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FY 2023 Budget Request Letter to Mayor Muriel Bowser

February 18, 2022

 

The Honorable Muriel Bowser

Mayor of the District of Columbia

John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20004

 

Dear Mayor Bowser: 

I am writing to share some of my budget priorities as you and your staff prepare the Fiscal Year 2023 budget for the District of Columbia. While I will be working with my colleagues through the Council budget process to support our shared priorities, I felt it was important to highlight several priorities that might not be championed by others. I respectfully request that you consider including these priorities in your Fiscal Year 2023 budget submission to the Council, and I would appreciate an opportunity to meet with your team in order to discuss them in detail.

Housing and Human Services

  • Emergency rental and utility arrears assistance to stave off evictions and the utility cut off crisis for at least 4 months ($187,000,000)
  • Extend Family Re-Housing Stabilization Program assistance to families facing exits until housing subsidies are identified for all qualifying participants
  • End chronic homelessness for 760 households (500 individuals and 260 families) by investing in Permanent Supportive Housing ($26,000,000)
  • Enhance Targeted Affordable Housing to 1,040 families ($28,000,000)
  • Enhance the Local Rent Supplement Program:
    • Tenant-based vouchers for 800 households on the DCHA waiting list ($17,330,000)
    • Tenant-based vouchers for 60 returning citizens ($1,300,000)
  • Maintain FY2021 funding for Project Reconnect, Homeless Prevention Program, Solid Foundations DC, and Homeless Street Outreach
  • Acquire hotels for short-term use (for PEP-V) and long-term use (for project-based PSH)
  • Increase funding for the Public Housing Repairs and Maintenance Fund ($60,000,000)
  • Funding in FY24 for the completion of the final phase of the Park Morton New Communities Initiative at the Bruce Monroe site ($60,000,000)
  • Enhance funding for the D.C. Cares program to provide financial relief for excluded workers ($160,000,000)

Youth and Families

  • Increase funding for the Grandparent and Close Relative Caregiver Subsidy Program to ensure accessibility for every eligible grandparent and to prevent the passage of the “Grandparent and Close Relative Caregivers Program Amendment Act of 2021” from leading to a waitlist ($1,440,000)
  • Recurring enhancement to fund an FTE for a new Child Fatality Review Committee Agency Liaison or for a detailed Program Specialist ($115,000)
  • Fund a targeted grant to one or more legal services providers to support kinship caregivers struggling to access social welfare benefits like SNAP and TANF ($75,000)
  • Restore recurring funding for CFSA home visiting programs ($310,000)
  • Expand the Strong Families, Strong Futures direct cash transfers program to reach 1,600 more eligible new and expectant mothers in Wards 1, 4, 5, 7, and 8 ($18,000,000)

Public Safety

  • Increase FY 2023 Victim Services fund at the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants for sexual violence survivor services ($3,000,000)
  • Invest in our domestic violence services and providers to respond to domestic violence survivors and their needs:
    • 40 units of transitional housing for families, 25 units of transitional housing for unaccompanied adults, and 15 units of affordable housing for survivors of domestic violence ($20,430,000)
    • Mental health supports for DV survivors ($2,000,000)
    • Culturally specific service providers ($2,000,000)
    • Staff support, mental wellness, and COLA expenses ($2,000,000)
  • Replenish the Shelter and Transitional Housing for Victims of Domestic Violence Fund to a baseline of $20 million to help establish a reliable revenue stream to all members in the Domestic Violence Housing Continuum ($20,000,000)
  • Supports for the District Alliance for Safe Housing (“DASH”):
    • Shelter and Transitional Housing for Victims of Domestic Violence Fund (D.C. Code 4-521) resources to allow DASH to secure ownership of and renovate its Cornerstone Shelter ($3,800,000)
    • OVSJG and DHS funding for DASH’s Safe Housing and Survivor Support programming ($4,950,000)
    • DHS funding for Technical Assistance and Systems Development to improve delivery of services for victims and survivors throughout the District ($750,000)
  • Reporting portal for street harassment, as recommended by the “State of Street Harassment in DC” report issued by the Office of Human Rights in 2020.

Infrastructure and Business

  • Fund the Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs and/or the Department of General Services to support the establishment of Amigos Park at the corner of Mt. Pleasant and Kenyon Streets NW ($500,000)
  • Provide the necessary resources to the Department of Parks and Recreation for expanded Sunday hours at Marie Reed Pool
  • Repairs and improvement at the LeDroit Dog Park ($100,000)
  • Include Cost of Living Adjustment increases for all Ward 1 Clean Teams
  • Ward 1 infrastructure projects that may be funded by historic federal investments in infrastructure or local investments:
    • Funding a study and redesign of the intersection of 16th Street, Harvard Street, Columbia Road, and Mt Pleasant Street NW, as called for in the Crosstown Multimodal Transportation Study ($750,000)
    • Full funding of the streetscape on U Street NW between 14th and 18th Streets, including much needed improvements to operations and safety at the 18th and U and 16th and U intersections
    • 2-4 FTEs for dedicated Traffic Control Officers at 14th and Columbia Rd, and 14thand Irving Streets NW to enforce the 14th Street dedicated bus lane and control important highly trafficked intersections
    • Expanding the Streets for People program at the Office of Planning in FY23.
    • Funding to fully build-out the Crosstown Cycletrack through Columbia Heights and Mt Pleasant, creating a contiguous connection from Brookland to Cleveland Park
    • A dedicated line item in the Capital Budget for curb-less streets and pedestrian plazas 

Health

  • Establish a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner (“SANE”) program at United Medical Center ($50,000)
  • Fully fund the adjusting of Department of Behavioral Health provider reimbursement rates for inflation ($2,700,000)
  • Increase the funds available to the School Behavioral Health Program to improve student accessibility to clinicians and to adjust the compensation rate for participating community-based organizations to inflation and market needs ($5,000,000)
  • Increase funding for the Healthy Futures program to enable the Department of Behavioral Health to make needed updates to the program’s infrastructure, hire personnel, and increase the program’s capacity to expand from 25 to 35 additional child development facilities next fiscal year ($700,000)
  • Improve pediatric primary care through the HealthySteps program, funding an additional site at which families can engage with an early childhood development specialist in the primary care setting ($300,000)

Education

  • Increase funding to the following programs to meet or close the gap on the recommendations of the 2013 DC Education Adequacy Study:
    • Increase UPSFF foundation level by at least 3.6% to keep up with rising costs
    • Fully fund the “at-risk” weight at 0.37 to direct critical funds to students most in need of targeted interventions and support
    • Increase adult school funding to provide funding support for at-risk adult students ($15,000,000)
  • Enhancements to the School-Based Behavioral Health Supports Program:
    • Increase funding for the Department of Behavioral Health’s School-Based Behavioral Health Program to stabilize community-based organization grant funding, support the Community of Practice, and assist schools with effective implementation ($2,400,000)
    • Fund a study to determine the true cost of expanding the school-based behavioral health program now and in the future ($300,000)
  • Provide recurring funding for Out-of-School-Time programs ($25 million)
  • Sustain current level of funding, accounting for this year’s discretionary Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund investments, including a 3% COLA increase ($1,500,000)
  • Invest in outdoor learning and equity of access to outdoor space:
    • Continued funding for the FoodPrints DC program ($1,500,000)
    • Conduct an audit of the District’s outdoor education spaces and establish a city-run fund or grants program to fund outdoor education programming ($5,000,000)
  • Invest in a teach retention pilot program, in 10-12 schools, that incorporates flexible scheduling approaches that allow educators more time and space to plan and collaborate to improve instruction and balance the demands of work and life in a sustainable way while also providing new and enriching experiences to our students ($6,000,000)

Ethics and Government Accountability

  • Recurring investments in the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability as follows:
    • Relocation and lease costs ($906,308)
    • Personnel reclassification ($65,000)
    • FTE to hire a Supervisory Ethics Investigator ($120,000)
    • FTE to hire a Public Information Officer salary ($85,000)
    • Ethics Legal Fellow and Open Government Legal Fellow ($130,000)

Legislative Funding Priorities

  • Fully fund the Give SNAP a Raise Amendment Act of 2022
  • Fully fund the Developmental Disability Eligibility Reform Amendment Act of 2022($533,000)
  • Fully fund the portion of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Query and Omnibus Health Amendments Act of 2020 related to the Healthcare Alliance program
  • Fully fund the Direct Support Professional Payment Rate Act of 2019
  • Fully fund remaining programs of the Birth-to-Three for All DC Act of 2018
  • Fund the Community Restroom Incentive Pilot Program portion of the Public Restroom Facilities Installation and Promotion Act of 2017 ($300,000)

I know that you have many important priorities for the Fiscal Year 2023 budget and that you will be weighing input from many stakeholders. I appreciate your consideration of the above listed priorities.

 

Sincerely,

Brianne K. Nadeau

Councilmember, Ward 1

Related

Yes, this was a difficult year. And we were handed a difficult budget. I’m proud of the work this Council has done to make an unpalatable budget better.
"We have an obligation as a government to do more than simply reconcile our accounts and produce a balanced budget. We are obligated to take care of our neighbors, to keep our city safe, to enhance our quality of life. To serve people and meet their needs."

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