Loose Lips

Gray Accuses Mendelson of Sitting on Living Wage Bill

It's been 21 days since the D.C. Council passed the Large Retailer Accountability Act, but Mayor Vince Gray still hasn't received the bill. Until he gets it, the countdown of how long he has to veto it remains stuck at 10 business days. How hard is it to transfer a bill between two people who work in the same building?

Gray has a theory on the hold-up. In an interview this morning on NewsChannel 8's NewsTalk, Gray said what a lot of people around town are saying privately: Chairman Phil Mendelson is holding up the bill because, with the Council in its summer recess, members are hard to track down.

"Let's say I veto it," Gray says. "Then he's got the situation of being able to gather the members of the Council who may be all over the place."

The closer the Council gets back to returning in September, the theory goes, the easier it will be for Mendelson to get members together—and easier to convince one more member to join the bill's eight Council supporters for a veto-proof nine votes. Mendelson's office didn't return a request for comment.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Smh

    Clearly, Mendelson doesn't have the votes to override it. Just send the damn bill, Mendo!

  • Ward2guy

    Earth to Phil: That's the legislative process, Phil The Executive gets to review the legislature's act (it's not yet a law) and the Mayor gets to veto it. It's surprising that Mendo, who is a stickler for rules and process, is not complying with this basic democratic process.

  • truth hurts

    Clever parliamentary move by Mendo. He'll send it to gray on his own schedule. What's gray's beef? It can't become law unless/until it gets past gray.

  • Smh

    Holding up the bill is holding up development. Gray signing the bill, which I expect he won't, will hold up development. Either way, Mendo is holding up development.

  • Protect The People

    Gray is trying to do the best that he can to clean up his image while under investigation. It would be a shame if he vetoed the bill or atleast worked with the council to change the minimum wage increase by a certain portion.

    I've listened on the news and people are talking about "a job is better than no job". Well you have to meet the requirements to work for companies, so people using that excuse is lame. There are plenty of jobs out here but people want to be snobbish and wait or not network to get those jobs.

    McDonalds, Landscaping, CVS and other establishments hire everyday. If you are that anxious to get a job, get a entry level position, work your way up and when you feel you have the experience or the backing by your peers, apply for another job.

    If DC can't stand up to Wal-Mart, then we really are a first class joke of a city.

  • SaveWard7

    Mendelson is being an ASS!! Give Gray the bill. The Residents in Wards 7 & 8 want WalMart to come into the community. What we have now, liquor stores, drug addicts, and drunks hanging outside of establishments that do not care about the surrounding community. At the end of the day, they get in their cars and head back to maryland and virginia. Please don't take too long crossing the street as they leave, because they will run you over in the process of leaving the area. We need this now, yes Mc Donald's is there, but so what! Is that the only avenue people have for employment - fast food restaurants???? WE NEED THIS NOW!!! If you don't live in the area, of course you truely don't care. council person orange sold his soul to push the "wage bill" and took a number of other council people with him. At some point they must all be held accountable for their actions!!!

  • Ward 8

    Save ward7, if you think Wal-Mart is going to save ward-7 you are as delusional as those ignorant corporate greedy councilmen's who decided to kiss wal-marts ass. you need to do some research on Wal-wart before regurgitating BS, it takes the residents to save the ward, Wal-Mart is about profit and could care less about what happens in your ward. Ever wonder why places like new York and other big cities sent Wal-Mart packing, they know Wal-Mart destroys all small business in the surrounding area in addition to their slave wages. A living wages not just a job that barely pays ones bus fare is needed in DC. The Mayor and these four Corporate shills will find out in the next election that a large percentage of DC residents are not in love with Wal-Mart.

  • RealDC

    LOL- Now Gray is a "hurry" to do something. First time in his term he has shown "urgency" for anything. The Walmart lobbyists must be holding his "Viagra" for ransom on the living wage bill. SMH.

    The other funny is folks believing Walmart is going to "save" DC, laughable. Yes, Walmart will hire a few DC residents but the managers will live in MD, VA or WVA, you can bet on that. Progress, if you say so and say it enough times.... people might believe you??

  • Protect The People

    Ward 8 - I agree man, people are so gullable for anything to replace the reputation of that area that they do not even realize that they are being short-changed. People want jobs but they dont want $12.50 as the minimum wage? Are you surprised Ward 8 is in the condition that its in? Why not back the councilmembers that atleast want you to be paid a respectable amount for your labor instead of begging for Wal-Mart who treats their workers with little respect to come to the city.

    @Ward7 you said "What we have now, liquor stores, drug addicts, and drunks hanging outside of establishments that do not care about the surrounding community". That sounds like a problem that needs to be addressed to the people who fit in that category, not by bringing in a greedy company to build a new establishment there. Do you honestly think bringing Wal-Mart will take away those citizens?

    What Wal-Mart will do is not only take away those citizens, but make the cost of living so crazy in SE that even those that slave at Wal-Mart will have to move out to Maryland just to come back to their old neighborhood and work. Economic development will always drive up the cost of living. Working for $9 dollars you cant even buy a hole in the wall. Our citizens need to OWN PROPERTIES and STOP RENTING. Supporting this bill enables those who dream of being homeowners that opportunity.

    You wanna save something for your kids when your dead & gone? Support the bill and give people the opportunity for a better quality of life.

    No business can change the issues East of the River. The people have to want better for themselves and stop acting all wild. Take pride in wanting to represent your family, your community, and most importantly yourself in a better manner. No Wal-Mart or Government Official can evoke that change in you but you.

    The crackheads wont leave because they know more money is being spent in that area. They will just post up in front of Wal-Mart and ask for change...

  • Typical DC BS

    Sorry, but Ward 8 WILL benefit from Wal-Mart. Without that anchor, any other development is years away, at best. But, of course, kowtowing to the "living wage" advocates, who know NOTHING about business, just leads to more of the same Ward 8 insanity that's been going on for decades.

  • Protect The People

    @Typical Yes, Ward 8 the area will benefit however the citizens will not benefit much from Wal-Mart opening. There is a difference. Why are people opposed to being paid higher wages for their labor? What is stopping someone from applying for other jobs that pay the same rate as Wal Mart $8-$9 bucks?

    Yes you will be able to stay in your area to shop at a Wal-Mart but....outside of that does it really benefit the citizens? Any resident that aspires to open their own business on that side of town can pretty much forget about it. There's no need for a small business when Wal-Mart can sell the same if not better products for a cheaper price.

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