From Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie <[email protected]>
Subject Ward 5 Report - The Case for Baby Bonds
Date June 10, 2021 7:09 PM
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See the latest updates from CM McDuffie and our Team

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Last month, I introduced the Child Wealth Building Act ([link removed]) , a child trust fund or “baby bonds” proposal aimed at eliminating the District’s stark racial wealth gap and ending generational poverty. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker made this policy the centerpiece of his presidential campaign and Connecticut ([link removed]) recently passed their own baby bonds initiative. I believe the Child Wealth Building Act is the type of bold and transformational legislation that District government must pass to make the American Dream more accessible for low and middle-income residents.

Wealth inequities drive the significant racial disparities we see across all indicators for success in our City, whether it's employment, income, home-ownership, entrepreneurship, health care, education, and more. At its core, the Child Wealth Building Act codifies economic opportunity as a birthright for all Washingtonians, here's how it would work.

If passed, the government would provide a trust fund for babies born in the District into a household whose income does not exceed 500% of the Federal Poverty Level, currently $132,000 for a family of four. Enrollment would be automatic and each eligible child would receive an initial deposit of $1,000 followed by annual supplemental payments up to $2,000 depending on household income. Upon turning 18, the child may withdraw the funds for specified purposes including education (vocational or higher-ed), business ownership, business investment, property ownership, and retirement investment vehicles.

On May 25th, I convened a committee hearing ([link removed]) with wealth equity experts to highlight the need for this legislation and further develop the proposal. I look forward to advancing this essential policy and encourage you to read my full press release ([link removed]) on the subject.

In service,

In this issue of the Ward 5 Report:

* Committee on Business and Economic Development 2021 Budget Hearing Schedule
* Kenyan in The News
* Reopening Guidance
* Kenyan in the Community
* Celebrating LQBTQ+ Pride Month
* Racial Equity In DC Event
* DMV, Parking & Ticket Enforcement Updates
* Small Business Spotlight
* COVID-19 Vaccine & Mask Policy Updates

** Committee on Business and Economic Development 2021 Budget Hearing Schedule
The Committee on Business and Economic Development has released its budget hearing schedule. We encourage you to submit oral or written testimony for the record and tune in to watch the rest of the budget hearings with government witnesses. You can email your testimony to [email protected] (mailto:[email protected]) submit verbal testimony for the record by calling the Committee's phone number at 202-656-5139

Hearings can be viewed live at ([link removed])

** Kenyan in The News
D.C. Residents Carefully Consider Bowser Budget (Washington Informer ([link removed]) )

Mayor Bowser Explains Her Budget in Council Hearing (Washington City Paper ([link removed]) )

Mayor Muriel Bowser’s FY 2022 Budget, Explained (Washington City Paper ([link removed]) )

Time for a bolder affordable housing approach (Jonetta Rose Barras ([link removed]) )

Neighborhood group wants to see hotel revamped for affordable housing (WUSA9 ([link removed]) )

All Eyes on AG's Office and Ward 5 Council Seat A Year From the 2022 Democratic Primary (City Paper ([link removed]) )

** Reopening Guidance

** Kenyan in the Community

Last week, Councilmember McDuffie joined Ivy City residents to see the Crummell School open for the first time in decades. Making these new basketball courts accessible starts the process of bringing the kinds of public spaces and amenities to Ivy City that residents have wanted and deserved for decades.
On Tuesday, Councilmember McDuffie gave remarks celebrating the groundbreaking of DC SAFE’s new SAFE Space Shelter. DC SAFE provides vital and immediate support services for survivors of domestic violence and their families. This new facility in Ward 5 will double the number of residents who can be supported every year and is a significant enhancement of the District's public safety and health infrastructure.

** Celebrating LQBTQ+ Pride Month
This month, we are celebrating the LGBTQ+ community and commemorating the progress we’ve made towards achieving equity. Our team is committed to continue fighting against discrimination in all forms and move towards a just society where everyone feels safe, included and seen. During Pride Month, we encourage you to support local organizations like the Wanda Alston Foundation ([link removed]) who are working to provide housing and essential services for LGBTQ+ youths in the District.

** Racial Equity In DC Event
On Thursday June 17th from 6:30 - 8:30 PM, Councilmember McDuffie will participate in a panel conversation hosted by the Racial Equity Cohort about his landmark legislation the REACH Act, how this bill is being implemented and what the impacts are.

You can register for the event here ([link removed]) .

** DMV, Parking & Ticket Enforcement Updates

Starting June 1st, District government will resume normal parking enforcement, vehicle towing, vehicle registrations, and inspection requirements. Additional enforcement measures till start on July 1st.
Starting June 1st, the annual fee for an RPP sticker will increase from $35 to $50 for the 1st vehicle registered in a household. An exemption exists for one resident age 65+ per household. Additional fees will apply to other vehicles in a household. More information here ([link removed]) .
The Mayor also announced a new ticket amnesty program. From June 1 until September 1, drivers will be able to pay outstanding tickets without paying any penalties w/ new ticket amnesty program.
[link removed]
This week, the DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) extended the time residents have to renew expired driver licenses and identification (ID) cards to September 9, 2021. The previously announced deadline was July 1, 2021. This action, as well as other changes DC DMV is making, will give residents more time to renew driver licenses and other ID cards that require an in-person appointment at a DMV Service Center.

You can learn more about DMV updates in the Mayor's press release here ([link removed])

** Small Business Spotlight
On Friday, Councilmember McDuffie stopped by to congratulate James and the City-State Brewing Team on the launch of their new tap house in Edgewood. Don't miss out on their locally brewed beverages and incredible murals of District neighborhoods that cover the walls.
The Rhode Island Avenue and Bladensburg Road Main Streets have opened their fourth round of funding for business grants. Applications are due Monday, June 28th. If you have any questions or need any assistance, please email us at [email protected]. You can find applications and more information here ([link removed]) .

** COVID-19 Vaccine & Mask Policy Updates
Since June 1st, any District resident 12 years and older can get vaccinated at four different schools. Notably, Luke C Moore High School in Ward 5, will be accepting walk-ins from 9 AM - 1 PM and 2 PM - 7 PM on Mondays through Thursdays.

You can find the full slides from Mayor Bowser's May 17th situational update ** here ([link removed])
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