On the evening of the 27th of August, community members and activists packed into the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church to demand that Mayor Gray sign the Large Retailer Accountability Act.
DC Councilmembers Phil Mendelson and Vincent Orange both spoke to support the LRAA. Both Mendelson and Rev Curry (senior pastor at the Church) held up pens and demanded that the Mayor sign the bill.
Phil Mendelson bluntly condemned the Mayor’s hypocrisy in appearing at the Martin Luther King and Statehood events on Saturday, yet leaning towards vetoing the LRAA.
Other speakers debunked the lies Wal-Mart has been spreading with facts about how states and cities that raised their minimum wages over the past 20 years have not had higher unemployment than those that did not.
One of the speakers pointed out that the $2 minimum wage demanded by organizers of the original 1963 March for Jobs and Freedom would be worth $15 an hour today, and the LRAA is only asking for $12.50 an hour.
Near the end, Reverend Hagler condemned Mayor Gray for taking “30 pieces of silver” from Wal-Mart. Those 30 pieces of silver will drag Mr Gray out of office and right into the gutter, ending his career if he vetoes a living wage for workers at Wal-Mart, Target, and Home Depot!