It is heartbreaking that three individuals lost their lives during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, last week. There is no place in society for any group to incite violence and hatred towards others and I denounce the acts of white supremacists, neo-Nazis and other white nationalist groups.
We’re grieving as a nation and a community as we try to make sense of the violence and horror that terrorized an American city. What can possibly be done to help rectify the hate and loss felt by millions of people?
Across the country, action is being taken by city governments to remove Confederate monuments from city squares and public land. Similarly, my colleagues and I on the Council have urged the National Park Service to remove the statue of Confederate Brigadier General Albert Pike from Judiciary Square. It doesn’t erase history to confine Confederate monuments to museums instead of honoring them in our parks.
On a much more positive note, I’m pleased to announce the DC ABLE program is now available.
In June of 2015, I introduced legislation titled the “ABLE Program Trust Establishment Act.” This legislation creates a new savings-account program for people with mental and physical disabilities. The DC ABLE account is a tool to ensure that those with disabilities will have every opportunity to succeed financially without expenses impacting their lives.
Administered through the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, DC ABLE allows users to maintain a savings account while collecting Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid benefits. This savings account can be used to help pay for any expenses that occur because of a disability. Education, housing, transportation and assistive technology are a few of the qualified expenses covered by a DC ABLE account.
My staff and I have worked tirelessly over the last two years with my colleagues to see this legislation through the Council. I want to thank Council members Cheh, Bonds, Grosso and Allen and former Council member May for their co-sponsorship. Thanks also go to Mayor Bowser for signing this legislation into law.
I encourage you to visit savewithable.com to check if you qualify for the program or if someone you know qualifies. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-609-3458.
As the summer of 2017 comes to a close, the most positive thing you can do to counter hate is to be nice to one another and remember that love wins.
Jack Evans is the District Council member for Ward 2, representing Georgetown and other neighborhoods since 1991.