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What Janeese stands for

From her days as a student at Rudolph to her time in the DC Attorney General’s Office, Janeese has held an unshakeable belief that integrity, equity, and justice should be the rule, not the exception. Those values were instilled in her by her mother, a postal worker, and her grandmother, a former lunch lady at Alice Deal Middle School. These strong women taught Janeese the importance of education, hard work, and the responsibility of lifting as she climbed.

Whether fighting for quality public schools in every neighborhood or implementing a public health approach to crime, Janeese understands that problems in education, housing, climate, health, and safety are all deeply connected. To solve one of them, we need to address all of them. To build the Ward 4 we believe in, one that works for all of us, we need bold progressive leadership, unbought, unbossed and willing to fight for accountability, affordability, and fairness for everyone in our community!

As our Ward 4 Councilmember, Janeese will focus on:

Tackling the housing affordability crisis

Whether we own a home or rent; have lived here for a few years or for generations; are single, retired, or trying to raise a family, we know that the cost of housing in Ward 4 is skyrocketing. We need to expand funding for the Housing Production Trust Fund, raise the ceiling on homebuyer assistance programs, and take bold action to expand housing protections like rent control, particularly so those of us with low- and fixed incomes can remain part of our communities.

Demanding accountability and integrity from elected leaders

The DC Council should work for everyone—not just campaign donors and big business interests. We shouldn’t need to know a secret handshake to get a crosswalk striped or a pothole filled. We need leaders who are accountable for their actions and transparent to constituents, refuse corporate contributions, and will ensure government services are accessible to all of us. As a government attorney, Janeese has spent her career upholding high ethical standards and holding people accountable, and as our Ward 4 Councilmember, she’ll bring that integrity with her to the Wilson Building.

Ensuring affordable child care and quality neighborhood schools

A product of DCPS, a graduate of City Year, a student member of the State Board of Education, and an advisor at OSSE, Janeese has spent her life bearing witness to DC’s two-tiered education system. We have one path for students whose families have the network and net worth to get them into the right programs and the right schools, and another path for those who don’t. All of our kids should have excellent education options, and their futures shouldn’t be decided by a lottery system. Two of the biggest challenges that Ward 4 families face are finding affordable child care and quality neighborhood middle and high schools. That is why we must fully fund universal child care legislation, including the Birth-to-Three for All DC Act, and fight for real investment in neighborhood schools in every Ward 4 community. Whether they live in Riggs Park or Shepherd Park, Janeese will work to ensure Ward 4 students get the investment in their schools, in their families, in their teachers, and in themselves that they need to reach their full potential.

Preventing crime and advancing community safety

DC is at a criminal justice crossroads. Some want us to double down on decades of failed public safety policies that have led to mass incarceration of mostly black and brown residents without stopping the rise in violent crime. As a former Assistant Attorney General, Janeese knows that the old model doesn’t work. We need to get smarter, proactively preventing crime by adopting a public health approach. To start, that means taking on domestic violence perpetrators, getting guns off of our streets, fully implementing the NEAR Act, and keeping ICE out of our communities. As our Ward 4 Councilmember, Janeese will combine her experience in reducing recidivism with a bold agenda that ensures a safer future for everyone.

Creating an inclusive economy

Everyone should benefit from DC’s economic growth, but more often than not working families and small businesses are losing out. Too many of us have two or three jobs and still struggle to house and feed our families. Too many of us are forced to shutter a good business because our 10-year lease increased by 50%. Janeese will be a Ward 4 Councilmember who doesn’t just talk about the rising cost of living and doing business, but takes bold action to ensure we can afford to live and thrive here. Janeese will fight for wages that pay the bills and ensure incentive programs benefit businesses that actually operate in our communities and employ our neighbors.

Photos by Flickr users City Year, Miki Jourdan, and Ted Eytan

Advancing healthcare for all

DC often ranks as one of the “fittest cities” in America — but not for Black residents. DC has the highest Black maternal mortality rate in the nation, yet our leaders recently voted to close the only full-service hospital east of the river and allowed Providence Hospital in Ward 5 to be downsized. These closures are overcrowding remaining hospitals and putting patient care at risk. Every day that we don’t take bold action to expand our healthcare system costs people their lives. Janeese will take our health seriously, will speak out for patient safety, quality care, public investment, and safe staffing in hospitals as we build toward a national, Medicare for All system.

Creating transportation equity

In DC, getting around is becoming costlier and more difficult while the number of people trying to get from A to B is growing. Ward 4 residents find themselves piecing together their commutes to school, work, or community events, or risking their lives just to travel down our streets. Many seniors and residents with disabilities are forced to rely on a permanent, second-class transportation system. Late shift workers often have no access to transit at all. It’s time we made Ward 4 a transportation model for the city. That means making our bus system fast, reliable, far-reaching, and predictable; making transfers between bus and rail free; and improving pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure.

Taking on the environmental crisis

The biggest threat to present and future generations of Washingtonians is climate change. While we await national and global action, DC can lead the way in the fight to save our environment and ourselves. With Janeese as our Ward 4 Councilmember, we will finally have leadership that’s committed to delivering critical upgrades to our infrastructure, creating green jobs in our communities, implementing the DC Clean Energy Act, getting lead out of our homes and schools and playgrounds, and expanding environmental literacy in our classrooms.

Fighting for Statehood

We pay higher taxes per capita than any state in the nation, we serve our country with pride, and yet we are denied Senators, refused guaranteed voting representation in the House, and excluded from local autonomy. As a Democratic State Committee member, Janeese is fighting for DC Statehood, and as our Ward 4 Councilmember, she’ll work to prepare the District for a smooth transition to Statehood.

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Janeese is fighting for a DC that works for you, not big donors. We are refusing corporate contributions and only taking donations up to $50. If you’re a DC resident, your donation will be matched 5 to 1 by DC’s new public financing program.