According to a study commissioned by The Urban Institute in 2016, titled A Vision for an Equitable DC, if DC were a truly racially equitable city:
Does the FY19 budget help us move towards a truly racially equitable District in which more Black and Brown District households could afford their housing, have access to adequate healthcare, living wages, healthy food, and safe communities?
You can click this link to view the full history of our FY19 recommendations.
The FY19 Budget makes important progress in the areas of Economic Justice, Food Access, Equality, and Justice, and Healthcare, and some smaller, incremental progress towards Housing Security and Community Safety:
Additionally, there are some notable highlights in areas outside of FBC’s purview:
However, despite these important gains, the FY19 Budget falls short in advancing a truly racially equitable District. FBC is not confident that by the end of FY19, 63,200 Black and Hispanic households will be lifted from poverty, nor will 26,000 extremely low income households have access to safe, affordable housing. Advancing racial equity in DC will require far more systemic and meaningful changes so that we will truly start seeing different outcomes for Black and other communities of color.
The FY19 budget does not add nearly enough funding in affordable housing to meet the full need, it does not fully support survivors of domestic violence in finding safe housing, it does not add funding to a program that provides start up financing to returning citizens aiming to start businesses, it does not start a carbon rebate program nor decriminalize fare evasion, nor does it fund the reforms to the Healthcare Alliance program to ensure that undocumented immigrants have continued and easier access to healthcare.
These numbers are most starkly manifested in the area of Housing Security.
Though affordable housing and homelessness represent the most important and pressing issue affecting District residents, the DC Council and Mayor continue to fail to designate the resources necessary to address the full housing need. The charts below, developed by the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless and the Way Home Campaign show just how far the District is falling short:
We will continue to fight for a District budget that truly advances racial equity and addresses inequality. We will fight for full funding for Housing Security, Economic Justice, Food Access, Healthcare, Community Safety and Fair Taxes and Public Deals and insist that these programs be prioritized. That means meeting the full need before we offer massive subsidies to Amazon, finance stadiums, subsidize private luxury apartments, cut taxes for wealthy individuals, businesses, and elite financial executives.
We celebrate the small progress that we’ve made but continue to work towards a more just and inclusive District that prioritizes racial equity.