We’ve reported on some of the announcements, votes and presentations from ANC 3F’s meeting on July 16th. From The Northwest Current, here are more highlights from that meeting.
■ at-large D.C. Council member David Grosso discussed a draft bill on public financing of city elections, which he and Ward 5 member Kenyan McDuffie have introduced.
The bill proposes a city match, possibly as high as 4-to-1 or 5-to-1, of small contributions, with the purpose of getting more people involved in politics and reducing the importance of large contributors.
Grosso said he is also considering introducing non-partisan elections under which the top two or three candidates in a primary would face each other in the general election.
“This is a work in progress,” he emphasized. The best way to support public financing, he said, “is to come down and testify and give us suggestions.” He estimated that the cost to the city would be about $1 million each election cycle.
■ Gerry Widdicombe, executive director of the D.C. Tax Revision Commission, described the commission’s role: to make policy recommendations to the mayor and D.C. Council. Goals include increasing fairness in taxes; broadening the tax base; making tax policy more competitive with surrounding jurisdictions; encouraging business growth and job creation; and modernizing, simplifying and increasing transparency in the District’s tax code.
So far, the commission has prepared 12 expert reports; the remainder should be completed by the end of September, Widdicombe said. By late November or early December, the commission will draft 40 to 50 recommendations and hold a public hearing. The recommendations will be presented to the D.C. Council in mid-January.
■ John Heermans, a policy analyst for the mayor’s Sustainable DC initiative, told commissioners that adopting the administration’s environmental plan would make the District stand out within 20 years as the healthiest, greenest and most livable city in the country. Achieving the goals, he said, will depend not just on implementation by the government but also on residents embracing the plan’s recommended practices.
■ commissioners voted unanimously to simplify their grant deadlines, eliminating specific categories. The commission continues to require that it not be the sole source of funding for a project, however.
Also, commissioners agreed unanimously on a preliminary vote to eliminate a bylaw that grants must be awarded only on a one-time basis for specific community projects.
They voted to add that the commission can waive elements of the guidelines for specific projects so long as doing so does not conflict with federal or District law or directions from the D.C. auditor or attorney general.
Commissioners also voted unanimously to spend $300 on a grant brochure and $1,200 for advertising on listservs and in The Current.
The commission will meet at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 17, at the Methodist Home of D.C., 4901 Connecticut Ave. NW.
For details, call 202-670-7262 or visit anc3f.us.