The D.C. Council voted unanimously to approve the District’s $19.5 billion budget on the first vote taken during the process on May 10.
D.C. Council member Trayon White (D-Ward 8) expressed satisfaction with the overall budget.
“I am excited to get to work and come a step closer to allocating this $19.5 billion budget to best serve the many complex needs of District residents,” said White in his May 11 newsletter to his constituents.
White and his 12 colleagues remain poised to hold their second and final vote on the budget on May 24. The budget will be sent to D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser for her approval and then to the U.S. Congress for review. After the congressional review process, the budget becomes effective Oct. 1.
White said funding training programs has become one of his priorities.
“Over $23 million in the fiscal year 2023 budget is dedicated to creating career pipelines for District residents into programs, including pathways to homecare and nursing, IT training and CDL training,” he said. “It is important that we not only help our residents find jobs but that the jobs are well-paying and have high growth potential.”
He believes the new allocation of funds for schools with large concentrations of at-risk students will benefit every school in his ward.
“These funds will go directly to their respective schools,” he said. “For example, $251,505 will go to Ballou Senior High School, $162,702 will go to Turner Elementary School and $149,040 will go to Excel Academy, the city’s only all-girls public school.”
Regarding public safety, White supports crime-fighting tools such as $1.7 million for closed-circuit television, ShotSpotter technology, $475,000 dedicated to the Office of Neighborhood Safety & Engagement for life coach client incentives and $70,000 for a leadership academy. White also complimented budgeted items including housing vouchers for returning citizens, LGBTQ organizations, the Close Relative Caregivers Program, $100,000 Dream Grants through the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development for entrepreneurship programs in wards 7 and 8.
Council member Robert White (D-At-Large) shared similar sentiments.
“I am heartened to see a lot of great things in our budget, including reforming systems that were not working effectively,” Robert White said.
He commended a grant of $250,000 to the Friends of the Carter Barron Amphitheatre to help restore the facility and to increase salaries for early childhood educators. In addition, he praised $51.1 million designated for the DC Housing Authority to repair its properties and to provide 400 targeted affordable housing vouchers for families as they leave the rapid rehousing program. The council member also applauded funds to increase homeownership among African Americans, many of whom continue to deal with displacement after having been longtime residents.
Council member Christina Henderson (I-At-large) said in a May 12 message to District residents that her focus has been on working families and supporting vulnerable communities. She lauded a budgeted item totaling $500,000 which will be under the umbrella of a grant program to support diaper banks and $118,000 for a Perinatal Mental Health Task Force for the D.C. Department of Healthcare Finance that will examine psychological issues faced by mothers and families.