- Help us finalize our policy and budget platform for the FY19 budget season
- Descriptions of each recommendation are on the left side of the page, and the voting bar is on the right in a blue box
- Scroll all the way to the bottom to vote for recommendations in each of our 6 issue groups
- Voting will run from Tues. January 2- Wed. January 17th (5pm)
- Fair Budget Coalition members may only vote once (including 1 vote per organization)
- Please contact Monica Kamen (email@example.com) or Stephanie Sneed (firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions!
- Select your top 25 budget recommendations
- You must choose a minimum of 3 recommendations per issue group
- You have an additional 7 "at-large" votes that you can cast on any recommendation, regardless of issue group
- Visit the Member Education FY19 webpage to learn more about each recommendation
Food Access, Justice and Equity (3 votes minimum)
Joyful Food Markets are healthy grocery markets that “pop up” monthly in elementary school in Wards 7 and 8. Students, their families, school staff, and volunteers select healthy pantry staples and fresh produce while chef educators engage children in activities designed to promote healthy habits and nutrition education. A 10% increase in funding will allow the program to expand from 39 to all 49 elementary schools in Wards 7 and 8, making it available to 14,000 families while we continue to find ways to use data and community feedback to create systemic change in the food system.
[$1.5 Million to the Department Of Health]
Home Delivered Meals bring healthy food that is tailored to the medical needs of the individual, free of charge, to those who are too ill to participate in other programs.
[$825,000 to the Department Of Health]
Through Produce Rx, patients at risk for or experiencing diet-related chronic illness are given a prescription for fruits and vegetables. Previously a farmers market program, in 2018 Produce Rx will be expanding in partnership with Giant Foods, so that patients can fill their prescription at the pharmacy (and in the produce aisle) of Giant on Alabama Ave in Ward 8. The program has a strong data-collection component, and provides doctors a concrete way to address social determinants of health.
[$2 Million to the Department Of Health]
Elderly Simplified Application The program would shorten the application for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) for seniors down to two-three pages and would waive the requirement for an in-person interview.
[The change would have no cost but would be administered by the Department of Human Services]
Produce Plus From June 1st through September 30, DC residents who use Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Senior Grocery Plus (FMNP), or Medicaid can go to farmers' markets across the city and receive up to $20/week to spend on fresh produce. Produce Plus customers don't have to offer any money to receive their Produce Plus checks, just proof of qualification for the program.
[$1 Million to the Department Of Health]
Economic Justice (3 votes minimum)
Transportation for Adult Learners The District should continue to provide sufficient transportation subsidies for the 8,000 adult learners currently enrolled in education programs throughout the District. This subsidy would allow learners to better afford their commute to and from school.
[About $2 Million to the District Department of Transportation]
Paid Family Leave The District should provide start up funding for a Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Fund. More than 500,000 people working in DC will gain access to paid family and medical leave to care for themselves and their loved ones when a major medical or life event arises (i.e. cancer, surgery, new baby, dying parent, etc).
[Office of Paid Leave at the Department of Employment Services]
Fair Elections A small donor empowerment program that will provide public matching funds to candidates running for District offices who only accept small contributions, rather than relying on wealthy donors and special interests to bankroll their campaigns. This way, candidates can run for office, and win, even if they don’t have access to wealthy friends or a message that appeals to wealthy donors.
[$5 Million to the Office of Campaign Finance]
Carbon Rebate The proposed Climate and Community Reinvestment Act (currently known as the "Carbon Rebate") addresses climate injustice, boosts clean energy, and increases the incomes of low- and middle-income individuals in DC. It would hold climate polluters accountable by an increasing fee on the carbon content of energy sold in the District, and the revenue will be distributed to District residents as well as small business tax credits and community investments. Residents at or below 200% of the federal poverty line would receive an enhanced rebate. The policy would achieve a 23% reduction in greenhouse gases emitted in the District by 2023, create 500 jobs, stimulate the local economy, and address economic injustice with the beginning of a "Universal Basic Income."
[Need start up funding but will raise $140 Million in revenue FY19 and up to $600 Million by 2032]
Labor Law Enforcement Increase the Department of Employment Service’s community grant money and increase the number of investigators at the Office of the Attorney General. The community education grant will provide District workers and businesses education and resources in English and Spanish about the District's labor laws. The increase of investigators at the Office of the Attorney General addresses the overflow of labor law complaints at the Department of Employment Services by taking on complaints that include multiple workers while the Department of Employment Services focuses on individual complaints.
[$240,000 to the Department of Employment Services and the Office of the Attorney General]
Healthcare (3 votes minimum)
DC Healthcare Alliance The DC Healthcare Alliance program provides health insurance for low-income DC residents who are not eligible for Medicaid, the majority of whom are immigrants. Unlike Medicaid, Alliance beneficiaries are required to re-enroll in the program every six months, and must complete an in-person interview. These requirements have created barriers for program participants, causing many to either leave the program entirely or only apply when health insurance is most needed, often for illnesses that could have been treated less intensively or expensively. By aligning Alliance re-enrollment requirements with Medicaid, Alliance can prevent people from going on and off the program, reduce volume at service centers, improve the health and health care access of Alliance beneficiaries, and better support the District's immigrant population.
[$6-$17 Million to the Department of Health Care Finance and the Department of Human Services]
Early Intervention/Smart Start Make sure more children are eligible for DC Early Intervention Program (EIP)/Strong Start which provides services to infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities. Therapists go to the home and child care -- the child's natural environment. They teach families and caretakers how to enhance the child's development even while the therapist is not there, during the child and family's everyday routines. Currently, DC's eligibility criteria remains restrictive compared to a majority of states. Many young children who could be receiving services in very early childhood are missed until they reach school-age.
[to the Office of the State Superintendent on Education with a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Health Care Finance]
School Based Mental Health Services Students at approximately 72 schools would receive high intensity mental health services.
[$5.7 Million to the Office of the State Superintendent on Education, DC Public Schools, charter schools, and the Department of Behavioral Health]
Behavioral Health Rehabilitation Services provide treatment for 24,800 District residents with serious mental illness and 6,900 District residents with substance use disorders. They are community-based mental health and addiction treatment services. New funding will provide access to community support services for people who use Health Homes now- a comprehensive care coordination and disease management for Medicaid beneficiaries with multiple chronic conditions.
[$7.2 Million to the Department of Behavioral Health]
Establish a Maternal Mortality Review Committee. The Committee will look into pregnancy-related deaths in DC. They will make recommendations to prevent future deaths and improve maternal health. They will also look at racial differences in maternal deaths in DC.
[Office of the Chief Medical Examiner]
Community Safety (3 votes minimum)
Immigrant Justice and Legal Services Grant Make permanent the Mayor's Immigrant Justice and Legal Services Grant to provide legal services for immigrants. The funds provide legal representation in citizenship applications, asylum applications, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) applications. The organizations may also conduct Know Your Rights trainings and file lawsuits to protect DACA and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients.
[$1 Million to the Executive Office of the Mayor, Mayor's Offices on Latino, African, and Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, and grants to service providers]
LEAD Pre-Arrest Diversion Pre-Arrest Diversion is a strategy to reduce crime and human suffering by engaging with offenders of low-level crimes that are often a result of of substance use, circumstance, or mental health issues. Pre-arrest diversion addresses low-level criminalized activities with a public health response instead of a typical criminal justice response. Rather than arresting individuals caught engaging in activities like sex-work, drug possession, or other low-level offenses, law enforcement connects these individuals to community service providers.
[$1.25 Million to the Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Behavioral Health]
ID and Transportation Subsidies for Returning Citizens Fund the Increasing Access to Identity Documents Act which would allow any DC resident living at or below 200% of the poverty line to get a driver's license, non-driver's license, and birth certificate for free. Fund the Returning Citizen Opportunity to Succeed Act which would provide transportation subsidies to DC residents released from prison and jail - up to $100/month for up to 3 months.
[$9.6 Million over 4 years for ID law, ($2.4M fo FY19), $1.2 Million to fund transportation subsidies]
Criminal Records Screening This campaign would support criminal record sealing and expungement for a broader class of convictions, shorter wait periods, and automatic sealing of non-convictions, plus accuracy accountability for commercial vendors.
[5 Full Time Employees at the Office of Human Rights ($475K), funding to Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Corrections]
Domestic Violence Prevention DC Public Schools and DC Public Charter Schools should adopt a comprehensive prevention education curriculum as part of their health education programs to address dating abuse, including healthy and unhealthy relationship patterns, warning signs of abuse, consent, and developing skills necessary to create healthy relationships.
[$450,000 ($5 per student) to the Office of the State Superintendent on Education, grants from the Department Of Health to Domestic Violence services organizations]
Domestic Violence Specific Housing Expand domestic violence specific housing including emergency shelter for 132 families fleeing domestic violence and 67 units of transitional housing, with supportive services, for survivors.
[$3.5 Million for emergency shelter for 132 families, $2 Million for transitional housing for 67 families to the Department of Human Services and Domestic Violence service providers]
Culturally Specific Domestic Violence Services Expand culturally specific domestic violence services. Culturally specific service providers are more likely to understand the complex, multi-layered challenges and obstacles that domestic violence victims from their communities face when attempting to access services. These service providers are also better equipped to form important relationships and engage their communities in the creation and implementation of services linked to the diverse and unique needs of each survivor.
[$3 Million to the Office of Victims Services]
Decriminalizing Fare Evasion Currently, DC residents can be cited for up to $300, arrested, and/or jailed for up to 10 days for fare evasion on metro rail or buses. This policy recommendation supports a change to the law to make fare evasion a civil offense, punishable by a fine of not more than $100.
[Cost Saving Program]
Housing Security (3 votes minimum)
Single Shelter Redevelopment Funding to improve the conditions in the District's single adult shelters as well as to build a smaller, community-based, service-enriched, and more humane shelter that operates 24-7.
[$8.3 million for new shelters, $1 million for shelter conditions to the Department of Human Services and the Department of General Services]
District Opportunity to Purchase Act (DOPA) The District Opportunity to Purchase Act (DOPA) gives the District the right to offer to buy any rental building up for sale that has a substantial portion of affordable units. DOPA has been in law since 2009, but regulations necessary to implement it still have not been issued. The recommendation is that the FY 2019 Budget Support Act include language requiring the city to issue DOPA regulations before the end of calendar year 2018. The city could use DOPA to purchase subsidized or naturally affordable buildings to preserve their affordability, in cases where the tenants don't wish to exercise their first right to purchase, or have substantial barriers to organizing and exercising their right -- including the barrier of intimidation or harassment by the building owner.
[no cost to write regulations, Department of Housing and Community Development]
Homelessness Prevention Maintain funding for The Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP) that attempts to stabilize families at imminent risk of becoming homeless - either because they are facing eviction or doubled up with friends or family - through mediation, flexible financial assistance, case management and connection to community resources. Create a Homelessness Prevention Program for individuals at imminent risk of becoming homeless.
[$3.075 million to the Department of Human Services]
End Family Homelessness Make significant progress towards ending family homelessness by investing in long term affordable housing programs that meet the housing and service needs of the community and do not cycle families back into homelessness. The programs that we support substantially increasing are Permanent Supportive Housing, Targeted Affordable Housing and Local Rent Supplement Program tenant vouchers.
[$8.65 million for 309 families in Permanent Supportive Housing, $17.72 million for 886 families in Targeted Affordable Housing. ($26.37 million total) to the Department of Human Services and the DC Housing Authority]
Shelter Case Management and Street Outreach Increase case management services for families in shelter placements as well as individuals in shelter to adequately conduct assessments and connect them to the resources necessary to help them exit to permanent housing. Increase funding for street outreach teams throughout the city. The District is in its last year of a three year CABHI (Cooperative Agreements to Benefit Homeless Individuals) grant which funds four providers to provide outreach services across the entire district. Once this funding ends, DC will have a gap in services meaning that less individuals will be engaged, assessed for basic welfare and housing.
[n/a for Shelter Case Management and $6 Million for Street Outreach]
End Chronic Homelessness End chronic homelessness in DC. This requires fully funding the need for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) for singles and aggressive yet implementable investments in Targeted Affordable Housing and Rapid Re-Housing. This increase in funding aims to ensure that, in DC, nobody is homeless and nobody is homeless for years.
[$15.8 million for 820 units of Permanent Supportive Housing), $4.3 million for 400 units of Rapid Rehousing), $4.8 million for 400 units of Targeted Affordable Housing), $25 million total to the Department of Human Services and the DC Housing Authority]
Downtown Services Center Most D.C. shelters do not allow residents to stay inside during the day and no known options exist in the Downtown area for people experiencing homelessness to stay inside during the day. As a result, this offers very little opportunity for service providers to work with consumers during business hours and forces people to spend time outside. This program will create a centralized services center in Downtown DC that will house collocated services. Some possible service offerings include: case management, showers, employment support, housing navigation, storage, and laundry.
Increase Capacity at the Office of Human Rights The Office of Human Rights (OHR) decides housing discrimination based on all of DC's protected classes including source of income discrimination, familial status, race, etc. The Office also decides complaints brought under the new criminal record screening bill. There is ongoing advocacy to pass two new laws that would be enforced by OHR - legislation to add homelessness as a protected class under the DC Human Rights Act and legislation that includes broader tenant screening protections. We are asking for 4 new staff people to address the current backlog plus 2 new people for each of the proposed laws if they pass.
[$800K for 6 new Full Time Employees at the Office of Human Rights]
Emergency Rental Assistance Program The Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) provides back rent for people facing eviction and security deposits for people who need to move. It was cut by almost $2 million last year. The District should restore that cut and increase funding to serve more people and also help with application fees and other fees people are charged when moving to new housing.
[$12 Million to the Department of Human Services to serve 1700+ residents]
Fill the Housing Need In 2015, the Urban Institute reported that the District would need approximately 26,000 more units affordable to those making under 30% of Area Median Income (AMI) by 2020. The District must meet 10% of that need in FY19 by producing at least 2,600 subsidized units this fiscal year, and commit to building the full 26,000 units in the next ten years. The District should produce 1,300 units for households under 30% AMI, fund project-based Local Rent Supplement Program (LRSP) to support those units, and fund 1,300 tenant-based LRSP vouchers. Additionally, The District should develop a policy that requires that any city subsidized development must build a certain percentage of units dedicated for people making 0-30% AMI, and the city must provide Project/ Sponsor based LRSP to operate those units. Finally, In FY19, the District should fund a study to research the feasibility and cost of building locally funded and managed public housing.
[DC Housing Authority, Department of Housing and Community Development]
Public Housing Repair Fund Establish a minimum budget allocation in the District's Public Housing Trust Fund and ensure that it has enough funding to make up for the loss of federal funds. The federal budget, if passed as proposed, could cut approximately $16 million from the operating and capital budgets for the DC Housing Authority (DCHA). DCHA currently has a backlog of maintenance and repairs worth up to $1 billion that is causing serious conditions issues and health crises for residents. Additionally, we recommend that the District add language to the Budget Support Act requiring the DC Housing Authority to submit annual reports and periodic audits to the Council. Unlike every other agency, the DC Housing Authority is not required by law to share annual reports on the locally-funded programs it runs (including the Local Rent Supplement Program and public housing repair fund) or submit to independent audits and make those findings public.
[$40 million to the DC Housing Authority]
Public Restroom Initiative The District has only 3 public restrooms open 24/7 and 6 in downtown open during the day for limited hours. Private facilities are increasingly limiting restroom access to patrons. Bill 22-0223, Public Restroom Facilities and Promotion Act of 2017 directs the DC government to establish a working committee headed by the Department of Public Works, that will come up with recommendations for sites for stand alone public restrooms as well as a recommendations for a program to provide incentives for private facilities to open their restrooms to the public.
[$400,000 for 2 public restrooms, $200,000 for incentive program to open up private restrooms to the Department of General Services]
Fair Taxes and Revenue (3 votes minimum)
Reconsider subsidized development projects that don't meet basic resident needs
Reconsider developments at McMillan, Hill East, St. Elizabeth’s, and Walter Reed)
Increase taxes on developers building high end and luxury condos
Increase corporate tax rates for multi-state and multi-national corporations
Eliminate subsidies for housing providers/property owners with substandard, unlawful living conditions
Use money from fund balance and reserve
Raise taxes on wealthy individuals [and families]
End land giveaways and enforces affordable housing regulations on land sold/leased at discounted price
Withdraw all subsidies/abatements from developers/corporations not complying with local hiring, affordable housing regulations or other wage/labor laws
Please make sure to review your votes before submitting to ensure you have voted for at least 3 in each issue group and 7 additional "at large" votes.