Yesterday, D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson announced that he would present Mayor Vincent Gray, pictured at right, with a “living wage” bill that was approved earlier this summer. While the bill has faced many supporters and opponents, Gray has not revealed his stance on the issue, and it is unknown whether he will veto the bill.
The bill would require some large retailers in the District, such as Wal-Mart, to pay a 50 percent premium over the minimum wage to their workers. Wal-Mart has stood against the bill and even threatened to cancel plans to open three new stores in the District if the bill were passed.
Gray has only commented that there are many “unanswered questions” about the living wage issue, according to the Post. Gray’s spokesman, Pedro Ribeiro, has noted the surprising amount of mail that the mayor’s office has received in support of a veto of the living wage bill.
Supporters, meanwhile, insist that a living wage is necessary for these workers to live in D.C. “People cannot live in the District on $8.25 an hour,” Mendelson said, according to the Post. ”They can’t.”
Since the bill originally passed 8 to 5, it would need an additional supporter to override Gray’s veto.
Earlier this week, D.C. 2024, a non-profit, launched its campaign to bring the 2024 summer Olympic games to the District. The group hopes to raise between $3 million to $5 million over the next two years, as it works to convince the Olympic Committee that D.C. is a good place for the games.
D.C. 2024 noted that D.C.’s already existing stadiums and infrastructure will give it an important advantage in the Olympic bid process and keep construction and renovation costs down if the city is chosen.