Over the years, DC and its economy have grown exponentially. Unfortunately, some of the ways our economic growth has occurred has only increased the gap between the wealthy and those who continue to struggle, particularly marginalized black and brown communities. Just look at the data: the median white wealth in DC is 81 times the median black wealth, $284,000 versus $3,500.
On top of that, Black and brown families that have been in Washington for generations are being priced out of their neighborhoods and this city.
Addressing these disparities that have existed for generations takes short and long-term strategies.
In order to achieve racial equity, we must take into account all the ways economic development impacts those who are underserved, and invest resources created from our city’s growth to uplift those who are traditionally left out. Achieving equity is not a zero-sum game: we can work together to expand opportunities for all, growing our inclusive economy together.
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On the Council, I have taken bold steps to reduce the racial wealth gap and create more opportunities for black and brown families in DC, including:
- Creating the “Baby Bonds” program, which provides $1,000 per year to every eligible baby born in DC to pay for their education, start a small business, purchase a home or make investments when they turn 18.
- Authoring the REACH Act, which established the DC Council’s Office of Racial Equity and the Chief Equity Officer to eliminate racial disparities and achieve racial equity in our government’s policy-making process.
- Championing the Black homeownership program and Housing Purchase Assistance Program to mitigate the number of racial disparities that exist in homeownership across the city.
- Establishing and funding the Commercial Acquisition Fund to allow socially disadvantaged small business owners to apply for grants in order to purchase their commercial properties and combat commercial gentrification.
- Securing funding for community development financial institutions and minority deposit institutions that provide critical access to capital to entrepreneurs of color.
- Directing the Commemorative Works Commission to erect statues in each ward that highlight the contributions of native Washingtonians, honoring the local history of Black and brown people.
- Requiring the Retirement Board to report annually on the affirmative steps it has taken to hire diverse fund managers.
Our citywide representation must reflect the values of all of our neighbors, from Chevy Chase in Northwest to Congress Heights in Southeast. I am running on a record that represents all of our residents’ interests.
As your next At-Large Councilmember, I will continue to champion policies that help all families in the District realize economic stability, achieve equity and have a seat at the table.
Paid for by Kenyan McDuffie 2022, 1408 Montague St NW Washington, DC 20011. Antonio Hunter, Treasurer. A copy of our report is filed with the Director of Campaign Finance of the District of Columbia Board of Elections.