From Charles Allen <[email protected]>
Subject Next Monday: Let's Talk About This Important Budget
Date April 24, 2024 4:04 PM
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Friend --

I've worked on a lot of budgets in my time on the Council, and before that as a Council staffer, and before that, as a public health advocate. That includes the Great Recession budgets of 2008 and 2009. I say that to say: I've seen tough budgets before. And this one is tough. That experience helps me know the discipline needed to make tough decisions when balancing a difficult budget. But the cuts proposed in the Mayor's budget for this coming fiscal year aren't just a reflection of a tough budget, they are also the most harmful I've seen, falling mostly on vulnerable neighbors and hitting lower and middle income households the hardest.?

We can do better and I need you to join me for our annual Ward 6 Budget Town Hall next week.

Next Monday, April 29th, we're going to be talking about the impacts of the proposed budget - and some potential next steps - at our annual Ward 6 Budget Town Hall. We'll be at the Northeast Branch Library from 6-7:30pm, and?you can RSVP here <[link removed]>. We'll also be streaming live on Facebook, and we'll do our best to get to every question or comment we can both in-person and virtually.

Some of my biggest concerns in this in this proposed budget and how it hits Ward 6 residents:

- There are more than 200 positions cut across DCPS schools, including several at Ward 6 schools.
- The Pay Equity Fund - the tool I helped create a few years ago to raise the paychecks of our early childcare workforce (and therefore make childcare more affordable and accessible) - has been zeroed out.
- The DC Circulator is proposed to be eliminated and all buses and routes stopped, with no transition plan or agreement from WMATA to take over critical bus connections for neighbors.
- Our main funds for helping low- and middle-income residents weather climate change, lower utility bills, and modernize their homes has been decimated.
- The District's Earned Income Tax Credit (which functions like a monthly basic income for those who qualify) has been frozen, effectively raising taxes on low-wage workers.?
- And the Access to Justice program - which provides lawyers to residents in everything from eviction cases to stay away orders, elder abuse to workers' rights matters - was cut by 67%. This is a program I grew as chair of the Judiciary Committee from $5M annually to more than $30M, and we can't lose the decade of progress we've made.?

Now, to be sure, there are bright spots in the proposed budget as well. It protects all of our school modernization projects I've worked hard to prioritize, it includes substantial investments in public safety and maintains funding for programs like Safe Passages to help kids get to and from school safely, and it meets our need of increased funding to address WMATA's financial pressures and avoid service reductions on bus and rail.

But before I start casting votes and working with colleagues to reshape the budget in coming weeks, I want to hear about your priorities and what you think needs to be protected or changed in your budget. And because we always pass balanced budgets (unlike some other legislatures down the street), if we want to change one part of the budget, that means making a change to offset it somewhere else. Tough choices lie ahead. So let's get together and talk about this important proposal and what it means for you.?

Remember, please join me next Monday, April 29th, 6-7:30pm at the Northeast Branch Library. RSVP here please <[link removed]>.

See you there,

Charles Allen
<[link removed]>

Councilmember Charles Allen - 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Suite 110, Washington, DC 20004, United States
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