December 6, 2010

City Council votes today. Here's what we're saying.

Today is the vote on the city's budget. We blogged about it here at Beyond Bread, and the budget cuts and their impact have been covered by news outlets and the blogosphere. If you still need to email your Councilmembers about this, don't worry -- there's still time. Take action now.

Here are a few letters from people close to Bread for the City, to inspire you as you share your thoughts with our elected officials.

From Leonard Edwards, Bread for the City client:

Dear City Council,

My name is Leonard J. Edwards, and I have been a resident of Washington, D.C., for over thirty years. I have a disability, and at the present time I am working towards my Associates Degree, in Health Care Administration.

I used to work construction, but I cannot do that work any longer because of my disability. I take on-line classes, and I depend on the disability services and other parts of the safety net to help with just about everything. This is where I am in my life right now, and if it was not for places like Bread for the City I can truly say that I do not know where I would be right now.

How am I supposed to complete my education if my utilities are disrupted? How can I keep my strength and health to study if I do not have a place to live, or food in my refrigerator? How am I supposed to improve my situation if I cannot even get back and forth to school?

I am not asking for hand outs, just a hand. These few services help me to keep some dignity. These few services are the only thing, at the present time, that are keeping me from being homeless and helping me to complete my studies. When I complete my education, I will get that job in the health care industry, so I can get back on my feet and help others.

I have always worked, and I enjoy working, and I have always been a good employee, with many letters of recommendation. With my disability, I had to re-tool my skills for the 21st century. If the cuts are as bad as I hear, I am afraid that I will become a statistic.

Leonard J. Edwards

From Burke Stansbury, Ward 1 Resident and Save Our Safety Net volunteer:

Hi Councilmember Graham,

I live in Mt. Pleasant and have been active in advocating against safety net budget cuts over the last year. I'm also likely among those who would pay more taxes if rates for high-income earning DC residents were raised. And I want to say that I fully support such new tax proposals.

I also want to thank you for introducing new brackets at $350,000 in the spring. I'm writing because I believe we need even lower brackets for meaningful, new revenue to fund safety net programs. I support two possible solutions: a 1% increase on income over $200,000 a year or Tommy Wells' plan for comprehensive tax reform.

Please do the right thing and take a stand this week in favor of increased income taxes.

Thank you,
Burke Stansbury

Take a moment to send your own email now.

No comments: