Initiative 300 goes down; local restaurateurs savor their victory

Initiative 300, the paid sick-leave proposal on yesterday's ballot, would have affected just about every business in Denver -- but restaurants became the real poster child of the campaign, on both the pro and con sides.

The Yes on 300 campaign used scare tactics -- including pictures of cantaloupes on mailers and a "flu with your fries" slogan -- to try to convince residents that every time they ate at a restaurant, they were putting their health at risk. The No on 300 campaign emphasized that the passage of 300 would put the health of small businesses at risk.

And the independent restaurants of Denver -- particularly the sixty-plus members of EatDenver, many of which have their own sick-leave policies that they worried would be overruled if this proposal passed -- were at the forefront of the fight, which resulted in a decisive victory for the No on 300 campaign.

That means that it's going to be a very good morning at any of the five Snooze restaurants in Colorado (one will open in San Diego later this month), co-owned by current EatDenver president Adam Schlegel. "EatDenver and our local restaurants take pride in making a positive impact in our community," Schlegel says, "so this group's attacks were disturbing. We're thankful Denver is a community that supports small businesses and recognizes the positive impact we can all make by working together."

And now, he adds, "We'll be glad to step out of the political arena."

Initiative 300 wound up on the ballot by petition -- pushed by an out-of-state group that did not consult with local businesses on the language of the provision, or work with local politicians to first get it through Denver City Council, for example. ("We talked with voters," one Yes on 300 campaigner told me when I met with the proponents to try to make sense of the very wordy, and very confusing, measure.)

"We truly appreciate Denver voters for rejecting the false and negative attacks on restaurants, and voting against this job-killing proposal," says Pete Meersman, president and CEO of the Colorado Restaurant Association, in a statement sent out last night by the No on 300 campaign. "Thank you on behalf of your neighborhood restaurants."

Now, get out and eat....and remember to tip your server.

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The Pro-300 group deserved to lose simply based on those ridiculous fear-mongering mailers that they distributed prior to the election. 

Had they based their campaign on straight-up facts and legitimate statistical analysis (such as "Company X reduced their total number of employee sick days by 10% based on a similar practice, OR the number of employee-sourced infections/illnesses that were spread to our customer base dropped by 10%....) the initiative would have been more successful. Instead, they decided to try to scare people into voting for them, with a level of failure that is fitting for such a poorly executed campaign. I'm going to trust that Denver's fine restaurateurs know what they're doing and have policies in place that are appropriate for their staff and their needs, and if they do need to make modifications, they are best left alone to figure it out independent of government intervention.

The next time, try being a bit more analytical in your approach. That crap won't work in a state where the term "Sick Day" is code for "What...Summit County got 15 inches of snow overnight? I'm heading up to A-Basin!!!"


You get listeriosis by eating or drinking contaminated food.  Humans cannot contract it from other humans.  This group had to resort to lies to try and when the election.  They must think Denver is full of idiots.  Get back on that train to Milwaukee (their HQ) and don't come back!


meant win....not when. guess I'm the idiot.


> "EatDenver and our local restaurants take pride in making a positive impact in our community,"

...except when it comes to public health and treating workers like humans. No sick leave for you! Get sick, get fired! Yay, business!

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