Loose Lips

Reta Lewis Campaign Advertises Jobs Below Minimum Wage

Mayoral hopeful Reta Lewis has amassed an impressive campaign treasury for someone new to District politics. Still, she'll need to make every dollar count to make up for her lack of name recognition. What to do? Well, how about paying her workers below the minimum wage?

In an ad posted on lefty career listserv JobsThatAreLEFT, Lewis' campaign offers $8 an hour for canvassers. If that seems awfully stingy to you, there's a good reason—that's $0.25 below the District's current minimum wage, $8.25.

Apparently, the prospect of making less than you would in any law-abiding District business isn't entirely unappealing. When LL showed up to the Rhode Island Avenue NW address provided by one prospective canvasser who applied to the ad, he waited outside with another canvassing hopeful.

Ad aside, though, campaign spokesman Larry Decker insists to LL that the Lewis campaign isn't paying its canvassers cut-rate wages. Decker says the figure quoted in the ad was in error, and that canvassers are paid $8.50 an hour—with experienced ones making up to $10.

Whatever their experience, though, Lewis' signature collectors will still be paid well below the wage that the candidate thinks all District workers should make. In an appearance on WAMU's Kojo Nnmadi Show, Lewis endorsed a $12.50 hourly minimum wage.

"When you're talking to individual moms and dads they will tell you that it's hard to live in this city," Lewis says.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • sbc

    Well, Vince Gray is expecting folks to do it for free!
    I got the email below this morning (and promptly wrote back to say that I had never expressed any interest in collecting petitions for Gray):

    My name is Kouri Marshall, and I am leading the process to put Mayor Vincent Gray on the ballot. We are very excited about your interest to help us collect petitions to put the Mayor on the ballot for the April 1st Democratic primary.

    I can be reached at 202.681.8064 and will be located around the U Street Corridor today between 11:30am-1:30pm if you'd like to pick up petitions.

    On behalf of Mayor Gray and our entire team, thank you for your support.


    Kouri C. Marshall
    Twitter - @KouriCMarshall

  • Shanicua Hilton

    What about Jack Evans--he pay his campaign fellows like 150 a MONTH. wheres the story?

  • Marvin E. Adams

    This is too funny. Not too terribly long ago, I attended an event for Anita Bonds, who was at the time running to retain the at-large seat on the city council. It was at this event, which I first had the "pleasure" of interacting with Mr. Marshall. He had the temerity, the unmitigated gall to tell everyone in attendance that it was he, who was responsible for delivering DC for Obama!

    Succinctly, this guy supported Hilary Clinton in 2008; Barack Obama in 2012; Anita Bonds last year and has apparently hitched his wagon to the coattails of Mayor Gray. Where I come from, there's a word for an individual such as this: and, pardon my French, it ain't pretty!

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  • SEis4ME

    Easy strategy to defeat (to the extent necessary) Lewis?

    Make her lack of civic involvement and the outside (of dc) addresses that comprises most of her campaign contributions THE number one issue.


  • DC Guy

    She is not ready for prime time. I wonder what office she really wants, because it isn't this one.

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