Category Archives: Budget & Financing

DC Council Dumpster Fire

Dumpster Fire Smoke Screen

DC Council "This is Fine"

While the nonprofit complex pulls out the stops to stem the Council bleeding the people of DC even more, the smokescreen from the “dumpster fire” “debacle” “sh*tshow” of a DC Council budget vote on Tuesday July 21 has worked.

The fog of class war has the Council Chair saying things like it would be tantalizing to cut immigration services, emergency rent support, and other human services to make up for a stupid move to tax small publications in the District (The Ad Tax).

Playing both the perpetrator and now the self-proclaimed hero, CM Mendelson says he can eliminate the ad tax on small publications by moving some money around from the capital budget, cutting mental health services, and some other piddly wrangling. If this all seems a bit hexing, and wrong, it is.

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson to the Rescue
Council Chairman Phil Mendelson to the Rescue

What a slick move, a smokescreen. First, this “debacle” has got the advocacy community to scramble their bases to beg the Council not to cut $18M more in services to real DC people instead of bringing on fire from the people demanding that the overall first budget vote be completely trashed and we start over. See FBC breakdown of the first Council vote on July 7th below:

The DC budget vote as shown above, even if the recent threats of 18M in cuts is reversed, is an absolute atrocity and in fact criminal to the working people of the District during a pandemic. There are no cuts to the Metropolitan Police Department budget for example!

Second, this confusing creepy clown show led by the Chairman during DC’s FY2021 budget process has allowed all Councilmembers, even the so-called progressives on the dais to deflect away from the broader call of the people to take the capitalists boot off working families necks by defunding MPD, raising taxes on the rich, and moving monies from proposed luxury projects to projects that could really help people now in the pandemic such as from the proposed McMillan Park giveaway to the long-stalled reopening of Crummell School for those families who are struggling in Ivy City.

That is, Councilmembers can avoid dealing with the obvious huge gaps in human service funding by tweeting out memes and rhetoric about a “dumspter fire” and receive rounds of applause by advocates who in turn move back from stronger positions to the passive prone begging not to hurt the our people further.

Result: the Council, yet again, escapes accountability as to how really horrid that first budget vote is and the continued harm that DC’s budget will bring onto the most vulnerable in the District, especially now during pandemic.

Meanwhile, with all the content that the so-called urbanists pull off with the help of developer contributions, the budget vote is as important as one retweet of a DCist report. David Alpert is far from concerned about what this budget means for DC’s communities of color.

Conclusion: Its all perplexing but a skillful clumsy show put on by the Chair, Phil Mendelson and sheepish Council colleagues. The Chairman however is in the driver seat, commanding control over the city and outcomes for all its people in perpetrating an oppressive racist corporate agenda to crush Black families and communities of color and working residents of the District of Columbia.

To see this agenda and the people who pull the puppet strings, click the following links:

By: Chris Otten, DC4RD, co-facilitator

DCHA’s “Repositioning” Plan is Privatization of Public Housing

On Friday, January 31, 2020, Councilmember Anita Bonds who chairs the DC Council Housing Committee, hosted a hearing on the DC Department of Housing Authority (DCHA) and their “respositioning” plan for DC’s public housing stock — real homes where real people live and have real personal and professional networks.

Some public housing residents were in attendance and testified to the deplorable conditions that Chairwoman Bonds has heard about with public housing continually for years — mold, pipes leaking, rodents, infrastructure, etc.

There were ANC Commissioners and Ward 6 Public Housing residents there, like Commissioner Rhonda Hamilton who says she knows of pets living in better conditions than that provided at housing managed by DCHA.

There were other residents testifying from Greenleaf Public Housing in the Southwest, DC, Ward 6, testifying about the terrible living conditions that must be repaired now, not over a 17-year DCHA plan.

Mrs. Shawnta High, President of the Park Morton Residents Council in Ward 1 describes how DCHA has begun the plan to “revitalize” her community. She speaks about being thrown out of her home of nearly twenty years by DCHA’s repositioning plan.

Denise Thomas lives/ed in Ward 7’s Kenilworth Gardens, which has seen DCHA begin its “repositioning” on her home and neighborhood and how its destroying all of it.

Chris Otten, a DCHA client in Ward 1, describes what it is like living in a DCHA-subsidized unit that is managed by a private slumlord with toxic dust and mildew never being remedied.

Paulette Matthews, bounced from Barry Farms Public Housing in Ward 8, now lives in Ward 1, who describes the horrendous disruption from displacement and how it has changed her life and that of her family.

Councilmember Elissa Silverman actually sums it up DCHA’s “repositioning” plan during her opening remarks:

I am extremely concerned that DCHA is not just drifting away from serving its most vulnerable residents but deliberately abandoning our most vulnerable residents. I fear that DCHA has grown into an appendage of the real-estate division of our Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED). And, this is going to lead to the continued gentrification of our city.

For the full Council video, all 13GB’s of it, click this link.

#FixPublicHousing now!

2020 Budget SECOND VOTE; Budget Support Act Next

DC4RD report from today’s Legislative meeting at the DC City Council hearing, and the second vote as to the city’s proposed 2020 $15B Budget:

Photo attached of #FIXPUBLICHOUSING now! Rally on the steps of the John A. Wilson building, May 28th, 10AM

#FixPublicHousing now!

#FixPublicHousing now!