR TIP CREDIT. Please join us and OVERTURN Initiative 77.



Today: Service Employees & Restaurant Voices of DC is counting on you

Service Employees & Restaurant Voices of DC (DC SERV) needs your help with “PETITION TO OVERTURN 77”. Join Service Employees & Restaurant Voices of DC and 618 supporters today.