'Survival of the fittest may be okay for Social Darwinists but not for followers of the gospel of compassion and love.'
Wednesday, April 25, 2012
Friday, March 30, 2012
Mayor Vincent Gray proposed keeping bars open later on both weekdays and weekends to raise extra revenue.
Mayor Vincent Gray hopes that making closing time later for D.C. bars could create extra revenue, but Ward 2 Council member Jack Evans opposes the move and accused the mayor of using a "nickel-and-dime approach" to balance the budget. Among other new revenue sources, Mayor Gray proposed extending bar hours from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. on weekdays and from 3 a.m. to 4 a.m. on weekends and holidays. The mayor anticipates that these later hours would generate an estimated $1.3 million in increased sales tax revenue annually. Evans wrote in his constituent newsletter: "I believe many residents of Ward 2 will object to this type of change. Therefore, this will require that we find funding elsewhere." But the Washington Post reports that industry …
Friday, January 7, 2011
In a December report from Standard and Poor's, D.C. retained its current bond rating, but received a cautionary note from the rating agency.
A December report from Standard and Poor (S&P) on the District's General Obligation (GO) bonds granted an A+ rating, but cautioned that the rating could drop in the future based on the District's current financial state. Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans responded Friday to the report and called on the new mayor and the District Council to make the $400 million in cuts necessary to balance the FY2012 budget. In the December report the S&P cited “a trend of using reserves to offset revenue shortfalls” as the worrying factor that could result in a downgraded bond by it and other rating agencies. In a press release Friday, Evans said "all of the bond rating agencies, including Standard and Poor’s, look very skeptically upon tax increases …
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
An open letter from Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans.
Once all the warmth and merriment of the holidays passes, we have quite a New Year ahead of us! We have passed several milestones which impact upon the financial health and wellness of the District–which in turn, of course, impacts our residents and taxpayers. For the District government, we said Happy New Year back on October 1, which is the beginning of our fiscal year. Since that time, the Council and Mayor have successfully worked to balance the FY 2011 budget to address the $188 million gap. So far, so good. The next thing coming our way will be the city's annual audit–the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report–or "CAFR" as it is known. This is the annual audit of the city's books and our official determination as to whether we ended…
Friday, December 10, 2010
The Washington metropolitan area continues to put up strong numbers in job growth and boasts lower than average unemployment. Areas of the District, however, lag severely behind and D.C. unemployment is higher than the national average.
Tuesday as the District Council closed an $188 million gap in the Fiscal Year 2011 (FY2011) budget and protesters shouted about turning our backs on the poor, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released the latest employment and unemployment numbers where the D.C. region comes out on top in many instances. In October 2010, the D.C. region classified as "Washington-Arlington-Alexandria" posted unemployment rates of 5.8 percent, though the District on its own came in at 9.6 percent, compared to the national rate of 9.0 percent; all rates are lower than the same month last year. According to the BLS report "the largest over-the-year employment increase occurred in Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.-W.Va." with 43,700 more …
Wednesday, December 1, 2010
Tuesday, Nov. 30, hundreds of D.C. residents testified before the District Council about proposed gap-closing measures to balance the D.C. FY2011 budget.
Tuesday, Nov. 30, the District Council held a public hearing to allow residents a voice in the decision-making about gap-closing measures for the Fiscal Year 2011 Budget (FY2011). The District faces a budget shortfall of $188 million for FY2011 and between $340 and $430 for FY2012, depending on measures taken for FY2011. Over 140 people signed up to plead that their program not receive cuts and to offer suggestions for other ways to make up the gap in funding. Chairman of the District Council and Mayor-Elect, Vincent Gray, started the morning off with a somber tone saying the gap-closing task before the Council was "daunting." Gray echoed a statement he made during several of his town hall meetings held throughout the District, "everyone …
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
The Nov. 29 hearing on the DC Schools Budget was the first step in approving a budget for fiscal year 2012. The process is scheduled to end by early March.
More than two dozen residents testified Monday at One Judiciary Square to help determine the next public schools budget in DC. Interim Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson and other officials held the hearing as a first step in deciding a school budget for fiscal year 2012. Between now and the end of winter, principals, local school advisory teams and the chancellor will negotiate to agree on a final budget. If all goes according to plan, Henderson hand a complete budget over to Mayor-elect Vincent Gray by early March. Before the budget goes forward, the Council held a hearing Monday night to give the public a chance for some input on the matter. "We really want to hear how things are going on the ground and you all are the best ear to the …
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Mayor-elect Vince Gray spoke briefly Monday about the looming budget deficit and called for a freeze on capital projects. Tuesday, Councilmember Jack Evans released a statement in response to Gray's "State of the District Budget" speech.
In his "State of the District Budget" speech Nov. 22, Mayor-elect Vince Gray offered a gloomy picture of the District's financial situation. In a statement released Nov. 23, Councilmember Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) echoed Gray's call for tough decisions and an end to "short-sighted budget gimmicks." Gray made vague references to reevaluating budget priorities and called for a freeze on all capital projects "not yet underway." Gray also said that he "will not ask District residents or businesses to pay one single dollar in tax increases" until he can assure them that he has "scrubbed the budget and found every last dollar in savings first." Evans latched on to the tax comment saying that we cannot balance the budget on the "back" of D.C. …
Friday, October 15, 2010
On Oct. 14 D.C.'s presumptive mayor-elect met with Ward 2 residents in a town hall event. He gave the crowd a glimpse at a future Gray administration.
With the Rhee question answered, at least in terms of whether she'd be sticking around or not, the Ward 2 town hall meeting with presumptive mayor-elect Gray was relatively uneventful. Though Gray readily admitted that the city is divided geographically, socially, economically and racially, issues raised by Ward 2 residents barely brushed upon many of these divisions. Gray took a moment to reflect on the recent announcement that Michelle Rhee would be stepping down as Schools Chancellor, again stressing that the decision was "mutual." He emphasized that Rhee "did not abruptly quit ... nor did I ask her to leave her position." Gray's stump rung hallow at times with the crowd; there was little reaction when he spoke of the importance of …