At yesterday’s DC Council legislative meeting, I co-introduced the DC Water Consumer Protection Amendment Act of 2018, which strengthens the accountability and oversight of DC Water. Specifically, the bill would add DC Water to the portfolio of the Office of the People’s Counsel (OPC) — the DC Government agency charged with advocating for the interests of Washingtonians and educating residents of their legal rights as it relates to utilities. The legislation also requires that DC Water give great weight to comments provided by OPC as related to water and sewer rate setting, and mandates that DC Water submit an annual report to the Council and Mayor detailing consumer complaints.
This bill follows legislation I introduced last November that partially exempts cemeteries from Clean River fees, and builds on my efforts to ensure that DC Water customers and ratepayers are treated fairly. As I continue to hear from a number of Ward 4 residents with DC Water-related concerns, it is imperative we apply the same standards of accountability and oversight to DC Water that govern other utility companies.
Today I had the pleasure of meeting with Henderson Brown, the new Interim General Manager & CEO of DC Water. I was excited to hear about Mr. Brown’s commitment to providing the highest levels of service to DC Water customers, and impressed by DC Water’s innovative, industry-leading water management practices. We had a robust conversation about the concerns of Ward 4 residents, and I look forward to working with him and his team on ensuring that customer service remains a top priority. Sincerely,
Brandon T. Todd Councilmember, Ward 4 #Ward4Proud
Happy Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
This coming Monday, January 15th, we as a nation will take time to celebrate and recognize the incredible contributions of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King helped move our nation closer toward our ideals of liberty and justice for all. From the MLK Jr. statue along the Tidal Basin, to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he gave his historic “I have a dream” speech, Dr. King’s legacy is ingrained in our great city, and his memory will forever live on as people all across the District and the nation engage in a day of service in his honor. This Monday, Councilmember Todd hopes that you have a happy and meaningful Martin Luther King, Jr. Day!
Please be advised that the Department of Public Works is observing the holiday so sanitation and holiday tree collection services will be suspended for the day.
Legislative Meeting: On Tuesday, January 9, the Council met in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building for their monthly Legislative meeting. Councilmember Todd introduced the“Rear Facing Car Seat Amendment Act of 2018” and co-introduced the “D.C. Water Consumer Protection Amendment Act of 2018”. Upcoming Hearing
The Committee on Government Operations will hold a public oversight roundtable on the topic of net neutrality on January 24, 2018 at 11:00 AM in Room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building. Immediately following will be a roundtable on PR22-0691 – Sense of the Council Opposing the Repeal of Net Neutrality Rules Resolution of 2017. The purpose of the public oversight roundtable is to discuss the impacts of net neutrality and the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) vote to repeal the 2015 net neutrality protections. Individuals and representatives of organizations who wish to testify at the public hearing are asked to contact Faye Caldwell of the Committee on Government Operations at (202) 724-6663 or by email at email@example.com and provide their name(s), address, telephone number, email address, and organizational affiliation, if any, by close of business Tuesday, January 23, 2018.
Councilmember Todd’s Introductions:
“Rear Facing Car Seat Amendment Act of 2018”
This bill requires that children under the age of two be restrained in a rear facing car seat.
In 2015, there were over 24,000 car accidents in D.C. The use of proper car seats cuts the risk of death by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers.
“DC Water Consumer Protection Amendment Act of 2018”
Requires D.C. Water submit an annual report to the Council and Mayor detailing consumer complaints
Grants the Office of People’s Counsel (OPC) authority to represent District residents in matters related to D.C. Water and educate them on their rights
Requires D.C. Water give great weight to comments provided by OPCas relates to water and sewer rate settings.
Councilmember Todd co-introduced this bill with Chairman Mendelson, Councilmembers Bonds, T. White, McDuffie, R. White, and Gray.
This bill compliments the “D.C. Cemetery Private Road and Parking Lot Exemption of Clean Water Fees Amendment Act of 2017” that Councilmember Todd introduced last November. The bill’s purpose was to provide cemeteries relief from Clean River’s fee by exempting their private roads and parking lotsfrom being counted in the impervious area assessment.
Status of Other Bills of Note:
“Defending Access to Women’s Health Care Services Amendment Act of 2017”B22-106 (passed final vote)
The bill ensues women living in Washington, D.C. will have the same benefits under the Affordable Care Act, regardless of the current administration. It require that insurance companies completely cover costs for breast cancer screening and counseling, screening for HIV, and counseling for sexually transmitted infections. Additionally, the bill removes barriers to obtaining contraception by allowing pharmacists to prescribe without a prescription.
“Fair Elections Amendment Act of 2017” B22-192 (passed first vote)
The bill creates a voluntary publicly funded political campaign option to candidates. Participants swear to only collect small donor donations (varies depending on position sought) and the government will supplement those donations with a $40,000 initial base and a 5:1 match of all small donor donations.
For example: A Ward Councilmember candidate opting into this program, needs to raise $5,000 in donations no greater than $50. Then the Office of Campaign Finance will give them $65,000 ($40,000 base plus $25,000)
Councilmember Todd added two amendments on the dais yesterday to strengthen oversight and accountability as well as to address some of his concerns regarding the use of public funds for campaign activities.
(1) Requires the D.C. Auditor to conduct an evaluation after the first election cycle, on top of the Office of Campaign Finance reporting requirements.
(2) Requires that, in addition to leftover campaign funds, all furniture and equipment with a value greater than $50, be returned to the government and distributed through surplus to schools and non-profits.
The completion of the Met Branch Trail, which will be an 8-mile pedestrian and bicycle trail connecting Union Station to Silver Spring, Maryland, has long been a goal of the communities it will serve since first being proposed in the late 1980’s. When completed, the trail will offer pedestrians and bicyclists a safe and efficient route through the heart of the District, enhancing connectivity and mobility in Ward 4 and providing a viable alternative to driving.
In 2017, Mayor Bowser and the District Department Of Transportation (DDOT) announced that a design-build contract had been awarded to complete the section of trail between Brookland and Fort Totten. Construction of this long-awaited connection is expected to be complete in early 2019. In Ward 4, DDOT completed the preliminary design of the Metropolitan Branch Trail from Fort Totten to the Maryland border in December 2016. Throughout 2017, DDOT worked closely with residents and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners on addressing important elements of the trail design and route. DDOT intends to continue work to complete the final design of the trail and advance the project to construction in 2019/2020. Additionally, DDOT has been working closely with residents and the National Park Service (NPS) to reconsider trail alignments on NPS property in the Manor Park neighborhood. DDOT and NPS intend to begin a new Environmental Assessment of the trail alignment between Riggs Road and Oglethorpe in 2018. You can refer to the latest presentation for graphics and other details here: http://metbranchtrail.com/wp-content/uploads/ANC4b_PWI_MetBranch_Jan52018.pdf Since taking office in 2015, I have remained an ardent supporter of the project, and my support for the expeditious completion of the project remains unwavering. It is my belief that this must be done as quickly as possible. I have asked the DDOT to utilize all available resources at their disposal to ensure this is done, and I look forward to working with ANC 4B, DDOT, and the community on seeing this trail finished and ready for use as soon as possible.
Sincerely, Brandon Todd Councilmember, Ward 4
Week In Review
Councilmember Todd & The Links, Inc
Honor Ward 4 Resident Dr. Vivian W. Pinn
Last Saturday, Councilmember Todd joined the Washington, DC Chapter of The Links, Inc to honor the remarkable accomplishments of Ward 4 resident Dr. Vivian W. Pinn. Among her many notable achievements, Dr. Pinn was the second African American woman in history to graduate from the University of Virginia Medical School, where a medical research education building was recently renamed in her honor. She has taught at Harvard Medical School and served as an Assistant Dean at Tufts University School of Medicine. She served as Director of the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Research on Women’s Health from 1991 until her retirement in 2011.
Councilmember Todd was proud to present Dr. Pinn with a Ceremonial Resolution honoring and detailing Dr. Pinn’s incredible life of achievements. Congratulations, Dr. Pinn!
Councilmember Todd, Mayor Bowser
Launch New 14th St Express Bus Line
Monday morning, Councilmember Todd braved the cold with Mayor Bowser, DDOT Director Jeff Marootian, other officials, and members of the community to celebrate the launch of the new 14th Street Express Bus Line. MetroExtra line 59 now offers limited-stop express bus service along 14th Street between Takoma and Federal Triangle Metros. This weekday-only service will run every 15 minutes during rush hours, 6:30-9:30 a.m. and 3:45-7:00 p.m. Buses will serve 16 stops along the route providing connections to Metrorail and business, educational and shopping destinations. To learn more about the line and view the location of stops, visit www.wmata.com/service/bus/metroextra.cfm.
Councilmember Todd was proud to help secure the $1.2 million necessary for this bus line in the 2018 budget. He looks forward to seeing the line’s positive impacts on the thriving 14th Street corridor and its commuters.
Mark Your Calendar
Office Hours With Councilmember Todd:
Monday, February 5th, 6:30 – 8:00 PM,Takoma Library
Councilmember Todd invites you to join him at office hours on Monday, February 5th at Takoma Library (416 Cedar Street, NW), from 6:30 to 8:00 PM. This is an excellent opportunity for residents to sit down one-on-one with the Councilmember for up to 10 minutes to discuss important issues in Ward 4 and the District of Columbia. Residents will be seen on a first come, first served basis, and are welcome to discuss any issues important to them and their neighbors.
Ward 4 DCPS Feeder School Fair:
Thursday, January 11th, 6-8 PM, Roosevelt HS
Parents, educators, and neighbors are welcome to join the Ward 4 Education Alliance at the DCPS Ward 4 Feeder School Fair TOMORROW, January 11th, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Roosevelt High School (4301 13th St, NW). Meet with school representatives from Roosevelt, Coolidge, and MacFarland, and the schools whose students have the right to go on to these secondary schools. Learn about the programs and opportunities right here in Ward 4. Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although (thankfully) the brutal and historic cold snap seems to have finally ended, remember that under the Standard of Care for Animals Act of 2017, it is unlawful to leave animals unattended outdoors for more than 15 minutes when it is below freezing. Councilmember Todd was proud to introduce and help pass these strong animal welfare standards into law last year, and thank the Humane Rescue Alliance and the dedicated Momma’s Law advocates for their help in making these new standards a reality.
New DC Recycling Requirements Began January 1st,
Expanded Recyclables List Supports 80% Waste Diversion Goal
Earlier this year an expanded list of recyclable items was announced in the District. While residents serviced by the Department of Public Works (DPW) have been able to recycle the new items for several months, starting on January 1, 2018, all residential and commercial properties—including multi-family dwellings, office buildings, and restaurants—will be required to recycle this full suite of materials. And to make things simple, the items that should be recycled are now uniform throughout DC—whether you’re at home, work, or school.
The District strives to achieve a goal of diverting 80 percent of citywide waste from landfills and waste to energy facilities. The increased number of recyclable items and focus on resident education aims to assist in achieving this goal.
New items added to the list of recyclable items in the District include: pizza boxes; paper and plastic plates, cups, lids, and to-go containers; plastic produce, deli/bakery containers, and trays. Through the addition of these items, the District joins a select group of cities that accept foodservice packaging for recycling, thereby supporting the development of local and national solutions to recycling new materials.
As a reminder, plastic bags, wraps, and film are not accepted in the District’s recycling. These items clog facility equipment, imposing downtime and safety hazards to recycling facility employees. Many supermarkets and large retailers have plastic shopping bag return/recycling bins in their stores. Residents are asked to place recyclables into their blue bins loose, or in paper bags.
For more information and resources related to recycling in the district, please visitzerowaste.dc.gov.