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Issues

DC is one of the wealthiest cities in the nation: our budget each year is more than $15 billion. With resources like this every one of our neighbors should have a safe home they can afford to stay in and every person, no matter their income or race, should have access to quality health care. Every child should go to a school with the staff and resources they need to learn, every worker in our city should earn a living wage. And we should be able to protect the economic well-being of DC residents through the COVID-19 pandemic. Ensuring these rights will make us stronger as a city. They are what I will fight for as Councilmember At-Large.

Equity in Education

Every single school in DC should have the resources it needs for students to thrive — particularly our neighborhood public schools. Right now DC works to make sure investments in our public schools are equal, but fails to make sure they are equitable. This means schools in well-resourced communities operate at an advantage.

As chair of the education finance commission, I fought to give more resources to high-poverty schools and won. I’ll do the same as Councilmember At-Large. I’ll work to make sure our education investments are equitable and will hold school leaders accountable for funding decisions. I’ll fight for affordable and high-quality early childhood education for all families, as well as better education resources for adults in training. I’ll also fight for economic justice, the single most important way to empower families raising children.

Ed’s wins on equity in education

Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis

How we deal with COVID-19 is an urgent matter of life and death and financial survival for many. The impacts of the crisis also will dominate DC budget and policy decisions long after the pandemic is over. Read more about Ed’s vision for what DC needs to do to protect DC families as we recover from this crisis:

Housing Is a Human Right

DC is in the midst of an affordable housing emergency. Entire neighborhoods and communities have been displaced over the last two decades. Rising housing costs shouldn’t push anyone out of their home or our city.

As Councilmember At-Large I’ll fight to double DC’s investment in affordable housing. We should commit to creating affordable housing over the next decade for every family at risk of being displaced. DC leaders already know what it would take to accomplish this, but they have failed to fund it.

Read Ed’s full platform: Affordable Housing: The Foundation of Stable Communities and an Equitable DC

Ed’s wins on housing

Preventing an Eviction Crisis

Thousands of DC families are at risk of losing their homes in the coming months because the pandemic took away their jobs and ability to pay rent or mortgage. Our leaders have done virtually nothing to stop this wave of evictions and foreclosures. We can’t let that happen.

It would be a moral and policy failure if even one family lost their home because their job disappeared in the pandemic. A crush of evictions would be devastating to the DC economy — especially to Black and brown communities — and it would make our community’s pandemic recovery even longer.

Read Ed’s full platform: No Pandemic Evictions: A Call to Protect DC Residents

Ed's plan to stop evictions

Endorsements

Ed is building a grassroots coalition to create a more equitable DC. He is proud to be endorsed by the following elected officials and community organizations:

DC’s Progressive Leaders

Karl A. Racine

DC Attorney General

Elissa Silverman

DC Councilmember, At-Large

Janeese Lewis George

Democratic Nominee, DC Council Ward 4

Brianne K. Nadeau

DC Councilmember, Ward 1

Zachary Parker

DC State Board of Education, Ward 5

Emily Gasoi

DC State Board of Education, Ward 1

Ruth Wattenberg

DC State Board of Education, Ward 3

Karen Williams

DC State Board of Education, Ward 7

DC’s Unions & Working Families

Hotel & Hospitality Workers

Building & Airport Workers

DC's Union Families

Metro & Bus Operators

Grocery & Retail Workers

Construction Workers

Public Works Employees

Educators

Construction Tradespeople

DC's Nurses

Nurses

Service Workers

Government Workers

Health Care Workers

Airport Workers

Pipe Workers

Nonprofit Workers

Electrical Workers

DC’s Grassroots & Progressive Community

DC’s Environmental Activists

An Economy for Everyone

Every worker in DC deserves to earn a fair, living wage, and every resident who seeks a job should be able to find one. Shift workers should have fair scheduling practices and should be able to work full-time if they want. Gig workers should earn a minimum wage. When our government funds major projects, those should create good-quality jobs with wage and benefit standards for both the construction jobs and permanent positions. We should make sure teachers earn a fair wage, in both DCPS and public charter schools, and in our early childhood sector. As Councilmember At-Large I will fight to make DC’s economy more just and support the working families in our city.

Ed’s wins on an economy for everyone

Health Care Justice

The neighborhoods most heavily impacted by violence have no trauma center. The one hospital currently open in those neighborhoods does not have the resources it needs. We have the highest rates of Black maternal mortality in the nation. As a city, we are making access to health care harder for people who need it the most.

We must care about the health of every neighbor and every community. As Councilmember At-Large I’ll work to address DC’s health care deserts and make sure every resident, no matter their race or income, can get the care they need to stay healthy.

Ed’s wins on health care justice

A Moral Budget That Lives Up to Our Values

The DC Council has a long history of introducing exciting programs and policies — but then failing to fund them or make them real. That has to change.

Our budget is where we turn priorities into practice, and it’s time we had a Councilmember who knows how to put our money to work for the city we believe in. An effective budget should reflect our values, and it requires serious oversight to ensure the programs we fund are doing the most for DC families. I have spent the last two decades of my career fighting for a better, more effective, and more equitable city budget. As Councilmember At-Large I will use this experience to close loopholes, eliminate wasteful subsidies, and invest instead in the programs that address the needs of everyone in our city.

Ed’s wins on a fair budget

Community-Based Safety

We must seize this moment to reject a policing-first approach to public safety and fully embrace a community-based public health approach instead. The 2019 Jails & Justice Task Force, which I had the honor to contribute to, agreed on several key principles for improving public safety, including: a stronger safety net; a recognition of how trauma affects many low-income Black and brown residents; an emphasis on community mediation; and improved behavioral health services. Our greatest safety challenges, including the scourge of gun violence, will be best addressed through a community investment approach.

We must work to create a peaceful community where no one fears for their safety as a result of their race, ethnicity, gender, sexual or gender identity, or immigration status.

Ed’s plan for public safety

Supporting DC’s Small Businesses

I’m the son of a small business owner — my dad ran the Sioux City Bakery. I know the heart and hard work that goes into running a small business and making it a beloved part of the community. DC’s small business owners are our neighbors — not faceless corporate entities. They hire local residents, invest in our neighborhoods and bring character and vitality to our communities.

Local small businesses are an opportunity for families and communities to build generational wealth and a way to close the huge wealth gap between Black and white residents. As Councilmember At-Large I’ll work to help all local small businesses survive from the pandemic. I will work to ensure that long-time Black and Brown-owned businesses, like Sankofa, are not forced out of the District. I will fight to make it easier to start a local business, particularly for residents of color, by improving access to capital, simplifying the licensing process and incentivizing the hiring of local DC residents.

Ed’s plan to strengthen small business

Standing Up for LGBTQ+ Residents

The moment we’re in now reminds us that we must fight for a society that embraces everyone for who they are and protects everyone who fears for their safety simply because of their identity. DC is in many ways a welcoming place to be LGBTQ+, and stands out as having a large share of people who openly identify as LGBT in the U.S., yet problems still exist for many in this community. Transgender residents, and especially transgender residents of color and transgender youth, face police harassment, job discrimination, homelessness, and hunger. Many LGBTQ+ seniors face isolation. And hate crimes are still all too common.

Read more: Ed’s full platform for supporting DC’s LGBTQ+ residents

Ed’s plan to fight for LGBTQ+ residents

Building Equitable, Affordable Transporation

The District must support a robust range of transportation options to reflect the mobility we want to encourage and create alternatives to driving. That will require a public transit system that is accessible and affordable for all, protected bicycle lanes throughout the city, and city planning that prioritizes pedestrians and their safety. This will help us reduce carbon emissions, improve air quality, reduce traffic congestion, and improve safety.

Ed’s plan for equitable transportation

Justice for People With Disabilities

People with disabilities face issues accessing many public services: education, housing, transportation, health care, job training, and more. Everyone benefits from the contributions of people with disabilities and a fully inclusive community requires designing services that create universal access.

That’s why in addition to special services offered through DC’s Department on Disability Services, every DC government agency should focus on access and inclusion of people with disabilities. 

There are a number of discrete issues that demand action. DC’s Developmental Disabilities Administration only serves adults with intellectual disability, while turning away adults with autism or other developmental disabilities. There are insufficient housing services for residents who get services through the Department of Behavioral Health, even though stable housing is critical to managing behavioral health challenges. Services are often siloed in multiple agencies rather than being coordinated. Direct care workers who meet the daily needs of people with disabilities are underpaid, making it hard for them to support their families and hard to fill staffing needs.

Ed's plan to fight for access and inclusion for people with disabilities

Protecting and Supporting Our Immigrant Neighbors

Everyone who lives in our community should be welcomed and treated with dignity. Immigrants who are undocumented or living in DC under a special status like Temporary Protected Status (TPS) are our neighbors, do some of the most important jobs in our economy, add to our cultural vitality, and are key to our economic future. A city that says it cares about immigrants and their sanctuary should do everything it can to not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement that may lead to deportation and tearing families apart. Supporting immigrants is not only morally right, it’s critical to a successful community. If we don’t invest in the education, health care, and economic security of undocumented immigrants, our community will suffer.

Read more: Ed’s full platform for supporting our immigrant neighbors

Ed's plan to fight for our immigrant neighbors

Responding to the Climate Crisis

The climate crisis is the most urgent enduring challenge facing our planet. The District must do its share to address it, with a focus on racial equity in acknowledgement that climate change disproportionately harms marginalized communities.

The Clean Energy DC Act embraces a bold vision for moving to renewable energy, and now we must turn it into reality: bringing solar energy to 100,000 lower-income households, mandating that all new homes and commercial buildings rely entirely on electricity, renovating public housing to address both health hazards and energy efficiency, and converting DC’s vehicle fleet to be all-electric.

We also must improve access to public transit, through more bus routes and reliable service in the low-income communities that rely on them the most, and by making public transit affordable, and ultimately free.

Ed’s wins on climate and environment

Fighting for Statehood

It’s more important than ever for DC residents to fight for our dignity and for the full rights of statehood.

If you ever wondered how the lack of DC Statehood affects us, it’s painfully clear today. Congress gave every state at least $1.25 billion in COVID-19 relief, but it intentionally chose to not treat us as a state and give us less — $500 million. Congress shortchanged the District by over $750 million, something that never could have happened if we had achieved statehood. 

And we are closer than ever to success, with federal legislation co-sponsored by a majority of House members for the first time in over two decades , and a Democratic presidential candidate who supports statehood. 

We need to keep the momentum going, by supporting organizations that are helping make DC statehood a national voting rights issue. We need to continue demonstrating that DC is stable and as well managed as any state, fully ready to handle our own affairs. We need to strengthen state institutions, like the University of the District of Columbia, and continue to push the federal government to turn over responsibilities, like our criminal justice system.

Expanding Democracy

As we seize this historic opportunity to highlight and address systemic racism, one important goal should be to strengthen our democracy — to ensure that Black and brown voters matter. When we work to ensure equitable access to voting, we will elect leaders who truly reflect our community’s priorities, making it more likely DC will take bold steps to dismantle systemic racism.

The hours-long lines at DC’s polling places during the June 2 primary and innumerable unfulfilled requests for absentee ballots were powerful reminders that DC residents are eager to participate in elections. It is clear, however, that we have major problems.

We need to take additional action to make sure that Black and brown residents can register to vote, that all registered voters get ballots and can return them easily, and that all ballots are counted. As a community we should work with the Board of Elections to make maximum participation a reality in the November 2020 election and in every future election.

Read Ed’s full platform: Expanding Democracy: Making Black and Brown Votes Matter

Ed's plan to expand our democracy

Supporting DC’s Artists

Arts enrich our lives in deep and meaningful ways that cannot be measured. The arts and artists are essential to the thoughtful, vibrant makeup of the District. Artists provide vital services and invaluable resources to children, families, and individuals. The arts provide essential space for synthesis, reflection, interrogation and community building at a time when our society places an undue focus on standardized testing and corporate achievement. Artists deserve our support because they help us realize our full humanity.

I understand that the way in which artists currently operate is not sustainable. I think the DC government has a critically important role to play in ensuring that artists can flourish and contribute to the quality of life for all of us.

Read Ed’s full platform: Supporting DC’s Arts, Artists, and Arts Education

Ed's plan to support DC’s artists

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