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Son of Martin Luther King, Jr. Trumpets Passage of City Council Bill to Hike Minimum Wages
New York Daily News
Erin Einhorn

April 4, 2011
View the Original Article

The son of slain civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. is using the anniversary of his father's death to weigh in on a controversial city wage proposal.

"New York City offers a national road map for continuing my father's unfinished work of economic justice," Martin Luther King III writes in a statement scheduled to be released Monday - the 43rd anniversary of his father's assassination in Memphis.

The issue is currently roiling the City Council, where a hearing is expected this month on a bill that would require most businesses in city-subsidized developments to pay up to $11.50 an hour - wages far exceeding the state's $7.25 minimum wage.

Mayor Bloomberg opposes the union-backed measure, saying it will hurt economic development.

The bill hung in limbo for nearly a year until Council Speaker Christine Quinn agreed last month to grant it a hearing.

"A majority of City Council members back the legislation," King writes in his statement. "Now I urge the rest to embrace it."

King lives in Atlanta, but has ties to the New York through the the Drum Major Institute, a liberal think tank where he serves on the board.

His name was recently floated as a member of a group interested in buying a stake in the Mets. He also lent his name to Bloomberg's recent push for better background checks for gun buyers.

Religious, union and political leaders plan to commemorate the anniversary of the King assassination by reading excerpts of the civil rights leader's comments on economic justice at events in Brooklyn and the Bronx.

It's part of their ongoing campaign for the wage bill.