131 Days and Counting

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Dear Washingtonians,

While crime as a whole was down in 2015, the District of Columbia, like many big cities, experienced an increase in homicides.

As the uptick began, we wasted no time and took action. Chief Cathy Lanier and MPD ramped up police presence across the city.  The Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services provided mini grants to community organizations to address the roots causes of violence, and to help communities heal.  The Department of Employment Services launched new job programs for at-risk young people, and provided them with a productive outlet to get trained and gain employment.

And way back in August (131 days ago, to be exact), I proposed Safer, Stronger DC - a comprehensive public safety plan to combat violent crime.  Unfortunately, the Council has failed to act on this vital legislation.

Enough is enough. We need action now.

Today, I am crisscrossing the District to meet with residents, businesses and community leaders to highlight how the proposed legislation will make our neighborhoods safer and stronger.

  • I visited the District’s Crime Lab to talk about how the legislation will enable us to hire more experts to identify violent criminals and bring them to justice.
  • I will have lunch at Mama’s Kitchen, a Ward 8 small business that was robbed 5 times in 2015, which could take advantage of my proposed incentives for small businesses and churches to install security cameras and lighting.
  • And I will visit with individuals at the DC Jail who are participating in a work-readiness program, where we will talk about my proposal to increase good time credits for those with misdemeanor sentences.  This effort will help returning citizens get back on the right track and move beyond a life of crime.

Just as President Obama has called on Congress to do its part to stop gun violence, I am calling on the DC Council to act by passing the Safer Stronger DC bill – as it is, or with amendments.  Residents need us to work together and avoid further delay.

Together, we will make the District safer and stronger.

 Mayor Bowser Signature