Wal-Mart threatened to cancel three of its planned stores not yet in development, and might pull the other three under construction, if the living wage bill passes. The council refused to be intimidated, and passed the bill 8 to 5.
But the bill is opposed by Mayor Vincent C. Gray. To override a veto -- if Gray vetoes the bill -- requires nine votes. Two of the council members who opposed the bill are running for mayor, and likely have no desire to alienate the big corporations and developers who bankroll campaigns. It’s going to be a tough sell to convert one of the other three.
Obama said at Knox College: “This growing inequality isn’t just morally wrong; it’s bad economics. When middle-class families have less to spend, businesses have fewer customers. When wealth concentrates at the very top, it can inflate unstable bubbles that threaten the economy. When the rungs on the ladder of opportunity grow farther apart, it undermines the very essence of this country.”
Unfortunately, it seems that for now Washington’s mayor is not sure what side he might end up fighting for.
Donna Brazile is a senior Democratic strategist, a political commentator and contributor to CNN and ABC News, and a contributing columnist to Ms. Magazine and O, the Oprah Magazine.