Raising the Minimum Wage to $15/hr
This week I was proud to vote in support of increasing DC’s minimum wage. Hourly worker pay will increase to $15/hr by 2020 and tipped workers’ wage will go up to $5/hr plus tips. If their tips don’t cover the difference, their employer will be responsible for providing a wage of $15/hr. Importantly, both of these rates will be indexed to the Consumer Price Index, which means they’ll increase with inflation automatically. The DC CFO estimates it will help 127,000 people.
The bill is the result of a tremendous amount of public input and it was passed with support from the labor and business community. As a member of the Council committee that shepherded the bill, I met regularly about the bill with residents and Ward 1 business owners.
We all know the District is less and less affordable, especially for our low-income residents, and I’m proud to be a part of this historic action to support our lowest wage workers.
- WAMU: D.C. Takes First Step Toward $15 Minimum Wage
- Washington City Paper: D.C. Council Unanimously Approves $15 Minimum Wage
Working to Improve Public Safety
As summer moves closer I’m continuing to work hard to improve public safety in Ward 1. The Council’s recently passed budget includes increased funding for the Metropolitan Police Department to add 60 new officers to the force and continue moving forward with the body camera rollout. The budget also has more funding for youth programs year-round including enhanced funding for programs to support at-risk youth and youth involved with the justice system. These programs provide support to families and youth to help them navigate out of crisis and avoid behavior that puts them at-risk and I believe those programs need strong support.
It also addresses street harassment, a public safety issue. At my request the D.C. Council held its first-ever hearing dedicated solely to the subject of street harassment last year. The budget directs the Office of Women’s Policy and Initiatives to collect data on the issue for the first time, an important step towards creating a plan to end street harassment, and will connect to public schools to educate students on the issue.
In late April, I hosted a Ward 1 Public Safety Meeting to bring together the Metropolitan Police Department, youth serving organizations and neighbors before summer begins. The goal of the meeting was to make sure residents are connected to all that the DC government, its partners and I are doing in our community to keep them safe. We had more than 70 residents at the event, as well as Police Chief Cathy Lanier and representatives from each of the Police Service Areas in Ward 1 which are divided between MPD’s 3rd and 4th Districts. Here are highlights from the presentations, including how MPD is preparing for the summer, and questions from residents, including questions about loitering, police jurisdiction at Metro stations, how to report drug dealing and security cameras.
- This week, I introduced and Council passed a resolution to move forward 96 affordable units on U Street at Portner Flats. The resolution accelerated the timeline for Council approval of the project contracts, which will reduce financing costs and move the project forward faster.
- This Saturday, bring the kids to ANC 1B’s Health and Safety Summit, where they can check out a fire truck and police car.
- The DC Office of Human Rights teamed up with the National LGBTQ Task Force to release a first-of-its kind guide on making workplaces more trans-inclusive.
- Happy Pride!