The Environment

As the next Ward 3 Councilmember, I will work to protect Councilmember Cheh’s environmental legacy and build on her accomplishments. During Reconstruction, Massachusetts Senator Charles Sumner said that on racial and social justice issues, the District should be “an example for all the land.” Climate change and the environment are existential issues for our time. We must bring a sense of urgency and purpose to our efforts in this area. We should also see this challenge as an opportunity to create jobs and grow our economy, treating the moment as an opportunity for a Green New Deal in the District.

To meet this challenge and opportunity, we must:

Increase the use of public transportation and make biking/walking safer

  • Work with neighboring jurisdictions to fully fund WMATA and maximize the appeal of public transit through increased quality and lower costs to consumers
  • Require transition of our bus and other fleets – WMATA, Circulator, schools, garbage, and recycling trucks – to all electric by 2040, getting halfway there by 2030
  • Increase the number of dedicated bus and bike lanes
  • Greatly expand the installation of bus shelters to protect transit patrons from the increasingly erratic weather that comes with climate change
  • Provide financial support for low-income residents to get access to Capital Bikeshare and e-bikes
  • Support transit-oriented development to ensure substantial housing is built close to our transit hubs reducing reliance on automobiles while also addressing our housing shortage
  • Expand housing downtown to address office vacancy and bring workers closer to jobs
  • Explore congestion pricing to incentivize commuters to rely on alternatives to single occupancy cars and generate revenue to support programs to combat climate change

Phase out the use of fossil fuels and transition to all-electric buildings and transportation by 2050

  • Promptly identify and address the most egregious gas line methane leaks and focus any gas line upgrades focus primarily on reducing emissions from leaks and not building stranded assets
  • Meet a 100% renewable portfolio standard (RPS) by 2026
  • Require that by 2026, all new buildings be net-zero and fully electric, prohibit gas hookups in new buildings except in limited high-energy use cases like large medical or industrial buildings
  • Provide financial support to retrofit existing buildings away from gas appliances, prioritizing low-income residents and frontline communities, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and improving indoor air quality
  • For District-owned buildings:
    • Require that all new and newly renovated buildings not yet permitted for construction meet net-zero energy standards
    • Develop a plan to finance the transition of existing buildings off of gas and oil
    • Improve resident quality of life through weatherization and other upgrades such as LED lights, low-flow fixtures, low-emissivity windows, reflective roofing, and insulated walls.

Ensure a clean, nimble, and resilient electric grid and public infrastructure

  • Promote electricity storage technologies that can help overcome the intermittency challenge of renewable energy and allow it to be deployed when needed
  • Support the establishment of community-owned micro-grids relying on renewable sources and storage technologies
  • Require the Public Service Commission to adopt time-of-use or real-time electricity pricing options that incentivizes storage and expands use of renewable energy while lowering costs and increasing resiliency to outages
  • Pass the Public Service Commission Member Qualifications Act to make sure our public utility commission has expertise in grid modernization and consumer protection
  • Develop resiliency hubs outfitted with renewable energy generation and storage, prioritizing frontline communities, with the goal of ensuring that when inevitable outages occur, residents have a place to go to address urgent energy needs
  • Ensure public housing facilities are resilient in the face of extreme weather events

Ensure equity and economic opportunity in building climate resilience and expanding clean energy

  • Expand and fund the successful Solar for All and SolarWorks DC programs that have provided the financial benefits of solar energy to thousands of low- and moderate-income residents, and facilitated the training of hundreds of workers for jobs in the growing solar industry
  • Strengthen job training programs to ensure our residents can take advantage of opportunities as we work to address environmental and resilience issues by:
    • Installing and operating heat pumps and other energy-efficiency technologies
    • Expanding renewable energy generation and storage on residential, commercial, and institutional buildings
    • Weatherizing public buildings such as schools as well as bus stations
    • Removing lead pipes
    • Improving pedestrian, bike and bus infrastructure
    • Building and maintaining green stormwater infrastructure
  • Support the creation of a Social Housing funding mechanism that can finance and construct new green social housing, affordable projects
  • Invest in infrastructure to expand flood barriers and floodproof homes in high-risk locations to protect frontline communities from the increased frequency of flooding due to climate change
  • Beat the city’s goal of 40% tree canopy before 2032 by building on our partnerships with community organizations like Casey Trees, fully funding DDOT’s Urban Forestry Division, and expanding planting efforts on State and Federal property while ensuring benefits are distributed equitably throughout the city

Protect and Clean Our Rivers

  • Expand green infrastructure programs to address stormwater runoff and provide a long-term funding source for maintenance of green infrastructure
  • Support and expand river clean-up programs, such as the River Corps Program
  • Ensure the Anacostia River Sediment Remediation Project continues on schedule
  • Work to ensure sediment at Fletcher’s Cove is addressed
  • Expand the Public Restrooms Act to a citywide pilot targeted at our most vulnerable communities as well as locations where public urination is most frequent
  • Ensure DC Water fully participates in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services study on wastewater surveillance for Coronavirus
  • Support the Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) Wetland Program Plan to study, protect, expand, and engage communities about the importance of our local ecosystems
  • Build on the improvements to water quality in our city, exploring opportunities to open our waterways to public swimming uses alongside our partners in the Potomac Riverkeeper Network, DOEE, and the National Park Service

Strengthen Our Food Supply and Minimize Waste

  • Develop a plan to eliminate food deserts and brace for potential disruption in the food supply chain, including by incentivizing developers to include grocery stores in developments in areas that qualify as food deserts and supporting and encouraging the expansion of co-op grocery stores, farmer’s markets, fruit tree plantings, and community gardens and facilitating informal community support networks like mutual aid
  • Create a citywide network of food pantries and establish a plan to assist in coordination with existing city services to ensure distribution to residents in need, and provide support to existing local partners to expand opportunities for these necessary services
  • Continually grow our school garden programs as well as programs focused on delivering nutritious meals to our students
  • Expand urban farming in cooperation with community and non-profit organizations
  • Require that grocery stores donate 100% of edible food waste and compost the rest.
  • Ensure that Councilmember Cheh’s composting pilot for 10,000 households is implemented and press DPW to permanently add District-wide organics pick-up to its services
  • Ensure that the District’s Zero Waste Plan is published and implemented
  • Ban the distribution of beverages in plastic bottles on District properties or with District funds and develop a plan to minimize the use of plastics, ensure maximal recycling, and address litter
  • Mandate that DOEE enforce the bans on single-use foam, foil-lined deli paper wraps, aluminum-coated paper to-go containers, and paper bags with plastic windows
Dark Money

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The Environment

As the next Ward 3 Councilmember, I will work to protect Councilmember Cheh’s environmental legacy...

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