TROUBLING TRENDS IN THE D.C. COUNCIL: ACTIONS ON EVICTIONS AND INITIATIVE 77 ARE WAY OUT OF STEP!

One thing has emerged from the recent primary election: the DC Council is clearly making legislative mistakes. First, Councilmember Mendelson has offered a totally unacceptable substitute for The Evictions With Dignity Act. The Council unanimously approved protections in evictions to require the landlord to lock up evictee's belongings for 30 days - a protection many cities have - (for which TENAC says kudos). Then using his power as council chair, Mendelson's substitution requires tenants to pack up their belongings in an absurdly abbreviated three-hour time span, and allow landlords to sell the evictees' properties to defray eviction costs.
 
The second major misstep involves the Council's declared intentions to overturn Initiative 77, in tandem, it appears, with the National (and local) Restaurant Associations, which have lobbied the Council strongly to overturn the measure.  The action on Initiative 77 would essentially nullify a democratically passed measure and is thus a self-inflicted blow to our right to vote and self-rule. D.C. laws, of course, are subject to disapproval by the Congress, which is making its own attempt to overturn Initiative 77. In favor of self-rule for decades, the Council is now in league with the GOP itself, by introducing their own local measure to overturn Initiative 77, which passed by a landslide margin (55%). TENAC says, beware liaison on virtually anything with a Trump-controlled GOP.
 
Agreement with extremist Republicans is itself quite telling; while the Democratic Party historically has always stood up to the big interests, we wonder what has transformed it in D.C. to such an extent, for while it appears that restaurant workers themselves are appealing to the Council for repeal, many restaurant workers were told by their employers that their restaurants would go out of business if the initiative were passed. This sounds much like the "Chicken-Little-Sky-is-Falling" approach always taken when any sort of wage increases are considered.   It reminds us of landlords screaming the need for more profits in a city where rents are so astronomical only the 99% can afford them, and tenants buying the argument that gentrification and anti-tenant legislation is really "for their own good" and will benefit them. We wonder if the National or local Restaurant Associations had some type of campaign to "educate" their workers on this "threat" not just to their profits but also employee wages.
 
Regardless of your position on Initiative 77, (it would mandate minimum wage for all restaurant employees plus tips replacing the current subminimum wage of $3 an hour plus tips), any attempt to overturn a democratically-approved measure reflecting corporate business (and donors) is alarming and dangerous, establishing a dangerous precedent. Any vote on any other referendum or issue could be next - - if this major misstep is left unchecked.
 
The two measures, though on the surface unrelated, go hand-in-hand. History tells us that submission to special interests (such as landlords and corporations) at the expense of the democratic process often accompany curtailing the rights of minorities and others.  Mendelson and others on the Council engaged in this kind of high-handed legislative behavior are wittingly or not, playing the Republican game planDC residents are urged to tell the council to reverse these actions. Incumbents deserve respect - - after all, they won by majority vote - - something Trump did not - - but winning re-elections does not entitle them to reverse the majority's will on a popularly-passed measure.  Nor does it entitle them to curtail protections for tenants in evictions.
 
Contact the council (contact info below) and urge them to reverse these positions. 
 
R.Leardo
TENAC Research Director


DC Council  Anxiously Awaits Administering Last Rites to Self-Rule, Democratic Process, & Human Rights by Seeking to Overturn Voter-Approved Initiative 77 and Even Remove Protections in Evictions 



HEAR IT ON VIDEO:
 

     HEAR NATIONWIDE (AND GLOBAL) NEWS PROGRAM, THE YOUNG TURKS, with over ONE BILLION LISTENERS, ON CONGRESSIONAL GOP AND DC COUNCIL ATTEMPTS TO OVERTURN THE RECENT MEASURE APPROVED BY WIDE POPULAR VOTE!  JUST CLICK:  https://bit.ly/2Lhl7OV

HOW TO CONTACT THE COUNCIL 
TO MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD:

Phil Mendelson Chair 202-724-8032 pmendelson@dccouncil.us @ChmnMendelson
Brianne Nadeau Ward 1 202-724-8181 bnadeau@dccouncil.us @BrianneKNadeau
Jack Evans Ward 2 202-724-8058 jevans@dccouncil.us @JackEvansWard2
Mary Cheh Ward 3 202-724-8062 mcheh@dccouncil.us @marycheh
Brandon Todd Ward 4 202-724-8052 btodd@dccouncil.us @CMBrandonTodd
Kenyon McDuffie Ward 5 202-724-8028 kmcduffie@dccouncil.us @CM_McDuffie
Charles Allen Ward 6 202-724-8072 callen@dccouncil.us @CharlesAllen
Vincent Gray Ward 7 202-724-8068 vgray@dccouncil.us @VinceGrayWard7
Trayon White, Sr. Ward 8 202-724-8045 twhite@dccouncil.us @trayonwhite
Robert C. White, Jr. At large 202-724-8174 rwhite@dccouncil.us @RobertWhite_DC
Anita Bonds At large 202-724-8064 abonds@dccouncil.us @AnitaBondsDC
David Grosso At large 202-724-8105 dgrosso@dccouncil.us @cmdgrosso
Elissa Silverman At large 202-724-7772 esilverman@dccouncil.us @CM_Silverman

 

STOP The Council from Continuing to Drive us Down The Road to Governance by Business, Now Taking the Form of Blatantly Trying to Overturn Initiative 77, widely approved by voters


 
D.C. TENANTS' ADVOCACY COALITION
REPRESENTING ALL D.C. TENANTS
P.O. BOX 7237 WASHINGTON, DC 20044 (202) 288-1921
www.tenac.org   tenacdc@yahoo.com  @TENACDC