Race, Poverty, and Family Economic Security

On any given night in the District, more than 1,400 children and their families are in a shelter or on the street. Far more families are doubled up. During the 2018-19 school year, at least 7,700 students experienced homelessness. In addition, according to the 2019 Youth Count, approximately 1,300 unaccompanied youth, up to age 24, were homeless. DC residents experiencing homelessness are almost entirely Black and brown. The District’s system for serving families and young people in need of permanent housing is fragmented and challenging to navigate. How would you reform DC government services for children and youth experiencing homelessness to ensure the system effectively enables them to obtain the services they need?

Council oversight of the Department and their programs and operations. Under the Home Rule Charter, I will use the Powers of the Council to create, abolish, or ORGANIZE any office, agency or department …and to define the powers, duties, and responsibilities of any such office, agency, department, or instrumentality.

No one deserves to live in poverty, especially children and youth, yet far too many in the District face crushing circumstances that have lifelong consequences. In 2019, 37% of Black children and 17% of Latinx children lived in poverty, compared to just 2% of white children. For children and youth to succeed and meet their full potential, we must close the racial gaps and eradicate poverty. What is your definition of racial equity? How do you think the District should address the significant disparities in poverty rates of Black and brown children compared with white children?

Definition – to treat and serve anyone and everyone fairly and with respect. 2. Fund and invest public tax dollars equally and fairly.


Everyone who lives and works in the District has been affected by the pandemic, but not in the same way. Because of systemic racism, the impact has been particularly brutal on Black and brown residents who have suffered the greatest consequences in areas such as health, housing, job security and more. Unless we want to see these divides deepen, we need to take action. Earlier this year, DC Action for Children and the DC Fiscal Policy Institute conducted a poll of registered DC voters and found that 83 percent support raising local taxes on the highest earning residents to maintain vital public programs and services for families. Specifically, 78 percent of District voters support raising taxes on residents earning taxable income of $350,000 or more and 72 percent $250,000 or more, respectively. Would you support raising new taxes on DC’s highest income earning residents to maintain vital public services and meet children, youth and family needs?

What changes would you make to our tax system to ensure it is more equitable?

1. Ensure that the Congress and Senate representatives pay property taxes on their District of Columbia homes. 2. Ensure that property tax assessments are fair in all wards. Currently, affluent Wards property assessments are lower than the middle and working class homeowners. 3. D.C. Property tax assessment will be assessed every two years.


Since the pandemic, the importance of child care has only become more evident. Families will need access to safe, high-quality, and affordable care so they can return to work. Unfortunately, this kind of child care, costing an average of $23,000 per year, remains out of reach for most families, Early childhood educators, who are primarily Black and brown women, play a critical role in the learning and healthy development of infants and toddlers. Unfortunately, they earn about $30,000 per year, which is half of what their peers in public education earn, and they receive very few benefits. In 2018, the Council passed the Birth to Three for All Act, historic legislation that—if fully funded and implemented—will provide access to health and mental health care, early child development support, and high-quality, affordable child care to families with young children. The Act also raises wages for early childhood educators. To fully fund Birth to Three within 10 years, we will need to allocate nearly $300 million dollars. How would you plan to raise the revenue needed to fund the Birth to Three law?


1. Discontinue the funding of the H Street Folly/Trolley Car System. 2. Discontinue using tax payers hard earned money and replace it with contributions from big business and developers to fund the building of the 11th Street, S.E. BRIDGE – PARK. The most expensive development in D.C. history…since Home Rule. The cost to build is over $1 billion. 3. Have the Council honor its promise (it reneged on) to use a portion of D.C. Lottery Revenue to fund our public schools.

In addition to potential learning loss, one of the negative consequences of virtual learning is the disparities that surface between schools. Some teachers have the resources they need to be successful in the virtual learning environment while others do not. These disparities directly affect students’ ability to learn. Out-of-school time programs can play an important role in addressing inequality and closing opportunity gaps by providing social and emotional learning, internships, mentorship, and tutors in communities and schools. However, school systems and out-of-school time providers do not effectively coordinate in order to best serve students. What steps would you take to ensure schools collaborate with out-of-school-time programs and keep them in place to serve students?


1. Seek to remove the Mayor as the head of the D.C. Public School System. 2. Have an elected School Board that has more authority over school funding and operations. 3. Give the School Board authority to appoint a school superintendent. 4. Give parents more authority on school funding and policy in their neighborhood school.


Many District residents are enrolled in public health insurance, but they don't go to the doctor. What policies would you advance to ensure every family has a medical home in their community where they can access preventive and acute health care?

DC must have a General-Public Hospital. This hospital must have at least the capacity for 250 to 300 beds and a first rate Trauma Unit. Does D.C. General Hospital sounds familiar?

Many Black and brown immigrant parents have access to healthcare through the DC Healthcare Alliance. However, many report losing coverage due to the requirement to recertify every six months. Losing coverage in the middle of a pandemic can be a matter of life of death. Would you support a 12-month certification for the DC Healthcare Alliance, to align with Medicaid and DC Healthy Families, to ensure more consistent coverage?

City/State Coordination

Many states across the country, including Maryland, have recently created Children’s Cabinets to coordinate children and youth work across departments and to break down internal silos. The cabinets have created strategic goals to improve child well-being across issue areas. What are your thoughts about steps that DC can take to improve service coordination among departments and improve outcomes for children and youth?

DC must have a General-Public Hospital. This hospital must have at least the capacity for 250 to 300 beds and a first rate Trauma Unit. Does D.C. General Hospital sounds familiar?

Youth Voice

We believe that young people play a vital role in our democracy. Recent actions, organizing and protests, led by young people have been critical in advancing political and social change. Many youth leaders are too young to vote, but there is a growing Vote 16 movement. Do you support lowering the voting age to 16?

1. Build Vocational Schools to offer our children an apprenticeship to become auto mechanics, plumbers, electricians, welders, chefs, hotel hospitality workers. 2. Return the District’s Police and Fire Cadet programs to high schools. 3. D.C. must hire more residents and place a moratorium on outside hiring. Currently, 70 percent of the D.C. workforce PAY pay roll taxes (every two weeks) to states where they live outside the District of Columbia. D.C. is losing millions in biweekly payroll taxes that are being collected by Maryland, Virginia and other states. To improve our children’s creative skills and talents; the return of music classes, instrumental music – it increase IQ by 4 to 6 points. Bring the Arts into the schools.

DC Action for Children believes that in order for our advocacy work to be most effective, it must be centered around the voices of children, youth, and families. This work must go further than just testimonies during DC Council hearings and meetings. In addition to lowering the voting age to 16, what are innovative ways you would involve and elevate the voices of children, youth, and families?

Children and youth must learn discipline at an early age and have respect for their parents, older men and women, teachers, and those who are in authority. This requirement should be the focus and then later a discussion on voting age.

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Questionnaires were sent to all candidates running for the at-large and ward 2 council seats, as well as the at-large State Board of Education seat. Candidates were given the same amount of time to complete their questionnaire. Multiple reminders were sent out with the deadline for response. If a candidate did not return their questionnaire, we noted it in our candidate gallery.

DC Action for Children is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization. We are nonpartisan and do not endorse or support any candidate for office. Our voter guide is intended for informational purposes only. 

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