Good Schools and Family Health

Zachary believes children's early learning and care are among the most significant influences for success in life. DC must fully fund the landmark Birth-to-Three Act to fill early system gaps and fulfill the promise of universal, high-quality, and affordable early childcare and healthcare for all families. We must ensure that every child learns to read well by third grade and has full access to a well-rounded curriculum of social studies, science, and the arts starting in kindergarten and throughout middle and high school.

Our school system must be more responsive and accountable to our families. We know what families want: schools that are ready on day one — in a pandemic year and every year; peace of mind knowing that every child can travel safely to and from school; more intentional citywide school planning; and more deliberate interventions to target learning and health gaps. 

Ultimately, we know that student and family health, physical and mental, has everything to do with life success. We must increase access to quality care so that every Ward 5 neighbor can thrive, especially after the closing of Providence Hospital. 

As your Ward 5 Councilmember, Zachary will fight to:

 

★ Improve safe passage for students by increasing traffic safety around schools, expanding safe zones, and dispatching HELP Team members to support with school arrival and dismissal 

★ Expand support for students with disabilities by addressing gaps in available services and extending more advocacy support for families 

 

★ Center parent and educator perspectives in our school system by providing them a more direct voice in policy making 

★ Strengthen middle and high school options through targeted investments, expanded well-rounded curricula, and career coaching 

 

Strengthen third grade literacy rates and cut adult illiteracy through better educator training and increased investments  

★ Maximize school-based mental health supports by determining gaps in services and expand community-based mental health supports to treat unaddressed trauma

 

Coordinate health systems and expand telehealth and in-home doctor visits to increase access to care for expecting mothers, families, and seniors 

★ Reduce HIV infection rates by expanding access to life-saving drugs like PreP while advocating for greater mental health supports for LGBTQ+ youth