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Council's Rejection of Kingsbridge Plan Could Spur Living Wage Legislation

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

The City Council has voted down a proposal to turn the Kingsbridge Armory in the Bronx into a shopping mall. Lawmakers say there was no guarantee the jobs at the mall would pay enough to support a family. WNYC's Matthew Schuerman has more.

REPORTER: Members say several factors led the council to reject, for the first time, one of Mayor Bloomberg's economic development projects: A coalition that brought together the interests of the retail workers union with community groups. A neighborhood that's prosperous enough that it can afford to say "no" to development it doesn't like. And the support of City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who's fighting to keep her job amidst growing disenchantment towards Mayor Bloomberg.

The mayor called the vote "disappointing and irrational" given today's economy. But advocates say the rejection sets the stage for legislation that would require all economic development projects receiving city assistance to pay workers a living wage, currently defined in New York as $11.50 an hour. For WNYC, I'm Matthew Schuerman.

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