The State of the District’s Poverty
From the Fair Budget Coalition:
This past Tuesday afternoon the Fair Budget Coalition, in partnership with all five Councilmembers on the Human Services Committee, organized the “State of the District’s Poverty: What’s the Story Behind 600 Kids at DC General?” The event was incredibly successful with around 140 participants packed into hearing room 123 in the Wilson Building. A featured panel focused on the rising rate of poverty in the District and its impact on District residents, offering Fair Budget’s FY2014 budget recommendations as the first step in addressing the issue of poverty in DC. The co-sponsoring Councilmembers (Jim Graham, Kenyan McDuffie, Anita Bonds, Marion Barry, and Tommy Wells) gave rousing welcomes to start off the event, and many Council staffers, DHS employees and some of the Mayor’s staff attended. And Eric Goulet, the Mayor’s Budget Director, came by at the end to say a few words and discuss the Mayor’s budget ideas with us. Multiple print and TV media showed up and the panelists were rousing and powerful.
At the end of the panel, Mr. Lazere introduced the Fair Budget Coalition’s new (hot off the press!) report that puts forth budget and policy recommendations that would be the first critical steps in addressing the growing crisis on poverty. Included in these recommendations are investments that could move 300 families out of DC General and into housing, investments that could end homelessness for the elderly and for people with HIV/AIDS, reasonable increases in the childcare reimbursement rates and more. Our approximately $100 million suggested investments would go a long way to acknowledge the interconnectedness of the many social service and housing programs operating in the District. With new revenue coming in, it is an opportune (and indeed, overdue) moment to rebuild the eviscerated safety net and finally begin to tackle poverty in DC.
Click here to read the powerful and important stories the panelists shared.
More on the Fair Budget Coalition here.