For far too long, our small businesses have been pushed aside due to fraudulent out-of-District businesses setting up shop in the District to take advantage of our favorable contracting laws. As Councilmember, Brooke will fight to ensure that legitimate DC businesses are protected and, through collaboration with the Office of the Attorney General, will push to have the city prosecute sham businesses illegally operating in the District
As a tax attorney, Brooke understands how to work with the building owners and the city to incentivize landlords to lease their spaces and ensure that our small businesses can succeed.
Brooke knows that there are many workforce development programs in our city, and yet, many of our job seekers are not always matched with the right employers. Brooke will work to increase our hard and soft skills training for works so they can get on a meaningful path to employment.
Washington, D.C. has the highest rate of homelessness per capita in the country. This is unacceptable. Brooke will support Housing First policies so that our city not only addresses housing needs, but also the social challenges that accompany housing insecurity through supportive services.
Rising rents pose an unbearable burden to low and middle-income families across the District and this crisis is only continuing to intensify. Rent Control is a necessary step in combating this burden and ensuring that all residents have the right to desperately needed affordable housing. I pledge to address the needs of our renters and ensure that landlords violating the law are held accountable.
There are many government programs that focus on addressing housing insecurity in the District. While it is encouraging that addressing this crisis is a priority for our city, we will be more successful when we coordinate our efforts. Brooke will also partner with community legal aid and advocacy groups to ensure they have the support they need to represent our community.
The Historic Preservation Review Board has maintained the character of our beautiful neighborhoods for decades. Brooke will continue to support the Historic Preservation Review Board’s work while also encouraging reforms to increase clarity of their requirements and efficiency of their review process.
Brooke will expand the Cure the Streets pilot program, which has proven to be extremely effective in reducing crime, to all eight Wards. The Cure the Streets Programs, implemented by the Office of the Attorney General and the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, uses credible messengers to interrupt violence in our communities before it occurs.
Brooke will ensure our streets have adequate lighting and that all of our metro stations are equipped with functioning cameras. These are simple, effective changes that will make our neighborhoods safer.
We know that black and white neighbors use cannabis at around the same rates. However, nationwide, black men are arrested for cannabis possession and consumption at a rate of 4X their white counterparts. In the District of Columbia, 93% of our cannabis arrests for possession and consumption are of black residents. Brooke will introduce legislation to clarify our city’s cannabis laws, support minority-owned cannabis companies and ensure the law is enforced equally, regardless of race or income level.
Racism is deeply ingrained in every corner of our society. We must be mindful and intentional in every policy decision we make to ensure all changes we enact works towards a larger goal of addressing racial inequity.
While working at the DC Office of the Attorney General, Brooke came to realize that our labor laws are only as strong as our enforcement. Brooke is committed to ensuring our enforcement agencies have the necessary resources to enforce the existing laws to protect against wage theft.
Brooke plans to create a task force between labor leaders, businesses, law enforcement agencies, and other stakeholders to ensure we can increase our preventative efforts to combat wage theft and violations of worker rights.
Brooke will make comprehensive information on DC labor laws publicly accessible to all workers, not just in English and Spanish, but in French, Amharic, Chinese, Vietnemese, and Korean, as well.
To advance a women’s first agenda, D.C. needs autonomy so we can provide healthcare services to our residents. We must urge Congress to remove the spending rider prohibiting us from using our locally raised tax dollars for reproductive health care.
Brooke will support the Maternal Health Care Improvement and Expansion Act of 2019 which requires health care plans to cover at least two postpartum healthcare visits, home visits, fertility preservation services, and transportation stipends for travel to and from prenatal and postpartum visits.
In her first term, Brooke pledges to make tampons and pads free for women at or below the poverty line.
Brooke pledges to expand the DC Fair Elections Program to cover the cost of childcare, which is often a significant barrier deterring women and parents from running for elected office. The expansion of this program will help to even the playing field. Currently, only five out of thirteen DC Councilmembers are women. We have to do better.
Brooke will increase education funding and requirements for anti-bullying and inclusion in our schools. The DCPS sex education curriculum must include information on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Brooke will combat hiring and workplace discrimination that our LGBTQQIA+ community faces far too often. Our business and government workplaces must be inclusive and reflective of our city.
Brooke will vote for the hate crimes legislation she helped write to ensure that the OAG can enforce bias-motivated crimes in our city. Hate crimes and harassment are still prevalent in our city and we need to make sure we enforce cases against violent and verbal harassment. Brooke will also vote to pass the Tony Hunter and Bella Evangelista Panic Defense Prohibition Act of 2019.
Brooke will support Councilmember Charles Allen’s legislation that would provide every DC resident with a $100 monthly metro subsidy. We must encourage the use of public transportation and ensure that it is not a financial burden on any Washingtonian. Brooke is also in favor of expanding dedicated crosstown transitways and bus lanes around the city.
Brooke will expand protected bike lanes, especially on major roadways and connection bridges. Protected bike lanes improve the quality of life for all DC residents through reducing traffic, preventing traffic deaths, improving air quality, and encouraging healthy lifestyle choices.
Brooke knows that our laws are only as strong as their enforcement. We must ensure that current laws protecting our water and air are strictly and consistently enforced.
Brooke will expand tax credits for residents who install solar panels on their houses and/or businesses. She will also work closely with community organizations to find creative solutions to expand solar energy across our city.
Brooke will support legislation requiring electric vehicle charging stations in new and substantially renovated residential buildings. This increase in EV infrastructure could further encourage the use of EVs, helping us reduce local air pollution.
Brooke will support legislation to ban the sale of fur and ivory because we must cut off the demand for these products in order to end poaching and inhumane animal industries. A ban on the sale of ivory will also reduce the militarization of anti-poaching efforts.
Brooke pledges to increase the homestead deduction in real estate taxes for people above the age of 65.
Brooke pledges to increase affordable options for community living and long-term care for seniors because she understands the importance of the comprehensive services needed for seniors to live healthy lives.
Especially given the increased risks associated with COVID-19, Brooke will work to make deliveries of medication to our seniors a viable alternative from going to the pharmacist.
Ward 2 is fortunate to be home to two of our city’s largest hospitals. Yet, all Washingtonians living east of the Anacostia river, will lose their only major medical facility after 2024 due to the Council’s decision to close the last remaining hospital in an already neglected area of the city. This is unacceptable, especially because we know that black women die during pregnancy or in the months after giving birth 2.5 times more often than white women in our city. The D.C. Council has a responsibility to ensure that all D.C. residents have access to high quality hospitals and medical care. This includes guaranteeing that medical providers have cultural competency to meet patients’ social and cultural needs.
DC Water has been replacing lead service lines on public property for years, but building and home owners are responsible for the replacement of lead pipes on their property. This results in low-income homeowners being exposed to high levels of lead. The DC Council last year allocated $1.8 million dollars to replace lead service lines for qualifying low-income residents. As your Councilmember, Brooke will ensure funding levels are increased to protect DC residents from the serious health consequences of lead.
We know that early childhood education is crucial for children’s social and cognitive development. Brooke is a strong supporter of the Birth-to-Three program.
DC Public schools must have adequate funding for core classes, as well as foreign language, arts, and sports programs. As schools steadily improve, we also must work to combat overcrowding and reduce the teacher to student ratio. Brooke will ensure we invest in hiring highly trained teachers who plan to remain in DCPS for years to come. Brooke will also advocate for a heightened increase in funding in the budget to account for more than just the cost of living increase for teacher’s salaries, but also to ensure school modernization is achieved.
Brooke will ensure that schools are staffed with school-based mental health professionals.
Brooke believes charter schools should be held accountable to the same measures of transparency as traditional DC Public Schools. If funding is a significant roadblock for providing transparency, part of the budget allocated towards publicly funded charter schools should be earmarked for transparency measures and the ability to comply with FOIA requests.
Brooke will be a vocal advocate for increased funding for the DCTAG program which helps DC families send their children to public and private colleges and universities across the country.