Today, the District of Columbia ranks among the nation’s most thriving and vibrant cities. But DC’s prosperity and growth have not reached every neighborhood or benefited all its residents. Poverty, hardship, and isolation persist—and in some places may have worsened. Some long-time residents feel excluded from the new economic, social, and cultural opportunities springing up around them. Some neighborhoods remain severely distressed. And disparities between rich and poor are widening.
A leadership transition is a time of change and an opportunity for reexamination. As a new mayor begins her term, the Urban Institute seeks to encourage evidence-based policy development with these goals:
- To provide compelling information about the city’s challenges in a form that supports greater participation in conversations about how to address those challenges
- To offer evidence-based solutions to the challenges facing the city
- To encourage and support the city’s commitment to an inclusive and fact-based conversation about solutions
Urban Institute experts have prepared memos offering the new mayor specific recommendations that draw on research evidence and discussions with civic and community leaders. Six issues were selected for examination, each of which is important to a more equitable future: inclusive housing, DC schools, open data, economic development, social and economic mobility, and public safety.