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Mayor Muriel Bowserintroduced her $16.7 billion dollar budget for fiscal year 2021 just two months ago, and the Council is already casting its first of two votes on it. It’s been a budget season like no other. There was a nearly $800 million budget hole, virtual budget hearings and technical difficulties, and an exceptional number of public testimonies.
On Monday, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson said he did not tweak committee recommendations (although, it would appear he did not accept them all). Meaning, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen’s cuts to the Metropolitan Police Department made it in.
Mendelson also proposed his own modifications to the mayor’s budget. The highlights:
$5 million for Events DC’s cash assistance fund for undocumented workers. (Reminder, these workers have largely been excluded from government help.)
$88 million more for the Housing Production Trust Fund, a tool to create and preserve affordable housing.
$25 million more for public housing repairs, bringing funding to a total of $50 million.
$6.3 million to create 301 new units through a rental assistance program.
$2.19 million to implement the “Tipped Wage Worker Fairness Amendment Act of 2018”.
$37 million in new taxes.
Advocates are trying to get members to remove Mendelson’s last-minute language that reauthorizes rent control for 10 years without meaningful reform. (Here’s a Twitter thread on current rent control laws.)
“The 90,000 families living in DC’s rent controlled housing—and the hundreds of thousands of tenants who are not— deserve to have input in the full legislative process,” says Victoria Goncalves, an organizer with the Latino Economic Development Center, in a statement. “Today’s backdoor attempt to reauthorize the disastrous status quo could send us hurtling further down our present course towards an unprecedented crisis of evictions and homelessness.”
Here are the budget documents, if you’d like follow along as the Council votes. Members convene at 10 a.m.
—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? email@example.com)
As of July 7, D.C. reported zero additional deaths related to COVID-19 and 54 new positive cases, bringing the total numbers to 561 and 10,569, respectively. [EOM]
D.C. has not seen a spike in COVID-19 cases related to protests. [WAMU]
Bowser pushes back on the Council’s budget. She doesn’t want cuts to MPD or tax increases. [Twitter]
At-Large Councilmember David Grosso plans to introduce an amendment that moves the school security contract from the police department to DC Public Schools after Mendelson left it out of the budget. [Twitter, WCP]
Councilmember Allen plans to introduce an amendment that will tax high-income earners to fund affordable housing. [UrbanTurf]
LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White’s raw public post on the toll of gun violence on the community and on him personally. [Facebook]
Magic mushroom decriminalization inches closer to the November ballot. [DCist]
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is considering a bill to purchase the land under RFK Stadium, as long as the Washington football team changes its racist name. [NBC]
D.C. libraries could receive a $4.2 million budget bump. [DC Line]
D.C. Council to vote on a new hospital in Ward 8. [East of the River]
YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? email@example.com)
Three must-try dishes at The Kitchen Jerk, including six-cheese mac and cheese topped with jerk chicken. [WCP]
Chef Kwame Onwuachi leaves Kith/Kin at The Wharf, vows to seek ownership stake in his next restaurant. [Post]
Montgomery County closes three restaurants for violating COVID-19 restrictions. [Post]
ARTS LINKS, byKayla Randall (tips? firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Arts Club podcast team tries to find out whodunit in the wildly entertaining mystery Knives Out. [WCP]
A Maryland park is now home to a 7,000-square-foot mural honoring the life of Breonna Taylor. [NBC Washington]
Here’s stunning art created during the pandemic, submitted by Washington Postreaders. [Post]
SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? email@example.com)
The defending World Series champion Nationals will open the pandemic-shortened 2020 season at home on July 23 against the Yankees, preceded by a round-robin exhibition between the Nats, Baltimore Orioles, and Philadelphia Phillies. [WTOP]
What should the local NFL team’s new name be? City Paper contributor Matt Terl has some ideas. [WCP]
If you want to train like a professional runner for the D.C.-based District Track Club, get ready for a long day. [WCP]
We’re bringing you the best things to watch, read, make, and do from the comfort of your home while social distancing.
The exhibitionNot So Concretehas been pushed fully online by the pandemic, making it perhaps more complex than it would have been in its physical form.