By George Kevin Jordan, AFRO Staff Writer
District of Columbia residents have more than Black History Month to celebrate in February as Mayor Muriel Bowser announced free rides on the D.C. Circulator, part of the city’s month long #FairShotFebruary campaign.
“We’re kicking off Fair Shot February by making it easier for Washingtonians to get where they need to go and connect to opportunities across D.C.,” Bowser said. “A free Circulator is one way we can use our resources to break down barriers to opportunity—but it’s certainly not the only way. Throughout February and before I send my budget to the Council, I hope Washingtonians from across all eight wards will join us at our Budget Engagement Forums to build on this initiative by sharing their priorities and ideas for making our city’s prosperity more inclusive.”
The D.C. Circulator moves across six routes in the city and into Rosslyn VA, providing almost five million trips per year, according to the Mayor’s office. Rides are free through February 28.
The ride campaign is part of a larger initiative to offer the residents of the District a “fair shot.” In her second inaugural speech at the beginning of the year, Bowser unpacked what she meant.
“When people ask me what I want to be remembered for, it comes down to this: a relentless commitment to a fair shot for every single D.C. resident…period,” Bowser said.
“That means people of all incomes can live and thrive in our city.”
Bowser highlighted several areas in which the city could assist in giving residents that fair shot including, investing in young people’s future, reducing crime, providing affordable housing and creating and nurturing job and business opportunities.
During the month of February the mayor and her team will be meeting with residents and hearing their thought on the city and how the District’s budget should be spent, while the Fiscal Year 2020 budget is being developed.
Last year’s proposed budget was a $14.4 Billion. The plan “focuses on creating pathways to the middle class,” according to the proposal. The funds were connected to area’s where the mayor wanted to give people a fair shot.
For instance 1.7 Billion was dedicated to education programs for the District’s 91,000 traditional and charter public schools. $430 million was earmarked for fixing roads. And $178.5 Million to be used for Metro.
At least $100 million was put aside for the Housing Production Trust Fund which continues three years of $100M investment that has delivered 5,300 affordable units and will deliver at least 10,000 more over the next five years, according to the proposal.
The conversations kicks off with the 2019 Wilson Building Open House from from 5 to 8 p.m. at 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW.
Other events include:
Senior Telephone Town Hall
February 11 | 12 pm
This is a dial in event
Budget Engagement Forum I
February 21 | 6:30 pm
Arthur Capper Community Center, 1001 5th Street, SE
Budget Engagement Forum II
February 23 | 10 am
Deanwood Recreation Center, 1350 49th Street, NE
Budget Engagement Forum III
February 25 | 6:30 pm
Roosevelt High School, 4301 13th Street, NW
All events are free and open to the public. To sign up please clink the link or search the hashtag #FairShotFebruary.