Due to the lingering effects of the Great Recession, poverty and homelessness are on the rise in our nation's capital. The U.S. has long been seen as the land of opportunity and its capital as a beacon of hope. It stands to reason that Washington, DC would serve as an example for cities around the world as to how to effectively combat poverty and homelessness. However, local politicians have made only a few failed attempts at combatting either issue and have actually aided gentrification in the city.
- DC Council
As you should know, poverty and homelessness are on the rise in our nation's capital. And extreme poverty has devastating effects on its victims, affecting some families for generations. To your credit, the council and mayor have made efforts to address these issues. However, those efforts have been flawed and have failed.
Furthermore, Washington, DC is the capital of the wealthiest and most powerful nation in the world. And, as such, should serve as an example of how a city should care for its poorest citizens. The fact remains that the District is not a state yet, nor is it located within one. This greatly reduces the amount of federal funding that the city is entitled to. But excuses don't lessen the impact of poverty on the poor.
It is with this understanding that I ask you to commit to ending poverty and homelessness during this incoming administration. DC's 10-year plan to end homelessness called "Homeless No More" was supposed to end homelessness in the city by December 2014 and Councilman Marion Barry's Commission on Poverty which was established in 2008 was supposed to eradicate poverty in the city. Neither plan is on track to accomplish its goals by the set date or by any time in the foreseeable future. I would ask that those of you who remain in 2011 please commit to the creation of affordable housing, job-training programs that place people in living-wage jobs and other initiatives that will effectively reduce and eventually end poverty and homelessness within your jurisdiction.
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