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“We have a streetcar line that never had a plan to launch effectively.”

by Prince Of Petworth February 18, 2015 at 3:15 pm 50 Comments

From the Mayor’s office:

“Today, Mayor Bowser released a new web video outlining her Administration’s commitment to working with residents to develop strategies to close the District’s quarter billion dollar gap while developing smart solutions to support our key priorities, like investing in education, job training, infrastructure and affordable housing. The video comes a day before Mayor Bowser will hold her first of three Budget Engagement Forums, which are designed as interactive discussions where DC residents can provide input to help shape priorities.

Mayor Bowser and Administration Officials have been attending dozens of community meetings across the District this month to discuss the Mayor’s budget priorities. The Budget Engagement Forums are scheduled for Thursday, February 19 at Wilson High School, Saturday, February 21 at Anacostia High School, and Monday, February 23 at Dunbar High School.

For more information and to register to attend a Budget Engagement Forum, click here.

SCRIPT:

Hi – I’m Mayor Muriel Bowser.

A month in, I could not be happier and prouder to be your Mayor.

On the campaign trail, I promised to deliver the District a Fresh Start and that’s what my Administration is doing.

We have brought on top talent and are laying the groundwork to grow the District’s economy and leave it in a better place for future generations.

Our city is on the move. We have the fastest improving urban school district in the nation. A thousand new residents are making DC home every month and our communities are thriving.

While we are a city with great opportunities, we also have big challenges.

When I came into office I inherited past successes, failures and overdue promises.

For example:

· We have a streetcar line that never had a plan to launch effectively.

· We have housing costs rising at such a pace that many long-time residents can’t afford to live in their own city.

· And on top of that, our city faces a quarter billion dollar budget gap.

That’s right – a quarter billion dollars.

How did we get here?

It’s pretty simple: in the last few years we made plans to spend more money than was coming in.

And where do we go from here?

Together, we will confront this challenge head on. My Administration will ensure that we are spending your tax money effectively and efficiently.

I have a simple promise – I won’t tell you what our budget is once the cake is baked, I’ll work with you to write our budget in a fiscally responsible and transparent way.

We will close the gap while giving everyone a fair shot, funding programs that meet our priorities for DC like job creation, affordable housing, ending homelessness and improving education and training for young people and adults.

While we’ll invest in those vital programs, we also need to lay the groundwork for the next generation’s success.

We need a long-term plan that prioritizes funding for school modernizations, especially for our middle schools, funding for public transportation, and our other critical infrastructure projects.

In the coming weeks, my senior staff and I will attend community meetings across all eight wards. In total, we will attend more than 35 meetings across the city in February alone.

But we won’t stop there, Between February 19th and the 23rd I will host a series of Budget Engagement Forums that will give you an opportunity to shape our city’s budget priorities.

The public forums will be on:
• Thursday, February the 19th at Woodrow Wilson Sr. High School at 7 pm
• Again on Saturday, February 21th at Anacostia Sr. High School at 1 pm
• And finally on Monday, February the 23th at Dunbar Sr. High School at 7 pm

With residents like you at the table we will work together to develop smart solutions to close the gap while preserving our city’s priorities.

I look forward to continuing this conversation.

So please come to one of our Budget Engagement Forums, send us an email, tweet me at @MayorBowser, or come to a community meeting in your neighborhood with a Bowser Administration official.

I look forward to working with you.”

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