In MoCo, Exec vs. Council in next round on Fight for $15

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, a persistent critic of the long struggle for a living wage in Montgomery County and water-carrier for business interests, is still trying to chip away at the latest effort by Council members to help working families in a county of great wealth and significant inequality.

Progressive Maryland yesterday joined a coalition of progressive organizations pushing back against Leggett’s latest effort – a letter promising a veto of the new legislation without major pro-business concessions.

/PM BlogSpace Report/

It’s on.

Again.

We’re talking, of course, about the Fight for $15 in Montgomery County.

Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, a persistent critic of the long struggle for a living wage in Montgomery County and water-carrier for business interests, is still trying to chip away at the latest effort by Council members to help working families in a county of great wealth and significant inequality.

Progressive Maryland yesterday joined a coalition of progressive organizations pushing back against Leggett’s latest effort – a letter promising a veto of the new legislation without major pro-business concessions.Fightfor__15Slimmer.png

Here’s the coalition’s statement: “In one of the nation’s wealthiest counties, County Executive Leggett is making a second attempt to avoid raising the wage like so many other economically prosperous cities have done successfully. His youth exemption would keep thousands of working men and women under the age of 20 in poverty, leaving them to continue struggling to support themselves and their families. County residents are counting on the Council and the Executive to resist corporate lobbyists whose self-interests are out-of-sync with the needs of working families. It’s time to stop looking for excuses and raise the minimum wage by passing and signing a clean bill, without delayed implementation or exemptions.

“Research has shown that overwhelmingly, cities that have raised the wage have not experienced job loss and the local economy continues to prosper. Moreover, a wage increase can reduce reliance on public assistance from a safety net that faces extreme cuts from the Trump administration, placing a heavier burden on local taxpayers.”

The statement is attributable to Maryland Working Families, the National Employment Law Project (NELP), 32BJ SEIU, Jews United for Justice, Progressive Maryland and CASA.

Adam Pagnucco, a political analyst with long experience observing MoCo’s political culture, yesterday (9/14) published a deep dive into the controversy’s past, present and future in a post on the political blog Seventh State. He includes the letter from Leggett to the Council and a valuable comparative chart on the two positions – Leggett and Council.

Statewide and in Montgomery County, the fight for a fair wage, more prosperous working families and therefore a more prosperous Maryland continues.