Contact: Justin Vest

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                      September 27, 2016

Progressive Maryland Call-In Day pushes fifteen dollar wage at County Council

ROCKVILLE, MD –  A progressive coalition of advocacy, labor, and faith groups is organizing call-in days to urge Montgomery County Councilmembers not to oppose a fifteen dollar minimum wage. Progressive Maryland, a statewide nonprofit with over 120,000 supporters is leading the efforts to ensure the passage of MC Bill 12-16, sponsored by Councilmember Marc Elrich, and co-sponsored by Councilmembers George Leventhal, Tom Hucker, Hans Reimer, and Nancy Navarro.

The call-in days are scheduled for September 27th and 28th, and will seek to send a strong message to Councilmembers Roger Berliner and Craig Rice who sit on the Health and Human Services (HHS) Committee where the bill awaits a vote.

“We are calling Councilmembers Berliner and Rice this week to let them know that a wage increase for Montgomery County workers is long overdue,” said Justin Vest, Lead Organizer for the Montgomery County chapter of Progressive Maryland. “ Progressive Maryland strongly urges the councilmembers not to block such a critically important bill for our County’s economic security. We need a $15 minimum wage by 2020 with no exceptions and no exemptions.”

Sonia Bonilla, a service-sector employee in Germantown, says that it is “almost impossible” to support her family on a twelve dollar hourly wage. “I pay $1300.00 monthly rent and I have to work long hours to sustain my family, long hours away from my children, to cover our basic needs.”  For Montgomery County residents such as Sharon Del Cid, a full-time worker in Gaithersburg, raising the minimum wage means peace of mind and a higher standard of living. “I don’t have the luxury of getting sick, because I need to work to survive,” says Del Cid. “A minimum wage increase to $15 will help me continue surviving.”

MC Bill 12-16 was introduced in the Health and Human Services Committee in April of 2016. If enacted, MC Bill 12-16 would extend the incremental increases set in County law to go up to $15 per hour by July 1, 2020. The HHS Committee has asked for more time to consider the impact of the bill and has not set a date to determine its future.