July 8, 2009

Dear Mr. Mayor, Please Fund a Strong Safety Net

The District is facing a $190 million shortfall for this fiscal year, according to the revenue forecast released last week by DC's CFO. Next year's projected deficit is $150 million.

To close the gap, Mayor Fenty and the Council must find cuts or increase revenues. This week the Mayor will craft a proposal to close the gap for FY2009 and FY2010. He needs to hear from you.

All DC residents have a stake in the city budget: if city leaders make wise choices with our shared resources, our communities will be more healthy and prosperous, and better able to weather the economic downturn.

Please call or email the Mayor today to tell him that his budget-balancing plan should maintain a strong safety net. Feel free to use the talking points below, or write your own message. Call the Citywide Call Center at 202-727-1000 and ask to speak to someone in the Mayor’s Office, or email mayor@dc.gov.

The safety net provides stability. DC families and individuals are already struggling with stagnant, low wages, layoffs and rising food, energy, medical and housing costs during this economic downturn. Cutbacks in safety net programs can increase hardship, reducing residents' buying power, and creating the need for more costly emergency services.
A strong safety net is good for the economy. Public investments stimulate economic recovery because the money is spent quickly and locally. Support for human capital development, the environment, and infrastructure will help DC build living-wage jobs, healthy communities, and a thriving business climate.
Maintaining healthy communities requires raising revenue. The use of responsible revenue enhancements and DC's rainy day fund should be part of the city's approach. It will be difficult or impossible to keep safety net programs from being cut unless new revenues are identified. The economic downturn offers an opportunity to review DC's revenue system and to identify changes that would both raise revenue and improve our tax structure, creating a higher quality of life for all.

Ok, now write the email! Make the call!

1 comment:

Joni Podschun said...

If you're short on time or not sure what to say, you can send the form letter at SOME's Action Tool: https://secure2.convio.net/soome/site/Advocacy?cmd=display&page=UserAction&id=157