What piece of DC (or federal) legislation would you create? Could you create a law that would improve responsible development and investment in Ward 8? Could you create a workable program that would increase the number of jobs and careers east of the river? Could you create an initiative that would shape an economic plan for the future?
A few things I would wish for:
- That when a new big box store/grocer/retailer approaches DC government about entering the DC market for the first time that they have to promise to open their first store east of the river. If they don't want to move EotR that's fine - they just don't receive any of those yummy tax abatements and special pieces of legislation they are always asking for. For once I want to see amneties and services come first to the place that needs them most -- east of the river.
- No more unnecessary tax abatements for new development projects west of the river. Tax abatements are meant to encourage development but for some reason they are being offered for projects in locations that are not necessary yet those development tax abatements aren't heading east of the river. The only development incentives we see for Wards 7 and 8 are low-income housing tax credits and that is all we are getting -- low-income housing. The result is that the income levels remain depressed and the retailers (and their jobs) stay away. If a developer is asking for tax abatements for a west of the river project I want them to have to explain why that project couldn't be located east of the river where the land is cheaper and the area is in much need of amneties, stores, and services. Again, developers don't have to move east of the river but they should not get their tax abatements -- funded in part with my tax dollars -- but avoid my section of the city like the plague.