DC for Democracy is a leading unaligned progressive group of activists, community leaders and everyday voters in the District of Columbia working for positive change in our local & federal government and statehood for the residents of Washington, DC. We are the Democracy for America (DFA) affiliate in Washington, DC.

TO JOIN US, email us at dcfordemocracy@gmail.com.
To join us on Facebook, click here.

We generally meet on the second Wednesday of the month. Instead of a December meetup, we will have our Annual Holiday Party on Sunday, December 7 at 3-5pm.

At our meetup on November 12, 2014 DC for Democracy members unanimously approved the following resolution:

The Mayor’s Proposal and the Consultants’ Review are weighted heavily to the advantage of the Developer and Soccer Team Owner, to the disadvantage of District residents. DC For Democracy therefore opposes not only the current Proposal but also the Proposal if revised to reflect the CR findings because they would continue to fall far short of the interest of the public. The Council should consider the soccer stadium along with the fiscal year 2016 Budget.

On November 13, 2014, Dan Wedderburn, DC for Democracy’s Chair of the Government Reform Committee testified before the DC Council Committee of the Whole regarding the DC Soccer Stadium Development Act of 2014 (Bill 20-0805).

Mr. Chairman, members, I am Dan Wedderburn, Chair of DC For Democracy’s Government Reform Committee. DC For Democracy (DC4D) is a leading non-aligned progressive group in the District with hundreds of members.

The results of the Council Consultants’ Report on the pros and cons of the Mayor/John Akridge Agreement are weighted heavily to the advantage of the Developer, to the disadvantage of the District.

The consultants accepted and did not challenge key components of the Agreement: that DC pay up to half the total costs, or $150 million; DC sell the Reeves Center to Akridge well below its fair market value and prohibits DC putting it out for bid; DC must buy 5 parcels at Buzzard Point AND lease the soccer site to DC United; DC ten must pay environmental cleanup of an industrial site that could cost untold millions.

Also the consultants did not consider any alternatives to the Agreement, such as putting Reeves up for bid or having the developer lease the soccer site.

DC Fiscal Policy Institute estimates the city will pay 63% of the total costs including tax abatements of $50 million.

CFO’s John Ross testified that the proposed tax abatements up to 10 years “…are not necessary for the Team.”

Consultants appraised Reeves at $66.8. The CFO officially appraised it at $128.6 million for 2014. Then when the Mayor and Akridge were negotiating their Agreement, OCFO reduced it to $73 million. Why?

Consultants estimate it will cost $84 million to construct a new Municipal Center in Ward 8. A competitive sale of Reeves could easily pay this. The Proposal and Consultants nowhere discuss how to fund this.

The Mayor-elect on Nov. 7 said she did not see the necessity to sell Reeves Center.

There is no need to rush to judgment on the Soccer Stadium. An Agreement would have significant impacts on next year’s Fiscal Budget and Hearings that need to be dealt with first. This is DC4D’s Recommendation.

DC for Democracy endorsed Elissa Silverman for election at its September meeting for her track record as a bold progressive voice for progressive budget and tax policies, as well as her significant contributions to ethics reform and campaign finance reform in the city. We applaud her for playing a leading role in the minimum wage and paid sick days campaigns last year and believe Elissa’s years of service both in local journalism and rigorous policy analysis have prepared her to be a uniquely well-rounded council member.

In a crowded field of fifteen eligible candidates for two at-large council seats, Elissa Silverman won endorsement with 71% of the vote Wednesday night. With two-thirds of the vote required for endorsement, no other candidates came close. Eugene Puryear led the rest of the candidates with 46%, while others trailed far behind.

For more information:
www.dcfordemocracy.org
Twitter: @dc4d

At DC for Democracy’s 10th anniversary celebration on June 21, 2014, Jim Dean, Chair of Democracy for America (DFA), announced his enthusiastic support for full citizenship rights for the 646,000 people who live in the District of Columbia. Dean called the denial of political rights to the people of DC a “national issue” that concerns Americans all across the nation, and committed DFA to working with DC for Democracy to pass the New Columbia Admission Act. Dean said the bottom line is that “it’s high time we had statehood” for the people of the District of Columbia and committed DFA to engaging in a national campaign to achieve it.

Jim Dean video from DC for Democracy 6/21/14 on Vimeo.

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