The DC Council is voting on a $14 billion budget next week. From affordable housing, to schools and criminal justice reform, this budget is going to have a huge impact on the future of our city.
Do you know what’s in it? Probably not, because the current Council Chair hasn't released the final budget yet.
We deserve better than this. My opponent has a history of crafting his final budget behind closed doors, with many last-minute surprises, and then releasing it just hours before the Council vote. His budgets in recent years have included attempted raids on housing and environmental funds, forcing residents and advocates to push back at the last minute.
So many things that are important to DC residents depend on money in the budget, from schools to housing to public safety. The budget also is the key tool for addressing our city’s severe economic and racial inequities. That’s why it is essential to have a transparent budget process that allows DC residents to weigh in.
Mayor Bowser holds multiple citizen engagement forums around the District before she releases her budget. Some councilmembers do the same in their ward. The number of budget engagement forums from the current Council Chair? Zero.
Who is Phil listening to? Not you.
I will take a different approach as Council Chair. I will immediately engage DC residents when the Mayor releases her budget, including organizing accessible and public forums throughout the city to get residents’ input.
I also will release my final budget before the vote, giving everyone a chance to review it and weigh in.
When I’m Council Chair, you won’t have to ask who I’m listening to. You know it will be you.
Phil, the clock is ticking down. With 7 days to go, when will you engage voters? When will you release your final budget? We’re all wondering and waiting.