PLATFORM

Affordable Housing for All

The majority of town hall meetings organized by the DC government in the past decade have shown affordable housing to be the most pressing issue among DC residents.

DC has been steadily displacing low and middle income families including 20,000 black DC residents in the last 10 years. DC is in desperate need for real affordable housing for millennials, seniors and low- and mid-income individuals and families.

We must reverse this trend refocusing our priorities putting residents needs first. It is time to enhance and reclaim our housing policies and laws to benefit DC residents at the lower end of the socio-economic ladder. Doing that, we will all benefit at the end.

Here is a list of obtainable public policy measures necessary to improve overall housing conditions of District of Columbia residents that I am pledging to:

 

  • Reclaim rent control and amend our current act to increase the number of units under rent control. The law should amend to include buildings constructed before 2011 and to landlords who own four units or more

  • Amend the DC Inclusionary Zoning Law to require 30% of the units of any housing development project in DC

  • At minimum 2/3 of those units to be dedicated for low- and moderate-income individuals and families

  • Set the goal of 36,000 new affordable housing units for 2030. This is to cover the broad spectrum of affordable housing needed in the city including temporary housing, rental housing and homeownership.

  • Update and amend the District Comprehensive Plan to reflect the need of current DC residents including millenials and low income families.

  • Increase the number of public housing developments to 20,000 in total to include renovated and new construction units.

  • Increase  to 10,000 units the number of affordable housing designated to seniors for independent and assisted living.

  • DC Public housing needs better management, control, and oversight. I will work for improving the conditions of those 8,000 units with residents and stakeholders.

 

High Quality Education

 

Our zip code shouldn’t determine the quality of education our children and youth receive in our public and charter schools in DC. Parents and advocates have reported some tension and even hostility inside our DC Public Schools (DCPS)

 

Our teachers are described as dedicated educators performing under stressful and challenging environment most of the time and in need of better tools and resources for them to succeed. Indeed, our schools are the centerpiece of our communities.

Last year, students, parents, teachers and administrators, and other stakeholders have joined together in several public hearings organized by the DC City Council to express their frustration for the lack of transparency in preparing, executing and evaluating the annual budget. Some of the ideas we agree to be the solutions are:

 

  • DC Public Schools (DCPS) and DC Public Charter Schools (DCPCS) must follow a school-based budgeting model to fund schools and apply transparency over how funds are being allocated in each DC public school.

  • DCPS must allocate the “at-risk” funds toward the intended purpose.

  • DCPS and DCPCS funding decision should point toward equity.

  • The budget should incorporate inputs given by students, teachers and other stakeholders.

  • The formula in place for allocating funds per students enrolled in the DCPS system should be updated each year to reflect the costs of education in DC. Such formula should not be manipulated to accommodate or reflect DC government budget shortfall.

  • Improve good teachers retention providing incentives, mentoring and support.

  • Increase funding for emotional and social programming for students.

  • Improve administrative working conditions.

Public Safety  & Community-Oriented Policing

 

We know that poverty, illegal guns, and lack of neighborhood investment are the real issues contributing to crime and violence in our communities. Everyone of us need to be treated with respect, fairness and humanity by our law enforcement in DC. We must spend less money on criminalizing our DC residents and more moneys toward projects and programs that provide services to keep our communities safe.

 

We also need more accountability and transparency from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) therefore, most of DC residents agree for the creation of a permanent commission on public safety and criminal justice to oversee the MPD.

 

The DC government must continue to seek proactive solutions to eradicate crime. We know poverty, illegal guns, and lack of community development are roots of the problem.

Specific solutions to eradicate crime are:

 

  • Dedicate more resources to community development including the hiring of local community organizers to proactively work on crime prevention measures.

  • Provide access to job opportunities and continuing education to low income individuals and families.

  • Seek greater, more organized collaboration with surrounding jurisdictions to stop the entry of illegal contraband and access of guns to DC.

  • Implement recommendations from the Comprehensive Homicide Elimination Strategy Task Force for creating policies, projects and programs in DC.

 

Economic Justice & Green New Deal for DC

 

Talking to friends and families in Wards 7 and 8, they expressed their desire to achieve and maintain full employment, home-ownership opportunities and access to fresh foods among other critical issues.During this extraordinary time due to COVID -19 Pandemic, it is critical that we refocus our values and efforts for making DC most prosperous, healthy and livable for all us. while we continue to work in response to the climate crisis.

A comprehensive Green New Deal in DC will allow us to address our issues of infrastructure, energy, transportation, economic justice and worker’s rights in a more holistic manner.The urgency of these measures are absolutely necessary at local level.

DC must reach the goal of 100 percent renewable energy by 2032 and zero-emissions public transportation by 2045.

We should continue to implement the following programs and practices:

 

  • Incorporating the usage of renewable and solar energy for all DC government sponsor and subsides development projects.

  • Creating green public projects and programs

  • Buying green power through the DC government for all DC residents.

  • Continuing solar energy initiatives citywide.

  • Creating new green jobs that pay living wages.

  • Expanding green public transportation projects including safe and interconnected bicycles lines.

  • Providing assistance and training local small business owners

  • Providing medical for all to all DC residents.

  • Universal basic income to all DC resident to alleviate the economic, social & climate crises.

 

 

 

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Mario Cristaldo

FOR DC COUNCIL AT-LARGE

 

NOVEMBER 3, 2020

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Paid for by Committee to Elect Mario Cristaldo, P.O. Box 21140, Washington, DC 20009. Gerardo Lozada, Treasurer. A copy of our report is filed with the Director of Campaign Finance of the District of Columbia Board of Elections.