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Prevent Cut in TANF Benefits for Poor DC Families

Mayor Fenty has produced a plan for closing the District of Columbia's budget gap that would, among other things, cut funding for TANF benefits. The cut would be achieved by reducing the maximum benefits families can receive after they have participated in the program for a total of five years.

This is a backdoor way of changing long-standing District policy. It would have the effect of sanctioning TANF families for being unable to achieve sustained self-sufficiency -- even though, in many cases, their continuing need results from acknowledged weaknesses in the program.

Unlike the federal time limit, the Mayor's proposal would provide no exemption for victims of domestic violence or other cases of hardship. Families would be penalized for any and all barriers to living wage employment, including severe physical and mental disabilities.

TANF families already have to struggle because benefits are so low. The proposed reduction would drop a family of three from 28 percent to 22 percent of the very low federal poverty line. The family would have to try to survive on less than $350 a month in one of the highest-cost cities in the country.

The DC Council has other options for closing the budget gap. Tell Councilmembers to reject the proposed TANF benefits cut.

Photo credit: tdenham

This petition was delivered to:
  • Council Chairman
    Vincent Gray
  • Councilmember
    Mary Cheh
  • Councilmember
    Phil Mendelson
  • Councilmember
    Muriel Bowser
  • Councilmember
    Harry Thomas
  • Councilmember
    Yvette Alexander
  • Councilmember
    Marion Barry
  • Councilmember
    Michael Brown
  • Councilmember
    Kwame Brown
  • Councilmember
    David Catania
  • Councilmember
    Jack Evans
  • Councilmember
    Tommy Wells
  • Councilmember
    Jim Graham


Kathryn Baer started this petition with a single signature, and now has 75 supporters. Start a petition today to change something you care about.