WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Labor Groups Want To Take $12.50 Minimum Wage Proposal To D.C. Voters

Labor groups are launching a referendum effort in D.C. to raise the minimum wage to $12.50 an hour.

After failing to get the so-called living wage bill targeting retailers like Walmart signed into law, activists want to take their fight to District voters and push for an across-the-board wage hike.

Outside city hall on Tuesday, labor organizers and clergy members promised to keep the pressure on city lawmakers. Complicating this effort is the fact that the D.C. Council is also working to pass a minimum wage increase.

Council member Vincent Orange (D-At Large) says he will pursue a minimum wage of $11.50, a dollar below what Orange originally proposed and what the activists want — but on par with similar minimum wage efforts in neighboring jurisdictions.

"Right now we have consensus to get $11.50, I believe, which would be the is highest in the nation. In the political process, you have to compromise," he says.

To get the initiative on the ballot, organizers will need signatures from five percent of all registered voters in the District — that over's 23,000 signatures.

And with so many lawmakers lining up to support the living wage increase, it looks like the real battle will be over whether to include tipped workers such as bartenders and servers, who make less than $3 an hour, in the minimum wage hike.

WAMU 88.5

Readers' Review: "The Good Lord Bird" By James McBride

For our next Readers' Review: National Book Award winner "The Good Lord Bird" by James McBride. The 2013 novel follows an enslaved boy who gets caught up in John Brown's abolitionist mission...and must disguise himself as a girl to survive.

WAMU 88.5

Busboys And Poets In Anacostia: Development Or Gentrification?

Local restaurant chain Busboys and Poets will soon open in Anacostia, which suffers from a dearth of dining and shopping options-- but some within the community are decrying the opening as gentrification.

WAMU 88.5

A Primary Challenge For A Top Arlington County Democrat

Could bipartisanship be the ouster of Arlington County's board chair?

NPR

In Omaha, A Library With No Books Brings Technology To All

The privately funded, $7 million Do Space provides free access to computers, high-end software, 3-D printers, and laser cutters. It's a learning and play space, as well as an office for entrepreneurs.

Leave a Comment

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