At 11:30 a.m., the Fair Budget Coalition and Save Our Safety Net-DC will be holding a rally at the Wilson Building to protest Fenty and Co’s proposed cuts to core social-service agencies. After the demonstration, both organizations have planned visits to the D.C. Council. The Fair Budget Coalition boasts a huge roster of committed members and might just represent a return to real activism in the District. Even if you don’t care about the homeless or neglected children, you should come down and hear what these front-line workers have to say. They know more than we do about the city’s frayed safety net.
City Desk asked two such experts for a rally preview. Here’s what they had to say via e-mail:
Patricia Mullahy Fugere, Executive Director of the Washington Legal Clinic For the Homeless:
“Because of the challenging economy, more DC residents are facing poverty and homelessness than ever before. This is exactly NOT the time to be cutting vital safety net programs. The District need not address its own financial woes solely by slashing funding for these important services.There is growing community support for a range of revenue enhancements—-including an increase in income tax on the highest income earners—-that, if effected, would allow for the safety net to be preserved. Even those who stand to be impacted by such a tax increase are saying ‘Tax me more. It’s what justice requires of me.’ We are calling on the DC Council, as it makes its final decisions on the FY 2011 budget, to do right and do justice.”
Robert Egger, founder of DC Central Kitchen:
“Nonprofits aren’t just nice—we are necessary. We are one of the biggest employer in DC, and our work sets the stage for businesses to thrive. From now on, we stand together.”