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Living Wage Supporter is Confident Labor Can Get A Council Ally Back on Board
Capital New York
Azi Paybarah

November 23, 2011
View the Original Article

The political director of one union strongly backing the city's "living wage" legislation said they can still tweak the bill and regain the support of City Councilwoman Inez Dickens of Harlem.

Dickens, an influential member of the Black, Latino and Asian Caucus and longtime fixture in Democratic politics, announced in an op-ed this morning she's withdrawing her support for the bill, out of fear that it will have an adverse impact on female- and minority-owned businesses.

The bill was debated yesterday and has the support of most of Dickens' Democratic colleagues on the Council, but it is opposed by business leaders and the mayor.

Ademola Oyefeso, the political and legislative director for the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Workers emailed me a response to Dickens' op-ed column:

"People in Harlem need living wage jobs and overwhelmingly support this smart, pragmatic bill. We have worked to exempt small businesses and are willing to talk further. I am confident that with the sponsors of the bill we can address Council Member Inez Dickens’ concerns and get her back on the bill. I look forward to talking with her soon."