Ward 4 Weekly — 12/19/18

 
December 19, 2018

Dear Neighbor,

Yesterday, the Council concluded an extremely busy and productive Council Period 22 with a flurry of legislative activity on a wide range of issue areas.

Legislation that I introduced bringing DC Water under the purview of the Office of the People’s Counsel  (OPC) passed. This gives OPC the authority to represent and advise ratepayers in billing disputes with DC Water, and brings greater oversight and accountability to the water utility. My bill requiring the DC Office on Aging to develop a ten-year strategic plan also passed. This will allow our Government to fully understand the needs of our growing senior population and what adjustments and investments must be made to ensure our seniors continue to receive proper support. And my legislation establishing a Commission on Archives and Records Management passed. This measure creates a Commission to help protect and preserve critical DC history, including official records, documents, and publications.

The Council passed a number of other measures yesterday that will make the District a safer, stronger, and more prosperous city for all. We passed a landmark bill that will bring the District to 100% renewable energy by 2032 and cements our national leadership in the effort to curb climate change. We became the first jurisdiction in the region to legalize sports wagering. We passed legislation allowing negotiations to continue for a deal to operate a new hospital on the East end of the District — a measure that also includes protections for labor unions and Howard University Medical School. We passed strong gun control, including a “red flag” law and a ban on bump stocks, and established an education research collaborative to study best practices for our schools. We passed a comprehensive opioid abuse treatment bill, created two pilot programs for public restroom installation, and ensured that parent-led play cooperatives would not be regulated out of existence. You can read about all these bills and more in the below legislative update.

I am proud of the important work we did at the Council over the past two years. I look forward to continuing to represent Ward 4 into 2019 and beyond.

Happy Holidays!

Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
#Ward4Proud

Legislative Update

On Tuesday, December 18th, the Council met in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building for the Committee of the Whole and additional Legislative Meeting. This was the final scheduled meeting for Council Period 22. Any legislation that was not passed must be re-introduced next Council Period, which begins in January, 2019.

Three bills introduced by Councilmember Todd passed their final vote.

DC Water Consumer Protection Amendment Act of 2018 
Gives ratepayers an advocate by allowing the Office of the People’s Counsel to represent them when issues arise with water bills, while also bringing greater accountability to DC Water.

Senior Strategic Plan Amendment Act of 2018 
Requires the Office on Aging to develop a ten-year Senior Strategic Plan that will serve as a long-term blueprint for managing and responding to the growth of the District’s senior population.

Commission on Archives and Record Management Act of 2018 
Establishes the Commission on Archives and Records Management to advise and make recommendations on the management of public records and for the collection, custody, and preservation of the official records, documents, and publications of the District of Columbia.

Other bills that passed:

Clean Energy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 
Cements the District as a national leader in the effort to stem climate change. Increases renewable portfolio standards to 100% and cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 43% by 2032. Expands the uses of the Sustainable Energy Trust Fund and also establishes an energy performance standard program for buildings at the Department of Energy and Environment.

Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 
Authorizes sports wagering in the District of Columbia.

East End Health Equity Amendment Act of 2018
Allows for negotiations regarding a new integrated GW Hospital at St. Elizabeth’s to continue. Includes a provision that creates a tiered hiring process that gives hiring preference to employees at UMC, Howard University Hospital, and then to District residents. It also creates a Task Force for the purpose of finding a hospital that will partner with Howard’s medical school.

District of Columbia Education Research Practice Partnership Establishment and Audit Act of 2018 
Creates a “Research Practice Partnership” that will produce independent education research to the government. The Auditor will conduct an audit of the District’s education agencies, data management, and collection policies and procedures. Additionally, the bill creates an advisory committee of 21 individuals including parents and former teachers.

School Safety Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 
Requires all K-12 schools in the District of Columbia to formulate and make public policy for preventing and responding to sexual abuse of children by staff.

Firearms Safety Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2018 
Prohibits issuing a firearm registration certificate to anyone who has, within the five years preceding the application, been convicted of violating an extreme risk protection order, or who has been committed to a mental institution.

Public Service Commission Greer Gillis Confirmation Resolution of 2018 
Confirms the appointment of Greer Gillis to serve as member of the District of Columbia Public Service Commission

Parent-led Play Cooperative Amendment Act of 2018
This bill amends the Child Development Facilities Regulation Act of 1998 to differentiate between formal and informal parent-led play cooperatives, and to exempt parent-led play cooperatives from the requirements of the act.

Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018
Requires property owners to abate a housing code violation within 30 days. Requires inspectors to notify the Office of the Attorney General of any Class 1, 2, 3, 4, infractions that have not been abated within 6 months. Creates new notice of abatement and new penalties for housing code violations that have not been abated after 6 months. Establishes timelines for housing code violation to be conducted at the Office of Administrative Hearings.

Opioid Use Disorder Treatment and Safe Access Amendment Act of 2018
Combines 6 opioid bills to expand and strengthen care and services aimed at combating opioid overdose and abuse.

Public Restroom Facilities Installation and Promotion Act of 2018 
Creates two pilots, the first pilot installs 2 bathrooms after the working group decides the location and the second pilot provides financial incentive pilot to businesses in a BID that allow bathrooms to be used by public.

East End Food Justice Amendment 
Establishes an East End Grocery Construction Incentive Program within the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to incentivize the establishment of new grocery stores in Wards 7 & 8.

Wage Garnishment Fairness Amendment Act of 2018 
Provides additional statutory protections from excessive wage garnishment for low- and moderate-income judgment debtors

Paperwork Reduction and Data Collection Act of 2018 
Establishes a Data Sharing and Paperwork Advisory Council to improve efficiencies in data collection, information sharing, and information resources management

For more information regarding hearings or legislation, please contact my Legislative Director, Keiko Yoshino, at kyoshino@dccouncil.us or (202) 724-8052.

Week In Review

Councilmember Todd Cuts Ribbons On
New Dorothy I. Height Elementary School Playground
& 12 Units of Ward 4 Permanent Supportive Housing in Petworth

Last Thursday, Councilmember Todd celebrated the completion of new investments in Ward 4’s recreation and housing. He started the morning at Dorothy I. Height Elementary School to cut the ribbon on their new playground. Councilmember Todd was happy to support allocating the resources necessary for their beautiful, safe, and sate-of-the-art playground that will serve as a recreational resource for our young people for years to come.

Later on Thursday, Councilmember Todd cut the ribbon on 12 units of permanent supportive housing for formerly-homeless families in Ward 4. At Partner Arms 2 on Georgia Avenue, families will have access to wrap-around services and stable, affordable housing. He thanked Housing Up DC, the Dept. of Housing and Community Development, and the Dept. of Behavioral Health for their partnership in making this project a reality, Councilmember Todd will prioritize projects that deliver affordable housing as well as comprehensive care and support for our residents who are most vulnerable. 

Councilmember Todd Supports
Ward 4 Small Business Opportunities At Walter Reed Redevelopment

 

Last Thursday, Councilmember Todd partnered with the Parks at Walter Reed, the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, and the Department of Small and Local Business Development to hold an outreach event for Ward 4 small businesses. The event was aimed at ensuring Ward 4 small businesses and Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs) have access to contracting opportunities during the redevelopment of Walter Reed. Councilmember Todd is committed to this effort and fostering outreach so that the benefits of Walter Reed’s redevelopment flow into our community’s enterprises and residents.

To learn more, visit: theparksdc.com/contact/#oportunities

Important Announcements

  

DMV & DCRA Closed On Christmas & New Years

All District of Columbia Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV) locations will be closed on Tuesday, December 25, 2018 and Tuesday, January 1, 2019. Regular business hours will resume on the following Wednesdays – December 26, 2018 and January 2, 2019. All DC DMV locations open one hour later on Wednesdays. The complete list of locations and hours of operation are available on the agency’s website at www.dmv.dc.gov. Customers are encouraged to plan ahead and “Know Before You Go” for services requiring an in-person visit to a Service Center as customer volume is high before and after a holiday closing. DC DMV has more than 55 online services, enabling customers to “skip the in-person trip.” Additionally, with any online or in-person transaction in which DC DMV collects money, customers have the option to make a donation to the DonateLifeDC organ donor registry to support organ and tissue donation for people located in the Washington, D.C. community.

In observance of Christmas and New Year’s Day, the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs will be closed and no construction is allowed on both Tuesday, December 25, 2018 and Tuesday, January 1, 2019. All construction work, for which a permit is required, is illegal and could result in a Stop Work Order and may be subject to fines. For more information: Visit our Illegal Construction website  or View our Illegal Construction FAQs  Please report illegal construction to the District’s 311 system. You can report your service request by either calling 311, visiting the 311.dc.gov, using the mobile app (DC311), using the online live chat feature during standard business hours, texting DC311, or tweeting to@311dcgov.

 
Holiday Safety Tips From MPD 4th District 

The Holiday season is upon us yet again and it is our priority at MPD 4D to do all we can to keep you, your family, and your property safe.

Here are a few package theft prevention tips:

  1. Have packages delivered to your work. Delivering packages to a job increases visibility and reduces the chances that your packages might be swiped unexpectedly.
  2. Schedule deliveries for times you will be home. This keeps packages from sitting unattended for long periods of time.
  3. Buddy up with a neighbor.
  4. Require a signature. This extra insurance ensures that you won’t have packages piling up at your door.
  5. Consider using a smart locker. Smart lockers secure your packages until you are able to pick up purchases.
  6. Try a lockbox. Lockboxes can be used to protect packages until you can make it home and retrieve them.
  7. If you live in an apartment building with a Doorman. Have the Doorman pick up your packages and re-deliver them to your home during a scheduled window.
  8. Monitor your front porch. Security cameras or video doorbells can be used to keep an eye on your packages, deterring thieves from grabbing them off of your property. It also provides evidence to police and the shipper in the event your packages are stolen. This could be vital to you in getting your package replaced or your money refunded from the shipper if the package is insured.
  9. Never leave packages in your vehicle.

Here are some things to think about when shopping:

  • Always park in well-lit areas and park close to the entrance of the store or mall.
  • Don’t talk on a cell phone when walking to and from your vehicle. Keep your full attention on your surroundings.
  • Don’t electronically unlock your vehicle until you are within door opening distance. This helps stop a thief from getting into the car and waiting to strike when you least expect it.
  • If you are ready to leave the mall and feel uneasy about entering the parking lot or garage by yourself, stay in the mall and ask for a security escort.
  • Do not open your car door to anyone in a parking lot or garage. If you believe you are in danger, call 911 immediately.
  • Outside of the mall, stick to well-lit, well-traveled streets, walkways and parking areas for both walking and parking.
  • Stay off the cell phone as you walk through parking lots and streets. It is a distraction that makes you vulnerable to robbers, and your cell phone itself is a tempting target.
  • Don’t flash large amounts of cash or offer tempting targets for theft such as expensive jewelry or clothing.
  • Carry a purse or shoulder bag close to your body, not dangling by straps. Put a wallet in an inside pocket of your coat or front pants pocket.
  • Don’t fumble for house or car keys. Have them in your hand, ready to use when you reach the door.
  • Keep your purse close to your body.
  • If the pocketbook has long straps, shorten them.
  • If possible, avoid carrying a large purse when shopping. A fanny pack is compact and more difficult for a thief to grab and run.
  • Carry only the credit cards you intend to use leave the others behind.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Use checks or check cards.
  • Use ATMs wisely. Have the card ready before approaching the machine, and use ATMs in high traffic well-lit areas.
  • Be aware of the environment. Don’t walk or park in poorly lit areas. Don’t take shortcuts through wooded areas or alleys. Don’t be distracted by a cell phone conversation.
  • Have car keys ready before leaving the office, store or mall.
  • If you believe someone is following you, cross the street, switch directions, walk into a store or restaurant and call 911.

Please stay vigilant and enjoy this Holiday season.

Multiple Scholarships Available For Students 

The Student Education and Leadership Fund is now accepting applications from DMV students graduating high school by July 1, 2019, as well as students who are in the process of pursuing post-secondary degrees. The scholarship award amounts are typically $6,000 and $3,000. The deadline to submit is December 31, 2018. More details at:www.selfmadescholars.org.

The Greater Washington Urban League has facilitated the distribution of more than $2 million in scholarships to more than 300 young adults to financially support their freshman year at any accredited 4-year college or university in the United States. Learn more at www.gwul.org/gwulscholarships.

Hamilton Relay, the Telecommunications Relay and/or Captioned Telephone service provider for the District of Columbia, offers scholarship opportunities to graduating high school seniors in the District who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or have difficulty speaking. The scholarship deadline is January 19, 2019. The scholarship is in the amount of $500. The application documents can also be found HERE. If you have any questions, please contact Renate Buttrum at 443-518-6949 renate.buttrum@hamiltonrelay.com.

 
DC Courts Announce New Programs
to Assist the Public & Expand Access To Justice

DC Court of Appeals Chief Judge Anna Blackburne-Rigsby and DC Superior Court Chief Judge Robert Morin today announced that the DC Courts have launched two new initiatives to enhance access to justice for DC residents:
Court Navigator program – Starting in Landlord-Tenant and Small Claims Branches in the Superior Court’s Civil Division, and soon to expand throughout the courts, this program will assist those individuals who are unrepresented by attorneys with navigating the court system, not just geographically, but also in terms of figuring out which office or division can best assist them, and which forms to fill out.

Forms Help Online (FHO) – This program will start in the Family Court, Domestic Violence Division and DC Court of Appeals. The Courts plan to expand from there to other Superior Court Divisions. FHO is an online program that asks users questions and uses the answers to fill out all the forms necessary for whatever they want to request the court to do, akin to programs that assist people with filing their taxes.

 

Dept. of Energy & Environment Accepting Proposals
For Community Stormwater Solutions Grants 

The District Dept. of Energy and Environment (DOEE) is offering grants for start-up funding for community-oriented projects that improve the District’s waterways. Ideal projects should raise awareness and lead to behavior change around the impacts of stormwater runoff on the District’s water bodies. Projects can take place anywhere in the District.

To learn more about previously funded projects, visit http://doee.dc.gov/service/community-stormwater-solutions-grants. For further information on the public meetings and to download the RFA, visit https://doee.dc.gov/release/notice-funding-availability-%E2%80%93-community-stormwater-solutions-grants

For questions, email community.stormwater2019@dc.gov

 

Office of the People’s Counsel
Expands Consumer Protections For DC Utility Customers

The Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (Commission) has issued the revised and expanded Consumer Bill of Rights (CBOR) in the D.C. Register, providing enhanced protection for the District’s utility consumers (RM3-2014-01/ Formal Case No. 712, Order No. 19759). Established in 1979, the CBOR establishes the rights and responsibilities of consumers and service providers in the natural gas, electric, and local telephone services, as well as enforcement authority to ensure District residents are adequately protected. The Commission was prompted to initiate this rule review after investigating the business and solicitation practices of retail energy suppliers in the District due to allegations of slamming, misrepresentation and rate confusion from consumers.

For more information, visit dcpsc.org/Consumers-Corner/Utility-Bills-Complaints-and-Service-Providers/Consumer-Bill-of-Rights.aspx.

Ward 4 Council Staff

Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember
(202) 724-8052
btodd@dccouncil.us

Sherryl H. Newman
Chief of Staff 
(o) (202) 724-8052
(c) (202) 215-5455
snewman@dccouncil.us

Jackson Carnes
Director of Constituent Services
(o)(202) 741-5293
(c)(202) 316-9078
jcarnes@dccouncil.us

Keiko Yoshino
Legislative Director
(o) (202) 724-7774
(c) (202) 717-2782
kyoshino@dccouncil.us

LaRoya Huff
Deputy Director of Constituent Services
(o) (202) 724-8106
(c) (202) 368-2518
Lhuff@dccouncil.us

Dolly Turner
Deputy Chief of Staff
(o) (202) 654-6406
(c) (202) 412-2024
dturner@dccouncil.us

Gary Johnson
Constituent Service Coordinator
(o)(202) 724-8029
(c) (202) 304-8123
gjohnson@dccouncil.us

Joshua Fleitman
Director of Communications
(o) (202) 724-8191
(c) 202-294-2506
jfleitman@dccouncil.us

Manny Geraldo
Senior Legislative Counsel
(o) (202) 724-8035
mgeraldo@dccouncil.us

#Ward4Proud

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