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Mayor Gray’s Proposed 2013 Budget Released… Now What?

Guest Blogger: Susie Cambria, of Susie’s Budget and Policy Corner

The District’s budget is simply the most important legislative measure considered by the DC Council and Mayor each year.

Collective advocacy is often the easiest and most efficient way to influence the budget. Which is why being a friend of Friendship Place is a terrific way to participate in the budget process. Friends and supporters benefit from the work of the staff to collect intelligence and develop strategies to change the mayor’s proposed budget. Friends and supporters new to the city’s budget process have the space to learn as they advocate and educate their friends.

I have high expectations for the friends and supporters of Friendship Place and their advocacy efforts. I was invited to talk about the District’s budget—one of my most favorite topics in the world!—with folks who are extraordinarily committed to eliminating homelessness in DC. I shared the elements of the process between March and June, part of the larger year-round budget development process illustrated in the aptly titled document DC Budget Process (PDF).

Why do I have such high expectations? Precisely because the session’s attendees challenged me with some tough questions and reactions to my answers.

Mayor Gray released his proposed FY 2013 budget on March 23. The mayor will brief the DC Council about the proposed budget today, March 27 at 10:00 am. The briefing is streamed live via a link from the Office of Cable Television. Public hearings on the mayor’s proposed budget start March 28 and run through the end of April. The final vote on the budget will take place in early June.

The DC Council’s budget hearings are open to the public and the online schedule provides all the details necessary for anyone wishing to testify in person. Geoff Millard will be sharing a shorter list for those interested in the issues of importance to Friendship Place.

If I had to suggest friends and supporters of Friendship Place do two things this budget season, they would be:

  1. Read all news accounts of budget and political happenings you can
  2. Look to the Friendship Place staff and consumers for guidance on advocacy. We have seen the huge benefits that result from collective action and you have the power to make that happen this year.

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Your support for Friendship Place has a lasting impact. In 2023, our programs ended or prevented homelessness for 4,993 people, including 1,507 children in families and 670 veterans. We empowered 167 people experiencing or at risk of homelessness to get jobs through innovative, state-of-the-art job placement services. Make a donation today in support of our work to end homelessness. Questions? Please feel free to call our fundraising office, 202.957.7834.

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