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January 25, 2017

Join DC’s Don’t Govern With Hands Tied Campaign!

Wed Jan 25, 2017 at 01:16:20 PM EST

by Chris Weiss, DC Environmental Network

Join the DC Environmental Network for this special opportunity to start working with the broader sustainability community to achieve our shared vision for the District of Columbia!

[Picture from Saturday’s Women’s March on Washington. Let’s start turning our words into action and support improving and maintaining the District’s health and wellbeing.]

“DC residents voted in large numbers in the 2016 election, a testament to their desire to make their priorities heard loud and clear. They are proud that the District can be a beacon of hope in dark times. And, they will look at the District’s proposed FY2018 budget to see if it reflects these values. We urge Mayor Bowser and the DC Council to ensure they have the full financial flexibility to answer this call.”

– Taken from Untie DC Hands Statement, January 2017

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DC Environmental Network:

I want to share an opportunity to participate in an important campaign, spearheaded by the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, and with partners including the Children’s Law Center, DC Alliance of Youth Advocates, Fair Budget Coalition, Jews United for Justice, Legal Aid Society of DC, Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO, Miriam’s Kitchen, Washington Interfaith Network, DC Environmental Network, and others.

The fundamental purpose of this campaign is to convince decision makers to “pause restrictive fiscal policies limiting DC’s response to important needs.”

This is necessary because it is becoming apparent that the District faces many fiscal challenges including a “spiraling affordable housing and homelessness crisis,” a “growing population” that makes a “strong public transit system even more important.”

We will need fiscal flexibility to meet these challenges and others that come our way.

It is also necessary, as the new Congress and President Trump have threatened to cut federal funding for our nation’s critical safety net, including Medicaid, SNAP, and other programs that are important to the health and wellbeing of District residents.

We will need fiscal flexibility to maintain and protect these basic human needs.

Reading the newspaper, the last 48 hours, it’s easy to imagine this list could grow larger and very much impact funding for protection of children from lead poisoning, helping communities adapt to climate change, and other federal programs important to the environmental health and human service community.

We will need fiscal flexibility to protect the health of our children and to prepare for the impacts of climate change.

This sensible proposal, which the DC Environmental Network fully supports, includes spending DC’s budget surplus from FY2016; putting automatic tax cuts on hold for 2018; and creating a budget cushion to deal with looming federal cuts.

Supporting this initiative is an important way we can all join together and prepare ourselves for the coming year and beyond. Already it is clear that many in Congress are getting in line to meddle in District affairs to make political points.

One way we can fight back and get through the next four years, is to open our minds and hearts to a new way of achieving our sustainability goals. That means getting out of our silos and striving to find ways of helping any program or initiative that creates better wellbeing for everyone in our favorite city, the District of Columbia. The idea is more working together.

I ask that you consider joining the DC Environmental Network in supporting this campaign statement, and if possible, put some of your time and resources into helping us convince our home town decision makers that now is the time to take off some of our restrictive fiscal restraints as we prepare for a very uncertain future.

I am hoping you will consider signing our statement and joining this critical and timely campaign.

Chris Weiss, Executive Director, DC Environmental Network

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Background materials:

DC Leaders: Don’t Govern with Your Hands Tied StatementPlease send scanned form, and direct any questions to: Simone Holzer, DC Fiscal Policy Institute, sholzer@dcfpi.org

DC Leaders: Don’t Govern with Your Hands Tied FAQ

DCEN will be holding an informal conference call to discuss this campaign on Thursday, January 26th @ 4:00 PM. If you are interested in participating, send an email to: cweiss@globalgreen.org

 

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