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Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand

Frederick Douglass once famously said, “Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never did and it never will.” In a city with a $20 billion budget, it is unacceptable that disparities persist—from our educators, to our seniors, to the LGBTQ+ community, to folks just wanting a good paying job. I’m preparing for the Council’s upcoming budget votes with the demands that so many of you have advocated for in mind. 

I stood with hundreds of District neighbors this morning on the steps of the Wilson building—many of them early childhood educators, parents, and education leaders—as they advocated for reversing all cuts to the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund. When they invited me to share a few words, I reiterated the refrain many of you have already heard from me this budget season: the Early Childhood Educator Pay Equity Fund is a non-negotiable in the FY2025 budget. We must reverse these cuts to ensure our early childhood educators are paid fairly, and access to early childhood education in the District is safeguarded for the countless families who rely on it. 

This week, my colleagues and I wrapped up our work on budget oversight. Now it is time for decisions. During next week’s committee mark-ups, we will make choices about where and how to allocate funds and what changes to make from the Mayor’s original FY2025 budget proposal.