District Digest: Living wage bill and D.C. Olympics
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.
D.C.’s next stadium will likely be D.C. United’s new soccer stadium, plans for which were approved earlier this summer.
Although D.C. 2024 did not reach out to D.C. United, D.C. United officials said that their new stadium should be part of a D.C. summer Olympics. Team spokesman Doug Hicks commented that there are no specific plans for how the stadium would be used but confirmed that, regardless of where the summer games are held, D.C. United’s stadium will probably be used for more than just Major League Soccer games.
Changes to District stop-and-frisk rules
The District’s police are amending the city’s stop-and-frisk rules, in response to a federal judge in New York calling the current rules “racially biased,” according to ABC.
Police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump emphasized that there are only “two minor changes” to the rules, but they are intended to make the policy more current, as the current policy dates back to 1973.
The police have not publicly released the policy changes, but Vox will cover them once they are.
Photo by Keith Ivey via Flickr.