WASHINGTON, DC – Today, the DC Council held its first vote on the FY2018 budget, moving forward with a budget that included several of Councilmember Allen’s top priorities. This included an increase in the per-pupil funding formula to three percent, significant investments in affordable housing, public safety, aging-in-place programs and fully funding the launch of Paid Family Leave.
“From a public safety standpoint, this budget is a serious investment in our first responders and provides a reliable infrastructure to ensure they have the tools needed. At the same time, we’ve funded the NEAR Act and passed landmark legislation moving the District toward the idea of civil Gideon, two of several measures that place DC as a leader in innovative approaches to public safety and health,” said Councilmember Charles Allen, who just completed his first budget cycle as Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety.
A few key points funded in the budget from the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety:
- Funding the NEAR Act, a major step forward in how police and public health officials can work together to prevent crime while responding appropriately to the role of mental and behavioral health in public safety;
- Investments in retention and recruitment for police officers, including helping more police officers afford to be homeowners in the community where they serve;
- Significant investment in Fire and EMS infrastructure;
- Funding to establish a Nurse Triage Hotline to assist callers to the 311 citywide hotline;
- Landmark legislation providing low-income residents with legal representation during eviction proceedings in Landlord-Tenant court.
For Ward 6, Councilmember Allen made schools and education a particular focus in this budget. He wanted to accelerate the modernization of several important Ward 6 schools. Jefferson Middle School will begin planning and construction during FY18, a multi-year jump for the middle school. Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan has been added to the Capital Improvement Plan and will begin a much-needed modernization as soon as FY19. School Within A School @Goding has been accelerated up to FY20 – a two-year jump. Funding for Maury Elementary School increased by $15 million and Eliot-Hine Middle School remained on-track with $84 million for modernization. Shaw Middle School was added to the plan to begin modernization in FY23.
“I have heard loud and clear from Ward 6 families that they want great neighborhood middle schools. With this budget, we’re on track for every neighborhood in Ward 6 to have a fully modernized middle school in the next few years,” said Councilmember Allen. “Budgets are about choices and I believe more than any other factor, young families are making decisions about their future based on the health of the school system.”
Additionally, the budget includes several other key Ward 6 items:
- Begins the renovation of Eastern Market Metro Park, aiming to make the area far more attractive to businesses and pedestrians, while creating new green space in the city;
- Key investment in the health and cleanup of the Anacostia River;
- Funds renovation of both the Southeast and Southwest branches of the DC Public Library System, as well as the collections budget to ensure a world-class ;
- Funds upgrade of two “pocket parks” in Ward 6 as both beautification and an environmental approach to crime prevention in east Capitol Hill;
- Maintains funding for Lansburgh Park as both beautification and an environmental approach to crime prevention in southwest;
- Locks in funding for both Yards and Canal Parks on the southwest waterfront
- Funds raising roads around Buzzard Point to address flood risk.
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