On July 10, 2013, the Washington, D.C. City Council stood strong for working families when it passed the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA), which would require retailers with more than $1 billion in annual sales and with stores of more than 75,000 square feet to pay a living wage package of $12.50 an hour.  The LRAA would lift thousands of working families in Washington, D.C., out of poverty and support decent wages across the retail industry.

Large and extremely profitable corporations from outside the District attempted to bribe local officials with promises of jobs, while threatening to cancel the planned opening of stores in Washington if the City Council voted for the LRAA. The City Council’s vote was a brave repudiation of these shoddy threats.

While Washington, D.C., like communities across America, needs more jobs and retail establishments, it wants good jobs that lift up the community and build a future for all residents.

A broad coalition of faith, community and labor organizations came together in a multi-year grassroots campaign to win the passage of the LRAA, creating a model for allies and colleagues nationwide who are facing similar promises and threats from companies looking to pressure local communities in a troubled economy.

The AFL-CIO joins the growing number of organizations, faith leaders and District residents calling on D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray to continue setting the standard for corporate accountability and responsibility by standing with Washington, D.C.’s working families and signing the Large Retailer Accountability Act.