Shadow Politics, May 14, 2023
Shadow Politics with Senator Michael D Brown
Guest, Eric Goulet, Ward 3 representative of the DC State Board of Education
Headlined Show, Shadow Politics May 14, 2023
A conversation with ERIC GOULET -
The House Committee on Oversight and Accountability convened the alleged “Overdue Oversight of the Capital City: Part I” hearing in March. The Committee has scheduled the “Part II” hearing for Tuesday, May 16th — with the mayor, police chief, city administrator and US attorney sitting in the hot seats answering questions about DC's crime increase. I will discuss with Eric the state of education in DC, the upcoming congressional hearing and what he sees as a response to recent increases of crime in the District.
Guest, Eric Goulet
Eric Goulet grew up as the son of two public school teachers in Baldwinsville, NY. He graduated from the State University of New York, College at Geneseo with a BA in Political Science in 1999. Immediately after college, Eric attended the University of Notre Dame School of Law, where he graduated in 2002. During his third-year of law school, Eric taught a Street Law course to students at a high school in South Bend, Indiana.
Eric is licensed to practice law in the District of Columbia and Virginia. He began his professional career in Washington, DC in 2003, as a legislative counsel for the DC Council, Committee on Human Services, overseeing health and aging issues for committee chairperson, Ward 8 Councilmember Sandy Allen. In 2005, Eric became the Director of the Council's Committee on Finance and Revenue. As Committee Director, Eric moved important legislation through the Committee, including Bill 15-1028, the “Ballpark Omnibus Financing and Revenue Act of 2004”, which approved the construction of the Washington Nationals stadium and brought Major League Baseball back to the District of Columbia. During this time, Bill 16-250, the "School Modernization Financing Act of 2006" was introduced by Councilmembers Adrian Fenty, Vincent Gray, and Kwame Brown, and referred to the Committee on Finance and Revenue. Eric visited over a dozen DC Public Schools and found them to be in a state of woeful disrepair. Eric worked with Councilmembers Jack Evans and Kathy Patterson to create an ongoing financing mechanism for public school capital funding that paved the way for the $5 billion Phase 1 modernization of DC Public Schools.
In 2007, Eric was appointed as Budget Director for the DC Council by Chairman Vincent Gray. Soon after, the country entered the period known as the Great Recession. Eric led the legislative oversight and approval process of the DC budget through a period of nine consecutive quarters of sharply declining revenue during the Great Recession. Eric worked with the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, led by Dr. Natwar Gandhi, to draft legislation to establish DC’s 12% debt cap and require two months cash-on-hand, which allowed DC to recover from the recession and achieve Triple-A bond ratings for the first time ever. Eric worked with Chairman Gray to allocate funding for Bill 17-537, the"Pre-k Enhancement and Expansion Amendment Act of 2008", which created the first universal pre-kindergarten program for three and four-year-olds in the country, even as revenue was declining and other programs were being cut.
In 2011, Eric became the District of Columbia Budget Director, overseeing the District's $11 billion budget. Eric developed and executed an annual operations plan to ensure the DC government stayed within budget, and created the Spending Pressure Task Force that identified and eliminated over $100 million of overspending within DC government agencies. Through these savings, Mayor Vincent Gray was able to invest in transformational initiatives, such as maximizing Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, increasing access to inclusive special education services, and funding a capital modernization of all DC Public Schools and DC playgrounds.
In 2017, Eric decided to return to the Council's Committee on Health, because despite having nearly 97% of our residents insured, there are still significant health outcome disparities in DC driven by social determinants of health. As Committee Director, under the leadership of Committee chairperson Vince Gray, Eric drafted legislation to transform DC’s health care system for its two eastern wards with a new state-of-the-art community hospital, an ambulatory care center, and two urgent care centers. Eric also worked with his Committee staff to draft the Birth-to-Three for All DC Act of 2018, which will make subsidized high-quality childcare services available for all DC families with children from birth to age three.
Eric was recently elected as the Ward 3 representative of the D.C. State Board of Education and will focus on solving Ward 3 school overcrowding, attracting and retaining teachers, and expanding Out of School Time and summer programs for all DC youth. Eric lives in the Palisades with his two sons, Alec and Chan, and his two dogs, Scarlet and Domino. When Eric is not representing the students and families of Ward 3 he enjoys running and weight-lifting.
Shadow Politics is a grass roots talk show giving a voice to the voiceless. For more than 200 years the people of the Nation's Capital have ironically been excluded from the national political conversation. With no voting member of either house of Congress, Washingtonians have lacked the representation they need to be equal and to have their voices heard. Shadow Politics will provide a platform for them, as well as the millions of others nationwide who feel politically disenfranchised and disconnected, to be included in a national dialog.
We need to start a new conversation in America, one that is more inclusive and diverse and one that will lead our great nation forward to meet the challenges of the 21st century. At Shadow Politics, we hope to get this conversation started by bringing Americans together to talk about issues important to them. We look forward to having you be part of the discussion so call in and join the conversation. America is calling and we're listening… Shadow Politics is about America hearing what you have to say. It's your chance to talk to an elected official who has spent more than 30 years in Washington politics. We believe that if we start a dialog and others add their voices we will create a chorus. Even if those other politicians in Washington don't hear you — Senator Brown will. He's on a mission to listen to what America has to say and use it to start a productive dialog to make our democracy stronger and more inclusive. If we are all part of the solution we can solve any problem.