Taking it too far?
(Page 3 of 4)
By Adam Wisnieski
Mr. Bloomberg said the Kingsbridge Armory, which is still empty, is the best example of the way the living wage bill will hurt businesses. A Bloomberg-backed deal to turn the Armory into a mega shopping mall never came to fruition after Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., many local elected officials and activists demanded the mall create living wage jobs. It was because of the Armory debacle that Councilman Oliver Koppell decided to introduce the Fair Wages for New Yorkers Act.
Mr. Bloomberg has also compared wage mandates to Soviet Communism.
The bill passed the City Council on April 30 and will require developers who receive more than $1 million in taxpayer subsidies to pay a living wage, defined as $10 per hour with benefits or $11.50 per hour without. Businesses with annual incomes of less than $5 million are exempt and so are businesses that rent space in affordable housing buildings.
Since being taken over by Speaker Christine Quinn in January — and watered down tremendously — the bill has enough support to override the mayor’s veto.
The city’s business community and Mr. Bloomberg have been adamantly opposed to the legislation for fear it will make the city less appealing to developers. Meanwhile, many left-leaning politicians, unions and activist groups have supported the legislation, saying it will help pull the working poor above the poverty line.
After Mr. Bloomberg’s veto, living wage groups and supporters of the bill sent out statements in response.
“This is an incredibly popular piece of legislation, one that has the potential to give City residents a chance to provide a better way of life for their families. I look forward to both the City Council’s override of this veto and to the day the ‘Fair Wages for New Yorkers’ Act becomes law,” Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. in a press release.
Desiree Pilgrim-Hunter, president of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, bashed the mayor.
KeywordsAdam Wisnieski, Political Arena, politics, Adriano Espaillat, Oliver Koppell, Jeff Klein, Democratic Conference,