December 19, 2018


Yesterday, along with my colleague, Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, we successfully passed a major amendment to the sports wagering bill to give minority-owned, women-owned, and local businesses significant opportunities to participate in the new sports wagering industry. While I am disappointed that my previous amendment failed on December 4th, I was happy to work with my colleague to draft and pass a new amendment.

I believe that when government takes action to open a new sports wagering industry, we are obligated to carve out opportunities for those who historically have been left out and left behind.

Our amendment will create real opportunities for minority and women participants by requiring:

  • Sports wagering businesses to spend at least 35% of their operating budget with Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs), or to create companies whose majority shareholder is a CBE;
  • The city to create sports wagering business training programs to help residents create and grow their own companies;
  • DC Lottery to report on CBE participation of sports wagering businesses; and
  • The city to create financial incentives for outside companies to partner with local CBEs.

Last year, I was able to pass a bill to help ensure that our last medical marijuana distribution license went to a minority- or women-owned business.

I am proud of the work I have done to change the trajectory for minorities and women, but there is much more work to do to address the profound inequities that remain in our city and our country.

My best,