"If you are a member of Congress + leave, you shouldn't be allowed to turn right around [and] leverage your service for a lobbyist check", argued Ocasio-Cortez, reacting to a Public Citizen report claiming "nearly 60% of former members of the 115th Congress who have taken jobs outside of politics are now lobbying or have other jobs influencing federal policy". Sign-up now and enjoy one (1) week free access!
From the start, Ocasio-Cortez traded heavily on her non-privileged background in her quest to defeat a 10-term, Democratic Party grandee in her first political race in a NY primary last June. In NYC proper, tipped foodservice workers must make at least $10 an hour under the condition that their tips bring that amount to at least $15 an hour. "Any job that pays $2.13 an hour is not a job".
Ocasio-Cortez is a co-sponsor of the Raise the Wage Act, which would bump the federal minimum hourly wage to $15 for all workers - up from the current $7.25 hourly rate, which hasn't been raised since 2009. "But on the 28th or 29th of month, you will let that person touch you because of your economic desperation".
USA law exempts restaurants, nail salons and vehicle washes from paying their tipped staff the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, instead creating a "tip credit" of up to $5.12 per hour that allows them to pay as little as $2.13 per hour on the books.
But the location for the boozy event - The Queensboro in Jackson Heights - doesn't exactly cater to Ocasio-Cortez's working class constituents.
Only seven states - California, Alaska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Montana, and Minnesota - require employers pay tipped workers the state minimum wage before tips.
"She's interested in people with criminal records being able to get housing".
Luis Gomez, an organizing director with the Workers United labor group, said Ocasio-Cortez's Friday afternoon bartending appearance "highlights the issue". "A spokesperson for NYC Hospitality Alliance said in a statement, "... eliminating the restaurant tip credit poses a great threat to small businesses and jobs. "She made a margarita, she did a couple of mixed drinks with vodka and other spirits".
Bartenders Serena Thomas, 27, and Nikolas Vagenas, 24, who were served eggplant and mushroom pizzas by Ocasio-Cortez, rated the congresswoman's customer service. "You can tell she knows what you feel".
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