Viewpoint: Unions are Solution to D.C.'s First Source Failure

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?

The First Source program was meant to connect D.C. residents with some of the job opportunities brought by development. It hasn’t worked. As the report showed, more than 80 percent of the law had not been implemented effectively by the Department of Employment Services.

The failure of First Source is painful. Yet, even if the program could succeed in getting D.C. residents hired, it would still be fatally flawed. We hope this latest revelation of First Source’s missed goals will spur a long-overdue conversation about the fact that D.C.’s economic resurgence has done little to address D.C.’s greatest crisis: persistent, endemic poverty and massive inequality.

Read the full article in the Washington Business Journal