Gray Faces Tight Deadline To Decide On Living Wage Bill | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Gray Faces Tight Deadline To Decide On Living Wage Bill

Play associated audio
D.C. Council member Vincent Orange (D-At Large) speaking at a rally outside the Wilson Building, where he urged Mayor Vince Gray to sign a bill requiring Walmart to pay $12.50 an hour.
WAMU/Patrick Madden
D.C. Council member Vincent Orange (D-At Large) speaking at a rally outside the Wilson Building, where he urged Mayor Vince Gray to sign a bill requiring Walmart to pay $12.50 an hour.

In the District, the so-called "living wage" bill is now in the hands of Mayor Vince Gray.

The proposal, which was passed by the D.C. Council in July, would require Walmart and other large retailers to pay workers $12.50 an hour. Though it took close to two months to get to Gray, he now has less than 10 days to sign or veto it. Still, he's not ready to be rushed.

"The Council look 50 days... they just sat on it for whatever their purposes. We have 10, we will take whatever time seems to be appropriate to come to what we think is the best decision," he said.

Ten days to listen to both sides present their argument. Ten days for groups to issue statements, press releases and hold press conferences like one that took place Tuesday on the steps of City Hall.

Supporters of the bill—a diverse crowd drawn from labor groups—were on hand to turn over thousands of signatures to Gray from residents urging him to sign the measure. They also delivered blistering speeches.

"He can pass it, shake it bake it, sauté it, filet it, boil it, broil it—I don't care what he does, he better sign the bill," said Inocencio Quinones with the group OUR D.C.

Despite the pressure and the deadline, Gray is doing his best not to tip his hat. While the protesters were lining up outside, Gray was inside the Wilson Building holding a press conference on the damaging effects of sequestration on the city's job force and economy.

After the Council's July vote, Walmart announced that it would scrap three of six planned stores in the city, potentially cutting hundreds of jobs.

Some at the meeting suggested the attention to D.C.'s sluggish employment picture could help provide political cover for Gray if he decides to veto the bill, but Gray disagreed.

"I haven't even put the two together," he said.

NPR

In 'Blue Eyed Boy,' Author Reveals Long Recovery From Facial Burns

Robert Timberg, who was disfigured by a land mine as a Marine in Vietnam, went on to become a successful journalist. His new memoir Blue Eyed Boy charts his struggle to recover from his wounds.
NPR

Widely-Used Insecticides Are Leaching Into Midwest Rivers

Researchers found that a class of chemicals similar to nicotine used on corn and soy farms have run off into streams and rivers in the Midwest. There they may be harming aquatic life, like insects.
WAMU 88.5

McDonnell Trial Underway On Tuesday

With jury selection completed on Monday, opening statements are expected this morning in the corruption trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell.

NPR

Solving The Scourge That Is Slow Hotel Wi-Fi

Hotels are happy to charge you $300 a night for a stay, but their Wi-Fi speeds are often too slow to stream a movie. Now, two competing sites are trying to solve the problem.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.