Washington, DC — Today, members of Respect DC, a coalition of grassroots-based organizations, pastors, workers, and community members concerned about the quality of life in the nation’s capital, released the following statement in response to Mayor Vincent Gray’s veto of the Large Retailer Accountability Act (LRAA).
Gray’s veto comes just two days after the Fair Political Practices Commission in California announced that it would be investigating whether Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson had a conflict of interest in a vote on a big box bill due to charitable donations he solicited from Walmart and the Walton Foundation.
Kimberly Mitchell, a Macy’s employee and lifelong Ward 7 resident:
“I am incredibly upset, disappointed, and angry that Mayor Gray has decided to stand with Walmart and other large corporations instead of with the residents of this city. Mayor Gray has made is clear who he stands with and it’s not with me, my neighbors or the residents of DC. We are now counting on the City Council to do the right thing, stand up with DC residents, and override this veto.”
“Mayor Gray had the opportunity to stand up for the residents of this city, but instead he allowed large, out of town companies, like Walmart, to threaten him and ultimately dictate the policies of our city. By vetoing this bill he has further eroded the ability of DC residents and workers to earn enough money to take care of themselves and their families while remaining in the city.”
Reverend Graylan Hagler, of Plymouth United Congregational Church of Christ and Faith Strategies:
“Unfortunately, the Mayor’s decision is hardly surprising because this is exactly what Walmart’s lobbyists said would happen. The Mayor’s office and Walmart have been working together to defeat this bill from the start.”
“If we cannot demand higher wages and good jobs from the nation’s and world’s largest corporations DC will not be able to remain a diverse and vibrant city. We strongly urge the city council to override this misguided veto.”