Washington Business Journal: Viewpoint: Yes, raise the minimum wage in Montgomery County

Op-Ed By Michael Lastoria  –  Co-founder and CEO, &pizza
Washington Business Journal, Oct 26, 2017

It’s a simple, but critical concept: Take care of your people and your business will thrive for it.

And it’s a concept that’s often missed.

It’s the concept on which I built &pizza, a group of fast-casual pizza shops that has grown largely, if not entirely, on the shoulders of our employees — our Tribe. &pizza now includes four locations in Montgomery County, in addition to 22 others (and growing) in Maryland, D.C. and three other states. We are a family of over 500. And it is because of the respect that we have shown to our Tribe by paying them a livable wage that we’ve been able to thrive.

It’s that concept, and my gratitude to our own &pizza Tribe, which drives me to continue my fight for a living wage.

And it’s that concept that demands I support legislation to raise Montgomery County’s minimum wage to $15 by 2020. No youth minimum wage or business carve-outs that could water down the legislation’s impact. No loopholes. A simple, straightforward mandate that supports our people and with it, our communities and our businesses.

Lest you think this is a moralist’s call to action, let me also outline, in no uncertain terms, the benefits of this legislation for businesses and the local and nationwide economy.

I call it trickle-up economics. And it, too, is a simple concept. ...

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Copyright 2017 Michael Lastoria

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