Tell the Mayor to Save Our Safety Net

The latest from Empower DC:

Dear friend –

Our city needs your help. DC’s Chief Financial Officer recently confirmed what we all feared: DC faces a budget gap of $500 million dollars.

Despite this bleak news, Mayor Fenty has refused to consider raising taxes on high-income residents to prevent more cuts to the safety net. If his past actions are any indication, he’ll instead try to balance the budget by slashing funding for safety net services that are essential to the health of our entire city.

Tell Mayor Fenty: No More Cuts! Save Our Safety Net!

In the course of the recession, our leaders have slashed more than $100 million from domestic violence services, affordable housing, job training, and other essential services. Programs that help young families stay secure in the face of unemployment. Programs that we need to keep communities strong in the face of a brutal recession.

We can already see the crippling effect of this shortsighted approach. More than 100 staff positions have been cut from the agency that distributes assistance like Food Stamps — and the Washington Post recently reported that offices are packed with people who “essentially camp out for days to try to get assistance… [O]n any given day, more than 100 might be turned away at the close of business, even though they have been in the waiting area for up to eight hours.”

We can’t afford any more cuts.

Mayor Fenty can rebuild our safety net by turning for support to those least impacted in a recession: the highest-income DC residents. Because of our flawed tax system, DC residents earning $400,000 a year currently pay the same rate in taxes as those making $40,000 a year. New tax brackets for the top 4% of the city’s earners (those making over $200,000 a year) could raise as much as $50 million to protect safety net services from further cuts.

The Mayor will release his budget proposal on April 1st – less than two weeks from now. He needs to hear from us now that safety net services are the foundation of strong neighborhoods and we won’t stand to see them cut further.

If those who have sacrificed least in this recession pay a fair share, we can invest in an economic recovery that includes everyone.

Spread the Word! Tell your friends, neighbors, and coworkers to sign our petition and help Save Our Safety Net.

Thank you,

James Davis II
Lead Organizer, Save Our Safety Net


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