Budget Priorities and Pandemic: Insurgent Candidate Views

Racial and economic justice was a challenge for DC before Covid-19, and the pandemic is creating unprecedented and growing need. The District CAN address shortfalls and equity at once, according to a group of DC Council candidates: Ed Lazere, candidate for At-Large (Ind) seat; Jordan Grossman, for Ward 2 (Dem); Janeese Lewis George, for Ward 4 (Dem); and Anthony Lorenzo Green, for Ward 7 (Dem) seat.

Audio program —

Video program —

Facebook Live from May 6, 2020

Before launching discussion of the DC Budget, conversation touched on the Reopen DC plans, including ACLU-DC’s statement calling on the mayor to reconsider the make-up of the Advisory council.

Read the joint statement on budget from the candidates and mentioned on today’s show. Friday’s “People’s Forum on the DC Budget” information and RSVP link. Just listen and/or SIGN UP TO TESTIFY.

City Council budget information including timelines and details of committee work.

Candidate Information

Candidates’ contacts:

Janeese Lewis George, Democrat for DC Council, Ward 4 Janeese4dc.com

Anthony Lorenzo Green, Democrat for DC Council, Ward 7 greenward7.com

Jordan Grossman, Democrat for DC Council, Ward 2 jordanforward2.com

Ed Lazere, Independent Candidate for DC Council At-Large edfordc.com

We Act Radio is working to bring additional voices to “Community Under Covid,” as the budget is transmitted to the Council on May 12 and the budget schedule progresses. Stay tuned — via Facebook, Twitter, or this blog — for further announcements. See footer to subscribe for updates.


America’s Islamic Heritage Museum

AIHM, right down the street from We Act Radio, at 2315 Martin Luther King Avenue, is hosting the following:

Food Distribution Pick-up: Sat, May 16, from 11:30 am – 2:30 pm

Free community Lunch Pick-Up every Tues and Thur 12:30-1:30 pm

Ramadan Hot Meal Pick-Up Schedule:

7:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Tuesday, May 05 and Thursday, May 07
Tuesday, May 12 and Thursday, May 14
Tuesday, May 19 and Thursday, May 21

The museum itself is closed due to Covid-19 and had to cancel its annual Ramadan fund-raiser, so they are in need of support to keep their educational and community programs running. Look for America’s Islamic Heritage Museum on Facebook and the web.

Justice for Muslims Collective is hosting Social Justice Iftar Monday May 18th 7-9 p.m. “Until Liberation, We Resist.”

ACLU-DC on Reopen DC

Statement of Monica Hopkins, Executive Director of ACLU of the District of Columbia, in response to a query on Reopen DC:

The ACLU-DC is deeply concerned that the appointment of Michael Chertoff and Susan Rice as the co-chairs of the ReOpen DC Advisory Group signifies that Mayor Bowser has chosen a law enforcement and national security focus to reopening D.C., rather than the public health approach she has long championed. Mr. Chertoff has an especially dark history of promoting surveillance technology and policing policies that discriminate against people of color.

In addition, the ACLU-DC is very concerned that little to no public input went into the creation and composition of the advisory group. How were committee members chosen? What criteria were used? How will decisions be made amongst the committees? Will advisory group meetings be open to members of the public, particularly those who have been most impacted by this crisis?

The advisory committees also lack members from community-led groups that have deep expertise in their issue areas. For instance, D.C. Mutual Aid Network, which has been on the front lines of the pandemic by helping vulnerable D.C. residents access food, supplies, and resources and knows firsthand where the District’s COVID assistance is most lacking, was not included in the Equity and Vulnerable Populations Committee.

Similar, the Government Operations, Public Safety, and Criminal Justice committee lacks any community member input from the reentry or defender communities.

We hope Mayor Bowser will reconsider her choices and expand her advisory group to take advantage of the knowledge and thought leadership of local advocates who have been working on these issues for years. This vast well of expertise is squandered when the Mayor focuses more on big names rather than real results for D.C. residents. — May 6, 2020



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