News from Mayor Muriel Bowser: Giving District Residents a Fair Shot

Muriel Bowser Ward 4

John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Phone: (202) 727-2643

Chief of Staff:
John Falcicchio

City Administrator:
Rashad Young

Director of the Mayor's Office of Legal Counsel:
Mark Tuohey

Senior Advisor:
Beverly Perry
Director of Mayor's Office of Community Affairs:
Charon Hines

Director of Mayor's Office of Community Relations and Services:
Tommie Jones
Scheduling Requests:

October 6, 2016 | Vol. 2, Issue 38

Letter from the Mayor

Dear Washingtonians,

Washington, DC is my hometown - my family has been in DC for five generations. Whether you and your family have lived here for five generations or five minutes, you know that this is an exciting time for DC, and that by making the right investments we can ensure that prosperity reaches all eight wards. By giving more residents access to affordable housing, we can keep DC the vibrant and diverse city we all know and love while ensuring that all residents have a place to call home. 

When I came into office, I committed to making an annual investment of $100 million in the Housing Production Trust Fund (HPTF). Investing $100 million annually is unprecedented among U.S. cities. Today, I have some exciting news: In FY2016, which ended on September 30, we were able to use all $100 million to fund 19 projects that will create or preserve more than 1,200 affordable housing units. And we are still gaining momentum. We have 5,300 units of affordable housing in the pipeline - enough to house nearly 12,000 DC residents. 

These investments are important, and they are worth every penny. I continue to be committed to producing, protecting, and preserving affordable housing in all eight wards. 

Of course, the $100 million annual investment in the HPTF is just one part of the District's annual budget. My Administration is investing in pathways to the middle class by investing in education, infrastructure, public safety, and people. 

October 1 marked the beginning of a new fiscal year, so below, you can read about some of the investments we are making in the residents of DC.

Muriel Bowser

ICYMI: The Fair Shot Budget, the fiscal year 2017 (FY2017) budget, was the first budget developed wholly under Budget Autonomy. For the first time since Home Rule was passed in 1973, we were able to spend our local dollars without having to wait on Congress to pass the federal budget. This brings us one step closer to operating like the 51st state!

Critical Investments in FY2017

Investing in Education

We have many successes to celebrate in DC's public schools, but we also have work to do. Mayor Bowser is committed to making sure students and families in all eight wards have access to a high-quality education and academic experience. In FY2017 we are making unprecedented investments - more than ever before - in programs that will help meet the diverse needs of the District's students. Some key investments are: 

  • an additional $75 million to support increased student enrollment, so we will be able to fund important programs and initiatives like our new all-boys Ron Brown College Preparatory High School; extended school year, which will give students at participating schools an additional year of learning by the eighth grade; and dual language programs across the District, including the first dual language program east of the Anacostia River at Houston Elementary School. 
  • $1.3 billion for full-scale school modernizations (as part of the six-year Capital Improvement Program).

Every child in DC deserves a world-class facility for world-class learning. We intend to deliver both. 

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A Safer, Stronger DC

In FY2017 we are making critical investments in programs that will create a safer, stronger DC. We have invested:

  • $2.5 million in additional training, call takers, and dispatchers at 911 call centers. 
  • $2.8 million to civilianize 35 positions in the Metropolitan Police Department, which will add extra manpower and help make all officers and detectives more effective.
  • $12 million in the Fire and Emergency Medical Services (FEMS) Third-Party Ambulance Initiative, a program that has already shown to have a positive impact on keeping available ambulances out on the streets of DC.
  • $8 million in the Crime Lab, which will fund the hiring of more forensic scientists and contractors to generate investigative leads and help law enforcement solve cases, and allow us to get more police officers back to patrolling streets by civilianizing crime scene evidence search and collection.

Going forward, the Administration will continue to use every tool - legislative, budgetary, and administrative - available to create a safer, stronger DC. 

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Opportunities in All 8 Wards

Mayor Bowser is committed to providing every Washingtonian - in every neighborhood - a fair shot at pathways to the middle class. Over the past twenty months, we have decreased unemployment by 1.4 percentage points, employed more than 14,000 residents, and developed robust workforce programs that give more residents - young and old - the opportunity to take advantage of DC's thriving economy. 

In FY2017 we will continue to provide even more opportunities for District residents by investing:

  • $1.5 million for additional Traffic Control Officers to advance Vision Zero.
  • $4.5 million for DC Career Connectionsa work readiness program designed to provide out-of-school District youth with opportunities to gain valuable work experience, skills training, and individualized coaching and support to gain employment. 
  • an additional $4.8 million in the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program to fully fund opportunities for over 12,000 14-21 year olds and 1,000 22-24 year olds.

In addition, this week, Mayor Bowser increased DC's unemployment insurance benefits for the first time in over a decade. Because of this investment, residents who are eligible for unemployment insurance benefits will be able to receive up to $425 per week, up from the previous maximum payment of $359, for up to 26 weeks. Furthermore, those with part-time work earnings will see a 14 percent increase in their weekly benefit payouts, a change that will make it easier for claimants to hold part-time jobs. With our partners on the Council, we sent a signal to working families that we understand how important this safety net is when unemployment occurs. 

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