The DC Budget: It’s Time to Take Action

You read our blog posts last week about the crisis faced by hundreds of homeless residents.  You heard directly from families struggling to protect their kids.  In exactly two weeks, the Council will vote on a budget.  Whether or not that budget responds to the needs of DC’s most vulnerable residents will depend in part on how many of us raise our voices to demand that it does.  It’s up to all of us to urge the council to pass a budget that protects all DC residents.  We’re in the home stretch now.

Here’s what you can do to help:

On Wednesday, May 2nd, the Council’s committees on human services and housing will meet for their budget mark-ups.   Please tweet some of the following messages both broadly and directly to the councilmembers on these committees all day tomorrow.

Councilmember twitter handles:  @JimGrahamWard1, @TommyWells, @CMYMA, @marionbarryjr, @CMMichaelABrown, @VincentOrangeDC

Homeless Services Cut and Housing for Families:

  • [insert Councilmember] End the Hunger Games: restore homeless services gap and put 250 families in housing! #dcfy13
  • Looking forward to [insert Councilmember] supporting homeless kids in #dcfy13 budget
  • Cuts hurt in #dcfy13. Please restore homeless services $ [insert Councilmember]
  • [insert Councilmember] Don’t gamble with kids’ lives: invest in affordable housing for 250 families in #dcfy13.
  • Everyone deserves a safe place to sleep. That won’t happen without your #dcfy13 vote [insert Councilmember].
  • [insert Councilmember] Kids need homes. So do grown-ups. $$ for homeless services, affordable housing in #dcfy13!

TANF Cut:

  • [insert Councilmember] Could you & family live on $257/mo? Pls don’t force #TANF families to try. #dcfy13
  • [insert Councilmember] Pls give #TANF families a chance to benefit from program improvements before more benefits cuts. #dcfy13
  • [insert Councilmember] Pls don’t punish #TANF families 4 program failures. Postpone benefits cuts in #dcfy13 budget.

But that’s not all!   Here’s what else you can do to support the needs of homeless residents and keep the pressure up:

  1. Share this post and the families’ stories with your own family, friends and co-workers, and tell them we need them to raise their voices, too.
  2. Sign this petition to tell city leaders that every child deserves a safe place to sleep!
  3. Stay tuned to this blog for our call-in/email campaign to target councilmembers next Monday and Tuesday!

If you have any questions, or suggestions for additional ways to raise our voices, let us know via comment or by calling (202) 328-5500.  Thank you for your partnership.

About Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

The Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless envisions a just and inclusive community for all residents of the District of Columbia, where housing is a human right and where every individual and family has equal access to the resources they need to thrive. Our mission is to use the law to make justice a reality for our neighbors who struggle with homelessness and poverty. Combining community lawyering and advocacy to achieve our clients’ goals, our expert staff and network of volunteer attorneys provide low barrier, comprehensive legal services at intake sites throughout the District of Columbia, helping our clients to access housing, shelter, and life-saving services. Rooted in the experiences of this client work, we effectively blend system reform efforts, policy advocacy, community education and client engagement to advocate for long term improvements in local and federal programs that serve the low- and no-income community.
This entry was posted in Benefits, Budget Cuts, Clients, DC Budget, DC Policies and Plans, Homelessness, Housing, Poverty, Shelter, Take Action, TANF, Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

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