I’ve spent the last twenty years advocating for budgets that wisely use DC’s resources to serve the
needs of all DC families. Now as a candidate for DC Council Chair, I call on Mayor Bowser to advance
a budget for 2019 that will build a fairer economy, narrow our racial wealth inequities, and ensure all DC
residents can continue to afford to live here.
Making Housing Affordable: Preserving and creating housing residents can afford is key to a healthy economy and maintaining DC’s diversity. Mayor Bowser’s $100 million commitment was laudable, but it’s time to move to the next level. The next budget should put us on a short path to doubling DC’s key housing investments, especially the Housing Production Trust Fund and Local Rent Supplement Program.
Ending Homelessness: We know what is needed to end chronic homelessness and help residents move from a tent to their own apartment. The next budget should expand permanent supportive housing, support homeless youth and survivors of violence, and improve the conditions of shelters for single adults.
Supporting our Children: The challenges our high school students face started well before their teen years. To make sure all students have equitable access to a good education, which is critical to closing racial inequities, the next budget should invest in high-quality child care for all infants and toddlers, expand summer and after-school programming, put mental health supports in all schools, and ensure funds intended for high-poverty schools are available to support students.
Investing in a Fair Economy: We should move quickly to implement paid family and medical leave, including all needed start up funds, now that the current Council Chair’s efforts to repeal and replace the program have been stopped. The next budget also should fund solutions to bringing access to affordable and healthy grocery stores to residents in Wards 7 and 8. Creating a Stronger Democracy: Mayor Bowser should fully fund the recently enacted Fair Elections Act to provide public financing for candidates for elected office. It will make our democracy more inclusive and diverse by helping residents run for office even if they do not have access to networks of wealthy donors.
Bold actions to make DC’s economy fairer are possible -- and part of DC’s history. Over the years, we have expanded health care to nearly all residents, made an enormous commitment to renovate DC schools, created universal Pre-K, and expanded support for affordable housing. All it takes is a clear vision and willingness to fight for it.
As your next DC Council Chair, this is the vision I will be fighting for.
- Ed Lazere