After over a decade of education reform in the District, improvement is too slow for students most at risk, funding remains inequitable, and communities and families are not empowered to shape and influence the education systems that serve them. Educated in DC’s public and public charter schools, I believe every young person has the right to a quality education in a system of true choice, where all families have access to well-supported neighborhood public schools and to the information and supports that make choice possible. We're fighting to:
As the twice elected Vice President of the State Board of Education, I've successfully advocated for deeper investments in community schools, spurring the investment of $10 million in Ward 8 schools alone. I've served on DC's Community Schools Advisory Committee and worked with the Washington Teacher's Union on issues like teacher retention, equitable school funding, and increased transparency. I'm proud to be the education candidate in this race and will take the lessons learned to deliver meaningful policy that will move our schools and communities forward.
Gentrification has had a devastating impact on our community, leading to the displacement of more than 20,000 African-American residents since 2000. It’s important to know that this was not inevitable, but instead the result of bad policy, unethical political dealing, and greed. My commitment to truly affordable housing is guided by my belief that housing is a fundamental human right. As the At-Large DC Councilmember, I will fight to:
We know that public safety is a huge part of thriving neighborhoods. Gun violence, police brutality, hate crimes -- they all threaten the security we feel in our communities. My plans for public safety don't start here, but can be found in my plans for affordable housing, education, transportation, and public. All of these things together will make our communities safer. As the next At-Large DC Councilmember, I will work to:
There’s a 27-year gap in life expectancy for residents living in Northwest DC and Southeast DC. Your ZIP code shouldn’t determine how many days are ahead of you. The COVID-19 pandemic has only further exposed how our health disparities are proving to be disproportionately fatal for people of color. We must be relentless in our efforts to combat these disparities by making the long overdue, yet critical investments in health equity. As the At-Large DC Councilmember, I will be working to:
Transit equity is an issue that has unfortunately become controversial and divisive at times. Regardless of how you get around, we should all be able to rely on a safe and affordable transit network that works for all of us. As the next At-Large DC Councilmember, I'm ready to have those tough conversations about how we make our streets and sidewalks safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers. Together, we will get there by:
DC has come a long way since we were subjected to the Financial Control Board in 1995. We've consistently delivered a balanced budget, we've built healthy reserves, and we've received a high bond rating. While we should be proud of our progress, the worth of our city can’t just be judged by our AAA bond rating, but by the way we care for our neighbors most left out and left behind. I am proud to be in the fight for a moral economy -- an economy that is guided by principles of fairness and justice. Together, we’ll achieve a moral economy by:
"I am now convinced that the simplest approach will prove to be the most effective — the solution to poverty is to abolish it directly by a now widely discussed measure: the guaranteed income,"
I am the only candidate in this race to pledge that, if elected, I will introduce legislation to pilot a guaranteed income program for our city's most economically insecure residents. The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the extreme need to bridge deep divides in wealth and income in our city and country and the diversity of challenges families face to make ends meet. It's also shown the tremendous potential we have to do it through direct payments that keep families financially secure and stimulate the local economy.
While the idea of a guaranteed income is not new, cities around the country have recently begun showing the potential of the model to help lift up our neighbors most in need. Pilot programs like those in Stockton, CA and Jackson, MS and COVID-related direct payment programs in cities like St. Paul, Los Angeles and Chicago demonstrate the strength and benefits of the idea. The Mayors of Atlanta, Newark, Columbia, Compton, St. Paul, Jackson, Shreveport, Tacoma, Oakland, and Los Angeles have all pledged support for a guaranteed income program in their cities.
DC has among the largest income gaps of any state or city in the nation. Even with a $15 minimum wage, our lowest wage earners still cannot afford to live here. Studies of pilots in other cities have shown that recipients use payments for essentials like rent, groceries and childcare -- and because needs vary from month to month, the direct payment provides recipients with the financial flexibility to address evolving and sometimes emergent needs. A guaranteed income is only part of the work DC must do to provide financial security and economic justice for residents left furthest behind, but it is a tangible and immediately impactful start, especially as we recover from this health and economic crisis.