WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – A rally is being held downtown on Tuesday in support of raising the federal minimum wage.

Led by local non-profit Our DC and the D.C. Council’s Chair Pro Tempore, citizens are scheduled to gather at F Street near the Gallery Place Metro Station at 11 a.m. in support of that effort.

D.C. Councilman Michael Brown says Congress is looking at some pending legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage from $7.25 up to $9.80. That’s a $2.55 raise.

“We’re going to talk a little bit about our support in raising the federal minimum wage,” Brown told WNEW’s Cheryl Simone. “Recently over one hundred members of Congress have cosponsored the legislation in the House, and I imagine the Senate would also follow suit.”

Brown says the economy continues to grow, but particularly here in the District of Columbia.

“It’s becoming one of the more expensive places to live in America. We should support the raising of the minimum wage.”

Brown noted that hardworking men and women currently making the minimum can’t even cover housing, food and other quality of life necessities that most take for granted.

Our DC is a non-profit which describes itself as an organization dedicated to ensuring that the voices of unemployed and under employed city residents are heard and listened to in local and national dialogues on jobs and job creation.

Of course, the national minimum wage falls far below the living wage, defined by the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary as “a wage sufficient to provide the necessities and comforts essential to an acceptable standard of living”.

The estimated living wage in the United States would require a person to earn approximately $12.50/hour.

Brown says on the living wage, “We’ll be in support of anything that Congress does to change that piece too. But in the mean time, we need to raise the minimum wage.

Congress has not passed a bill to increase the minimum wage since 2007, when the federal minimum wage was raised from $5.15/hour.

Similar rallies to the one scheduled for D.C. have been held in cities throughout the country. If the bill to raise the standard makes its way through Congress, changes would not take effect until 2014.


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