Dear Friends --
As a new Councilmember, I set out to ensure that in my first budget vote today, I would not only have a deep understanding of what the budget contained, but also that I would have an impact on its contents. I sought to strike a balance between the specific needs of the constituents of Ward 1 and all of those I represent across the District. For the first several months on the job, I dedicated hours to oversight hearings, ensuring I could understand first-hand the voices of all those impacted by the work of our District agencies.
I’m proud to report that the budget adopted today by the DC Council addresses some of the biggest issues the District currently faces: homelessness, the creation and preservation of affordable housing, and educational iniquity. In addition to fully funding the Interagency Council on Homelessness strategic plan and the Housing Production Trust Fund, the budget also provides $5M dollars for tenant-based LRSP vouchers and restores the Emergency Housing Assistance Program. It also funds other priorities brought forth by the advocacy community, including an additional $1.8 million for Permanent Supportive Housing and $1.7 million in Targeted Affordable Housing.
I’m thrilled that an amendment I introduced in committee is included in this budget and will create two new full-time, much needed employees in the Office of the Tenant Advocate. That amendment also included three additional inspectors at DCRA, which will protect residents from predatory contractors.
Funding for the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability will allow for the addition of two board members as well as two additional staffers, to better uphold the ethical standards of the District.
Last, but certainly not least, I applaud the efforts of my colleague David Grosso in working to create a more equitable system for modernizing our schools. We’ve gone too long without a plan that takes into account greatest need, and this will put us back on the right course. As part of my efforts on behalf of Ward 1 in collaboration with CM Grosso, Chairman Mendelson and our Council budget office, we were able to secure capital dollars for wraparound services in the form of the clinic at Marie Reed Community Learning Center as well as allocating funding to fulfill our promise to complete the modernization of Bruce Monroe Elementary School at Park View.
I want to thank everyone who offered thoughts on this year’s budget. Your advocacy was instrumental in the delivery of a budget we can all be proud of. I hope you will continue to hold all of your representatives accountable as we work to fully implement this budget and the promises we have made to the people of the District of Columbia.
Brianne K. Nadeau
Councilmember, Ward 1