Posted by Elissa Silverman on April 05, 2017 at 11:41 PM
Yesterday Mayor Bowser released her budget for fiscal year 2018. And so begins the Council’s eight week examination of the proposal, including a second round of agency hearings to learn how each plans to spend your taxpayer dollars on programs and services. Our office will be examining the budget closely, and, in a very cursory look, I’m pleased to see the Mayor fund several items I highlighted in my budget letter. Funding for items like affordable housing and housing preservation, childcare, and a new 14th Street express bus line. Please be in touch about your thoughts; I’ve heard from hundreds of residents already on a variety of issues—from school infrastructure to public safety to housing to parks and recreation—and some of the best advocacy has come from residents under the age of 21.
Last month, I was thrilled to join the Mikva DC Action Civics Fair to hear presentations on civic action projects from students across the District. I saw presentations on gentrification and building the District’s middle class. I also saw analyses of strategies for increasing safety and accountability on our public transit system. But I admit that one really caught my eye—and that was a presentation from Roosevelt Senior High School participants on how to build more comprehensive, year-round job training programs for high school students. Their insights were of particular interest because my Committee on Labor and Workforce Development held a public hearing on strategies to improve employment outcomes for District youth on Monday. Students are telling us exactly what they want and feel they need to be career ready, and I’m excited to incorporate the terrific ideas from our public school students, and Monday’s witnesses, into my committee work. It helps keep me energized—and on my toes.
I also want to take a moment to express my condolences to friends and family of Sharon Ambrose, who served the city in so many ways. As Ward 6 Councilmember, she was a smart, sharp-witted, and savvy advocate for the neighborhoods and constituents she represented. I never had the honor of working with Sharon, but I learned a lot from watching and covering her during my time as a reporter. Her impact on the city, especially Capitol Hill and surrounding neighborhoods, is lasting and visible.Read more