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The Tommy Wells Policy Blueprint

Individual Policy Papers:

I am committed to making DC a great place to live, work, and raise a family. As mayor, I’ll revitalize our schools, insist on integrity from our public officials, and help make every neighborhood in DC safe, affordable, and accessible.


I’ll be the Education Mayor, ushering in a new era of excellence that gives every child opportunities to thrive and succeed.

  • Neighborhood schools: I’ll assure that every family is able to send their children to a great public or charter school within walking distance of their home.
  • Teenager project: I’ll bring together parents, educators, social services, and law enforcement in every neighborhood to coordinate support and services for at-risk teens so they can finish school, go to college, and fulfill their career goals. My innovative approach will keep young people out of the justice system, and cut juvenile crime in half.

“I built my career as a social worker and education advocate. My first job out of law school was at DC’s Department of Child and Family Services, and I went on to become an elected member of the DC School Board. I expanded pre-school, halved the number of children stuck in foster care, and created the innovative Family Court. I’ll bring the same creativity and commitment to education as DC’s next mayor.”


The government’s culture of corruption threatens our city’s future. We need to change the status quo and bring integrity to public service.

  • End Pay-to-Play: I’ll pass tough laws to prohibit politicians from shaking down wealthy developers for campaign contributions, and then voting to approve their projects. Ethical businesses are forced to play a corrupt game, and millions of taxpayer dollars are misspent.
  • Outlaw corporate contributions: I’ll end the ability of wealth corporations to buy politicians through multiple campaign contributions that no ordinary citizen can match. We need leaders with integrity, which is why every contribution I take will have a person’s name on it.
  • Ban political slush funds: I’ll eliminate the DC Council’s shameful Constituent Service Funds, which give politicians an unregulated bank account for buying favors and rewarding their cronies.
  • Create an independent watchdog – with teeth: I’ll create an independent Attorney General with the ability to fight corruption wherever it’s found. Over 70% of DC voters already approved this law, so now it’s time for the politicians to follow their lead.

“Our city is at a crossroads; we need leaders with integrity. The culture of corruption threatens to stall our progress and undermine public trust. I’m campaigning against the status quo by rejecting corporate contributions, and I’ve called on every other candidate to do so as well. I’ll bring integrity to the mayor’s office, and restore public trust in our elected officials.”

Safe and Affordable Neighborhoods

Our city is only as great as its neighborhoods, which is why I’m committed to bringing growth, diversity, and opportunity to every ward.

  • Increase affordable housing: I’ll fully finance the trust fund to create thousands of homes for low-income families while I’m mayor. And I’ll insist that big developers reserve 30% of their units for low-income families when they build in DC.
  • Cut youth crime in half: By coordinating our community and government resources, I’ll reduce youth crimes by 50% during my term as mayor. The result will be safer neighborhoods, and thousands of our young people who stay in school and avoid the burden of a criminal record.

“Every neighborhood in every ward should be safe and affordable. I’ve helped bring development and growth to underserved communities across the city, fought for expanded bus and streetcars so people can get from home to jobs, and insisted that police, fire, and EMS services protect our residents. As mayor, I’ll continue to fight to make DC a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”


We all need clean, safe, and reliable options to get from home to work, shop for fresh food, and more. Its about transit equity. As mayor, I’ll expand our transportation network to make every part of the city accessible to DC residents.

  • Revitalize Metrobus and Metrorail: As mayor, I’ll continue to improve bus service for under-served neighborhoods–especially those east of the river–expand routes, and connect the Circulator to job centers and our growing streetcar lines. I’ll keep fares at a dollar, and create a network of shuttle buses for neighborhoods underserved by regular buses, Metro, or streetcars.
  • Improve bicycle infrastructure: I’ll continue advocating to make DC the Safest City in America to bicycle for commuting, exercise, and pleasure. I’ll implement 21st century traffic controls and build even more well-marked, wide lanes to allow bikes and cars to safely coexist on our streets.
  • Increase walkability: As mayor, I’ll keep pushing for smart development in every ward, making it easier for residents to walk to school, jobs, and grocery stores. As more of us do without cars, people get the health benefits of walking, our neighborhoods become safer, and traffic is reduced for those who must drive.
  • Build a citywide streetcar network: I will continue leading the drive to create a 37-mile network of streetcars to connect the entire city, from historic Anacostia to Georgetown, and from Georgia Avenue to downtown. Streetcars are critical for connecting residential neighborhoods to where the jobs are located.
  • Embrace new technologies: I’ll keep supporting the entrepreneurs creating exciting choices like Uber, Zipcar, and Car2Go, providing residents new, convenient, and affordable options for getting around the city.

“To make a great city to live, work, and raise a family, DC must offer safe, affordable, and dependable options to get from home to work, school, church, and shop for food.  Throughout my career I’ve fought for building a livable, walkable city. As mayor, I’ll do even more to bring smart development, a citywide streetcar network, expanded bus service, and improved bike amenities to every part of the city.”

Jobs & Workforce

As mayor, I will train our workers, get them into jobs and demand enforcement of our wage laws once they are hired.

  • Create Department of Labor: I will create a Department of Labor that does nothing but enforce our labor and wage laws.  I’ll make sure that all workers are paid minimum wage and sick pay, and will demand that all city contractors hire DC workers under our First Source law.  
  • Create Workforce Commission: The highest workforce development official is currently a Deputy Director of DOES – that’s not a city that prioritizes its workforce.  I will create the first Director of Workforce and hold this person accountable to get our job seekers trained and into jobs.
  • Create Cross-Agency, Outcomes-Based Workforce Budget:  As mayor, I’ll plan and budget our workforce development silos (e.g. DOES job training, TANF, UDC-CC) in coordination to get our job seekers into jobs.  I’ll drive our workforce investments using a first-ever profile of the barriers to employment faced by residents.  This critical profile will integrate the in-take assessments conducted by our One-Stops and DHS.  I’ll put in place common outcome metrics for all workforce development silos that measure their ability to remove barriers to employment, to place people in jobs and to help them retain jobs.