Loose Lips

Living-Wage Bill Backers Make Final Push for Mayor’s Signature

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Rev. Graylan Hagler leads living wage bill supporters in a prayer.

With Mayor Vince Gray expected to receive the Large Retailer Accountability Act for a signature or veto by the end of the week, supporters of the bill rallied last night at Ward 7's Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church. Gray says he hasn't made up his mind on the bill yet, although statements from Deputy Mayor Victor Hoskins and threats from Walmart to pull out of proposed stores in the mayor's home Ward 7 point toward a veto.

Gray didn't attend the rally, but that didn't stop several speakers from addressing the mayor directly. Arguing that the decision to sign the bill is "black and white," a labor organizer lead the crowd in a "No Gray area!" chant while holding up a picture of Gray. 

"How will history record his use of this pen?" said At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange, waving a pen.

Following Orange, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson defended his decision to hold up the transfer of the bill from the Council to the mayor for 48 days (and counting). "That's 48 days of pressure on the mayor," Mendelson says.

Rev. Graylan Hagler asked the mayor why he was letting a "little bitty cracker corporation from Arkansas" push the District around. Then, closing the rally, Hagler asked audience members to come to the church's altar for an altar call, where they promised to lobby Gray over the bill.

Photo by Will Sommer

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  • southeast lady

    To Ed: How did President Obama get into this discussion? President Obama is also HALF-WHITE!!!

    Also President Obama was "raised" around non-Black people, his knowledge of the "Black experience" is very limited and he has most recently (10, 20 years?) learned about the "Black experience" in America.

  • southeast lady

    Marc B-right on target. Even though Walmart may be a multinational corporation, the head(s)of Walmart are Caucasian Americans.

    Therefore, their behaviour towards Black American workers as well as low-level White Americans remain the same.

    Get it?

  • southeast lady

    Personally, I think wages should be gradually put in place, not one big leap at all once.

    Also, get this, get ready, we should be taught about managing our money when we come out of the womb. More realistically in the first grade. Don't buy "champange" items on a "beer" budget.

  • southeast lady

    Let me see if I can get this name calling stuff straight. We all know that disrespectful terms are used.
    Various methods have been used in the past by comedians, rappers and others such has sociologists, etc to diffuse and lower the hurt. Yes, sticks and stones may break my bones, BUT words can wound us too. So, lets not pretend words don't hurt, they do.

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