Restore funding for the Benning Extension of the Streetcar into Ward 7

All Councilmembers
Council of the District of Columbia
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20004

Request to fully restore funding for Streetcar Expansion to Ward 7

Dear Councilmember:

We at GLAA are deeply disturbed with the continued lack of meaningful investment in the District’s poorest Wards.  LGBTQ people disproportionately struggle with poverty, particularly those who are black, brown, and/or transgender. We are disappointed with Chairman Mendelson’s decision to cut $103 million from Wards 7 and 8 capital projects in Fiscal Years 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021, including funding for a new hospital and funding for the Benning Extension of the Streetcar into Ward 7.

The prioritization of developments in more affluent Wards of the city ahead of Wards 7 and 8 must end.  Pushing the streetcar funding down the road to FY 2023, in addition to the $60 million cut is simply not acceptable. Ward 7 residents are disproportionately resource-scarce and would greatly benefit from the timely execution of this project.

We urge you to consider the importance of improving the connectivity between the East and West End of the District. The Streetcar Extension to the Benning Road Metro Station will be a catalyst for the economic development of Ward 7 and positively impact over 29,000 households. This transportation mode is critical in addressing various access barriers for the most recourse-scarce in our community.

Fully funding the expansion of the Streetcar to either the Minnesota Avenue Metro Station or the Benning Road Metro Station could begin to address the stark discrepancies in equity between the East End East of the Anacostia River and the West End where economic development has flourished.

We request that you restore the $60 million cut from the Streetcar Expansion to the full level of $160 million so Ward 7 residents can get what has been promised to them for far too long.


Guillaume R. Bagal


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