Basket Half Empty
In light of the budget woes the city is facing, a collection of about 40 affordable housing advocates gathered at the John A. Wilson Building this morning to walk the halls distributing half empty baskets of food to D.C. Council members.
The idea, said Martina Gillis, advocacy coordinator for the Fair Budget Coalition, is to get the city's political leadership to understand that low-income resients are "being squeezed by fuel costs, food costs, the cost of living in D.C." The group wants more city funds for housing, rental assistance and food bank programs. The baskets contained raw eggs, cheese, potatoes and sandwiches.
The group arrived at city hall around 9:30 a.m. and started walking the halls around 10:15, but they didn't run into too many council members. So they were forced to give the baskets to council aides, including (in the pictures below) Calvin Woodland, deputy chief of staff for Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) and Jeremy Faust, legislative aide to Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3).
The group was determined to get members to listen, but Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), rushing off to a meeting, gave them a blunt assessment of their chances: "To be honest, I don't think any of this stuff is on the table in light of the $35 million" revenue gap announced yesterday.
"I could tell you what you want to hear," Evans said, "but that wouldn't be an honest answer."
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