It has been over 55 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his iconic speech in 1963, here in the District, during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom . His name remains synonymous with peace, unity, and social equality. His voice still echoes as a beacon of social justice for our nation.
Many senior citizens fear the rising housing costs will make it almost impossible for them to stay in the District. Those on fixed incomes often do not have enough money to cover increasing costs of rent, medication, utilities, and groceries, so I introduced The Golden Girls Bill .
Just four months ago, we stood on the steps of the Wilson Building to announce the introduction of Restore the Vote Amendment , supported by all members of the DC Council, the Mayor, and the Attorney General. The bill will re-establish the right to vote for District residents who are incarcerated with felonies.
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.