Mayoral hopeful Reta Lewis has amassed an impressive campaign treasury for someone new to District politics. Still, she’ll need to make every dollar count to make up for her lack of name recognition. What to do? Well, how about paying her workers below the minimum wage?
In an ad posted on lefty career listserv JobsThatAreLEFT, Lewis’ campaign offers $8 an hour for canvassers. If that seems awfully stingy to you, there’s a good reason—-that’s $0.25 below the District’s current minimum wage, $8.25.
Apparently, the prospect of making less than you would in any law-abiding District business isn’t entirely unappealing. When LL showed up to the Rhode Island Avenue NW address provided by one prospective canvasser who applied to the ad, he waited outside with another canvassing hopeful.
Ad aside, though, campaign spokesman Larry Decker insists to LL that the Lewis campaign isn’t paying its canvassers cut-rate wages. Decker says the figure quoted in the ad was in error, and that canvassers are paid $8.50 an hour—-with experienced ones making up to $10.
Whatever their experience, though, Lewis’ signature collectors will still be paid well below the wage that the candidate thinks all District workers should make. In an appearance on WAMU’s Kojo Nnmadi Show, Lewis endorsed a $12.50 hourly minimum wage.
“When you’re talking to individual moms and dads they will tell you that it’s hard to live in this city,” Lewis says.
Photo by Darrow Montgomery