Issues

Human Services

Where I Stand

I believe that a measure of how well the District is doing is how well we treat our most vulnerable communities. That’s why I’m proud to be Chair of the DC Council’s Committee on Human Services, where we work to support families in times of financial hardship, ensure our youth don’t fall through the cracks, and help put every District resident on a path to prosperity.

When I became Chair of the Committee in 2017, I was determined to tackle pressing challenges, build consensus by listening to a diverse array of voices on each issue, and make progress to ensure District residents have the support they need in times of crisis.

One year later, I proud to report that my committee shepherded through three major new laws – reforming Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), homeless services, and disability services –  that are helping to reshape our social services so that we provide better service.

What I've Done

  • Faced with a benefits “cliff,” we passed landmark reform of TANF, the District’s cash assistance program for needy families, to ensure no child ever goes without benefits. The aim is to keep families teetering on the edge from falling into homelessness.
     
  • Reform of the Homeless Services Amendment Act to protect the District’s right to shelter and help the most vulnerable people in our community while working to resolve a crisis in our homelessness services system.
     
  • Invested millions of dollars into housing for the homeless, including Permanent Supportive Housing and Targeted Affordable Housing, to further the goals of Homeward DC, the District’s strategic plan to make homelessness brief, rare, and non-recurring.
     
  • Fully funded Strong Foundations, the District’s strategic plan to end youth homelessness.
     
  • Reform of our disability services to end the practice of involuntary civil commitments, to recognize supported decision-making agreements, and create a formal complaints process for those receiving services through the Department of Disability Services.
     
  • Strongly supported the passage of DC’s Paid Family Leave legislation.
     
  • Continue to work at the forefront of DC’s homelessness prevention efforts, including passing the Homeless Shelter Replacement Act and attending meetings of the Interagency Council on Homelessness.
     
  • Introduced legislation to provide clean and dignified public restrooms across the District.
     
  • Engage in year-round oversight over the District’s Human Services agencies:
    • Advisory Committee & Citizen Review Panel on Child Abuse and Neglect
       
    • Child and Family Services Agency
       
    • Commission on Persons with Disabilities
       
    • Department of Human Services
       
    • Department on Disability Services
       
    • Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services
       
    • Developmental Disabilities State Planning Council
       
    • Interagency Council on Homelessness
       
    • Juvenile Abscondence Review Committee
       
    • Office of Disability Rights
       
    • State Rehabilitation Council
       
    • Statewide Independent Living Council