Remarks on the Final Vote of the FY 2025 Budget

First, there are so many thank yous owed. The budget office and all of our staff deserve an immense amount of credit and congratulations for what we’ve been able to accomplish here. 

I also want to express my gratitude to Chairman Mendelson for working with me throughout this process. 

The budget proposal sent to us by the Mayor in March shirked responsibility, opting to balance the budget on the backs of our most vulnerable residents, and to eliminate services that are key to how we live in the District.    

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.  

The budget before us today does more to support the rights, health, and wellbeing of residents, more to protect vulnerable people, including children, more to support livelihoods, and more to keep the District a clean, safe, and livable city.    

The budget we will approve today makes significant investments in housing, housing vouchers, and rental assistance that were not in the Mayor’s proposal.  

In particular, thank you Chairman for finding additional funds to bring the total to 577 new housing vouchers, after the Mayor’s proposed budget contained no funding for new vouchers in FY25. Far too many of our residents are struggling, and many more will be without a roof over their heads if we do not act now.  

The budget also restores most of the funds necessary to preserve pay equity for early childhood educators.  

It closes the gap in funding for Open Movie Captioning, adjusts the tax abatement for Studio Theater, fully funds the United Negro College Fund tax abatement, and completes the public life and sidewalk Vending studies in Columbia Heights and Mount Pleasant.  

It funds my legislation, the Home Visiting Reimbursement Amendment Act, which will expand access to these evidence-based programs for expectant parents.   

It – once again – saves the critically important Office of the Ombudsperson for Children.  

It includes a police budget increase of $70 million that fully funds the chief’s request for additional officers and new mobile police cameras in the 3rd and 4th police districts that I funded from my committee.  

And finally, a decade after efforts began, we have standalone public restrooms in five locations for anyone who needs them.  

Thank you again for all the work that went into this budget. I echo comments made at first reading, that this budget is a vast improvement compared to what we were first given, and I think there’s a lot in here to be proud of.


“The Council has gone through yet another budget process while the commission has sat on its hands.”
"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."

Most Recent