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Archive for April, 2011

6
Apr

DDOE Public Budget Briefing!

Wed Apr 06, 2011 at 02:53:18 PM EST

By Chris Weiss, Director, DC Environmental Network

Interested in how the Mayor’s proposed budget will affect local environmental programs?

Join the DC Environmental Network, DC Fiscal Policy Institute, Global Green USA, Friends of the Earth, Greenspace NCR, Institute for Market Transformation, Sustainable Community Initiatives, Washington Parks & People, Sierra Club, Solar Solution llc., Capital Area Food Bank, DC Farm to School Network, Anacostia Watershed Society, DC Sun, Center for Biological Diversity, Surfrider Foundation – DC Chapter and DC for Democracy for a very important budget briefing.

District of Columbia Mayor Vincent Gray recently released his proposed budget to deal with a $322.1 million dollar budget gap. The environmental organizations listed above asked the District Department of the Environment (DDOE) for a budget briefing to discuss how Mayor Gray’s proposed budget cuts will impact programs to fight global warming, restore area rivers and creeks, restore our urban forest and protect the health and economic well being of District residents.

DDOE Director Christophe Tulou and his Deputy Directors have agreed to share budget highlights and answer questions at a DDOE Budget Briefing on April 14th at 10:00 AM at DDOE Headquarters, 1200 First Street NE, Room 718. All are welcome to attend.

This will be an important opportunity to prepare for Councilmember Mary Cheh’s DDOE Budget Hearing on April 21st.

SIGN-UP HERE to ATTEND the Budget Briefing on April 14th! (We will forward to DDOE!)

Please forward to your lists!

3
Apr

REPORT: What Can Environmentalists Do About DC Budget Shortfalls?

Sun Apr 03, 2011 at 10:43:15 AM EST

By Chris Weiss, Director, DC Environmental Network

On March 3rd DCEN LUNCHEON participants were treated to an excellent primer on current budget shortfalls and what DC environmentalists might do to make sure their voice is heard by decision makers to make sure important environmetal programs are saved from cuts.

This discussion was the first event organized by the DC Environmental Network designed to prepare the environmental community for the upcoming budget battles that will be occuring in the next few months.

District of Columbia At-Large Councilmember Phil Mendelson explained what revenue creation options the Council and Mayor are considering to deal with the $400-500 million dollar budget shortfall. He also shared some tips on how we, the environmental community, might approach the Council and Mayor to protect important environmental programs. Click Here to Watch Phil’s Presentation!

Jennifer Budoff, Budget Director of the DC Council talked about a new Tax Expenditure Working Group to help develop ideas and use best practices to better manage taxpayer dollars and bring new efficiences to save money. She hoped some of these savings and efficiencies would occur in the current budget cycle. She also shared opportunities for District residents to come speak out about how they want taxpayer dollars to be used. Click Here to Watch Jennifer’s Presentation!

Ed Lazere, Executive Director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute talked about the importance of raising revenues. Ed shared data from past years that show that revenue collections have decreased as needs have increased. Ed talked about how cuts of certain programs decrease the overall quality of life. He cited our public library system as an example. He talked about possible income and sales tax increases. Ed discussed a weakness in the District’s tax system that keeps Corporations from paying their fair share of taxes in the District. Fixing this could keep the District from adding another $22 million to the current budget shortfall. Click Here to Watch Ed’s Presentation!

Discussion: These three presentations were followed by a very interesting open discussion were DCEN participants shared information and asked questions of our panelists. Watch the Open Discussion Here!