Councilmember Silverman Statement on DOES Director Odie Donald Interviewing for City Manager Position in Georgia
"Last night, I learned from an article in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that DOES Director Odie Donald II was hired to be the South Fulton, GA, city manager after its city council publicly interviewed Donald by Skype and cast a majority vote in support of his hiring.
It was disappointing to read because Director Donald's likely departure comes at a time when leadership at the agency is critical. Despite our growing economy, unemployment and underemployment, particularly in neighborhoods east of the Anacostia River, remain stubbornly high. As D.C.'s lead jobs agency, DOES is essential to helping close this opportunity gap and therefore lessen our income inequality. For the $150 million dollars we spend on workforce development every year, we need to measure how successful we are at getting District residents not just jobs but living wage careers. Additionally, I was working with Director Donald on strategic enforcement of our labor laws, so that the agency focused its resources on holding bad employers accountable and making sure our workers get paid fairly.
I am also concerned that Director Donald was the administration's point man on implementation of the District's landmark paid leave program. My understanding is that he had been working on hiring for the newly-created Office of Paid Family Leave as well as visiting other states with paid leave programs and coordinating the contracting process for technology. As many workers are looking forward to the program's launch in July 2020 and employers are expecting the payroll tax collection to begin in July of next year, I hope that Director Donald's likely departure does not slow down the process of putting paid leave into effect.
I hope to work with the Bowser administration in any way possible to make sure we have a strong leader at the head of DOES if Director Donald does indeed leave."