Issues

Affordable Housing

I am happy that we now have about 1000 new residents in our city.  This is an indication that people like DC, and we should be happy about that.  We also know that this growth in population brings challenges, housing being one of them.  Affordable housing is a basic human right and a racial justice issue. As a resident of the District, I have experienced firsthand the strain and pressure our housing crisis has placed on families. In my work in the community I have been an advocate for affordable housing and for renter’s/tenant’s rights. As Councilmember, I will continue to support and push for more rent control legislation, I will support fully funding DHCD’s tools and programs, and will push for more initiatives that fund Community Based Non-Profit Organizations (CBO).  I will support relaxing rules and regulations that make it difficult for buyers and tenants to get into homes.  My housing policy emphasizes the following:

  • Emergency Rental Assistance
  • Creating strong tenants, affordability and anti-displacement protections
  • Affordable Housing Development (Inclusionary Zoning)
  • Housing policies that encourage mixed-income development/communities
  • Improving access to homeownership

 

Education and Childcare

Education, like housing, is a basic necessity for survival.  Our children deserve nothing but the best education.  In the 80’s my parents left the city and moved to the suburbs because they felt that DC’s public schools were not at par with those in the suburbs.  Over 30 years later we still have education disparity, not only when comparing our schools to nearby counties, but within the city as well.  A good primary education in DC can’t be only a private education, or an education based on your zip code.  We need to ensure that all schools throughout the city are well funded that our educators are competent and can inspire our students to achieve greatness.  We need to bring our public primary school system in line with our higher learning institutions.  All students in DC deserve to have one of the best public school system in the nation.  I intend to work with students/parents organizations, school administrators and staff and faculty to address issues and bring ideas to fruition that will improve the school system.  A good education is the basis for survival and success.  A good education is the closest guarantee we have to success.  And we in DC must guarantee our children a school system that provides them the opportunity for a shot at success.  DC needs:

  • Affordable, quality child care
    Universal preschool
  •  Quality K-12 education
  • Strong local community public schools
  • School choices for parents
  • Bilingual education
  • Learning models and career pathways
  • Affordable college/professional education and student debt
  • Relevant and quality vocational education

 

COVID-19/Pandemic Response

The health and economic crises created by the COVID-19 pandemic require strong leadership and proactive policy to keep our citizens safe and protected. Unfortunately, our country’s leadership has not been sufficient to protect our citizens and families. As Councilmember I will prioritize the following:

  • Access to expanded unemployment benefits, including for undocumented workers
  • Better access to COVID-19 care, testing, treatment
  • Safe access to voting locations/Ease of ability to vote by mail
  • Protections for those facing eviction or foreclosure due to lost income
  • Protections against COVID-19 in the work place
  • Safe transportation and access

 

Climate Change and Sustainability

We also needs robust action on the climate, and DC has an opportunity as our nation’s capital to lead the way by building sustainably and protecting vulnerable communities from the impacts of climate change and other environmental injustices. My plan includes:

  • Building a clean energy economy and creating clean energy jobs
  • Environmental and Climate Justice (protection of the environment, reducing pollution in
    minority neighborhoods)
  • Moving DC towards increased sustainability
  • Protecting workers against climate-related work conditions such as asthma and
    excessive heat

 

Public Safety and Police Reform

We have seen an escalation of violence in the District and we are no stranger to high crime rates.  We also had a decline in trust of police in our communities. For some time now, DC has had one of the highest police to resident ratios in the nation; currently with a police force of nearly 4000 officers.  As a Councilmember, I will make sure that Public Safety is well funded at all levels, I will continue to support measures that help build trust between community and law enforcement.  I will support measure that reinforce accountability, and I will support measures that look at best practices to help reduce homicides.

  • Restructure and Reimagine Police Department 
  • Ensure that the police force represents the community it serves
  • Hire more bilingual officers
  • Stopping the cycle of violence
  • Decreasing the availability of illegal firearms
  • Supporting a ban on assault weapons
  • Strong accountability process to increase community-police trust
  • Restructure incentive programs (reward officers for more community engagement and less for how many tickets they write)

 

Transportation and Infrastructure: 

Growth in the DMV has made it more important than ever to ensure safe, reliable, and affordable transportation modes. However, the challenge continues to be long travel times and more pollution. We need to have leadership that will guide our neighboring states in solutions to our shared challenges.  I fully support green development.

  • Investing in Metro and other mass transit systems
  • Repairing bridges and highways
  • Flood remediation
  • Neighborhood walkability
  • Modernizing our electrical grid

 

Economic Justice and Workers’ Rights

  • Raising workers’ wages
  • Protecting worker rights
  • Protecting retirement security
  • Combating racial and gender discrimination
  • Reducing income inequality
  • Workforce Diversity

 

Racial Equality and Inclusion

  • Addressing systemic racism and discrimination
  • Closing the racial wealth gap
  • Allowing immigrants to vote in local elections
  • Addressing voter suppression

 

Economic Growth and Shared Prosperity

  • Fairness in taxation
  • Supporting small business
  • Creating a financial system that works for all Americans
  • Combating food deserts
  • Requiring corporate accountability

 

Broadband Technology and Cyber Safety

  • Broadband and internet access for all
  • Cybersecurity and online privacy
  • Free speech, communications and the internet
  • Computer literacy

 

Public Health and Access to Care

  • Maintaining universal health coverage
  • Supporting community health centers
  • Reducing prescription drug prices
  • Combating drug and alcohol addiction
  • Treating mental health

 

Women’s Rights

  • Equal Right’s Amendment
  • Combating Sexual Harassment and gender discrimination
  • Ending violence against women
  • Preserving reproductive healthcare services
  • Supporting reproductive choice

 

LGBTQ+ Rights

  • Equal rights for the LGBTQ+ community
  • Combating employment discrimination
  • Combating violence against the LGBTQ+ community
  • Support for those living with HIV/AIDS
  • Mental health in the LGBTQ+ community

DC as Sanctuary City and Immigrants

  • Protecting Dreamers
  • Detention and deportation policies
  • Remaining a sanctuary city
  • Driver’s licenses for the undocumented

 

Ethical Leadership in Government

  • Transparency and accountability
  • Full disclosure of campaign contributions
  • Enforcement of current ethics laws
  • Term limits for our elected officials

 

Statehood for the District of Columbia

  • Full voting representation in the House and Senate
  • Budget Autonomy
  • Governance autonomy
  • State governmental structure

 

Investing in Our Collective Future

  • Expose while we educate
  • Prioritize District residents in the Job Market
  • Build Safe and Supported Communities
  • Transform Communities and Infrastructure 

Expose as we Educate 

The lack of soft skill investment in our current curriculum has left thousands of DCPS graduates without the necessary tools to excel in our local job market. The case for additional soft skill development is evident by introduction of the MBSYEP Enhancement Amendment Act of 2017. As a council member I will:

    • work with the Chancellor, OSSE, and SBOE (who ever does curriculum) to introduce a curriculum enhancement whereby students would learn through observation, imitation, and modeling to enhance soft skills;
    • seek out funding to expand out-of-school exposure opportunities via field trips;
    • support formalized intra-system student engagement.

Prioritize District Residents in the Job Market 

  • Global demand for local jobs has resulted in far too many district residents losing out on opportunities to advance their careers to people who do not live in the District. Incentivizing the hire of District residents prevents tax leakage and combats underemployment, thus expanding opportunities for the unemployed. As a council member I will:
    • invest in a white collar wage subsidy;
    • expand the regional scope of the SYEP program to include opportunities in MD and VA.

Build Safe and Supported Communities 

  • As crime rates in the District decline, ensuring that communities feel safe, supported, and reflective of the residents will be one of my top priorities. As a Councilmember I will:
    • continue my efforts to elevate community voice in an effort to improve police and community relations. 

Transform Communities and Infrastructure 

  • The local government should generate mixed use development.
    • ensure construction is done by district residents
    • retail considerations are made for local business
    • Properties are managed by local firms