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D.C. Working Families members rally outside the Wilson Building last week.

D.C. Councilmember Vincent Orange‘s business and consumer affairs committee is about to take up legislation for an $11.50 minimum wage. Last, Vince Gray told councilmembers he would support a lower $10 hourly minimum wage not tied to a cost of living increase. But a new poll commissioned by a coalition backing a $12.50 minimum wage ballot initiative suggest that District residents would be open to one that’s higher than both the Council’s bill and Gray’s proposal.

74 percent of the 606 D.C. residents in a Public Policy Polling survey conducted between Oct. 18 and Oct. 20 said they would vote for a ballot initiative that imposed a $12.50 minimum that was tied to the cost of living and included an $8.75 tipped wage. The polling data was provided to LL by labor coalition D.C. Working Families.

After a question focusing on wage hike opponents’ concerns that it would eliminate jobs for minority youth, 65 percent of those questioned said they would still back the referendum. When the questioner stressed that the $12.50 minimum wage would be a more than $4 increase from the current $8.25 wage, support for the referendum dropped to 58 percent of respondents.

“Polling shows that D.C. residents overwhelming support a minimum wage of $12.50 to help men and women better support themselves and our local economy,” D.C. Working Families director Delvone Michael says in a statement.

Photo by Will Sommer