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Answering the Call

Dear Ward 5 neighbors, 

The Council is quickly approaching the first budget vote on May 29. There are pressing questions on my mind, and a responsibility I believe my colleagues and I have to ensure our most vulnerable neighbors’ needs are met.

While we’ve answered the call in this budget to ensure WMATA can avoid drastic service cuts and downtown revenue can continue to fund our most vital social services, we must also ask—have we answered the call for the single mother of three in Trinidad who is about to be kicked out of rapid rehousing? Have we answered the call for the fixed-income senior in Fort Lincoln who struggles to put food on the table? Have we answered the call for the families newly experiencing homelessness, as the 2024 Point-in-Time Count showed a 39% increase in homelessness among families

These are the neighbors—many of them in Wards 5, 7, and 8—that I am committed to fighting for in the remaining weeks. There is still more work to do as the budget vote approaches, and your advocacy remains critical. Thank you to the many neighbors, ANCs, Ward 5 small businesses, advocates, and more who have contacted my office and testified throughout this budget season to fight for an equitable budget. Each phone call, email, office visit, and submitted testimony is an important step in our work to build healthy communities together.

Today is the 70th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown vs. Board of Education, overturning the “separate but equal” precendent of the 1896 Plessy vs. Ferguson case and ruling school segregation illegal. This afternoon, I had the honor of speaking to Brookland Middle School students as they marked this historic day, and shared with them about DC’s own history of school desegregation in a case decided in the Supreme Court the same day as Brown vs. Board of EducationBolling vs. Sharpe. I invited them to remember where we come from—the families who fought for their children’s right to public education—and to courageously chart where we are going as we face remaining school segregation challenges in our own time.