Volume 24 | May 2019
  Stay Connected with Me
Hello neighbor,
I worked hard this budget season to do even more to step up for District residents and communities. What my team and I were able to get done reflected both our commitment to our city and also our dedication to getting better and stronger each year. What I hope you see in the list of what we've gotten done is a clear focus on the people and communities we serve. As Chair of the Committee on Facilities and Procurement, I was able to find money for several important city priorities that you will find listed below.
Funding for Returning Citizens

Since campaigning in 2015, the returning citizens community has been one of my priorities. I made investments in this budget to ensure that we met some of the most vulnerable residents' needs so they can transition home successfully. This support provides resources for returning citizens to rebuild their lives after incarceration. We should be intentional in creating opportunities for our residents returning home, so I made the following investment recommendations.

  • Creating a new Supervisory Case Manager position at the Office on Returning Citizen Affairs (ORCA) to reduce the overwhelming caseloads of case managers and to implement the office’s newly issued strategic plan

  • Establishing a new Peer Support Specialist position at ORCA to 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

  • Funding 20 housing vouchers for homeless or housing unstable returning citizens

  • Providing ORCA with $100,000 for transportation subsidies to help previously incarcerated residents locate housing and employment

  • Offering 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

  • Allocating $10,000 to ORCA for outreach and engagement by the Commission on Re-Entry and Returning Citizen Affairs

  • Providing funding to support grants by the Office of African-American Affairs, to organizations, including those that assist returning citizens on education, jobs and economic development, public safety and violence interruption, arts, and the creative economy

Funding for Advisory Neighborhood Commissions

As Chair of Facilities and Procurement, the Office of ANCs is in my purview, and I recognized that I need to propose funding to strengthen our elected ANCs and their ability to represent their neighborhoods and constituents effectively. To support ANCs, I made the investments below.

  • Increasing the stipends to the ANCs by $122,000, bringing them closer to their historic level of funding to serve their communities

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

  • Fully funding the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions Omnibus Amendment Act of 2016 to ensure that ANCs can provide language access to residents, who don't speak English, through translated meetings and written documents

  • Providing $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 

Funding for Transparency and Accountability
of the District Government

Since taking office, many residents have spoken to me about their concerns with government transparency and accountability. Based on your feedback, I made several recommendations.

  • Fully funding the Economic Development Return on Investment Accountability Amendment Act. This bill tracks whether economic development projects meet their goals to ensure that by tracking affordable housing, local hiring, local business utilization, and other commitments to our communities

  • Funding 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

  • Providing 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

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

Funding for District Residents At Risk
of or Experiencing Homelessness

Too many residents, including youth and seniors, experience chronic homelessness. My proposed investments provide residents with housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness.

  • Partially funding the Birth-to-Three for All DC Act, which I co-introduced with Councilmember Vincent Gray, by funding $300,000 for Early Head Start Home Visiting Grants for homeless families in shelters with infants and toddlers

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

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

  • Funding the Public Restroom Facilities Installation and Promotion Act and providing funding to build 10 new stand-alone public restrooms by 2025

Funding for Education and Adult Literacy

Tens of thousands of residents don't know how to read and are looking for help. I proposed general budget recommendations to ensure all residents have access to high-quality education and to strengthen our workforce by providing residents the tools and skills they need to be competitive and thrive in today's labor market.

  • Contributing $500,000 to increasing school funding for our DC Public Schools and Public Charter Schools

  • Providing $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

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

Funding for our Communities

Our neighborhoods must be safe, accessible, and vibrant for all of us. I made the following investments to support our communities.

  • Allocating $625,000 to the Office of the Attorney General to deploy their data-driven Cure the Streets violence intervention program in more neighborhoods

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

  • Expanding community dining, planned social events, and peer support opportunities for LGBTQ senior citizens to address social isolation

Funding for Historic Preservation

Preserving the District's culture and land is very important to me, especially as a native Washingtonian. I always look forward to showing my daughters sentimental places that have shaped my life, and my hope is that residents and visitors have the same experience. I propose the following investments to preserve the District's rich history.

  • Providing $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

  • Directing $150,000 to continue to restore and renovate of the Old Council Chambers and ensure its continued availability to the State Board of Education

  • Directing funding to stabilize and preserve the historic District-owned Recorder of Deeds Building and the historic John Mercer Langston School
I will continue to fight to ensure that each investment is included in the city's final budget. 

While I have been focused on the budget, I have not stopped working on legislation to benefit our residents. I introduced the  Shared Services to Improve Housing Counseling Act to create centralized administrative support to the small non-profit organizations that help residents find or stay in affordable housing. This bill allows non-profit organizations to focus their limited resources on residents instead of training, onboarding, and other personnel needs. I thank my colleagues Jack Evans, Mary Cheh, David Grosso, and Brianne Nadeau, for their support. 
The Capital Guardian Youth Challe NG e Academy is hosting an orientation on Thursday, May 16th at 11:00 A.M. at the Benning (Dorothy Height) Library located at 3935 Benning Road, NE. Orientation will provide in-depth information on the opportunities the academy offers.
Qualified youth must fit into one or more of the following categories: (1) did not complete high school, (2) habitually truant, (3) have been or are in danger of expulsion. Applicants must be between the ages of 16-18 and reside in the District of Columbia.
Please share this information with your colleagues, qualified youth, and families . Those who are interested can visit the website at www.cgyca.org to complete a pre-application.
May 2019
As a lover of jazz music, I was excited to present the Ceremonial Resolution declaring April as “Jazz Appreciation Month” and April 30th as “International Jazz Day.”

‪Many residents can’t travel to the Wilson Building, so I continued my senior outreach, visiting the Wesley House Senior Apartments. I want to thank the seniors for sharing their feedback and concerns.

I was also happy to swear in their new board members. ‬
It was a pleasure meeting with the 2019 class of the Institute for a Democratic Future. I gave them an overview of how our city government operates, Statehood for DC, and some of the unique challenges here in the District.
I had a great time with residents of the Bernice Elizabeth Fontenau Senior Wellness Center. Thank you for allowing me to join your Mother's Day tea!

I was happy to recommend funding through my committee to expand community dining and peer support for our LGBTQ seniors as a direct result of their passionate advocacy and engagement.

Thanks to the 2030 Group for having me as a panelist representing t he Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments  to discuss our regional housing shortage and challenges at the 3rd Annual Roadmap event. ‬
Thank you Georgetown University and the Department of Corrections for creating a program that teaches college classes to our incarcerated residents. It was a pleasure speaking with scholars, and I look forward to seeing continued progress of the program.
I was happy to join the Federal City Alumnae Chapter and DC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. for their Advocacy Day to discuss ways to improve racial equity, maternal mortality, and education. 
I was excited to join Attorney General Karl Racine and DC students who wrote essays for the Do the Write Thing Challenge, addressing how gun violence impacts their lives and communities and sharing their ideas for solutions.

It was great meeting with students from the  Columbia Heights Education Campus  to discuss their concerns about funding for the school’s programs and their facility needs.
My daughters were too young to join me for  Take Your Children To Work Day , so I asked some of  The Black Swan Academy  youth to join me.
We attended a reception, a hearing, and met with all of my staff to talk about college and their career aspirations.
I had the honor of being a guest lecturer at  American University  for the Justice & Public Policy class. I work every day to reduce the barriers for our returning citizens, and was proud to talk about ways to address some of the challenges to finding housing, acquiring identification cards, and transportation.
 Thank you, Professor Gordon-Andrew Fletcher, for the invitation.
Madison and I were proud to join the 10th Annual Frank R. Williams Scholarship Fund that provides scholarships and academic support to college-bound athletes at  Calvin Coolidge Senior High School .

Thank you to the Williams family for keeping the legacy alive.
Congratulations to the new  Ward 7  Democratic leadership on being sworn in.

I look forward to working with you to mobilize voters and strengthen civic engagement in our city.
My family and I had a great time with Jack and Jill of America, Washington, DC Chapter  at their 7th Annual Family Fitness Day at Shepherd Park.

Thanks for having us!
It was an honor to celebrate  Ben's Chili Bowl  matriarch and owner, Virginia Ali, for receiving the Duke Zeibert Capital Achievement Award presented by the  Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington .

Thank you for your unwavering dedication to the District as an iconic restaurateur and philanthropist.
I hope you enjoyed this month's edition of my newsletter. If you have any questions or need to bring an issue to my attention, please call my office at (202) 724-8174 or reach out to my team.


My best,

Robert C. White, Jr. Councilmember, At-Large | Council of the District of Columbia
Phone: (202) 724-8174 | Fax: (202) 727-8210 |   www.RobertWhiteAtLarge.com