Last week, my Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) colleagues and I passed a resolution committing to add 320,000 new housing units to the region by 2030, and making the majority of them affordable to low and moderate-income residents. We will work across jurisdictions and with nonprofits and the private sector to make this happen. The Urban Institute recently released a study indicating that, if we do not act urgently on housing, nearly 220,000 more families could be priced out of our region. The cost of inaction is too high, so I am proud of this incredible milestone.
At-Large Councilmember Robert White’s Statement on Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Oversight
In this week’s legislative session, the DC Council voted to reorganize the Committee on Finance and Revenue and to place the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) under the Committee on Facilities and Procurement, which I chair. With this reorganization, my committee will have an opportunity to continue performing strong oversight and maintaining our focus on safety, accountability, transparency, efficiency, and equity for District residents.
I started the month of July by writing a second letter to the Board of Directors for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) requesting for a public hearing to discuss the policing of African-American children. I wrote the letter after viewing a video of Metro Transit Police officers acting inappropriately and violently toward a group of African-American children and another African-American. As Chair of the Committee on Facilities and Procurement, WMATA is now under my purview, and I am planning to hold hearings on this and other WMATA issues when the Council returns from recess. To read my letters in their entirety click here and here .
This is an urgent matter to both improve public safety and protect the rights of our children
The recent spate of attacks against LGBTQ members of our community is part of a pattern of violence in our city and around the country, and it has to stop. We cannot and will not tolerate hate crimes such as these in the District of Columbia. No one should endure the terror of being targeted and attacked for being who they are. I want my LGBTQ neighbors to know that I see you, I hear you, I support you, and I am deeply troubled and disturbed by these attacks.
“I strongly support Chairman Mendelson’s efforts to remove Councilmember Jack Evans as chair of the Committee on Finance and Revenue and to appoint an ad hoc committee to conduct an investigation. These actions, I hope, will begin to repair the damage done to the public trust.”
Today, Councilmember Robert White introduced the Perinatal Health Worker Training Access Act of 2019 , which establishes a grant program to expand perinatal health worker training programs. The grant would provide women living in Wards 5, 7, and 8 with greater access to high-quality care during their pregnancy, childbirth, and postpartum and to provide residents with training for careers as perinatal health workers.
This month, I was proud to introduce groundbreaking legislation to re-establish voting rights for incarcerated DC residents with felony convictions. The Council unanimously co-introduced the Restore the Vote Amendment Act of 2019, and I thank Attorney General Karl Racine and the advocates for their support.
Councilmember Robert White Introduced Landmark Bill to Restore Voting Rights to Incarcerated Residents with Felony Convictions
Today, At-Large Councilmember Robert White introduced the Restore the Vote Amendment Act of 2019 to re-establish voting rights for DC residents incarcerated with felony convictions. In 1955, before the District of Columbia had home rule, the federal government disenfranchised incarcerated residents.
Yesterday, Councilmember Robert White joined his colleagues in voting to approve the Fiscal Year 2020 Budget for the District of Columbia. White said, “There is no such thing as a perfect budget, but I am proud of the historic investments my colleagues and I made in the people of our city.”