Mayoral candidate Sharon Pratt Dixon presented an "uptown-crosstown" development plan yesterday that she said is aimed at achieving economic parity among the city's racial and ethnic groups.
A key component of the plan would be a capital growth fund for which Dixon said she would be able to raise $100 million within a year. City residents and institutions such as banks and utilities would be encouraged to invest in the plan, which would operate like a mutual fund, she said.
The city would provide financial guarantees to investors for seed money to start the growth of businesses and housing developments in impoverished parts of the city. The plan would provide jobs and revitalize neighborhoods, Dixon said.
The Dixon plan also would establish a "land bank" of city assets that could be "traded like other commodities to create capital," and offer tax credits and other incentives to businesses considering locating in the city. It would particularly encourage the growth of businesses related to music recording and tourism.
Dixon, flanked by a number of black business people, unveiled her plan in front of Mega Foods, the minority-owned supermarket in Northeast that closed several weeks ago.
Dixon said her plan is similar to one being used to introduce capitalism to Eastern European countries. Washington's black community is "one of the few communities on the planet that is not part of the capitalistic system," she said.