This Sunday, November 11th is Veterans Day, when we as a country collectively give our thanks to the brave men and women who have taken up the call of duty in defense of our great nation. It is a day when Americans come together to express their deep gratitude and sincere appreciation to our veterans for their service to the United States. Ward 4 is home to over 3,900 veterans. To each and every veteran — thank you for your service!
As Chairman of the Committee on Government Operations, which includes the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs under its purview, I take seriously the need to recognize, honor, and support our veterans. That is why I have introduced the “Veterans Cyber Academy Pilot Program Act of 2018,” which would establish a two-year pilot program to provide District veterans with access to cybersecurity training, industry-recognized certification, apprenticeships, and additional resources to enter the cybersecurity field. It is designed to make veterans more competitive for lucrative, plentiful jobs in the cybersecurity sector. I also introduced the “Veterans Emergency Food Program Act of 2018,” which would establish the Veterans Emergency Food Program to exclusively provide food to veterans and their families experiencing a short-term crisis.
Additionally, during the Fiscal Year 2019 budget deliberations, I was proud to lead the charge in securing $60,000 in funding for “VetsRide,” an initiative that provides reduced fares for homeless and low-income Veterans, giving them better access to educational, medical, and employment opportunities. I was also happy to help secure funding for a new Veterans Service Officer position within the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs to advocate for getting veterans the benefits to which they are entitled.
Our veterans have done so much for us. They defend our freedoms and represent the very best that America has to offer. They deserve our government’s support, and I look forward to continuing to work on their behalf each and every day. This Veterans Day, remember to take the time to thank them for their selfless service.
Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
Committee of the Whole & Legislative Meeting: On Tuesday, November 13th, the Council will meet in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building for an additional Committee of the Whole and additional Legislative Meeting.
Parent-Led Play Cooperative Amendment of 2018:
On Thursday, November 1st, Councilmember Todd attended the Committee on Education hearing on B22-1003 the “Parent-Led Play Cooperative Amendment of 2018” to voice his support of the bill that would exempt these co-ops from onerous regulations.
These parent-led playgroups have recently come under scrutiny for not following the regulations of a traditional daycare. The cooperative playgroups are a platform that allow parents to rotate supervision duties, while their children are able to have a regularly scheduled play time. Councilmember Todd stands with Ward 4 parents and others who testified that they playgroups are not instructional daycares and therefore should be exempt from extensive regulations.
Upcoming Hearings: Friday, November 16 Committee on Transportation & Environment, 12PM RM500
The District’s Snow Removal Operations Plan for Winter 2018-2019
“Warnings Before Citations Amendment Act of 2018” B22-752
As introduced, this bill requires a warning be issued in any instance related to residential collection of solid waste prior to issuing a citation.
For more information regarding hearings or legislation, please contact my Legislative Director, Keiko Yoshino, at email@example.com or (202) 724-8052.
Week In Review
Councilmember Todd Enjoys Halloween Across Ward 4
Last Wednesday, Councilmember Todd enjoyed celebrating Halloween all across Ward 4. He started off the evening in Barnaby Woods, then made his way to the Shepherd Park parade, the MPD Fourth District Haunted House, and concluded the evening at the 1400 Block of Shepherd Street, NW’s block party. He thanks the many dedicated members of the community who helped make these celebrations possible.
Last Friday, Councilmember Todd also joined the Petworth Arts Collaborative for a celebration of Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) in Petworth. Councilmember Todd was delighted to sponsor the event and thanks Maria Mandle and Sara Herrera for organizing this neighborhood celebration of culture and art.
Councilmember Todd Kicks-Off 2019 Open Enrollment,
Sign Up For Quality, Affordable Health Insurance Today!
Last Thursday, Councilmember Todd joined Mayor Muriel Bowser and DC Health Benefits Exchange Authority Director Mila Kofman to kick off the 2019 open enrollment period for buying health insurance through DC Health Link, the District’s insurance marketplace created by the Affordable Care Act. Councilmember Todd presented a Ceremonial Resolution to mark the important occasion, and encouraged any District resident who does not currently have health insurance to sign up.
This year, DC Health link is offering 25 quality, affordable health insurance plans for individuals and small businesses. Under DC law, all individuals are required to have health insurance or be subject to a fee. Please visit DC Health Link’s website, dchealthlink.com, to start shopping today. Open enrollment in the District ends January 31, 2019. Need assistance?, call (855) 532-5465 or visit Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care at 3912 Georgia Avenue, NW.
The District has the second-lowest uninsured rate in the country, with 96% total coverage. Together, we can reach 100% and ensure that everyone enjoys the access to care and peace of mind that health insurance provides.
Mark Your Calendar
Ward 4 Young Professionals Happy Hour:
Wednesday, November 14th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM, Homestead DC
Join Councilmember Todd for another Ward 4 young professional happy hour event on Wednesday, November 14th from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at Homestead Food and Beverage (3911 Georgia Avenue, NW). Come enjoy an evening with neighbors and friends, and take advantage of an opportunity to talk directly with your Councilmember in a casual, unstructured setting. RSVP on the facebook event HERE. Please be advised that this event was originally scheduled for Thursday, November 15th, but has been rescheduled to Wednesday.
18th Annual Ward 4 Holiday Party & New Coat Drive:
Saturday, December 8th, 6 – 8 PM, Lafayette Elementary
Councilmember Todd invites you to join him in celebrating the holiday season at the 18th Annual Ward 4 Holiday Party on Saturday, December 8th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Lafayette Elementary School (5701 Broad Branch Road, NW). As in years past, the party will also serve as a New Coat Drive to help keep Ward 4 youth warm this winter. If you are interested in donating a coat to a young person in-need, and would like to know what size donations are needed, please email Keiko Yoshino at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at (202) 724-8052. If you are interested in serving on the event’s planning committee or volunteering, please contact Dolly Turner at email@example.com or call my office. Per tradition, the event will feature dinner, a dessert bar with the delicious creations of Ward 4 residents, valet parking, and seasonal activities. Councilmember Todd hopes you will join him for fun and festive cheer on December 8th! Looking for tips on where to buy a new coat for the coat drive? Try Walmart, Costco, orTarget.
Veteran Day Events In Ward 4:
Nov 13th Business Appreciation Mixer,
Nov 10th Battleground Cemetery Candlelight Luminary
On behalf of Director Ely S. Ross, Executive Office of the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, DC Department of Small & Local Business Development, and M&T Bank, DC Veteran Owned, and Capitol Cider House We welcome your support of our Veteran Owned Businesses of the District of Columbia as we recognize them for their service and the continued contribution to our business community in commemoration of Veteran’s Week 2018. We would like you to join us as we network with and briefly share initiatives and resources to strengthen and sustain Veteran Owned Businesses in the District. Other invited guest include: Ward 4 Council Member Brandon Todd, DSLBD Director Kristi C. Whitfield and more.
Register at: eventbrite.com/e/veterans-business-appreciation-mixer-tickets-51773679469
When: Tuesday, November 13th
Where: Veteran Owned Capitol Cider House 3930 Georgia Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20011
Time: 5:00pm – 7:00pm
Also: Join the National Park Service for a candlelight luminary at Battleground National Cemetery (6625 Georgia Ave, NW) on Saturday, November 10th from 5 PM to 6:15 PM. The program will include an interpretive talk, a roll-call of the soldiers, and a rendering of “Taps” in honor of the 41 United Stated soldiers interred at the cemetery. Free and open to the public. Please note: Gates will remain Closed from 3 – 5 PM as luminaries are prepared.
Upcoming Events For Seniors:
Spa Day, Northwest Neighbors Village Speakers
The Senior Zone invites Ward 4 seniors to their upcoming Salon Day at Emery Heights Community Center (5701 Georgia Ave, NW) on Friday, Novembver 16th. Come get free pampering services such as haircuts, hair styling, and manicures for those 50 years of age or older. Please RSVP at (202) 810-5940.
Also: The Northwest Neighbors Village is holding a series of small salons with outstanding speakers on a variety of topics. The salons are intended to enable residents of all ages to come together in an intimate setting to meet other residents, learn about a topic of mutual interest, and raise money for Northwest Neighbors Village. Tickets are $75 and are tax-deductible. To learn more and purchase a ticket, go to www.nwnv.org/salons.
DC Is Preparing For Winter
“Winter is Coming” … and the Government of the District of Columbia is ready! An array of resources and information are available to ensure you are properly prepared and know how to find answers to your various winter-related questions.
Please consider registering with Serve DC to act as a member of the DC Volunteer Snow Program. This initiative matches volunteers with senior residents and those with access and functional needs for snow removal services in the aftermath of a winter event. To learn more and sign up, visit: serve.dc.gov/page/dc-volunteer-snow-program.
The Inter-agency Council on Homelessness has released their winter plan, which can be accessed HERE. Importantly, members of the public and DC residents experiencing homeless may call the DC Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 to seek assistance during a period of intense cold or extreme weather. The 311 hotline can also be used for this purpose.
MPD Partnership With The Police Foundation
& Police Data Initiative
From an MPD Press Release:
October 31, 2018
(Washington, DC) – The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) is proud to announce our partnership with the Police Foundation and the Police Data Initiative (PDI). The PDI promotes the use of open data to encourage joint problem solving, innovation, enhanced understanding, and accountability between communities and the law enforcement agencies that serve them.
Currently, MPD’s data can be found online in a variety of ways:
The Department has deployed DC’s Crime Cards application which provides users with crime incident statistics, trends, maps, and graphs. While MPD and DC’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer officially launched the DC Crime Cards application in March 2018, MPD has been making crime incident data publically accessible since 2007. This data is readily available for download so users can conduct their own analysis.
In early 2018, MPD created our own open data page to provide a one-stop shop for MPD-specific data releases. Currently, you can find data on hate crimes, juvenile arrests, ShotSpotter alerts, and MPD stops. In addition to the data, users can also find data dictionaries and explanatory notes to better understand how to interpret different fields and variables.
MPD actively participates in the District of Columbia’s Open Data DC Portal. In this portal, you can find public safety data layers to help facilitate analysis and support data visualization needs. Please note that some of the same datasets can be found on MPD’s open data page.
MPD has additionally committed to, and fulfilled, the Police Foundation’s challenge to release open data on hate crimes. This makes MPD one of the first agencies nationwide to release this type of open data.
Humanities DC Is Hiring!
Founded in 1980, the Humanities Council of Washington, DC (HumanitiesDC) aims to enrich the quality of life, foster intellectual stimulation, and promote cross-cultural understanding and appreciation of local history in all neighborhoods of the District through humanities programs and grants. They are hiring! Learn more about the open positions and job descriptions:
Small Business Owners:
Apply For Commercial Trash Compactor Grant By Dec 7
DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of Clean City, is seeking grant applications for demonstration projects that help DC businesses install commercial waste compactors, which reduce sanitation and rodent issues in the District’s commercial corridors.
– Grants request up to $80,000
– Adjacent or nearby businesses are encouraged to each apply and coordinate their efforts
– Multi-unit residential properties may also apply if they are located in commercial corridors
– Entities may help prospective applicants prepare their applications (e.g., BIDs, DC Main Street programs, property owner)