Politics, Washington, DC Politics — July 19, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Councilmember Anita Bonds Statement on the “Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013”

For immediate release:
July 10, 2013
For more information contact David Meadows 202-724-8143
 
Councilmember Anita Bonds Statement on the “Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013”

Anita

“Today, I joined a majority of the Council of the District of Columbia in approving the “LARGE RETAILER ACCOUNTABILITY ACT OF 2013.” The bill will require retailers whose square footage exceeds 75,000 square feet and whose company’s revenue exceeds $1
billion annually to provide a living wage of $12.50 per hour to their employees.”
“Many argue that the legislation is unfairly targeting these large successful corporations and that the District’s booming economic development would be halted if the measure is passed. I do not share those sentiments. The legislation will provide employees with a fair salary. I am especially satisfied that today the Council added an amendment to the bill indicating that some of our hardest to employ populations such as youth, returning citizens, and the chronically unemployed will receive special opportunities to apply for the available positions. Also, a higher wage will serve as a bridge for those residents who currently receive government assistance to move from welfare to work.”
“In retrospect, when I met with representatives of Wal-Mart, I was advised that their average worker made nearly $13.00 an hour and was told how excited they were to be expanding into our robust urban market. Therefore, Wal-Mart’s recently announced position to cancel three of six planned stores is unsettling. Further, upon learning that they originally never wanted to pursue the Skyland Shopping Center/Ward 7 site and that financing has not yet been secured to begin construction on the planned Ward 5/New York Ave. I find their threats disappointing.”
“I have a well-documented history of fighting for uplifting our most vulnerable residents, especially, those over-looked and the least among us. As a Member of the Council, one of my top priorities is to eradicate poverty in the District of Columbia. Research has shown that a vote in favor of raising the hourly wage over $12.00 an hour would lift two-thirds of DC’s working-poor families out of poverty. A vote against this legislation would be a vote to increase the District’s expanding income inequality gap between the rich and the poor. I do not want our city to lose its middle-class and become a city of haves and have mores.”
“As a longstanding social and economic justice advocate, it would have been against my nature to not have supported the legislation.”