The climate crisis is here and we must act now. DC could face even more flooding, destructive storms, and sweltering heat waves — this will have devastating effects on us all, but especially especially communities of color, immigrants, low-income and working-class families who are at the frontlines of this crisis.
Ward 1 is the smallest geographically, but is the densest. There are inequalities and inequities that have persisted in our Ward and we have the chance to build a better and greener future that works for everyone here. As Councilmember, Sabel will push for new standards for our Ward and DC overall to help prevent this crisis and provide for a future-proof, sustainable path forward for all Washingtonans.
Green New Deal For DC
We need a district-level Green New Deal that will implement climate justice and environmental equity initiatives and place DC as a leader in the movement for a more sustainable future. This is no longer a nice-to-have; it’s a need that has to be met with urgency and transformation. As Ward 1 Councilmember, Sabel will form legislation that addresses the needs for Ward 1 and beyond.
Equitable, Climate-Conscious Transportation Options
Gas-powered vehicles are holding us back, but for some communities in Ward 1 there aren’t other options to get to the places they need to go. That’s why as Councilmember, Sabel will advocate and pass legislation to provide those transportation options to protect the environment and open choices and access to community members to leave their cars behind.
Ward 1 is a hub for restaurants, nightlife, and more and on any given day you will likely see many people out walking on the sidewalks, especially in commercial corridors with heavier pedestrian traffic. This year-over-year increased pedestrian foot traffic has begun to put a strain on our sidewalk infrastructure and has opened us up to unsafe conditions for people. As Councilmember, Sabel will advocate for and push DDOT to expand the Open Streets Program throughout Ward 1 and also expand and fortify sidewalks for everyone to move safely about.
The 16th street bus lane runs through Ward 1 and will bring much faster and reliable bus services to residents here. Although this is a positive change, our bus fleet is outdated and only holds us back in reaching climate goals. Metro’s current plan is to electrify the bus fleet by 2045 and that is well past other cities and counties. We need to begin making aggressive moves for electrification by 2030 in order to meet DC’s energy laws for zero emissions and Sabel will urge for more formalized legislation on this.
District Owned Land for Development
In Ward 1, there are several District-owned properties like the Reeves Center, Housing Finance Authority, S St lots, and DC MPD Third District Headquarters and the FEMS Station. Since these properties are owned by DC, the public has more influence over what can go into these spaces. With these properties up for redevelopment and requests for proposals (RFP), as Councilmember, Sabel will work with DMPED and the ANCs to ensure that there are requirements and points in place for greener, more environmentally friendly, and energy efficient buildings. Whatever new buildings are built, especially developments on DC-owned properties, they must be prepared for climate change and meet sustainability standards at the highest degree.
Decarbonization of Energy Sources in Our Homes
Making the choice for decarbonization for our home appliances and energy sources may seem like the obvious best choice, but financially not everyone can make it easily. As Councilmember, Sabel will introduce legislation for DC to pay 100% of the costs for any low-income family to transition from oil heat to heat pumps and will expand existing rebates for heat pumps and remove rebates for fossil fuel and gas appliances.
A Path to Carbon Net-Negative
Carbon neutrality is the bare minimum, but it does nothing to reduce the carbon in our atmosphere. Urban tree cover, green roofs, solar powered lights, and securing energy from sources that take carbon from the air are just some of the things that Sabel plans to help advocate and add into Ward 1 to help get us on the path to carbon net-negative.
As DC progresses forward with economic growth, we often forget that not everyone sees this positive momentum, including those who live in public housing.
Ward 1 has several public housing buildings managed by DCHA (District of Columbia Housing Authority), and much of those buildings, including the people who live there, have been forgotten about. Some of these buildings are long-overdue for renovation and are plagued with issues that make these places almost unlivable. As Councilmember, Sabel will work, pass, and ensure there is proper oversight on a Green New Deal for Public Housing in DC.
To truly build Ward 1 into a place that is inclusive and better for us all, we do need to center attention to disenfranchised communities. For example, if we take a look at Garfield Terrace, a long-standing building and a home to families, seniors and disabled people we see an older 10-story building, constructed in 1965 and now, in disrepair.
In Garfield Terrace and the other public housing buildings in Ward 1, elected leaders have failed to improve life here. Sabel will advocate relentlessly for the much-needed improvements — energy-efficient windows, electric heat pumps, and create renewable energy rooftops with solar panels to help reduce overall energy consumption. We have to move and eventually cut the buildings’ use of indoor gas and/or oil burning, which will then improve the air quality and reduce fire risk. We can implement composting and recycling centers in the building and help develop green spaces for people of all ages to enjoy and find reprieve. And at a baseline all public housing units must meet the highest health and safety standards. As Councilmember, Sabel will make sure DCHA will receive funding to build water quality upgrades and install energy efficient, all-electric kitchen appliances and quality air filters. New and existing buildings need to be outfitted for resilience to extreme weather conditions like flooding, heavy downpours, high wind days, and heatwaves.
Our seniors in these buildings deserve to age in place and all residents have a right for dignified housing. As Councilmember, Sabel will push DCHA to start and complete every repair and renovation that is slated, while also working to ensure the changes follow DC’s Green New Deal for Public Housing.
New Jobs And Workforce Development
The Green New Deal for Public Housing opens up job opportunities and training programs to the public housing residents who then can provide the labor needed to accomplish the energy efficiencies. This plan gives people the chance to work in many sectors and fields that are much needed for our future and will ultimately bring more economic development into our Ward. As Councilmember, Sabel will work to ensure that there are job fairs, training programs, and awareness for residents to secure new career paths.