Summarized from "Making the Vision a Reality, March 6, 2000"
Complete text available at DCWatch


0n November 18th and 20th, 1999, concerned citizens from across DC joined together at the Neighborhood Action Citizen Summit to express their priorities for their neighborhoods and the city. Over 90% of those attending said that the Neighborhood Action initiative is a very important program; that the summit was excellent or good; and felt that they had the chance to fully participate. They overwhelmingly agreed that the goals in the first draft strategic plan were "on the right track", with 64% saying the plan is good or shouldn't be changed. Suggestions for improving the plan were incorporated into a second draft presented at the follow up Summit held on January 29, 2000.

Concerns voiced by citizens have helped define the spending decisions in the Mayor's FY 2001 Budget and Financial Plan which will begin to implement the five strategic priority areas of the "City-Wide Strategic Plan":

  • Strengthening children, youth, families, and individuals
  • Building and sustaining healthy neighborhoods
  • Making government work
  • Promoting economic development
  • Enhancing unity of purpose and democracy
In each area, community priorities were identified, responsive goals identified (not included here), and specific programs funded:

Safe Passages: Healthy Families, Children,Youth, and Individuals:

Community Priorities:

  • Children need greater support in preparing for school and succeeding in school
  • Young people need more recreation and out-of-school activities
  • The elderly need improved care and services
  • Take better care of the disabled
  • Improve access to quality health care
  • Parents need more support and parental training
  • Adults need more opportunities to continue learning and find job training
FY2001 Funding Proposal:
  • Over $60 million in additional funding for the DC Public Schools to fund: another pay increase for teachers; a teacher fellowship program to help hire 100 new teachers; recruitment of 30 new top-notch principals; bringing the Internet to every classroom, lab, and library in DCPS schools; phones and voicemail for every teacher;
  • $23 million in new funding for charter schools
  • $120 million dollars in the capital budget for school renovation
  • $10 million to create new after school and out-of-school programs
  • 10 new entrepreneurial programs for young people to learn to create their own businesses
  • Full funding for the Office on Aging to fund stipends for part time jobs and home care services
  • An additional $20 million to cut the staff to patient ratio in half at care facilities, create new alternatives to "group homes," and create an independent monitoring arm to ensure quality services
  • Improved access to community-based doctor's offices across the District
  • New or improved comprehensive care for at least 18,000 uninsured residents
  • Medicaid funding to provide health insurance to more than 14,000 uninsured people
  • Use of tobacco settlement funds for health, education, families, and anti-smoking initiatives
  • Support for high school graduates to pay in-state tuition for state schools in Maryland and Virginia
  • 1,800 new child care slots to support working parents
  • A program that assigns a parent helper to every at-risk newborn
Building and Sustaining Healthy Neighborhoods:

Community Priorities:

  • Increase police and public safety presence to reduce violence city-wide
  • Focus on conditions that breed problems, like poor lighting, abandoned vehicles, and rats
  • Make neighborhoods more livable with quality housing and recreation centers
  • Engage residents in achieving their visions for their neighborhoods
FY2001 Funding Proposal:
  • $4.4 million to fund an addition 125 police officers
  • Continuation of the gun buy-back program, which collected almost 3,000 guns last year
  • A major lawsuit to face down the gun industry
  • Continuation of the Capital Communities program to target six open-air drug markets
  • New Fire Department pumper trucks, ladder trucks, heavy rescue trucks, and ambulances, and other additional tools and equipment
  • Boarding up 1,500 vacant buildings across the city where people are using drugs and committing crimes
  • Creation of 1,000 new treatment slots to provide more help for people addicted to drugs and alcohol
  • $10 million to create new after school and out-of-school programs
  • $120 million dollars for school renovation
  • Monthly PSA meetings and expansion of Partnerships for Problem-Solving to every PSA.
  • Adopt a House and Neighbor-2-Neighbor programs to involve citizen volunteers and high school students to help maintain abandoned properties and properties of senior citizens.
Economic Development:

Community Priorities:

  • Create more retail options in depressed areas, especially by nurturing small businesses
  • Replace nuisance properties with affordable housing for all citizens, including the homeless
  • Improve access to job training and well-paying jobs
FY2001 Funding Proposal:
  • $22 million over the next 3 years to demolish hundreds of vacant and abandoned housing units throughout the city, making way for new homes
  • Funding to hire a team of new housing inspectors to work with our neighborhoods to preserve and protect our existing housing
  • $4.5 million to expand job-training opportunities for more than 3,800 youth
  • Support for establishment of a year-round youth employment program, to build on the success of our Summerworks program, which took a record 10,000 kids off the streets and got them into productive summer jobs, where they learned skills and responsibility
  • Funding for the Marketing Center, which is a public/private partnership to attract and retain businesses and retailers
  • Support for two additional supermarkets to be opened East of the river, with ground breaking to occur within one year
Making Government Work:

Community Priorities:

  • Agencies should be more responsive to citizen needs and comments
  • Government buildings need to be repaired and cleaned up
  • The city should enforce regulations more quickly and consistently
  • Government employees should be held accountable for producing results
  • Citizens need greater access to services in their neighborhoods
FY2001 Funding Proposal:
  • $2 million to support technology enhancements for internal operations and the District web site
  • $1 million to increase staffing and reduce waiting times at DMV
  • $250,000 for customer service initiatives including the tester program
  • $120 million dollars for school renovation
  • Millions of dollars for renovation/relocation of government buildings
  • Funding to hire a team of new housing inspectors to work with our neighborhoods to preserve and protect our existing housing
  • $13 million to fund implementation of the Management Supervisory Service, which will establish performance requirements for key managers across the government
  • A "scorecard" will be released detailing specific commitments that can be expected from government--to allow citizens to track and report on the performance of the government, and to maintain accountability through agency directors, managers, and staff.
  • Continuation of a new service initiated this year for etended hours at DMV, which is now open until 8:00 on Wednesdays; drop boxes in neighborhoods across the city for tag renewal; DMV on-line registration and tag renewal; and a new DMV service center with convenient parking
Unity of Purpose and Democracy:

Community Priorities:

  • Obtain voting rights for District residents
  • Act on what citizens had to say at Citizen Summit
  • Improve access to public information about government programs and services
  • Improve the capacity of the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions to represent citizen interests
FY2001 Funding Proposal:
  • Strong pursuit of full voting rights for citizens of the District, to ensure that our needs and interests are represented and served as well as those of other Americans who enjoy full voting rights
  • A proposal to change the general provisions of the Appropriations Act to allow the District more latitude in pursuing voting rights initiatives
  • Neighborhood Action Planning Forums taking place this year in neighborhoods across the District will continue to determine the allocation of resources by the District Government
  • Development and implementation of a quarterly public report card for citizens to evaluate progress of City-Wide Strategic Plan implementation
  • A team of Neighborhood Action Planners to continue the Neighborhood Action process
  • Continuation and enhancement of 727-1000 and the District Government Web Site
  • Expansion of Internet access for the community through schools and libraries
  • Published schedule of public forums and town hall meetings sponsored by City Council and Mayor's Office
  • Appointment of an ANC coordinator to serve as liaison between ANCs, Executive Branch and City Council, and coordinate technical support and training for ANCs
NARPAC Commentary:

NARPAC includes this lengthy summary of the FY2001 DC Budget, because it clearly reflects where the Mayor's priorities are. These are completely consistent with his generally populist approach. By itself, it does not reflect where the city's spending will focus, nor does it address any of the broader issues of building a large successful core city of a modern metro area, as differentiated from a cluster of neighborhoods. This will unfold as the year 2000 progresses. Details of the budget submission are provided in the following section.

This item was archived in September, 2002

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