December 15, 2008

Bracing for Budget Cuts: Take Action

Bread for the City, along with our partners at SOME, is calling upon our partners and supporters to urge Mayor Fenty and the City Council to approach the current budgetary crisis in a manner that is open, prudent, and foresighted with regard to the great shared need for support of DC's low-income communities.

Got that? Here's the deal: Next Monday, December 22nd, the city is set to announce still more budget cuts intended to address a still-worsening fiscal situation. The FY2009 budget has already seen cuts that affect a wide range of programs, including parks, public safety, and transportation. And it seems likely that the additional cuts will fall especially hard on low-income families, from which demand is greater than it has been in years for affordable housing, homeless services, health care, and income supports. (See this Washington Post article about the recent freeze on the Home Purchase Assistance Program, from which $11 million has already been siphoned -- about 250 homes' worth -- and another $11 million is targeted by Mayor Fenty's expected proposal.)

We need to act together to ensure a balanced use of our community's resources.

A group of businesses, congregations, nonprofits, and research and policy organizations have crafted a Statement of Principles that encourages the Mayor and City Council to adopt thoughtful, balanced approaches to the budget process. It highlights the following principles:

* Stimulate local economic recovery.
* Avoid cutbacks that unintentionally increase costs.
* Include sensible revenue expansions.
* Operate collaboratively, transparently and inclusively.

See the PDF of the letter here, and email to sign on to the letter or to get more information.

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