When we advocate hand-in-hand with community members, we advocate to win. Though they are often hard fought battles, advocacy victories help level the playing field for low- to moderate-income residents and communities. Take a look at some of our recent advocacy successes.
In May 2012, LEDC worked with partner organizations in the District of Columbia to successfully advocate for the restoration of $25 million for key housing and small business development programs in the District’s FY13 budget. Key restorations include $18 million to the Housing Production Trust Fund, $2.5 million to DC’s Home Purchase Assistance Program, and $1.8 million to DC’s Small Business Technical Assistance Program.
DC's Housing Conditions Court and DCRA's Proactive Housing Code Inspections Program
Tenants in the District of Columbia launched efforts in 2007 to improve housing conditions at apartment buildings city-wide. These efforts, announced at LEDC’s annual Tenant Town Hall, led to major victories for DC residents – including the right to sue landlords in court for refusing to fix housing code violations and the creation of DCRA’s proactive housing code inspections program.
Coalition for the Fair Redevelopment of Wheaton
In April 2012, the Council voted to invest $66 million of public resources to jumpstart the redevelopment of Wheaton’s downtown while taking important steps to ensure the fair redevelopment of Wheaton due to the advocacy efforts of the Coalition.
To position the existing community to benefit, the Council called for:
- Critical planning studies to prepare for redevelopment, including a comprehensive parking study to understand how to mitigate the impact of parking loss during construction on small businesses as well as studies on the best way to create local jobs through the project. The results will be released in late 2013/early 2014.
- Bill 6-12, the Small Business Assistance Program, was passed unanimously by the Montgomery County Council. The bill removed the $20,000 assistance cap on financial assistance available to small businesses through the Assistance Program and allows businesses to apply for the assistance within 12 months of redevelopment starting.
Do you think this work is important? Donate today to help us sustain these advocacy efforts into the future that put community members in the drivers seat.