Issue Groups

Each year, FBC charters Issue Groups around key topics impacting the DC community—in 2020-2021, Housing Security, Community Safety, Healthcare, Food Access, Economic Justice, and Fair Taxes and Public Deals. 

These teams of individuals and representatives of organizations meet to discuss concerns related to an issue area, share information and develop budget and policy platform recommendations that, per FBC process, influence FBC’s annual Budget Report

To get involved, become a Member!

Existing Members: to join an Issue Group, contact us

2020-2021 Issue Groups

Chair: Brittany Ruffin and Amy Gellatly

Affordable housing is the most pressing issue affecting the District, with the crisis most concentrated among extremely low-income residents. This group focuses on influencing policies and budget priorities that:  

  • Create units and vouchers for people experiencing homelessness and with 0-30% of the average median income (AMI)
  • Preserve affordable housing
  • Eliminate barriers for tenants
  • Improve services and shelters for individuals experiencing homelessness

Chair: Nikita Easley

Though “community safety” often implies police intervention, FBC believes in community centered solutions to violence that do not rely on law enforcement and respect the lives and dignity of all people. This group focuses on influencing policies and budget priorities that:  

  • Address problems of mass incarceration, detention and deportation
  • Divert people away from our justice system
  • Support victims and survivors of crime
  • Decriminalize poverty  

Chairs: Betty Gentle and Mark Levota

There are significant disparities in the health of white DC residents and that of Black and other people of color. Poor health outcomes of residents East of the River—such as infant and material mortality, cancer and diabetes—can be linked directly to poverty and racism.  This group focuses on influencing policies and budget priorities that:

  • Improve equality in healthcare access
  • Address mental and healthcare needs for residents
  • Acknowledge the connection between health issues and access to housing, food and income

Chair: Melissa Jensen

79% of the grocery stores in DC are concentrated in the 4 wards whose residents are primarily high-income and white. In comparison, DC’s lowest income wards with the highest concentration of Black residents share 4 grocery stores, contributing to widespread food insecurity and poor health outcomes.  This group focuses on influencing policies and budget priorities that:

  • Address food access and equality
  • Invest in programs to fill the gaps
  • Acknowledge the connection between lack of food access and poor health outcomes

Chair: Teanna Willis

The poorest families in DC have continued to suffer loss since the Great Recession: their income now is lower than in most major cities. Income inequality is also far higher in DC than in almost any US city.  This group focuses on influencing policies and budget priorities that:

  • Invest in DC’s lowest income residents
  • Protect workers
  • Ensure that all eight wards and all income levels have access to resources needed to thrive

Chair: Eliana Golding
DC has a budget of $15 Billion and is more prosperous than ever.  Yet every year, human service needs are severely underfunded, while the administration funds public deals and administers land giveaways to wealthy individuals and corporations.  This group focuses on influencing policies and budget priorities that:

  • Prioritize DC residents over developers
  • Ensure that wealthy individuals pay their fair share
Policy Recommendation and Budget Report Development Process
Issue Group work kicks off in August/September annually. Members discuss whether proposed policies are broadly supported and influenced by impacted consistencies; and whether they help build power and advance racial justice.
Issue Groups develop and submit budget recommendations in December.
FBC Members vote on FBC’s policy priorities in January.
The FBC Steering Committee scores all policy, legislation and budget recommendations through the organization’s decision making rubric, which is guided by FBC’s values and creates objectivity and transparency.
FBC releases its Budget Platform in February.