Vision for the City

Washington, DC has always been home. This city gave me the opportunities that made me the man I am today. It’s why I care about what happens here. I have worked in government and the community to help DC reach its full potential; to become a place that gives everyone an opportunity--regardless of where they live in the city. Now, I want to do more to drive the changes we need for all of DC to succeed. 

Like many residents, I’m concerned about the issues affecting the city. Housing is increasingly expensive and out of reach; there are deep inequities in the school system; people are worried about their safety and working people’s fears of being priced out of the city are being realized right before our eyes. These are not new issues. Sadly, they’ve existed for a while, and the impacts of COVID-19 made them drastically worse--especially for people who are often forgotten and left behind.

As we recover from the pandemic’s economic, social, and emotional impacts, we must have a bold vision to emerge stronger than we were before. Our city has the means to address this housing crisis. We can ensure that every young person has the educational foundation that sets them up for success, and we can ensure that every resident feels safe, stable, and secure in the fact that they won’t be pushed out of our city--regardless of their zip code. 

I’m running for At-Large Councilmember because we cannot continue down the same road. If we do, another generation of Washingtonians will be left to deal with problems that we can fix today. That is why we need a new approach and direction - one that is proactive, forward-looking, and unafraid to hold agencies accountable for the services they provide to residents.

As an At-Large Councilmember, I will fight hard every day to make sure our government lives up to its purpose of serving the people. I know that this can be achieved, but I cannot do it alone. We must come together as one city and fight for the changes we need. I’m excited about this journey and hope you’ll join me in making DC a better place for us all.

Housing

As your At-Large Councilmember, Dexter will fight to:

  • Provide aggressive oversight over the city’s housing agencies, particularly the Housing Production Trust Fund. It is the city’s primary financing tool to build affordable housing, and its mismanagement is impacting our ability to help those who need it most. 

 

  • Invest more in mixed-income housing for individuals and families across diverse income levels. The city has become increasingly unaffordable for our firefighters, service industry workers, health care workers, and teachers, as well as other frontline workers. Dexter envisions a DC where those who provide our most critical services and are instrumental in our economic growth can afford to live and raise their families here.

 

  • Inventory the number of vacant units in residential apartment buildings and provides low-income and middle-class individuals and families the ability to rent these vacant units. As of July 2021, there were more than 17,000 vacant units.

 

  • Provide equitable distribution of everyday resources necessary for all neighborhoods and residents to thrive, such as access to grocery stores, schools, health care centers, and parks.

Education

As your At-Large Councilmember, Dexter will fight to:

  • Provide a supportive and holistic ecosystem where students thrive. This includes funds to support nutrition programs, afterschool programs, mental health and wellness programs, and school nurses.

 

  • Develop a comprehensive plan to reduce the high teacher turnover rate. Teachers are critical to the success of our children, and we need a plan that improves school culture, environment, and identifies incentives for teachers.   

 

  • Invest in STEAM education and require financial literacy so that our youth will be well-prepared to manage their finances as they become adults after high school. 

 

  • Expand the Summer Youth Employment Program to year-round, which will give our youth more job and learning opportunities.

 

  • Provide greater access to broadband internet access and computers. Too many of our students across the city do not have access to broadband internet and a computer at home.

 

  • Track student outcomes after high school. Currently, the city does not do a good job of tracking the colleges that students attend and their concentrations, level of income, and industries. Having this critical information will help the city better identify gaps in the educational system.

 

  • Expand vocational training so that students have all the tools and skills to compete for a variety of jobs in the market.

 Public Safety 

As your At-Large Councilmember, Dexter will fight to:

  • Make investments to address the root causes of crime, which are often caused by a lack of education, housing insecurity, and lack of employment opportunities.

 

  • Increase resource allocation equitably across wards, especially in access to quality education, school nutrition programs, after-school programs, mental health support programs, and opioid treatment programs.

 

  • Expand the Mental Health Emergency Dispatch Program to direct certain 911 mental health calls to social workers instead of going directly to MPD. By not having the police as the sole crisis responders, we will start eliminating the risk of harm to both residents and the police. To be successful and sustainable, the program will also need to ensure that the social workers are properly equipped to prevent high turnover.