Council cand Schwartzman (G-DC) demands restoration of Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration

• “A modest tax hike on the top 5% bracket could deliver over $100 million in additional revenue while still providing tax relief to working class residents and others in need”

• Schwartzman proposes solutions to DC’s economic woes: creation of Green jobs; establishment of a DC Municipal Bank; required ‘payments in lieu of taxes’ from tax-exempt institutions in DC

David Schwartzman

David Schwartzman

David Schwartzman, candidate for the at-large seat on the DC City Council, demanded full restoration of funding for the District of Columbia’s Addiction Prevention and Recovery Administration (APRA), calling the program indispensable in light of the fact that 12% (about 60,000) of DC residents have substance abuse problems.

 

Mr. Schwartzman faulted current Council member David Catania, one of his rivals in the election, for not inviting APRA employees or union representatives from the American Federation of Government Employees to testify about the devastating effects that the termination of over 100 rehabilitation employees will have on lives, families, and neighborhoods of those struggling with addiction.

“There is no need to eliminate necessary social services to balance the DC budget.  With some modest steps, we could provide for APRA and all other services, as well as education and housing, if the Council had the courage to demand that DC’s wealthiest corporations and residents paid their fair share in taxes,” said David Schwartzman, who is running on the DC Statehood Green Party‘s ballot line.  “The privatization of APRA reduces publicly-funded treatment to low-income clients.  Since substance abuse affects both rich and poor, the rich can afford to go to private clinics but the poor now have greater difficulty in getting treatment, with elimination of our municipal provider.  This is a war on the poor by DC’s political establishment — led by David Catania.”

Mr. Schwartzman has proposed that Council restore and expand human services by “tapping into revenue sources that exist but have been protected heretofore: the real tax base of wealthy DC residents and curbs on corporate tax exemptions and abatements, especially for big developers who deliver little or no community benefits while disregarding First Source and Living Wage requirements.  In the last 20 years, DC taxpayers in the greater-than-$100,000 bracket increased in number from 12,000 to over 48,000 (in 2007).  In 2007, the year with the most recent data, DC taxpayers with incomes over $200,000 had a taxable income of $8.8 billion (IRS statistics).  A recent survey revealed that DC ranks tenth in the nation in percentage of millionaire households, numbering 14,533, surging because of the stock market rebound [The Examiner, October 5, 2010, p.4].”

“A modest tax hike on the top 5% bracket could deliver over $100 million in additional revenue while still providing tax relief to working class residents and others in need,” siad Mr. Schwartzman, a biology professor at Howard University.

He noted that the two leading Council opponents of a progressive tax approach have been Mr. Catania and Jack Evans (Ward 2), who say that wealthy DC residents will leave the District if required to pay slightly higher rates, thereby eroding the tax base.

“This claim is highly misleading, given the advantages that wealthy residents enjoy living here, especially the lower commuting costs and especially time.  Who will buy their high-priced homes if they move?  Why haven’t they already moved to suburban Virginia, which has a lower tax rate for those in this income bracket?” asked Mr. Schwartzman.

David Schwartzman has made the District’s human services and the creation of thousands of Green jobs the cornerstone of his campaign.  “I am running to help DC residents as they confront the crises of everyday living.  Our hightest priority must be the eradication of child poverty in the District.’

Along with a progressive tax plan, Mr. Schwartzman has also proposed the establishment of a DC Municipal Bank “that could leverage billions in DC taxes and fees for local green economic development, living wage jobs, and truly affordable housing, instead of continuing depositing this revenue into Wall Street banks” and an a DC government effort “to get PILOTs (payments in lieu of taxes) from the World Bank/IMF, Fannie Mae and other tax-exempt institutions who should contribute hundreds of millions just like in other cities.”

“Revenue sources can be found if there is the political will to break with years of subsidizing the very wealthy and big corporate sector.  Positive social investments are preventative medicine to avoid much greater costs in the future, the costs of more incarceration and needless suffering,” said Mr. Schwartzman.

MORE INFORMATION

David Schwartzman, Candidate for At-Large Member of the Council of the District of Columbia
http://www.davidschwartzman.com

“Money Well Spent: How positive social investments will reduce incarceration rates, improve public safety, and promote the well-being of communities.”
Justice Policy Institute, September 16, 2010
http://www.justicepolicy.org/content-hmID=1811&smID=1581&ssmID=104.htm

The DC Statehood Green Party
http://www.dcstatehoodgreen.org

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