Fall 2021 Policy Agenda

Policy Areas


    Sunrise DC will continue to fight for democracy reform because the current system perpetuates racist voter suppression and politicians that are accountable to corporations instead of constituents. We cannot fully address the climate crisis and racial injustices without a government that is responsive to and representative of its constituents. Our goals are to win DC statehood, increase voting access and literacy, and make campaign financing more democratic and equitable. We will also support candidates who align with our local policy goals through endorsements and campaigning.

    Our goals this fall are to:

    • Address the current lack of access and convenience in voting through promoting voter education and supporting voter turnout
    • Support Ranked Choice Voting (RCV), which empowers voters to vote for candidates they actually like, instead of the “lesser of two evils”; limits the influence of money in politics; empowers more women and specifically women of color to run; and increases the chances of movement candidates winning. It is crucial that voters have more of a voice in elections—to that end, we will push for the VOICE ACT to pass in Council.
    • Advocate for strengthening and expanding DC’s public campaign-financing program, Fair Elections, to ensure corporations and the wealthy do not buy elections. More jurisdictions should adopt the 5-to-1 matching program, and we are pushing for all candidates to participate. By handing power to grassroots donors, we can end the insidious influence of dark money and the wealthy few who dominate local politics.
    Our long-term vision is for DC residents, who are predominantly Black, to have full voting representation in Congress and control over local policies and budgets without the interference of Congress. DC statehood would achieve this, along with adding three potential climate allies to Congress to get our national priorities passed. Our vision includes all people having access to the ballot, including incarcerated folks and noncitizens, and that voting is as easy as possible. This includes automatic voter registration and holidays for election days. 

    We are an abolitionist organization that will continue to fight for defunding our police and carceral system. Environmental injustice is deeply embedded in racial capitalism, and imagining a climate resilient future for our communities requires an end to racialized state violence and our carceral system.

    Our goals this fall are to support police abolition and efforts to defund MPD by:

    • Leading efforts to pressure DC Council to pass recommendations from the Police Reform Commission that match our goals to develop survival and support networks without police, including:
      a.      Transfering MPD’s authority to enforce traffic and vehicle regulations to the DC           Department of Transportation
      b.      Eliminating the MPD School Safety Division, creating a community-led process           to reallocate those resources, and designating additional funding to invest           directly in services and resources that better protect youth, including an           increase in counselors, school funding, and school-based violence           interruption programs
      c.      Increasing funds for community-based violence interrupter programs,                 domestic violence advocates, counselors, and social workers who can be safely          deployed as first responders instead of police, including the Community          Response Team program and Child and Adolescent Mobile Psychiatric Services
    • Demanding that DC Council pass The Redefinition of the Child Amendment Act of 2021
    • Advocating for legislation that reduces police power & increases community care
    • Supporting the Defund MPD Coalition and actively pushing political candidates to endorse their demands
    We believe advocating for these policies creates new possibilities and potentials, bringing us closer to abolition. Our policy work is complemented by direct action and mobilizations that call for abolition more directly. Our long-term visionis for DC to fully abolish the Metropolitan Police Department, and for all to understand the connection between climate justice and abolition, and other intersecting forms of oppression. We will work to help build a city where resources are moved to meet people’s needs so that they can survive, thrive and support each other without police, and we are all practicing transformative justice within our relationships to ourselves and our communities so that we respond to conflict with a growth mindset.

    Housing justice is an essential component of our efforts to address climate change: access to safe and sustainable housing is an imperative, as rising sea levels, high temperatures, and heightened disasters are devastating, especially for coastal and low-income communities. When we combat displacements and evictions, we contribute to ensuring the health and safety of vulnerable community members. Housing justice also means that all housing is healthy, and the surrounding built environment enables people to live their lives fully. This includes access to green space, food sovereignty, and enabling community connections. We know that food deserts affect Wards 7 and 8 and our Black neighbors the most severely, which is why we advocate for policies to remedy this historical inequality. And when we advocate for modifications and improvements to existing housing, we help communities build up the climate resiliency needed to face the ongoing effects of climate change. We cannot properly address climate change without also fighting for housing justice.

    Our goals this fall are to:

    • Pass the Reclaim Rent Control Platform bill;
    • Pass the Cancel Rent bill;
    • Stop the evictions of encampments across the city & the criminalization of homelessness including “no tent zones.”
    As we fight the current eviction crisis in DC, we continue to work towards our long-term vision to ensure that no one is unhoused and that all have access to quality housing that is free of harmful environmental conditions, flood resilient, incorporates cooling systems, is electrified, and located in high-opportunity areas with access to grocery stores, healthcare, transportation, and other necessities.