Homeless Families interrupt DC City Council Budget Hearing, demand housing for all

This Monday, families staying from the DC General Family Shelter entered the Budget Support Act Hearing to the tune of a gospel song. Children delivered small houses to DC City Council members, including Chairman Kwame Brown, and the families urged the Council to oppose Mayor Gray’s proposed cuts to housing services.

Here’s some more media coverage of the action:

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TWITTER ATTACK! For May 2nd & 3rd Mark-Ups!

We’re at that point in the budget where Councilmembers start negotiating within their committees. Today (Wednesday) and Tomorrow (Thursday) Councilmembers need to hear from us to prioritize restoring funding to safety net services.

To make our voices heard during mark-ups, we are going to communicate directly with Councilmembers… through Tweets! Join our Twitter Attack to make sure the Council know the pressure is on to restore funding! Please use the below twitter suggestions to tweet at Council today and tomorrow as they decide what to fund in their committees.

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Committee on Human Services – WEDNESDAY markup Noon

Send these tweets to: @JimGrahamWard1 (chair), @TommyWells, @CMYMA, @marionbarryjr, @CMMichaelABrown

 

Homeless families/funding:

· End the Hunger Games: restore homeless services gap and put 250 families in housing! #dcfy13

· Looking forward to [insert Councilmember] supporting homeless kids in #dcfy13 budget

· Cuts hurt in #dcfy13. Please restore homeless services $ [insert Councilmember]

· Don’t gamble with kids’ lives: invest in affordable housing for 250 families in #dcfy13.

· Everyone deserves a safe place to sleep. That won’t happen without your #dcfy13 vote [insert Councilmember].

· Kids need homes. So do grown-ups. $$ for homeless services, affordable housing in #dcfy13!

 

TANF:

· [insert Councilmember] Could you & family live on $257/mo? Pls don’t force #TANF families to try. #dcfy13

· [insert Councilmember] Pls give #TANF families a chance to benefit from program improvements before more benefits cuts. #dcfy13

· [insert Councilmember] Pls don’t punish #TANF families 4 program failures. Postpone benefits cuts in #dcfy13 budget.

 

Interim Disability Assistance:

· [Insert Councilmember] Support DC residents waiting for #SSI – Support DC residents waiting for #SSI – restore $2.4M to Interim Disability Assistance. #dcfy13

· [Insert Councilmember] Only $270/month – it’s the least DC can do. Fully fund Interim Disability Assistance. #dcfy13

 

Committee on Housing and Workforce Development – WEDNESDAY markup 11 am (NOW!)

Send these tweets to: @CMMichaelABrown (chair), @marionbarryjr, @VincentOrangeDC

 

Homeless families/funding:

· End the Hunger Games: restore homeless services gap and put 250 families in housing! #dcfy13

· Looking forward to [insert Councilmember] supporting homeless kids in #dcfy13 budget

· Cuts hurt in #dcfy13. Please restore homeless services $ [insert Councilmember]

· Don’t gamble with kids’ lives: invest in affordable housing for 250 families in #dcfy13.

· Everyone deserves a safe place to sleep. That won’t happen without your #dcfy13 vote [insert Councilmember].

· Kids need homes. So do grown-ups. $$ for homeless services, affordable housing in #dcfy13!

Committee on the Judiciary – THURSDAY markup 11 am

Send these tweets to: @JackEvansWard2, @marycheh, @MurielBowser, @marionbarryjr

 

Victim Services:

· D.C. can’t ignore the needs of domestic violence victims – fund victim services bit.ly/ovsfy13 #dcfy13

· Without more victim services $ #dcfy13, we’ll all face the consequences. [insert Councilmember] bit.ly/ovsfy13

· Without action by [insert Councilmember] domestic violence shelters will decrease beds. Fund Victim Services! #dcfy13

· D.C. can’t turn more victims away from life-saving services. Fund victim services bit.ly/ovsfy13 #dcfy13

 

Committee on Health – THURSDAY markup Noon

Send these tweets to: @marycheh, @TommyWells, @CMYMA, @marionbarryjr

Healthcare Alliance:

· Health care is a human right! Restore funding for Alliance #dcfy13

· [insert Councilmember] Support a healthy DC – fight to restore Alliance! #dcfy13

Committee of the Whole (Education) – THURSDAY markup 5 pm

Send these tweets to: @Kwamebrowndc (chair), @JackEvansWard2, @marycheh, @MurielBowser, @TommyWells, @CMYMA, @marionbarryjr, @CMMichaelABrown, @VincentOrangeDC

 

Adult Education:

· [Insert Councilmember] Let’s ensure GEDs for all. Invest $1.1M in the Accelerated Learning Initiative. #dcfy13

· [Insert Councilmember] Increase job opps for #DC residents with $1.1M in the Accelerated Learning Initiative. #dcfy13

 

Child Care:

· [Insert Councilmember] 5.7 million cut from child care = 400 more families without childcare. Fund the subsidy #dcfy13

· [Insert Councilmember] Please restore childcare funds from local $ and help teen moms stay in school. #dcfy13

· [Insert Councilmember] Over 40k families eligible for the child care subsidy voucher program. Fund it! #dcfy13

· Over 10,000 families on waiting lists of child care centers in the District. More to come without more $! #dcfy13

· Make the intake process for child care more accessible so families can return to work and school. #dcfy13

· Raise childcare providers reimbursement rates up to 2010 market so providers can stay in business! #dcfy13

Homeless Kids Lead Gospel Flash Mob at Budget Support Act Hearing

In the wake of Mayor Vincent Gray’s proposed budget cuts to critical housing, homelessness, and family support services, sixty homeless children and parents interrupted the Budget Support Act hearing today and handed their city representatives hand-painted houses with the message “Kids Need Homes” written on them, as a young man sang a gospel song. The kids and their parents are among 283 families currently staying at the DC General family shelter. With the houses, they also delivered a message to their councilmembers: “Every child needs a safe place to sleep. That won’t happen without your vote.”

The families took over the hearing because unprecedented numbers of children are suffering from homelessness in the nation’s capital today and no children are being placed in shelter right now because there is no space. One mother, Tiffany McLeod expressed her frustration with the lack of a safety net for families experiencing homelessness: “I have two young children and we need housing. I don’t want to see anybody’s kids sleeping on the street.”

Despite the astronomical increase in the demand for shelter and affordable housing, the Mayor’s proposed budget for FY13 includes a $7 million gap in homeless services funding, no new investment in affordable housing programs, and a proposed $5.6 million cut in TANF (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families). If this cut isn’t restored, hundreds of children will be forced to sleep in unsafe places like parks and abandoned buildings and DC will have to close half of its men and women’s shelters next spring.

From 2008-2011, family homelessness increased by 46% in the District; nationally, it only increased by 1% in that same period. Between March of 2011 and March 2012, the number of families in DC’s hypothermia shelter and motels skyrocketed 138%. This increase correlates directly with the lack of affordable housing in the District, the second least affordable housing jurisdiction in the nation.

Housing ends homelessness, and it is far less expensive than shelters and motels. According to Amber W. Harding, a staff attorney at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, “At a cost of only $4 million in 2013, DC could place 250 families in affordable housing, actually save money this year, and provide shelter to more families desperately in need. And it would be a far more humane approach to homelessness.”

 

Recently, Tyanna, a sixth grader who lives at DC General family shelter wrote an essay about being homeless: “Being homeless is a big challenge for me because my family and I do not have any money for us to get on the bus or to get a house. The only things we can afford are clothes and shoes. We have to get tokens from the school in order to get on the bus. When my brothers and sisters and I come home late we are not able to eat dinner. We have to eat Bowl of Noodles and other instant ramen noodles for dinner. This makes me feel sad because every time we are late we always have to eat noodles and it never fills us up.”

The families who came out to the hearing today will not rest until the DC Council passes a budget that responds to the crisis that they’re experiencing. “We want to stop the budget cuts. We’re doing everything we can,” Taujah Stroud stated, “We hope if we bring enough people down here, they’ll see that we actually do need housing.”

Now we can look ahead! Our last giant push for a just and inclusive budget is May 10th from 10am-12pm, when we will host “A Day in the Strife,” at the John A. Wilson building, during which community members and advocates will meet at City Hall and give City Council members a “tour” of life on the poverty line. We hope you’ll join us!

Open Letter to Neighbors About the Proposed Alcohol Sales Extensions

This letter was written by Fair Budget campaign organizer Janelle Treibitz to her neighbors in Mt Pleasant. Councilmember Jim Graham has expressed concern over the extended hours for alcohol sales and is holding a hearing to take comments on the issue. He wrote to the neighborhood listserve encouraging Ward 1 residents to testify. Janelle wrote the below open letter in response.

(The hearing is Tuesday, April 17 at 5pm in Room 500 in the Wilson Building. Contact Malcolm Cameron at (202) 724-8191 if you wish to sign up to testify.)

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Dear Neighbors,

When I’m not working with Mt Pleasant neighbors, I am working for the Fair Budget Coalition which tries to make sure that the city budget maintains support for the services and programs that low-income District residents rely on. I wanted to weigh in on the issue of the proposal by the Mayor to extend the hours that stores can sell alcohol. I am not writing to support or oppose this proposal or to tell you what you should do. I do, however, want to put this proposal in context so that you can take that into consideration when you voice your opinion.

The city is facing a roughly $172M budget shortfall. This means that we don’t have enough money to cover our costs. To balance the budget, the Mayor proposed major cuts in spending (largely to affordable housing programs and social services) and he proposed raising some new revenue (like extending the hours for alcohol sales). This means that if there is a large outcry against extending alcohol sales hours, Councilmembers, will eliminate that revenue option from the budget and we will most likely end up with more cuts to housing or social services. (Or if Councilmembers try to shift money around to save some of the programs that have been cut, then there will be less money available for them to do that.)

Let me just tell you from being on the ground that we can’t afford any more budget cuts. There have been massive cuts over the last 4 years, with some programs and services losing over 30% of their budgets. Some agencies have had to close and the safety net that low-income people rely on has been badly eroded. The results are evidenced by the 138% increase in family homelessness since last year. The city is paying for 160 homeless families to stay in hotels because the family shelter is full and they have now stopped accepting any new homeless families at all. Their current solution for any new families needing shelter is to refer them to Child Family Protective Services to put the kids in foster care while the parents remain on the streets.

If you want to oppose the hours extension but also want to prevent cuts to housing and social services…

The Council does have other revenue options they could choose to use if they had the political will to do so. Earlier this year it was revealed that the city has $240 million of surplus money from fiscal year 2011. Mayor Gray has proposed to put this entire amount in DC’s savings account and to go ahead with major cuts to programs and to raise money by extending alcohol bar hours and putting up more speed cameras. Why is any of this necessary if we could use (at most) half of the surplus funds for smart one-time investments that could help cover the budget gap? So if you want the Council to ditch the extended alcohol sales hours but you also want affordable housing and homeless services in the District, then tell Councilmembers to use the FY2011 surplus as an alternative to extending liquor sales hours.

If you want to support the hours extension and also want to prevent cuts to housing and social services…

The revenue raised by the hours extension pales in comparison to what could be available if the Council opted to use some of the FY2011 surplus. (“Some”, I’m not saying “all”.) We need more revenue to prevent the major cuts proposed. When you weigh in with your opinion on the hours extension, please also encourage Councilmembers to use the FY2011 surplus to restore funding to the programs that have been cut.

If you want to find out more about the budget and the proposed cuts…

Fair Budget Coalition is in the middle of a big effort to try to prevent the cuts that Mayor Gray has proposed. You can learn more about that effort at makeonecitypossible.org or just email me and I’ll be happy to update you on what’s going on or put you on our list to receive action alerts: makeonecitypossible@gmail.com

A list of some of the major cuts with brief explanations is here: http://bit.ly/GUEB1W

And the DC Fiscal Policy Institute is an excellent source of hard data and analysis on budget and other issues: www.dcfpi.org

Thanks for consideration on this. Hope to see you around the neighborhood soon!

Janelle Treibitz

Fair Budget Coalition (by day!)

Mt Pleasant Neighborhood Assembly (by night!)

makeonecitypossible@gmail.com

Twitter: @FairBudgetDC

Facebook: Fair Budget Coalition

(The opinions represented here are my own.)

Budget Campaign Planning Session on Saturday!

This Saturday, the Fair Budget Coalition will be hosting a Campaign Planning Session to refocus the budget campaign on the City Council and figure out together what creative strategies and actions we will be pursuing.



FAIR BUDGET CAMPAIGN PLANNING SESSION

Saturday, March 31st,

1:00pm-4:00pm

At So Others Might Eat (60 0 St NW)

Snacks will be provided.

How can we convince City Council to invest in solutions to end poverty and homelessness?

Join advocates, social service providers, activists and community members as we come together to plan for the next round in the budget battle!

We definitely need your brains and your imagination, so we hope you can come!

RSVP to MakeOneCityPossible@gmail.com or call Kristi Matthews at 202-328-1262

the budget rundown

The Mayor released his budget today and there wasn’t much good news for us. There was a $172M budget shortfall which the Mayor filled with $102.7M in spending cuts and $69.4M in new revenue. Our initial calculations tell us that around $65M of the cuts were from Housing and Human Services. Which is the same story as last year: the vast majority of cuts come out of safety net services.

Upon first blush, some of the most damaging cuts were to the Health Alliance, the Housing Production Trust Fund, Homeless Services and Childcare Subsidies, among others.

OUR REACTION

All of these major cuts left us with some questions:

►Why is the Mayor cutting $19.9M from the Housing Production Trust Fund (in what amounts to a financial gimmick to pay for Local Rent Supplements) when he could have used the $240M revenue surplus to make a one-time investment? Instead, he put the entire surplus in DC’s savings account and chose to vastly reduce the creation of new affordable housing in DC.

►The top concern at the Mayor’s One City Summit was “affordable housing”. Why didn’t he listen?

►How much in back-end costs will result from the major cuts to the Health Alliance when people can’t afford to pay their hospital bills?

►When 85% of District residents have said they prefer raising high income taxes rather than seeing budget cuts, why did the Mayor again choose massive cuts and no new taxes?

►With teen moms already dropping out of high school because they can’t find childcare, what will the impact of cuts to childcare subsidies have on high school graduation rates?

►With all these major cuts, why is the mayor prioritizing a tax break for people who are investing outside of the District? Why would he even consider repealing the bond tax if he finds extra revenue?

THE NUMBERS:

Here is as much as we know about the cuts and revenue at this early stage. These numbers are not fully confirmed, they are our best understanding from the information we have. We will update you as soon as we have more solid

information. Please let us know if we’re missing anything:

Major Cuts:

•DC Health Alliance Cut $23M: They are planning to restructure DCHA so that it only covers primary care, preventative care and specialty care. It cuts out hospital visits altogether.

•Housing Production Trust Fund Cut $19.9M : Mayor Gray took that money out of the Trust Fund in order to fund Local Rent Supplement Program. Same maneuver he did last year which lost the HPTF $18M in FY2012’s budget.

•Medicaid Reimbursement Rates Cut by $8M

•Homeless Services Cut $7M: Our understanding is that this was a loss in federal funding that is not being replaced. But the budget is really unclear on these numbers so we may discover more about the state of Homeless Services in the next couple of weeks.

•DHCD Housing Grants Cut $6.1M This was also a loss in federal funds that is not being replaced.

•Childcare Subsidies Cut $5.7M Childcare subsidies has already been cut $20M over the last 5 years.

•Victim’s Services Cut $1.2M, a 12% cut for them.

•Permanent Supportive Housing Cut $1.4M

New Revenue:

•Forgoing Pay-Go drain out of operating budget: Raising $50M

•Increased traffic calming initiatives (mostly speed cameras): Raising $24.8M

•Expanded sales hours for alcoholic beverages (until 4am): Raising $5.3M

•Reduced inflation adjustment for standard deduction, personal exemption, and homestead deduction from five years to one year: Raising $12.0M

THE MAYOR’S WISH LIST

The Mayor’s “Revised Revenue Priority List”, basically a “Wish List”, is more like a symbolic acknowledgement than a real possibility. But acknowledge us he did, with safety net services dominating the list (which make sense given how unbalanced his cuts to those services proved).

His list:

1. Homeless Services $7M

2. TANF $14.7M

3. Health Alliance $23M

4. Housing Production Trust Fund $19.9M

5. Victim’s Services $2.6M

6. Repeal the Out-of-State Bond Tax $1.1M

7. Infant and Toddler services $8.6M

8. Special Education capacity building $5M

9. Replace loss of federal grants to DHS $1.6M

10. HPAP for affordable housing assistance $2.9M

11. School based mental health initiatives $1.9M

12. Small Business Property Tax Relief $10 M

A 3-Step Guide to Evaluating the Mayor’s Budget

Budget Release PR Two Pager

Contact: Janelle Treibitz

646-734-6705; MakeOneCityPossible@gmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 23, 2012

@FairBudgetDC

Washington, DC: On Friday, March 23, 2012 Mayor Vince Gray releases the city budget for Fiscal Year 2013. The Fair Budget Coalition, a group with 74 member organizations consisting of service providers, advocates and community members, offers the following guidelines for evaluating the Mayor’s budget:

1) Does the budget address current needs?br />
Family homelessness: Between 2008 and 2011 family homelessness in the District increased by 46%, and the number of families in shelter and hotels this year is 138% higher than last year. Despite that, hundreds of families will be sleeping in cars, on the street, or in other unsafe settings for the next six months because the Administration has no plan to place any other family in shelter until next winter. Is the Mayor addressing the exponentially expanding need?

Affordable housing: Over 40,000 households, 19,000 of which are homeless, are on the waiting list for subsidized housing. A family has to work 136 hours a week at minimum wage job to afford a two-bedroom apartment. Affordable Housing was the number one priority for participants of the One City Summit. Despite that, the Housing Production Trust Fund was cut by $18 million last year. The Local Rent Supplement Program has a shortfall of over $8 million next fiscal year—which means people will lose their housing if that gap is not filled. What has the Mayor done for affordable housing in this budget?

Illiteracy: Currently in DC, one in three adults over the age of 16 are functionally illiterate. Yet, over the last several years, $1.2M has been cut from literacy program in the District. What has the Mayor done for literacy programs in this budget?

Disability Assistance: DC residents who cannot work due to a disability and have no income rely on Interim Disability Assistance (IDA), a modest subsidy of $270 a month, while they wait months or even years to be approved for Social Security. Despite the effectiveness of this program, the Mayor eliminated it in the FY 12 proposed budget, but the Council partially restored funding. Will this crucial program be eliminated this year?

Child care: Since 2007, child care programs have been cut by more than $20 million, leading to fewer child care options for families who want to work but cannot afford the rising cost of care. Meanwhile, families on Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF) are expected to find work in a recession, without adequate child care resources. Will the trend of cuts to child care continue?

Victims Services: Since the recession began, $4 million has been cut from the Office of Victim Services for programs that serve victims and survivors of crime and domestic violence. Will the Mayor stop further cuts to services for victims of domestic violence and crime?

2) Did the Mayor take a balanced approach to the budget?

Spending cuts: Last year, 60% of budget cuts came from housing and human services, though those services make up only 25% of the local budget. Were cuts this year similarly disproportionate?

Revenue: Last year the Mayor proposed a modest income tax increase to offset spending cuts. Has he equally balanced cuts with new revenue this year?

Surplus revenue: The city currently has a $240 million end of the year surplus from FY 2011. Yet in FY 11, the Mayor made millions of dollars in cuts to housing and human services. Will the Mayor use some of the surplus to make one-time investments in housing and human services, or will he put all of the money in savings?

3) Is the budget responsive to community input?

►At the Mayor’s One City Summit, the top concern of DC residents was “Lack of affordable housing”, closely followed by “Income Inequality.” Has the Mayor been responsive to these concerns in his budget?

►According to a Hart research poll conducted last year, 85% of DC residents supported raising income tax rates on higher income residents over cuts to services (with 90% support in Ward 3.)

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What Can DC Do to Stop the Dramatic Rise in Family Homelessness?

Originally posted at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute

By Amber Harding, Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

DC is in the midst of a family homelessness crisis. Why is this happening? What can we do about it?

First, the numbers. Family homelessness has increased by 46 percent since 2008, while across the nation the increase in homeless has been 1 percent. Not surprisingly, DC’s shelter system for families is overwhelmed. On March 4th, some 282 families were living in DC General — the city’s winter family shelter – the highest number that shelter has ever held. But even that is not enough to meet the demand. Another 128 families are in temporary shelter, 223 families have been placed in hotels, and 560 are on the pending list for shelter.

(It’s also worth noting that the need for shelter among single adults, particularly women, also has outstripped the supply in recent years.)

Is this all the result of the Great Recession? Rising unemployment has no doubt pushed more families to the edge, but primary causes of DC’s homeless crisis are deeper and will remain after the recession recedes. Homelessness in DC is caused primarily by the lack of affordable housing and extreme poverty. DC is quickly losing its affordable housing stock and has long had a poverty rate high above the national average. A parent would have to work 136 hours a week at minimum wage to afford a two-bedroom apartment at the “fair market rent.”

If housing has been unaffordable in DC for a long time, why the drastic increase in family homelessness over the last few years? A disinvestment in affordable housing programs is a significant factor.

In 2007 and 2008, DC invested considerably in long- term affordable housing, particularly through the Local Rent Supplement Program. Since then, the majority of funding for homeless families has been in the form of short-term rental subsidy programs. This has been successful in other jurisdictions where homelessness stems from temporary joblessness and where housing is generally affordable. However, the majority of families in DC shelters need long-term subsidies to avoid cycling back into homelessness. For some families, short-term assistance may be the right approach, but for others it is not enough to get them to the point where they can afford DC’s very high rents.

DC is paying the cost of the increase in family homelessness both literally and in human terms. Hotels are expensive – $3,000 per month per family—and yet offer minimally supportive services, These kinds of services leave yet another generation growing up homeless, struggling to meet even the most basic of needs.

DC can take simple and effective steps to decrease family homelessness:

1. DC could clear the hotels and the DC General shelter by placing 515 families into permanent affordable housing, at a cost of $7.7 million per year. If this happens before next winter, it would greatly reduce the pressure on the shelter system, serve more families, and eliminate the need to place families in expensive hotels.

2. DC agencies like the DC Housing Authority and the Department of Human Services could collaborate to prevent families from losing affordable housing by connecting tenants to services that would prevent eviction.

3. DC could invest in a pilot program to provide intensive employment supports and stable housing to homeless families receiving TANF. By pairing employment and housing help, the program would reduce homelessness and increase the success of welfare-to-work efforts. About 150 families could be helped for $2.25 million.

4. Reinvest in core long term affordable housing programs, such as the Housing Production Trust Fund, the Local Rent Supplement Program, and the Housing First program. (For more details on these last few recommendations, see the Fair Budget Coalition’s report.)

Media from the One City (in Crisis) Summit

Check out some of the media coverage of the One City (in Crisis) Summit below. Tweet and share these stories with others. If you haven’t called or emailed the Mayor, there’s still time. Call now!

Call or email today to urge the Mayor to Spend some of the Surplus and Stop Cutting the Safety Net!

Mayor Gray is finishing up his budget as you read this, trying to figure out how to close DC’s $164 million budget gap. We’ve been told the Mayor has not had much interest in raising new revenue and instead is looking to again slash the budgets for safety net services in order to close the gap.

 

This is our last opportunity to intervene with the Mayor! Please help us tell Mayor Gray that he should close the budget gap by raising new revenue and by spending some of DC’s $240 million in surplus revenue. Help us tell him, above all, he needs to STOP cutting the services low income DC residents rely on.

 

Please email the message below toeom@dc.gov, AND call the Mayor at 202-727-6263 using the phone script below as a guide, then send this to 10 friends or colleagues and ask them to do the same! We also have informative tweets (also below) you can send!

  • Find out more about the programs that have been badly cut here.
  • Find out more about the new revenue options recommended by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute here.

Thank you for standing with us!

Fair Budget Coalition

FOR EMAILS:

 

Dear Mayor Gray,

 

I am writing because as you finish making decisions about your budget, I request that you prioritize protecting the safety net services that DC residents rely on. I urge you to adopt the new revenue options recommended by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute and to spend some of the FY 2011 surplus revenue on current spending pressures.

 

The gap between the rich and the poor in DC is growing, and safety net programs have been cut drastically when people need them the most. Family homelessness has risen 46% since 2008, one in three children in DC live in poverty, and affordable housing was named at your One City Summit as DC residents’ top priority. Between the surplus and new revenue options, cuts to the safety net should not be on the negotiating table. I ask you to:

 

  • Follow the budget recommendations laid out by the Fair Budget Coalition, which can be found here.
  • Change the law and spend some of the $240 million in surplus revenue to restore funding to programs (like the Housing Production Trust Fund), to delay the TANF cuts and to help close the budget gap.
  • Adopt the new revenue options recommended by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, including their suggestion to forego putting $50 million to pay-go capital. Click here to see their other revenue options.

Please let me know where you stand on these recommendations.

Thank you for your time,

 

===================================================

FOR PHONE CALLS:

Hi, my name is __________ and I am calling today to ask the Mayor to prioritize safety net services in his budget. I urge the Mayor to close the budget gap by raising new revenue and by spending some of the $240 million surplus. I am asking him to stop cutting funding for safety net services. I support the budget recommendations of the Fair Budget Coalition and hope the Mayor is using them to guide his decisions on the budget. With family homelessness and unemployment on the rise, the Mayor needs to use all his resources to protect the safety net.

===================================================

FOR TWEETS (consider using any or all of the following):

 

@mayorvincegray I want you to Make One City Possible by investing in programs & policies that create opportunities to live & work in the DC

 

@mayorvincegray The gap b/n the rich & poor in DC is growing & safety net programs have been cut drastically when people need them the most

 

@mayorvincegray you can Make One City Possible by investing in programs & policies that create opportunities to live & work in DC

 

@mayorvincegray The gap b/n the rich & poor is growing & safety net programs have been cut drastically – makeonecitypossible.com



Pls RT – @mayorvincegray look to revenue solutions to fill the gap instead of the safety netmakeonecitypossible.com #onecityincrisis

 

I’m with @FairBudgetDC – don’t balance the budget by cutting programs for vulnerable residents of DC @mayorvincegray makeonecitypossible.com



With a $240M surplus, why would DC cut the safety again? @mayorvincegray, make one city possible for all: makeonecitypossible.com

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