A City Council Candidate On Homelessness
My name is David Schwartzman, and I am the DC Statehood Green Party candidate for D.C. Council At-Large. The two most egregious human rights violations in Washington, D.C. are homelessness and poverty, especially child poverty, and I plan to do something about them. By tapping into the more than ample tax base of D.C.’s wealthy residents and our city’s big developer/corporate sector, our local government can virtually eliminate both these ills.
As a long-term member of the Fair Budget Coalition, ONE DC and Empower DC, I stand firmly behind the struggles of our low-income, working-class community. We should curb subsidies to developers who are prioritizing the creation of condos and rental units for high-income buyers; shift these subsidies to the repair and expansion of public housing, and to vigorous implementation of the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, the District Opportunity to Purchase Act and community land trusts; encourage stronger rent control; and establish a D.C. public bank to facilitate these measures. We can reduce income and wealth inequality by making D.C.’s tax structure truly progressive, and hike the D.C. income tax rate of wealthy residents—those earning $200,000 or more—to create additional revenue for equitable development and income support for those below the poverty line. Under this plan, wealthy D.C. residents will get a significant federal income tax break, and thus end up paying the same overall taxes. My approach would generate at least $250 million in extra revenue in 2019—all of which can go toward eliminating chronic homelessness and poverty.
In the near-term, though, let’s expand the provision of rapid rehousing and rent supplements to keep individuals and families in this housing once market rates kick in. Together, we can end homelessness and poverty in our city.
David Schwartzman is the Green Party candidate for D.C. City Council At-Large.