photo by Karlyn Williams.

photo by Karlyn Williams.

After the Large Retailer Accountability Act failed in the D.C. Council earlier this month, many are wondering, “where do we go from here?”

“The rejection of the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA) by a minority on the council and the Mayor was only the beginning of the fight for a living wage,” RespectDC Coalition said in a statement Monday. “We will not stop until all District workers are paid fairly.”

In a survey done by Hart Research earlier this month, 71 percent of D.C. residents were in favor of the LRAA. RespectDC has knocked on thousands of District resident’s doors over the past several months and the message they have heard was loud and clear, “we deserve better than the poverty wage jobs.”

“Disappointing as it was to come so close to enacting a retail living wage in the District of Columbia, we are only redoubling our efforts to fight poverty wages and close the income gap in the nation’s capital,” said Mark Federici, President of UFCW Local 400. “Building on the momentum established by California’s landmark minimum wage increase earlier this month, we will keep fighting until all workers in Washington, D.C., earn wages that lift them out of poverty.”

Although the LRAA failed, RespectDC along with their allies created an environment within the D.C. Council and the community in which the Mayor and three council members who voted with big business felt the need to attempt to cover up their abandonment of D.C.’s working families by introducing their own minimum wage proposals.

“Because of our work the living wage and minimum wage issues are at the forefront and our elected officials have finally been forced to pay attention to low wage workers. We will not let large corporations, working in conjunction with some of our elected officials, evict us from our city without a fight,” said Kimberly Mitchell, UFCW Local 400 Macy’s member and lifelong Ward 7 resident.

“We will not allow the will of the people of the District to be manipulated by the same elected officials who just allowed large corporations like Walmart to bully them into submission,” said Reverend Graylan Hagler, Senior Pastor at Plymouth United Congregational Church of Christ. “This is one of the most expensive cities in America, and we need a minimum wage that reflects that reality. Because so many of our elected officials continue to fail on this issue, we will be developing a proposal that works for D.C. residents and we welcome all elected officials who stand with the people of this city to support us as we pass it into law.”