Just two months ago, Mayor Muriel Bowser presented her Fiscal Year 2022 (FY22) Budget and Financial Plan to the D.C. Council — a budget that is guided by equity. The mayor’s budget is committed to investing in what we all know will be the pillars of equitable recovery from the financial impacts we all felt from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The $17.5 billion budget is called the Fair Shot Budget, providing relief, recovery, and growth opportunities to all residents in all eight wards, including our city’s older residents, adults with disabilities, and caregivers. And as we continue to recover as a city, this year’s budget is committed to building a more equitable Washington, D.C., giving more and more Washingtonians the fair shot needed to thrive.
Mayor Bowser’s Fiscal Year 2022 Fair Shot Budget is one that honors the sacrifices of our residents during COVID-19 by setting our community up for a strong recovery. A strong economic recovery. And a strong recovery of our community’s physical and mental health.
With this budget, we are doubling down on our commitment to building back better starting with the foundation of a more equitable Washington, D.C.
Our response over the past year and a half has been unprecedented, and we have much to be proud of. We have worked together as a community to:
– Deliver more than 2 million meals to more than 6,600 older adults since the start of the Public Health Emergency;
– Launch a senior tech program providing iPads and technical support to 500 qualifying older District residents;
– Launch a Call & Talk line currently engaging close to 100 residents with friendly calls and conversations throughout the public health emergency;
– Host two Virtual Mayor’s Annual Senior Symposiums on Channel 16, which included special meal deliveries; and
– Host the first-ever Virtual Ms. Senior DC, where Ward 5 resident, Ms. Vanella Crawford was crowned queen and will represent us on the national stage in October!

Vanella Crawford is the 2021 Ms. Senior DC.

With this Fiscal Year 2022 budget, we will continue a robust COVID-19 response that will help us protect residents and keep our community safe.
Just last month, I testified before Councilmember Anita Bonds and the Committee on Housing and Executive Administration, sharing our agency’s FY22 budgetary decisions and what this means for you. With the $4.5 million in enhancements added to our budget by the Mayor, our budget is about doing better and doing more. Here’s how the funds will be used:
– $2.5 million investment in neighborhood-based socialization hubs to reach more seniors and combat senior isolation and senior hunger in all eight wards
– $500,000 for senior villages to expand innovative programming and provide technical assistance to modify the membership-based village model for low-income neighborhoods
– $1 million enhancement in our ConnectorCard program, allowing us to provide transportation flexibility and choice to around 1,000 more seniors
– $500,000 to develop and grow citywide virtual wellness programs in FY22
With these investments, you can expect more engaging activities closer to where you are and more opportunities to get out and engage with one another after more than a year of social distancing.
We’re also making it easier for you to connect with the services and supports you need by bringing in our intake, assessment, and case management all in one place to make it easier for you to connect seamlessly to our entire portfolio of services.
As the Mayor mentioned, this budget is all about setting up our communities for a strong recovery post-COVID, and these investments will push us towards building back stronger in all eight wards.
For more information about the Mayor’s Fair Shot budget, please visit budget.dc.gov. To view my complete budget testimony, please visit dacl.dc.gov.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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