Brandy Brooks: 9-0 Vote to Raise Living Wage is  First Step Toward a Just Economy for All

Brandy Brooks: 9-0 Vote to Raise Living Wage is First Step Toward a Just Economy for All

Today the Montgomery County Council passed Bill 28-17 to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. The bill passed on a 9-0 vote thanks to the dedicated work of everyday activists and committed elected leaders in Montgomery County, Maryland.

The following is a statement from Brandy H.M. Brooks, candidate for Montgomery County Council At-Large:

Today’s victory shows that when we shift the power to the people, our elected leaders not only take notice but respond. I commend Councilmember Marc Elrich for his tireless efforts to advance economic justice in our county and the continued support of Councilmembers Hucker, Leventhal, Navarro, and Riemer on Bill 28-17 to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour. As I said to the Council in September, our commitment to progressive values has to be demonstrated everyday by making justice and equity the reality for all members of our community. That is why I am pleased that Councilmembers Berliner, Floreen, Katz, and Rice listened to the many diverse voices in the county who were calling for leadership and supported raising the minimum wage.

Montgomery County residents are looking for progressive leadership—literally leadership that will help us move forward—building better lives for all of our people. Today, that begins with raising the minimum wage, but it is not the end of our work.

Montgomery County residents are looking for progressive leadershipliterally leadership that will help us move forwardbuilding better lives for all of our people. Today, that begins with raising the minimum wage, but it is not the end of our work.

Montgomery County is the largest county in Maryland and is one of the wealthiest counties in the nation. We must work to build a just economy that values an equal pay for all workers regardless of their gender, race, or class. We must protect workers from discrimination and enforce laws to hold businesses accountable for wage theft. And we must expand opportunities for small businesses and co-ops throughout the county, in order to harness the creativity and abundant skills within our communities.

As we move closer to a just economy we must not lose sight of what a true living wage looks like specifically for Montgomery County. MIT’s Living Wage Calculator estimates that a single parent with one child would need to earn nearly $30/hour to live in Montgomery County. Housing costs alone are estimated to be 30-50% of an individual’s income. More work must be done to make all of Montgomery County affordable to live, work, and thrive.

I applaud Progressive Maryland, CASA, 32BJ SEIU, UFCW Local 400, Jews United for Justice, Maryland Working Families, and the other supportive community organizations that helped to raise the minimum wage today. I also applaud the many community members who came out to hearings, meetings, organized calling and texting house parties, and rallies over the course of this campaign – their commitment to showing up and speaking out had an enormous impact. As we continue using our collective power and voice, we can look forward to even more victories for progressive issues and progressive candidates in 2018 and beyond.

Leave a comment