On Monday July 11th protestors dressed in Mardi Gras clothing, led by Our DC, held a funeral procession, New Orleans-style to protest Pepco’s $42.5 million hike rate. The protest was held at the Public Service Commission, where a hearing on the hike rate was occurring.
The commission must approve the rate hike before it would go into effect. The hearing was held to determine if the proposed rates are reasonable.
Protestors were heard shouting, “Bury it New Orleans style. We’re going to celebrate the death of this rate hike that they don’t need.” A spokesman who wanted to remain anonymous stated that Pepco has earned over $1 billion dollars in profit and have enjoyed $500 million in tax breaks since 2008, while service to the city’s residents is sub par. “What they should do, is use money to make sure residents have great customer service,” one protester said.
Pepco has argued that the hikes are needed to help upgrade the electricity delivery infrastructure and to improve service reliability for their customers. The hike would mean about $5.50 per customer each month. Pepco officials declined to comment on the protest.
OurDC is a non-profit organization that works to bring good jobs to DC’s residents. On their website the organization states:
“The primary mission of OurDC is to ensure that every city resident has a Good paying job, a Good benefits package, and Good working conditions so that all District families can live Good successful lives. In addition to advocating for good job creation, OurDC resolutely supports enforcement of living wage laws and first hiring rights for District residents.
Our organization also works to increase awareness of misdirected corporate and government job creation polices that stifle new job creation. We do so while inspiring city residents to come together in support of solid job opportunities and principles that sustain strong families.”