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Statement Regarding Vote on Initiative #77

June 20, 2018

Initiative #77 was today approved by a majority of the meager number of registered voters who came out to vote. We, however, do not see this as the end of a discussion, but the beginning. We cannot accept as final a vote in a primary election, in the middle of the summer, on a ballot measure the language of which was, at best, misleading. Unaffiliated voters, Republicans and even many Democrats had little reason to participate in the process, which is why turnout was historically low, and fewer than 10% of the District’s more than 100,000 non-Democratic voters bothered to vote. The issue of how people are to be fairly paid in the hospitality industry is a complicated one, not easily explained by campaign signs, slogans and buttons. What is telling, however, is that tipped workers, the very workers who would supposedly be helped by the passage of Initiative 77, overwhelmingly opposed the measure. We ask tipped workers, Restaurant Workers of America, Save Our Tips and No2DC77 to join with us in continuing this fight as we immediately begin discussions with District elected officials. All of us, not an out of town interest group, know what is best for workers, businesses and the residents of the District of Columbia and we shall continue to make our case with those who have ultimate responsibility for the District’s laws.

- Kathy E. Hollinger, President and CEO