**For Immediate Release**
January 13, 2012
Contact: Amyre Loomis (718) 260-9191
Statement by Council Member Letitia James About New York City Council's Support of Living Wage Bill
(Brooklyn, NY) “As we prepare to celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., I applaud Speaker Quinn for supporting The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, also known as the Living Wage Bill, which would standardize a living wage for employees in jobs created through tax dollar-subsidized development projects.
The bill requires future development projects that receive $1 million or more in discretionary funding from the City, to pay $10 an hour plus benefits for full-time workers, and $11.50 an hour without benefits for at least 10 years. Millions of dollars a year in taxpayer-financed subsidies are provided to private developers by the City of New York, and these employers should pay decent wages.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. stood with sanitation workers demanding a living wage when he was killed. The City Council now stands with the working poor of New York City in support of The Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act, as well as in honor of the moral mandate and living spirit of Dr. King.
The Living Wage Bill will go a long way to help lift families out of poverty; I thank my colleagues in the Progressive Caucus for pushing to restore progressive politics back to its core.”