Bronx Living Wage Campaign Heats Up

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Text and Videos By JORDAN MOSS


Untitled from Bronx News Network on Vimeo.

The campaign that would require developers of retail projects receiving taxpayer subsidies to pay a living wage – $10 with benefits and $11.50 without – is heating up as advocates press for an April City Council hearing. Council Speaker Christine Quinn has said she would allow hearings on the bill, which has 29 supporters, including every Bronx member of the City Council except for James Vacca of the east Bronx. Vacca was very much on the minds and tongues of numerous speakers at a Living Wage NYC rally last week at the Bronx Pentecostal Deliverance Center on the anniversary of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s death.

The legislation was introduced by Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., (see the video above) who led the effort to defeat the city’s effort to build a mall at the Armory, mainly because the developer would not guarantee that retail workers be paid a living wage. Council Members Oliver Koppell (speaking in the video below) and Annabel Palma are leading the charge in the Council.


Oliver Koppell Speaks At Living Wage Rally from Bronx News Network on Vimeo.

Mayor Bloomberg is on record opposing the bill, but with five more backers, the Council would have enough votes to override his veto.