Education

Crises:

  • 95% of the public schools whose budgets will be cut in 2020-2021 are located in Ward 8.
  • 48% of Ward 8 residents over the age of 16 cannot read above the 3rd grade level.
  • Only 15% of Ward 8 residents have a bachelor’s degree compared to 56% of all DC residents.

Sources:

  • https://www.dcfpi.org/all/educational-equity-requires-an-adequate-school-budget/
  • https://weacted.files.wordpress.com/2017/07/dc-adult-literacy.pdf
  • https://censusreporter.org/profiles/61000US11008-ward-8-dc/

My Proposed Solutions:

  • Mobilize business sector and parents to oppose DCPS diverting funds from services that support Ward 8 students to the needs of other schools, including the more affluent ones. 
  • Implement court-ordered tutoring and/or reading and writing assignments combined with behavioral therapy for youth who enter DYRS’s system. 
  • Implement requirements for CFSA foster parents and caregivers to send youth who have been placed in their care to mandatory tutoring and mentoring. 
  • Engage non-profit and private sectors to assist in creating competitive writing, reading and public speaking opportunities for youth starting at age 5.
  • Continue to strengthen adult literacy programs in Ward 8.

Families

Crises:

  • More than 55% of households in Ward 8 are headed by single women. 
  • Only 8% of households are headed by men.
  • Only 20% of all households are headed by married couples.

Source:

  • https://censusreporter.org/profiles/61000US11008-ward-8-dc/

My Proposed Solutions:

  • Revive Fatherhood Initiatives. These Obama-era programs all but died due to the lack of available federal funding. Ward 8 needs privately funded programs that offer services to men that follow the NFI’s 24/7 Dad Program Model:
    • Caring for Self, Fathering Skills, Parenting Skills, Relationship and Marriage Skills
  • Marriage Bootcamp should be available for couples who wish to learn the tools on how to build a healthy union.  
  • 4-6 week bootcamps offered year round in Ward 8 to youth ages 12-18 that focus on life skills. 
  • Quality childcare available to our working parents.
  • Access to quality grocery stores

Housing

Crises:

  • Ward 8 has approximately 30,948 housing units. Source: DC Office of Planning, Most Recently Recorded Housing Profile, American Community Survey
  • 16.5% housing units are vacant
  • 67% of those units were built before 1980
  • Only 1/5 of Ward 8 residents are homeowners

Source:

  • DC Office of Planning, Most Recently Recorded Housing Profile, American Community Survey

My Proposed Solutions:

The District needs to allocate funding to rehab vacant properties to create affordable and sustainable housing for our Seniors and Ward 8 families who are living at or below the poverty line.

Crime

Crises:

  • Before schools let out for the summer in 2019, Ward 8 had 20 murders.
  • Ward 8 has more than 40 unresolved homicides in 2019.

My Proposed Solutions:

There is not one single solution to this crisis.  The problem is multi-faceted and our approach needs to address several issues that contribute to crime.

  • Partner with foundations and organizations whose mission is to address trauma.  We need trauma treatment centers for our inmates and parents and children who have experienced violence.  If treated soon enough, victims of violent acts are less likely to retaliate or perpetrate violence against one another.
  • Our youth need competitive activities offered year-round, including a city sports league, a robotics league and other activities to keep them engaged.
  • Our residents and returning citizens need JOBS.  The traditional approach to workforce development in our city is not working and we need innovation to create career-track opportunities.  We must partner with various sectors and the private equity world to fund initiatives that provide training and scholarships for our residents.

Jobs

Crises:

  • 36% of Ward 8 residents live below poverty level compared with 17% of residents city-wide
  • 47% of all children in Ward 8 live below poverty level.
  • The percentage of unemployed Ward 8 residents is more than three times the percentage in Wards 1 and 2.

Sources:

  • https://censusreporter.org/profiles/61000US11008-ward-8-dc/
  • https://does.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/does/release_content/attachments/DC%20Ward%20Data%20Apr19-Mar19-Apr18.pdf

My Proposed Solutions:

We need an innovative and multi-faceted approach that focuses on literacy, behavioral science, and job training in fields and trades that will create income sources for residents to support their families and thrive in an increasingly costly local and national economy.  My goal is to create partnerships between the business sector, our judiciary, community-based behavioral programs and job training programs to create a pipeline for our most challenged residents to obtain the proper tools to get and keep employment.

Economic Development

Crises:

The median income in Ward 8 is $31,954 compared to $77,649 of the average District household. Businesses are apprehensive about coming to Ward 8 because they fear that the majority of the residents lack the income to support them. As a result, Ward 8 residents lack access to basic services that become available to areas only after they are gentrified.  The goal is for Ward 8 residents to have the services that they need and desire within reasonable proximity to home now.

Source:

  • https://censusreporter.org/profiles/61000US11008-ward-8-dc/

My Proposed Solutions:

Solicit businesses who provide high quality services to move to Ward 8 if they hire Ward 8 residents and use minority contractors and sub-contractors who hire Ward 8 residents. This will not be easy and will require partnerships with our business community to see plans come to fruition.

Seniors

Crises:

  • More than 25% of Seniors who reside in Ward 8 live in poverty.  This is more than double the rate in the United States (9%)
  • Seniors who live independently often lack transportation to buy groceries and access to healthy food. As a result, they often lack the bare essentials that they need. 
  • Many of our seniors live in isolation

Source:

  • https://censusreporter.org/profiles/61000US11008-ward-8-dc/

My Proposed Solutions:

  • More than 25% of Seniors who reside in Ward 8 live in poverty.  This is more than double the rate in the United States (9%). Source: https://censusreporter.org/profiles/61000US11008-ward-8-dc/
  • Seniors who live independently often lack transportation to buy groceries and access to healthy food. As a result, they often lack the bare essentials that they need. 
  • Many of our seniors live in isolation

Transit Police

Crises:

  • WMATA’s police force has a history of violating the civil rights of Black passengers. However, WMATA is immune from liability in cases where riders allege that a transit officer has violated their civil rights. Moreover, transit police almost exclusively target young black riders for arrests and citations for fare evasion to young black riders although it has been proven that other groups fare evade with no consequences.  
  • Fact: Anacostia Station is the location where Metro Transit officers have issued the second highest number of citations (3,977) within the WMATA system in the last two years.
  • Fact: 91% of citations/summons were issued to Blacks, and only 8% to Whites. There is no evidence that Black people evade fares more than White people within the WMATA system.
  • Fact: 46% of all citations were issued to Blacks under the age of 25.

Sources:

  • https://www.washlaw.org/pdf/2018_09_13_unfair_disparity_fair_evasion_enforcement_report.PDF
  • https://censusreporter.org/profiles/61000US11008-ward-8-dc/

My Proposed Solutions:

  • Amend the WMATA Compact to remove WMATA’s shield against claims of constitutional violations committed by its police. 
  • Create more police-community engagement opportunities: job fairs, career days at DC schools, and a city sports league where officers can interact with our children and youth.

Every vision needs provision.
Help me make it happen.

Join Yaida Ford on her journey to bring better vision to Ward 8.