“In the midst of a global pandemic, catastrophic economic devastation, and societal unrest coming to a head, the D.C. Council has made grave missteps when it comes to meeting the needs of the people whom they purportedly serve in the budget released this week,” said Will Merrifield, candidate for D.C. Council At-Large. “The old saying ‘put your money where your mouth is’ has never rung truer – and the Council has shown its true colors in missing an opportunity to not only meet the need of the moment but also to forge a path for the District’s future.”
The budget released by the Council on July 7:
- Does not provide adequate income support for excluded workers who have been completely shut out of the economy due to COVID-19;
- Fails in the short term to provide necessary safeguards to renters unable to work due to COVID 19 and sets the District on a path to a looming eviction crisis which will exacerbate the current public health crisis;
- Extends flawed development policies that will continue to lead to sky-rocking rents and displacement of working-class residents into the future;
- Fails to raise taxes on high-income earners in order to ensure that needed revenue will be available in future budgets;
- Fails to ensure that children in the District have access to technology and a robust public school infrastructure needed to thrive;
- Fails to adequately fund desperately needed repairs to our public housing stock which jeopardizes the health and safety of the thousands of children and seniors living in these buildings.
- Reverses earlier important policing reforms and further fails to reallocate money away from ineffective and wasteful militarized policing spending.
Will Merrifield is running for D.C. Council At-Large in the November 3, 2020 election. He has been a tenant rights attorney, working with tenant associations across the District to prevent displacement and preserve truly affordable and safe housing. He believes every person deserves a safe home, a quality education, and reliable employment – and will work hard to make sure every resident can achieve success.