Last night I voiced a new way forward for DC.
Last night, I participated in the first debate in the 2022 DC Council Chair race, and the contrasts couldn’t have been more stark.
I’m committed to building a brighter DC that works for all of us. We know that every map of DC is the same: a reflection of deep disparities and decades of chronic disinvestment in our communities, mostly east of the Anacostia River. We see disproportionate covid-19 vaccination rates and deaths, housing instability, hunger and lack of access to food, traffic fatalities, blighted and vacant properties, crime, and maternal mortality rates. We know that the status quo isn’t working. We need new energy, vision, and compassion to not just correct for historical neglect, but to come out stronger and more resilient.
Special thanks to DC for Democracy for hosting last night’s debate and Kimberly Perry, Executive Director of DC Action, for moderating.
I’ll lead with compassion. As a mom, an ethics lawyer, and an effective public servant, I have the values, experience, and determination to reform government so that it serves our communities. As Chairwoman, I’ll lead efforts to provide housing to our unhoused neighbors, not violently displace them with bulldozers. I’ll support librarians in every school in every vote, not just when it’s election season. I’ll take every action to make it safer for kids to walk to school and all of us to move around DC, not just propose another study. And I’ll respect DC voters when they say restaurant workers deserve a living wage, not silence their voices and overrule their votes.
The reality is that more of the same will get us more of the same, and we can no longer afford that approach. The current Chair can pretend that his record isn’t how he will vote in the future, but he has shown us that with more than two decades in office he has yet to deliver for our communities.
I will make sure:
- DC government is ethical and accountable to residents everywhere in DC. The DC Council must exercise rigorous oversight of our DC government agencies to make sure that public services are delivered equitably, that regulatory agencies keep people safe and healthy, and that every neighborhood has safe streets.
- The DC Council treats education as a priority. The current Chair dissolved the Council’s education committee at a time when oversight of our education agencies is most crucial. And our children have experienced the failures — delayed devices for virtual learning, failures to support teachers and principals, and dilapidated school buildings with insufficient air filtration and heating and cooling to keep our kids safe. The time is now for rigorous oversight of our public schools.
- We have a true housing-first approach to our affordable housing crisis. We don’t need violent evictions. We need affordable, accessible housing for all who need it, instead of leaving tens of thousands of people on housing waitlists for almost a decade.
None of what I’m proposing is impossible. None of what I’m proposing is unpopular. But it takes clear values, political will, and dedication to putting people first. I was able to shepherd through important workplace accountability reforms in the federal judiciary, and I will use these same skills on the DC Council to build a brighter DC that works for all of us. You can read more about my vision for DC here.
I’m the only candidate running for Chair who is participating in DC’s Fair Elections program. That means I’m focused on small dollar donations from DC residents and not accepting a single dollar from corporations. It also means I’m engaged with and accountable to you. As we approach a campaign finance filing deadline, I hope you will consider a donation.
Together, we can change the trajectory of our city. I hope you’ll bring your voice into this campaign and make our shared vision for DC a reality.
Erin Palmer, Democrat for DC Council Chairwoman