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Linda Wharton-BoydFriday, July 31, 2009 (202) 724.8105; firstname.lastname@example.org
BALANCING DC BUDGET ON THE BACKS OF POOR NOT AN OPTION
“DC Councilmember Michael A. Brown Led Effort to Re “DC Councilmember Michael A. Brown Led Effort to Re “DC Councilmember Michael A. Brown Led Effort to Re “DC Councilmember Michael A. Brown Led Effort to Restore Funding for TANF; Worked with Colleagues to store Funding for TANF; Worked with Colleagues to store Funding for TANF; Worked with Colleagues to store Funding for TANF; Worked with Colleagues to Restore Rapid Housing, the Grandparent Caregiver Subsidy, and Job Training” Restore Rapid Housing, the Grandparent Caregiver Subsidy, and Job Training” Restore Rapid Housing, the Grandparent Caregiver Subsidy, and Job Training” Restore Rapid Housing, the Grandparent Caregiver Subsidy, and Job Training”
– Today, Councilmember Michael A. Brown and his colleagues, under the leadership of CouncilChairman Vincent Gray, completed the daunting and difficult task of balancing the budget and ensuring that thefiscal solvency of the District was protected. While the budget cycle was fraught with many difficult choices, theCouncil was able to spread the pain of the economic recession with approximately $50 million in revenue increasesalong with nearly $250 million in budget cuts.Brown, who advocated for the combination of cuts and revenue enhancements as the fiscally responsible action totake to address the budget shortfalls, praised the Council’s willingness to take on difficult and decisive actions on politically unpopular issues. Some of Brown’s programs and priorities were unfortunately cut; however,compromise and hard work led the Council to protect essential city services and to remain sensitive to those who aremost vulnerable during the current economic turmoil.Brown led the effort to eliminate the proposed TANF sanctions that research has shown to be ineffective and overly punitive. He also worked with Councilmember Tommy Wells to restore funds for Rapid Housing and theGrandparent Caregiver subsidy, which will allow families to stay in their homes together and not slip intohomelessness or foster care. Further, he joined Councilmember Marion Barry to successfully advocate for therestoration of funds for job training, which will assist the 10.9% of the population that is currently unemployed toreceive training that will prepare them for a job and a life of self-sufficiency.
“It is our responsibility to ensure that the budget is not balanced on the backs of the poor,”
“I amvery pleased that we were able to restore many cuts that would have been absolutely devastating to our most disadvantaged residents.”
As the freshman Councilmember participating in the budget process for the first time, Brown felt that the processwas incredibly enlightening and was honored to have shared the experience with the other legislators who arecommitted to public service and fiscal stewardship. He applauded his colleagues for their hard work and tenacitythroughout the budget process, stating
“None of these accomplishments could have been achieved without thecooperation and tireless commitment of my colleagues and for that I am grateful to them.”
In addition to restoring funds to help the District’s most vulnerable residents, Brown won praise from his colleaguesfor setting a historical precedent with his amendment to the Convention Center Hotel Act of 2009 that he introducedwith Councilmember Kwame Brown. The amendment will require thatat least 60 percent of apprenticeship, skilledand unskilled laborers hours as well as 25 percent of journeyman hoursperformed on the construction of the Hotelare reserved for DC residents.