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May 25, 2016

DCEN Action! Time Remains to Comment on Bills!

Wed May 25, 2016 at 02:35:45 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

DC Council Holds Public Hearing on Clean Energy Bill!

[Telana Felder, Southern Homes and Gardens Cooperative, testified in support of the clean energy bill, and shared how solar power, installed in her community, helped low income residents save money.]

The DC Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment, led by Chairperson Mary Cheh, held a very successful Public Hearing on Bill 21-650, the Renewable Portfolio Standard Expansion Act of 2016. This important legislation would increase the District’s renewable energy targets and create a “Solar for All” program that would put free solar panels on the roofs of low-income homeowners.

The DC Environmental Network and Global Green USA, testified in support of the bill.  We were joined by the Capital Area Food Bank, Southern Homes and Gardens Cooperative, DC Working Families, Amalgamated Bank, MDV-Solar Energy Industry Association, Grid Alternatives, Standard Solar, DC Sun, Nixon Peabody, Kenergy Solar, Cesar Chavez School, Direct Energy Solar, Interfaith Power & Light, Moms Clean Air Force, U.S. Climate Action Network, Wentworth Green Strategies, DC Sierra Club, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and others.

[Committee Chair Cheh, and Councilmember’s Silverman and Allen, stayed for the entire 5 hour hearing.]

You still have time to submit comments:

If you are unable to testify in person, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. Copies of written statements should be submitted to Ms. Aukima Benjamin, staff assistant to the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Suite 108, Washington, D.C. 20004. They may also be e-mailed to abenjamin@dccouncil.us or faxed to (202) 724-8118.

The record will close at the end of the business day on May 26, 2016.

DCEN Supports a $15.00/Minimum Wage!

The DC Environmental Network has supported Living Wage and Minimum Wage legislation for over ten years. We believe that fair wages, that give District families a shot at living comfortable lives, is a major sustainability issue, and in the end, is complimentary to other priorities like clean water and clean and affordable energy.

We generally support the basic concept of Mayor Bowser’s “Fair Shot Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2016” of ramping up the minimum wage to $15/hour and consumer price index adjustments over time,  but would also like to see tipped workers included into the mix. We are currently finalizing our testimony but wanted to pitch to all of you that it is important for all of us to comment on this important policy.

– Here is some helpful information: Bill Language & Hearing Notice.

– Working Families Party Hearing Guide!

– Useful links from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute that speak to “general” benefits of minimum wage increases:

Jobs in Retail and Food Service Grew in the First Year of DC’s Minimum Wage Increase.

Latest DC Minimum Wage Increase Helping Improve Families’ Security. 

DC’s Minimum Wage Increase Will Help Thousands of Residents Make Ends Meet.

Send in Testimony Today!

If you are unable to testify at the public hearing, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. The official record will remain open until close of business Friday, May 27, 2016. Copies of written statements should be submitted to the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs, Council of the District of Columbia, Suite 119 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004.

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