This has major significance and serves as an example to follow in places with significant Caribbean-American populations in the United States.
WHY THE NEED FOR A DISTRICT OFFICE OF CARIBBEAN AFFAIRS (OCA)?
Volunteer Mayoral Advisory Commissions on Caribbean Community Affairs have been established in the District by several Mayors, however, there has been no supporting office dedicated to the District’s Caribbean community, as is the case with other cultural heritage and ethnic-focused commissions. While these volunteer advisory commissions have done excellent work advocating on issues important to the District’s Caribbean community, a dedicated OCA would better serve the District’s Caribbean community through funding which will facilitate capacity building.
An OCA would monitor the delivery of services and make policy recommendations to the Mayor and Council regarding affordable housing, health, education, employment, social services, public safety, business opportunities, and cultural heritage preservation as these relate to the District’s Caribbean community.
“Caribbean immigrants, like all immigrants, face daunting challenges—from parents raising children in a new culture to securing suitable employment and affordable housing, to an aging population. Caribbean immigrants deserve an advocate and voice in our government. Diversity is one of the District’s greatest strengths, and by creating this office, we will continue to support the vibrant growth of all of the District’s ethnic communities, including immigrants, who make up as much as 15% of the District’s population.” Councilmember Brandon Todd
B23-0201 was introduced by Councilmembers Todd, Gray, Cheh, and R. White. Co-Sponsors include Councilmembers McDuffie, Nadeau, Evans, Bonds, and Grosso.
WHAT IS THE PROCEDURE FOR TESTIFYING OR SUBMITTING A WRITTEN STATEMENT?
TO TESTIFY: Individuals and representatives of organizations who wish to testify at the public hearing are asked to contact Manny Geraldo of the Committee on Government Operations at (202) 724-6663 or by email at GovernmentOperations@dccouncil.us and provide their name(s), address, telephone number, email address, and organizational affiliation, if any, by close of business Wednesday, June 18, 2019. Each witness is requested to bring 10 copies of his/her written testimony. Representatives of organizations and government agencies will be limitedto5 minutes in order to permit each witness an opportunity to be heard. Individual witnesses will be limited to 3 minutes.
TO SUBMIT A WRITTEN STATEMENT: If you are unable to testify at the public hearing, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. The official record will remain open until close of business Wednesday, July 3, 2019. Copies of written statements should be submitted to the Committee on Government Operations, Council of the District of Columbia, Suite 117 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20004.