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Mayor Bowser Announces Progress in #Fightfor15

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

(Washington, DC) – Today, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange were joined by labor advocates, the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington (RAWM), and other District officials and stakeholders to announce a path forward in the Fight for $15.

“Since day one, my Administration has been fighting to give every Washingtonian a fair shot,” said Mayor Bowser. “These are good days for the District.  Unemployment is down by a full percent since January 2015, and 20,000 jobs have been added during that same time.  However, the tremendous prosperity in our city does not reach every Washingtonian.  There are DC families working day in and day out, sometimes in two or three jobs, but barely making ends meet.  That is why I am fighting for $15.  The Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016 will put more money in the pockets of working families, and put more people on the pathway to the middle class. I thank the Council for their swift action on this legislation, and I thank the many advocates, business owners, and residents who came together on this path forward.”

Mayor Bowser first announced she would take up the fight for $15 during this year’s State of the District Address. And in April, the Mayor introduced the Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016.  Since that time, the Bowser Administration has been working closely with the Council and representatives from the business and labor communities, to ensure that all voices would be heard in the debate.  Today’s announcement marks an important step in the Fight for $15, with a plan to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020, including a $5 per hour tipped minimum wage.  Both would be indexed to inflation.

DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson announced today that he will hold a vote during today’s legislative meeting on an amendment to B21-712, the Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016 – to pave a path forward for the legislation’s passage. The Council is scheduling a final vote on the legislation on Tuesday, June 14, 2016.

In the meantime, Mayor Bowser remains committed to strengthening the District’s competitiveness in the region, and cross the country. She recently signed a Mayor’s Order establishing the Working Group on Jobs, Wages, and Benefits. This group will have six months to draft recommendations for the Mayor and the Council. Those recommendations will identify legislation, programs, and policies to improve the District’s competitiveness, attract and retain businesses and workers, protect and promote commercial diversity, and create and preserve good paying jobs.  The working group will include three representatives each from the business community, labor unions, the executive branch, the legislative branch, and members of the public.  Working group representatives will be appointed in the coming weeks.