What do you think the District should do with its $417 million surplus?
Perry Redd responded...
The thought of a surplus might water the mouths of many, but there are some of us that fear that a continued irresponsibility toward the city's most vulnerable residents may likely occur. It appears that each of the city's departments are fairing well, yet the issue of housing, homelessness and employment are back burner issues of discussion among the city's elected leaders.
I never believe in spending outright an entire surplus. I would propose allocating $200 million of the surplus to the city's reserve fund. This would allow the Mayor to remain consistent with his budget priorities, which in this regard, appear responsible.
The remaining $217 million should be spent among The Housing Production Trust Fund, Homeless Services, enhancing employment and training opportunities for Returning Citizens — especially east of the river — and supportive services for troubled/under-performing DCPS students.
It is also conceivable to use a portion of the surplus as a "tax rebate" for elderly homeowners of the city. Providing cash assistance to homeowners facing foreclosure is a fine way to keep the confidence of city residents. Tax relief for struggling Washingtonians promotes a healthy economy. Those are a few of the economic possibilities I would fund and implement.
I am of the belief that the human needs of Washingtonians must be high on the agenda.even priority, then investment in more creative and technological pursuits of the city should follow, like our proposed Cyber-Inclusion Initiative for internet-challenged areas of the city. Thanks for asking!