From Union City—Cheers echoed across Freedom Plaza this yesterday morning as labor and community activists called on the DC City Council to pass the Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013 (LRAA). The act would require large retailers to pay employees the DC living wage rather than the DC minimum wage. With signs reading “Quality Jobs Now!” and “DC Residents Deserve a Living Wage!,” local labor and community leaders spoke out about why they are supporting the bill. “When people are paid well, the society benefits” Metro Council President Jos Williams told activists and press. Our DC’s Travis Dupree agreed, adding “there’s adifference between living and surviving” to a cheering crowd. Glennis Mitchner shared how union-negotiated wages and benefits gave him “peace of mind” during his thirty years working at Safeway and urged the City Council to give this opportunity to other District workers. DC City Council Chair Phil Mendelson and Councilmembers David Grosso and Jim Graham joined the press conference, where Mendelson warned activists of the stiff opposition they face and offered his support, saying “this bill’s not just about jobs; it’s about quality jobs.” – report by Julia Kann; photos: (right) community members cheer and (left) Reverend Witherspoon (SCLC), just arriving from the Poor Peoples Campaign March, addresses the crowd; photos by Julia Kann