DC’s city council members voted unanimously to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020 on June 7th. The law that was passed includes a year-by-year plan of how the district will reach the $15 wage, increasing it as each year passes until 2020.
Washington DC is known for having the biggest pay gap in the whole country, according to New York magazine, and supporters of the minimum wage raise agree that a $15 minimum is needed to help close the income gap in DC and larger cities.
According to the “Fight for $15” movement, minimum wage, workers are “forced to live in poverty” despite their hard work, which is why they strike and work in hundreds of cities throughout North America and the world.
Living in DC has a high cost and Mayor Bowser acknowledged that some people “work two to three jobs and still struggle to make ends meet”, according to the Washington Post, even though DC already has the highest minimum wage in the country, $10.50, according to the Raise the Minimum Wage project.
Jonathan, a physicist and staff scientist at AU, believes businesses will have to “rethink the way they are organized but corporate entities will definitely survive.” He also believes the federal government should “guarantee a minimum income, not wage, based on the area.”
As of July 1st, DC has the highest minimum wage in the country at $10.50, while the lowest minimum wage is $5.15 in Georgia and Wyoming, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Others think raising the minimum wage will relieve the stress of worrying about making ends meet at the end of the month with rent and other expenses – like Jackie, a cashier at AU’s Eagle’s Nest and Christine, a professor at AU.
On the other hand, small business owners are worried this decision may have a negative impact on their community. Carolina Story, co-owner of Straw Stick & Brick delicatessen (DC) told The Daily Signal the minimum wage raise “puts a big stop on little startups like ours.” Other small business owners are afraid they might have to reduce their staff or make major changes within the business in order to stay afloat.
Mayor Muriel Bowser’s office released a video on their official YouTube channel announcing the deal with Fight for $15 movement in which she states the raise of the minimum wage for the District.