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.
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 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.
I worked hard this budget season to do even more to step up for District residents and communities. What my team and I were able to get done reflected both our commitment to our city and also our dedication to getting better and stronger each year.
I worked hard this budget season to do even more to step up for District residents and communities. What my team and I were able to get done reflected both our commitment to our city and also our dedication to getting better and stronger each year
This month, I was reminded of how precious and endangered DC’s culture is. Shaw’s Metro PCS store, on 7th Street NW, has been playing Go-go music from their outdoor speakers for almost 25 years. The community launched the #DontMuteDC campaign after a complaint from a new neighbor forced the store to turn off the music. I grew up listening to Go-go music, and now I am raising a sixth-generation family of Washingtonians.
The Council is now in what we call “budget season,” when we spend several weeks reviewing the Mayor’s budget proposal, holding budget hearings on all local agencies, and developing committee budget recommendations and reports. As a new committee chair, this budget cycle is different than my last two, so I am spending an incredible amount of time wading through the performance and needs of the agencies within my committee’s jurisdiction to make sure they can meet the needs of our residents.
During Black History Month, we are called to reflect not just on the bold actions of people long gone from this earth, but on how our own actions lead to pain and discrimination. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said that the ultimate measure of our character is not where we stand in times of comfort and convenience, but where we stand in times of challenge and controversy.
In the past month, I reached nearly 800 residents as I brought my office to you by knocking on doors and holding Meet and Greets in Wards 1, 3, and 6. I had a hearing on my Performing Arts Promotion Amendment Act at the end of October and began November with a hearing on my Local Work Opportunity Tax Credit Amendment A ct and Economic Development Return on Investment legislation. Finally, the Washington City Paper penned an article highlighting my work with returning citizens.