Over the past twenty years, the District has seen dramatic economic and population growth, including a development boom that has transformed the city’s skyline, remade neighborhoods, and changed the city’s employment landscape. These changes have led to prosperity for some, but that prosperity has not been shared with DC’s low-wage workers. District leaders should seize on DC’s growth as an opportunity to encourage “high-road development,” pairing development with high-quality jobs in ways that will support workers, residents, and high-quality development projects.

A recent report by the D.C. auditor demonstrates the ongoing struggle of D.C.’s First Source program to live up to its worthy goals. It gives us a chance to reassess how we approach economic development. The failure of First Source cuts to the core of the most contentious political issue in the District: Who benefits from development — and who gets left behind?