Investing in working people & small businesses

Our city should work for all of us, not just those who bundle campaign donations or hire lobbyists. Yet we’ve watched as small, local businesses and working class people struggle and are pushed out of DC due to growing economic inequality and a high cost of living. We know income inequality impacts Black and Hispanic Washingtonians most starkly. As Council Chairwoman, Erin will stand with DC’s working people — our neighbors, family, and friends — to level the playing field for everyday people.

Erin believes every person in DC deserves a good job. Investing more in the University of the District of Columbia — DC’s only public historically Black university — and job training programs will create greater opportunities for more people. Our local government can ensure jobs with good wages, paid leave when it’s needed, and access to healthcare. The ability to find a job and earn a living wage should exist for all DC residents, regardless of immigration status. Erin has worked throughout her career for safe workplaces free from discrimination and harassment, and the right to speak out when things go wrong without fear of retribution, and she will continue to do so as Chairwoman.

Small businesses are the heart of our neighborhoods. But they need more support targeted to their specific needs. That means focusing our tax incentives on small businesses rather than big developers and multinational corporations. Erin knows firsthand how effective a good Main Streets program can be, but not all neighborhoods benefit equally, so she’ll fight for equitable funding. She believes we must reform current efforts to end food deserts that haven’t done enough to bring healthy food and jobs to communities that need them the most. Together, DC government can focus on supporting broad home-grown success rather than subsidizing the already wealthy.

The current Chairman keeps taking the side of big businesses and lobbyists over people — leading efforts to overturn the will of DC voters who demanded higher wages for our neighbors, fighting against an expanded tax credit for everyday workers, and rubber-stamping subsidies for connected developers. It’s time for new leadership, and Erin will stand up for DC’s workers and our local small businesses.

Erin’s experience:

Erin serves on the board of Old Takoma Business Association (Main Street Takoma), and she was previously part of a collaborative effort to bring Uptown Main Street to Kennedy Street, NW. She has advocated for more Main Street funding to give Executive Directors greater longevity and continuity in their support for local small businesses. She strongly supported raising the subminimum wage for tipped workers in DC and access to Covid-19 relief for all workers, including those who are undocumented.