Standing up for You

The Issues

D.C. residents deserve safe streets and neighborhoods, high-performing public schools, housing that’s truly affordable, and a compassionate safety net.

For her entire career, Elissa has fought for a D.C. government accountable to its residents and local businesses. Here’s where Elissa stands on the issues:

Supporting Working Families

Working people in D.C. deserve fair wages and benefits that allow them to care for their families. Elissa co-authored the District’s Paid Family Leave law, and as Chair of the Council’s Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, oversees its implementation. The program launched on-time and under budget in the midst of the pandemic. After a recent review that Elissa put into law, the city’s Chief Financial Officer dramatically increased parental, family caregiving, and medical leave for workers and cut the taxes employers need to contribute to pay for it. A win-win-win!

Making Neighborhoods Safe

We need safe streets whether you are walking near your home, playing at a park, bicycling to work or school, or commuting in a car. Elissa supports a well-trained Metropolitan Police Department that respects the rights of residents and visitors and has the resources officers and detectives need to patrol effectively and close cases. D.C. also needs to do more to address root causes of crime and embrace evidence-based alternatives to traditional policing. That’s why Elissa worked with Attorney General Karl Racine and Chairman Phil Mendelson to have the Labor Committee provide the initial seed funding for the Attorney General’s Cure the Streets program, which is based on a violence interruption model that has been successful in other cities. As our public-health focused strategies like violence interruption grow, we need to make sure there is clear coordination of all our public safety agencies to meet our goals.

Keeping Housing Affordable

D.C.’s housing market is unaffordable at many income levels. That’s why Elissa has provided strong oversight of D.C.’s Housing Authority, which is critical to providing housing for low-income families. Elissa has been a champion for increased funding for subsidized housing programs and oversight of our housing voucher distribution. We also need to make sure middle-class families aren’t priced out, and Elissa has supported enhancements to home purchase assistance and inclusionary zoning. She’s also created programs that help seniors on fixed incomes pay for housing and cover taxes and insurance on reverse mortgages.

Investing in Our Public Schools

We need a school system that provides equitable education no matter where you live. As an At-Large Councilmember, Elissa has been an advocate for making sure we use our resources effectively to support our students and educators. As Chair of the Council’s Committee on Labor and Workforce Development, Elissa has been a champion for early childhood education, before-and-after care, and accessible programs for adult learners. The way we fund schools now does not meet the needs of students, teachers, and school staff. We spend a lot of money, but it’s not being targeted to meet the needs of every student in every community. That’s why every budget season, Elissa will continue fighting for schools that serve a high percentage of students coming from high-poverty households—particularly in Wards 5, 7, & 8—to get the resources they need both inside and outside the classroom.

Training D.C. Workers

D.C workers need the training and resources to benefit from high-paying jobs in D.C.’s key industries like technology and healthcare. Elissa has invested your taxpayer dollars into a nationally-recognized way to teach adult literacy that has put thousands of D.C. residents into living-wage careers. The Labor Committee created and funded the D.C. Healthcare Sector Partnership, which is working with D.C.’s hospitals and healthcare providers to train D.C. residents to become nurses and health aides. And Elissa has championed innovative programs to give our teens and young adults job experience and income, such as the year-round high school internship program.

Spending Your Tax Dollars Well

Elissa is laser-focused on accountability and results for the money D.C. spends on city contracts. She speaks out against wasteful government spending. For example, Elissa was a forceful voice opposing our lottery and sports betting system. She pushed developers to include more affordable housing units in their projects that receive city subsidies, and always asks how many jobs they will create for D.C. residents.