City Desk

Tommy Wells Tweets Response to New York Times

In yesterday's edition, the New York Times editorial board took on Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells' residency requirement for homeless services bill.  The board called his proposal "inhumane" and suggested it was simply "very bad public policy." The board also cited the CFO which stated that Wells' bill wouldn't save the city any money. Late yesterday, Wells responded via a series of tweets:

"DC plan for homeless families is to provide apts. $1,500 per.Should there be limit on number of fams hsd from other states? NY Times says no"

"Overflow for homeless families is DC Gen. 135 fams now at capacity. Should DC provide unlimited capacity for other states. NY Times says yes"

More tweets after the jump!

Wells goes on to tweet:

"Fams and individs in DC have right to shelter during cold. Surrounding states do not. % of fams in DC shelters from Md has tripled.

To bal our budget we must cut foster care, pub ed, disability pymnts, juv justice, TANF, pub safety and raise taxes to get to 175 mil

Mont co and PG co have a residency req. for shelter. We shld hse when freezing but not provide apt and shld return to home state when safe.

NY Times recommends DC expand shelter capacity if needed and dun Congress for the cost. Good luck with that.

CFO said no cost savings b/c of current waitlist for homeless services. DC residents should have dibs, no?"

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  • Wocka wocka

    Wells is right.

    Neighboring jurisdictions all face huge deficits and would LOVE to pass their homeless problem onto DC. If we say we will house them, other communities will give their homeless and mentally ill a few bucks and a bus ticket to DC. It's called Greyhound Therapy, and it's been done before.

    We need to take care of the homeless in our own community first. We have plenty of work to do on that front without being overwhelmed by others.

  • Cr

    That last tweet wasn't from Wells.

  • Rick Mangus

    Jason Cherkis thinks that the New York Times is the Bible and goes-on with his liberal dribble even thou he has no journalistic qualifications, about the same journalistic qualifications as a monkey! Give it up Jason every one who reads CP knows that you are a no tallent hack and no one cares about the New York Times and what they think or print!

  • Jason Cherkis

    Cr good catch. I will fix.

  • sb

    Interesting which things he suggests we cut: "foster care, pub ed, disability pymnts, juv justice, TANF, pub safety." Things that disproportionately impact low-income people. Since the income tax is so barely progressive here (I earn 42k and am in the same tax bracket as millionaires), raising taxes is hurting them, too.

    What about making cuts to DDOT's road maintenance budget? To non-life-and-death things like parks and recreation, or historic preservation? I realize the things Wells wants to cut are the most expensive things and we should look for fat to trim there, but they shouldn't be the only places cuts happen.

  • Sally

    Remember when either the NY TImes editorial page or Jason Cherkis was relevant?

    Yeah, neither do I.

    And yet, like diarrhea, they just don't stop.

  • DCW

    Why is the NYT writing about this? This is idiotic.
    As a DC taxpayer, I already support enough MD and VA residents who come into this city and use it on a daily basis. Wells is right -- we don't have the funding to deal with other state's problems, unless they want to start helping us out.

  • Jason Cherkis

    Nothing sounds more provincial than questioning the New York Times' editorial judgment. Why are they writing about us? Jesus. Sally needs to go find a Tea Party somewhere to join. And DCW needs to realize that we don't just make national news when Barry fucks up or Rhee makes a pretty speech about school reform. We can also make national news when a city councilmember decides to make really bad public policy about the homeless.

    Yeah, who knew that a daily, mainstream paper gave a shit about the homeless? And had a strong opinion about it!

  • Skipper

    Jason - You really need to find a job working for an advocacy group; you're not a journalist anymore.

  • Rick Mangus

    'Skipper', Jason Cherkis is not a journalist, he has no degree in journalism, he is a no tallent hack!

  • Brahmin

    Under that premise everyone should be fostering the homeless and poor. Jason--So the next time a homeless man comes up to you, you will offer him your home. I would assume you understand the underline responsibilities.

    The realities are if you are providing a service, something as important and fundamental as helping the poor and most vulnerable--your resources and capacity will determine the level of care you can provide. That is a reality.

    Lets take a thanksgiving meal. We have a meal meant for 10, but 15 people show up. That may still be a quality dinner. No one will get seconds but everyone will. But what happens when neighbors learn of this option, well I do not have to buy a meal lets send them to your house---then a dinner meant for 10 becomes served for 30--and the quality of what is offered goes down for each individual who needs it and that is not fair. Instead of a full meal--everyone gets one peice of pie and no options. We will not be able to make people whole.

    Because DC is far from having infinite resources.

    The District has a very tight and finite tax base. Only now are they starting to build up their resident population. But a large number need jobs--so they are using the system rather than paying into the system.

    We do not have a strong corporate tax base and the majority of property cannot be taxed for one reason or another. The Fed Government cannot be taxed by a state and nonprofits do not pay taxes. Jason takes a guess what entities make up a majority of our workforce in DC?

    I do not typically believe in austerity measure but saying Maryland should take care of their residents instead of giving them bus fair and telling them come here (This is a true and documented practice), is not cruely-- it is responsibility.

    Please reply because I cannot see what you are thinking.

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