For Immediate Release: April 30, 2019
Contact: Rita D. Lewis, Communications Director
(202) 256-7154;  rlewis@dccouncil.us

Landmark Budget Recommendations from
Councilmember Robert White

Today, Councilmember Robert White, Chair of the Committee on Facilities and Procurement, released the Committee's Fiscal Year 2020 budget report and recommendations. After several months of dissecting budget proposals and recommendations, and working with his Council colleagues, White identified funding for returning citizens, housing, education, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, and seniors citizens. White said, "In my first budget report as a Committee Chair, it was important that I looked at the needs of the city, not just the work of the agencies under my jurisdiction. My Committee's recommendations show both a focus on the missions of our agencies and my work with the Council to help fill critical funding gaps. "

Specifically the Committee's budget:

Recommendations to Reduce the Barriers
of Re-Entry for Returning Citizens

  • Creates a new Supervisory Case Manager position at the Office on Returning Citizen Affairs to better support and reduce the overwhelming caseloads of existing case managers and to partially implement the office’s newly issued strategic plan

  • Establishes a new Peer Support Specialist position at the Office on Returning Citizen Affairs to provide and coordinate support services and peer counseling as recommended by the Commission on Re-Entry and Returning Citizen Affairs in their Fiscal Year 2017 Annual Report

  • Funds 20 housing vouchers for homeless or housing unstable returning citizens designated by the Office on Returning Citizen Affairs

  • Provides the Office on Returning Citizen Affairs with $100,000 for transportation subsidies to ensure previously incarcerated residents can locate housing and employment

  • Offers free driver’s licenses, identification cards, and birth certificates to returning citizens released from the Federal Bureau of Prisons within one year of their release or while residing at a halfway house, making the Returning Citizens Opportunity to Succeed Act permanent

  • Allocates $10,000 to the Office on Returning Citizen Affairs to support communications, outreach, and engagement by the Commission on Re-Entry and Returning Citizen Affairs

  • Provides additional resources to support grants by the Office of African-American Affairs, which impacts a range of organizations, including those that assist returning citizens on: education, jobs and economic development, public safety and violence interruption, and arts and creative economy

Recommendations to Strengthen and Support
Advisory Neighborhood Commissions

  • Increases the stipends to the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions by $122,000, bringing them closer to their historic level of funding, therefore substantially expanding ANCs ability to serve their communities

  • Triples the Fiscal Year 2019 funding and quadruples the funding in Fiscal Year 2020 for sign language interpretation, computer-aided real-time transcription, or other necessary services so that people who are deaf and hard-of-hearing and people with disabilities can serve as Commissioners and participate fully in Commission meetings

  • Fully funds the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions Omnibus Amendment Act of 2016 to ensure that Advisory Neighborhood Commissions can provide language access to non-English speaking residents through the translation of meetings and written documents

  • Provides $100,000 to the Office of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions to procure a mobile application to support Commissioners’ outreach and engagement with constituents who may not be able to participate in public meetings 

Recommendations to Improve Transparency and Accountability
of the District Government

  • Fully funds the Economic Development Return on Investment Accountability Amendment Act of 2017 to report agreements on affordable housing, employment, and small business engagement for each District-funded development project, to track whether requirements are met, and to allow comparison of investments and outcomes for projects across the city

  • Funds a new Information Technology Director at the Contract Appeals Board to oversee and support the technology needs of one of the District’s highest functioning administrative courts and reinforce the Board’s efforts to enhance transparency

  • Provides funding to complete the digitization and archiving of case files at the Contract Appeals Board in Fiscal Year 2020, making the record of all cases available to the public online, while providing a contracting opportunity for a District small business to lead this effort

  • Identifies an additional $500,000 to accelerate the completion of Facility Condition Assessments for District government-owned properties

Recommendations to Support District Residents At Risk
of or Experiencing Homelessness

  • Partially funds the Birth-to-Three for All DC Act of 2018 by allocating $300,000 for Early Head Start Home Visiting Grants to support homeless families in shelters with infants and toddlers

  • Funds 10 permanent supportive housing vouchers and 10 targeted affordable housing vouchers for individuals experiencing homelessness

  • Restores $400,000 to the Emergency Rental Assistance Program to provide rental assistance for District residents facing a housing crisis and at risk of eviction

  • Fully funds the Public Restroom Facilities Installation and Promotion Act of 2017 and provides funding to build 10 new stand-alone public restrooms by 2025

Recommendations to Invest in Education and Adult Literacy

  • Contributes $500,000 to increasing school funding to better support students at DC Public Schools and Public Charter Schools

  • Provides $500,000 to the Workforce Investment Council to restore funding to adult education providers that assist adults with low literacy and basic skills to prepare for the workforce and enter a career field

  • Provides $200,000 to fund public transit subsidies for adults attending education programs

Recommendations to Ensure Expanded Safe Access to
Educational, Athletic, and Recreational Opportunities

  • Allocates $625,000 to the Office of the Attorney General to deploy their data-driven Cure the Streets violence intervention program in an additional neighborhood selected by the office based on available public safety data

  • Funds $444,400 for a new streetscape connecting the African American Civil War Museum to the African American Civil War Memorial

  • Expands community dining and peer support opportunities for LGBTQ senior citizens

Recommendations to Prioritize Historic Preservation

  • Provides $250,000 to help restore Eastern Market and preserve it as a functioning market by providing resources to rehabilitate the brick and stonework, replace door hardware, and install integrated historically sensitive signage

  • Directs $150,000 to continue the restoration and renovation of the Old Council Chambers and ensure its continued availability to the State Board of Education

  • Directs funding to stabilize and preserve the historic District-owned Recorder of Deeds Building and the historic John Mercer Langston School

###