It was wonderful to see so many familiar faces at the 41st Capital Pride Parade last Saturday. Before such a tragic day in Orlando, I’m thankful to have had such a celebratory day showing the LGBTQ community how much they are valued and appreciated in the District. My thoughts and prayers are with all affected by the shooting, particularly the family and friends of the victims and those still in critical condition.
As the city of Orlando, and our country, recovers from such a saddening act of violence, I hope you will continue to support the LGBTQ communities around you and remember that love cannot be killed or swept aside.
Many thanks to Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie and his staff for welcoming Team Silverman to walk with them in the Pride Parade. You can see more pictures from a fantastic day together here.
Tomorrow is the District’s Primary Election Day! Polls are open between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. across the city. Here are a few final reminders to help make your vote count:
- You can find the polling location closest to you here. As long as you are in line by 8:00 p.m., you will be able to vote.
- At least one voting precinct in Ward 1, Ward 2, Ward 4, Ward 6, Ward 7, and Ward 8 has been relocated for this year’s primary election. Please make sure to double check your polling location and consider checking the precinct map for your ward.
- A sample ballot and link to confirm your voter registration can be found on the Board of Elections website here.
- Any questions or concerns about assistance with voting or accessibility at your polling location can be directed to the Board of Elections at (202) 727-2525. Every location will offer accessible devices and the option of curbside voting for senior citizens and voters with disabilities.
Thousands of District residents have already cast their ballots during early voting. If you haven’t already and are eligible, make sure to exercise your 15th Amendment right during polling hours tomorrow!
Thanks so much.
We are days away from the Capital Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11!
Our team is getting excited - especially since we're joining forces with Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie and his team this year! I would love for you to walk with us to show your District Pride.
There will be plenty of beads to toss, music, and rainbow tutus to be enjoyed by all. If you are interested in walking with us, the organizers are asking that we report to the staging area by 3:00 p.m., located at 23rd and N Street NW.
Next year’s budget is done! It may not have been as climactic as the NBA Western Conference Finals Monday night (congrats Warriors!), but yesterday we passed an exciting FY17 budget for the District. After many months of meetings, negotiations, and community conversations, I’m thrilled to move forward with a budget that allocates funds to close D.C. General, preserve affordable housing for District residents, and increase unemployment benefits, among other successes for District residents. Thank you to Mayor Bowser and each of my Council colleagues for working collaboratively to pass a budget that I believe works in the interest of our residents and our city!
Over the past couple of months, I’ve shared quite a few updates about next year’s budget that my staff and I have been working hard to finalize with my Council colleagues. Yesterday, the Council voted on the Budget Request Act that proposes funding amounts for each District agency. The biggest news of the day: We are finally closing D.C. General and will open new ward-based family shelters in its place.
We’re in the homestretch on the Fiscal Year 2017 budget! Final committee decisions and recommendations take place tomorrow and Thursday. Highlights from some of the budget oversight hearings I attended over the last few weeks are below.
I also want to introduce you to Michael Ambinder, who recently joined our office as a legislative fellow. Michael is District educated, having earned his bachelor's, master’s, and law degrees from The George Washington University. He will be working on judiciary, environmental, and regulatory policy issues and is already proving to be a great addition to our team. We’re thrilled to have him onboard.
March Madness is over (Congrats Villanova and GW fans!), but budget season is still going strong! Mayor Bowser sent the D.C. Council her proposed budget for next year, and my staff and I are digging in to see if there are ways we can spend our tax dollars even more effectively. I am excited to see the Mayor invest in some of the priorities I asked for in my budget letter.
I’ll go into more detail about the budget below, and I encourage you to check the calendar of public budget hearings for District agencies. I welcome any thoughts or ideas you have on how we can better allocate funding for our government agencies, and I hope to see some of you at the Wilson Building in the next few weeks.
Councilmembers Silverman and May Co-Introduce Legislation to Prevent Resident Displacement around St. Elizabeths Campus Redevelopment
At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman and Ward 8 Councilmember LaRuby May today introduced a bill that would safeguard D.C. residents who neighbor a major economic development project, specifically the St. Elizabeths project in Ward 8, by providing additional financial assistance and legal resources to prevent gentrification. Additional co-introducers included Councilmembers Anita Bonds (At-Large), David Grosso (At-Large), Vincent Orange (At-Large), Mary Cheh (Ward 3), Charles Allen (Ward 6), and Brianne Nadeau (Ward 1). The bill was co-sponsored by Councilmember Brandon Todd (Ward 4).
The bill, titled the Displacement Prevention Amendment Act of 2016, would help current residents surrounding the St. Elizabeths campus in two ways: It doubles the maximum income tax credit available to District renters and homeowners through Schedule H in a targeted zone around the Ward 8 campus and provides additional resources, including legal assistance, to help residents purchase or remain in their homes.
Tonight Mayor Bowser will deliver her annual State of the District address at Arena Stage. The speech will preview the mayor’s budget priorities for next year. Our city is prospering and growing, but many challenges remain in making sure the District is a place of opportunity for all. In anticipation of the fiscal year 2017 budget negotiations, I sent Mayor Bowser and her budget team a letter outlining my priorities, which include major investments in affordable housing, evidence-based public safety approaches, meaningful workforce development, and a strong safety net. You can read my letter here.
Councilmember Silverman Introduces Legislation to Reinvest in Affordable Housing for Low-Income Residents
WASHINGTON, DC – At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman today introduced a bill that would help increase the District’s supply of housing for our lowest-income residents by dedicating dollars allocated to the District of Columbia Housing Authority but unspent at the end of the year into a public housing repair fund. The bill, the Public Housing Rehabilitation Amendment Act of 2016, was co-introduced by Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau (Ward 1), Mary Cheh (Ward 3), and Charles Allen (Ward 6) and co-sponsored by David Grosso (At-Large).
The District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) owns or subsidizes over 21,000 units of affordable housing across the city, including 8,300 units of public housing. These units house many of our lowest-income residents, and they have fallen into disrepair as federal dollars dedicated to public housing continue to decline. Some units are now uninhabitable but could be put back into use housing families if funds were dedicated for that purpose.