Council Passes Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Including Racial Equity Priorities Championed by Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, July 28, 2019, the District of Columbia Council held its second vote on the Fiscal Year 2021 District of Columbia budget.  The FY21 BSA provides additional investments despite the current health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19.  The FY21 budget reflects a number of investments in Ward 5, while simultaneously focusing on racial equity and supporting our small businesses and their workers.  I am pleased to share the following highlights, which I believe prioritizes racial equity and economic justice within various sectors of our city including health, small business, government, and education.

Ward 5 Priorities:

  • Allocates funding to create interim recreation space in Ivy City and recreational programming.
  • Enhances the District’s Clean Team program with the creation of a new Clean Team in Ivy City.
  • Funds ADA repairs at Riggs-LaSalle and Turkey Thicket Recreation Centers.
  • Maintains $16 million in funds for Theodore Hagans Cultural Center and Thurgood Marshall Elementary.
  • Identified $600,000 to replace or install lighting at the tennis courts at Arboretum Recreation Center, Dwight Moseley field, Langdon Park Recreation Center, Fort Lincoln Park, and Turkey Thicket Recreation Center
  • Maintains $2 million in improvements for Brentwood Recreation Center in FY21 for new field lights and interior renovation.
  • Maintains funding for renovation and expansion of an animal shelter on New York Avenue.
  • Maintains funding for streetscaping and safety improvements on Florida Avenue.
  • Keeps funding for modernization at Brown Education Campus and John Burroughs Elementary School on track.
  • Supports funding for $2.3 million in FY21 to create a long-term home for the DC Infrastructure Academy at Spingarn High School, expanding the Districts workforce development programs here in Ward 5.

 Economic Justice

  • Funds a new disparity study that will provide the data-driven evidence needed to establish public policy goals that benefit Black and Brown people in their quest for equitable contracting procurement opportunities.
  • Directs $5 million to the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) for childcare subsidies to support families with young children and the District’s 471 childcare facilities.
  • Creates an Equity Impact Fund to provide access to capital for economically and socially disadvantaged businesses, who often lack access to conventional financing options.
  • Establishes a new Certified Business Enterprise designation and Equity Impact Enterprise Program that will address structural impediments to opportunities faced by many women and minority owned businesses.
  • Creates the Business Recovery Task Force to provide recommendations regarding the recovery of the District’s businesses following the end of the COVID-19 emergency.
  • Directs $3 million to support the GO-GO music industry.  $1 million to the D.C. Public Library for the creation of a go-go archives; $1 million to the Office of Cable, Television, Film, Music & Entertainment for a Go-Go Creative Economy and Anchor to coordinate and advance go-go activities across the District; and $1 million to Events DC to provide grants to support go-go music.
  • Provides funding for the tax abatement passed last year for legacy business, Sankofa Video and Books.
  • Directs $200,000 in recurring funds for the DC Anchor Partnership which focuses on Increasing procurement with DC-based minority-owned businesses.

 Racial Equity Achieves Results Act

Violence Prevention/Mental Health

  • Supports an increase of more than $3 Million in funds for the Office of Neighborhood Safety & Engagement and the Cure The Streets program.
  • Directs $3.5 million in recurring funds to the Office of Victims Services and Justice Grants (OVSJG) for the Access to Justice Initiative.
  • Invested $9.5 million to the Behavioral Health rehabilitation program at the Department of Behavioral Health (DBH).
  • The Council redirects $4.1 million intended for school security guards to DCPS for investments in the social and emotional learning of students.
  • Invests an additional $603,000 to the Department of Behavioral Health to support the school-based mental health program including an additional $75,000 from the Committee on Business and Economic Development.

Health Equity

  • Supports funding for a new District hospital at the St Elizabeth Campus that will have 136 beds with a verified trauma center.
  • Supports funding for Capital Improvements and the Centers for Excellence at Howard University Hospital including a center for firearm and violence prevention.

Affordable Housing 

  • Directs $6.05 million to create approximately 301 new units of housing for extremely low-income families and individuals through the DC Housing Authority (DCHA)’s Local Rent Supplement Program.
  • Directs $50 million in the capital budget to fund repairs to DCHA’s public housing complexes.
  • Funds the Low-income Housing Tax Credit program which creates a state based low income housing tax credit which will match the federal tax credit 1:4 and adds deeper subsidies to affordable housing projects.
  • Funds a High Need Affordable Housing Tax abatement which creates a new tool to help produce workforce housing and create more opportunities for residents to afford to remain in the District.