With Thanksgiving almost here, I am thankful for the opportunity to serve as your Ward 4 Councilmember. It is truly a great honor to represent you, the 82,000 residents of Ward 4, at the John A. Wilson Building. We live in a remarkable city, and that is something for which I know we are all grateful. The people I have the pleasure of working with and serving are what make Washington, DC the greatest city in the world. You are what motivate me to keep pushing for progress on all fronts.
As you prepare for the holidays, I wanted to share a few important messages. First, if you do not have health insurance, I encourage you to take advantage of any free time you have this holiday to shop and enroll through the District’s Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplace. Earlier this month, I was delighted to help kick off the 2017 open enrollment period, which continues through January 31, 2018. 26 different plans are available for individuals and families to choose from. To shop and enroll, visit www.dchealthlink.com.
I also want to make sure that you know about Small Business Saturday, which takes place after Thanksgiving on November 25th. I invite you to join me in supporting Ward 4 small businesses and all they give to our community. I will spend the day all across Ward 4’s commercial districts: Upshur Street, Kennedy Street, Georgia Avenue, 14th Street, and 3rd Street. Meet me at Slim’s Diner at 11:30 AM to kick off the day. This #SmallBizSat, I cannot wait to #ShopSmall and get started on my holiday shopping. I hope you will join me in showing our small businesses how much we value them!
I wish all of Ward 4 a very happy Thanksgiving with family and friends. Stay #Ward4Proud!
Brandon T. Todd Councilmember, Ward 4 #Ward4Proud
Committee of the Whole and Legislative Meeting: On Tuesday, November 21, the Council met in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building for their monthly Committee of the Whole and Additional Legislative Meeting. Councilmember Todd Introduced “Identity Protection Amendment Act of 2017” Each year nearly 18 million American adults and 1.3 million children are victims of identity theft. One of the realities that occur with identity theft is ruined credit.
The bill enables a parent or guardian of a child or person under legal guardianship to place a credit freeze on the person’s behalf, shielding children from unknowingly becoming victims of identity theft before they have an opportunity to take control of their own credit, identity, and future. This provision would bring DC in line with numerous other states, including Virginia and Maryland, which have special provisions to protect our most vulnerable.
Second, the bill eliminates fees for credit freeze services. It is unfair to force residents to pay $10—or any amount—to each credit bureau to protect themselves against becoming a victim of identity theft. Paying to lift or remove a credit freeze when a resident wants to open an account, rent or purchase a home, or open a utility account is equally unfair. By eliminating fees, all District residents will also have the same opportunity to protect their credit and identity, regardless of their ability to pay.
Universal Free Lunch:
Last week, the Committee on Education held a hearing on Councilmember’s Todd’s bill “Universal Free Lunch For All Amendment Act of 2017”.
The Councilmembers heard from a number of constituents at the hearing who voiced support for ensuring all students received free lunch.
There were concerns about financial implications and cost of implementation, but the Councilmember is committed to working with the Committee to resolve these concerns
D.C. Water Fees
Last week, the Committee on Transportation held a hearing on increased water fees in the District.
Although Councilmember Todd’s bill exempting private roads and parking lots from counting toward the cemeteries footprint was not on the agenda, a number of churches, cemeteries, and experts weighed in favorably.
D.C. Water bills have increased exponentially over the past decade, largely in part to the Clean River Impervious Area Charge (CRIAC) Fee that is levied on every ratepayer.
St. Paul’s of Rock Creek Cemetery is no longer able to keep up with their bills as they have now increased to over$18,000 a month, $14,000 of which is attributed to CRIAC.
Councilmember Todd Celebrates The Holidays &
Community Across Ward 4
This weekend, Councilmember Todd enjoyed spending time with the Ward 4 community and celebrating the beginning of the holiday season. On Saturday, he joined Star of Bethlehem Church on Colorado Avenue for their Thanksgiving Giveaway. He congratulated Bishop Harvey L. Lewis, Sr on 57 years of spiritual leadership, and thanked the congregation for their generous donation of food for those in-need this Thanksgiving. Later, Councilmember Todd helped ring in the holiday season at a new community tradition: the Walter Reed Holiday Reflection & Tree Lighting. The event featured memorable stories from Ward 4 residents Loretta Neumann and Dr. Martha Lenhart about the history of Walter Reed, the lighting of a 20-foot holiday tree, and festive snacks and entertainment for neighbors. Councilmember Todd looks forward to enjoying this new tradition next year!
Councilmember Todd Addresses Seabury
Resources For Aging Board of Directors
On Saturday, Councilmember Todd had the pleasure of addressing the Seabury Resources for Aging Board of Directors. The Councilmember and the Board had a great conversation about enhancing transportation options for Ward 4 and DC area seniors. He sends a heartfelt thank you to Seabury, especially CEO Deborah Royster, for all they do to help our senior community.
Councilmember Todd & Ward 4 Council Office Help Families In Need Celebrate Thanksgiving
On Monday, Councilmember Todd and the Ward 4 Council office distributed Safeway gift cards to Ward 4 families in-need. Everyone deserves a good meal together on Thanksgiving, and the Councilmember was delighted to help make that possible for these Ward 4 families. Councilmember Todd thanks Safeway for their generous contribution, as well as Paul Ruppert, owner of Slim’s Diner, for hosting the event.
Mark Your Calendar
Office Hours With Councilmember Todd:
Mon, Nov 27th, 6-7:30 PM, Castello’s Fine Dining & Live Jazz
Councilmember Todd invites you to join him at office hours on Monday, November 27th at Castello’s Fine Dining & Live Jazz (5201Georgia Ave NW), from 6:00 PM to 7:30 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.
Councilmember Brandon Todd invites you to join him and neighbors for the Ward 4 Brewery Crawl on Thursday, November 30th! Support our local 3 Stars and Hellbender Brewing Companies while enjoying happy hour and socializing with neighbors and Councilmember Todd. 6 PM – 7 PM at 3 Stars Brewing Company (6400 Chillum Pl NW), then we’ll walk to the nearby Hellbender Brewing Company (5788 2nd St NE) and stay there until 8 PM. Come to one or both locations. This is a great opportunity to show how you’re #Ward4Proud, and have fun at the same time!
The event will also double as a canned food drive to replenish the Emory Beacon of Light Food Pantry’s supplies after Thanksgiving. Please bring non-perishable food items to donate.
RSVP on facebook HERE or with Joshua Fleitman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Contact Joshua if you would like to be a member of the host committee.
Please drink responsibly and always use a designated driver. Parking is available at 3 Stars Brewing Company.
17th Annual Ward 4 Holiday Party & New Coat Drive:
Saturday, December 16th, 6 – 8 PM, Lafayette Elementary
The holidays will be here before you know it! Councilmember Todd invites you to save the date for the annual Ward 4 Holiday Party & New Coat Drive on Saturday, December 16, 2017, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Lafayette Elementary School (5701 Broad Branch Road, NW). We will also be organizing a “new coat drive” to help keep Ward 4’s neediest young residents warm and make sure that nobody gets left out in the cold this holiday season. Please contact Malcolm Jolly at email@example.com to learn what size coat you can donate. Also, per our annual tradition, we are asking Ward 4 neighbors to bring their favorite home-made dessert to share with neighbors at the dessert buffet. We hope to see you the evening of December 16th!
SAVE THE DATE:
Ward 4 Small Business Summit:
Mon, Jan 20, 2018, 10 AM-2 PM, Raymond Rec Center
Councilmember Todd and Loretta Caldwell, Chair of the Ward 4 Business Advisory Committee, ask you to save the date for the Ward 4 Small Business Summit on Monday, January 20, 2018 from 10:00 AM to 2:00 PM at Raymond Recreation Center (3725 10th Street, NW). The event will provide lots of valuable information on District events and opportunities to grow your small business. More information will be forthcoming. We hope to see you there!
MacFarland Middle School Seeking Uniform Donations
The MacFarland Middle School student support team is seeking donations of uniforms for our students. Many of our families have recently arrived to the US and are often greatly in need of resources. Providing our students in need with a clean, proper uniform is a simple way to help ease the transition to a new learning environment.
The students wear khaki pants and black polo shirts and typically wear from size 10-16 in both girls and boys. We would also gladly accept gift cards to stores such as Target, Wal-Mart or Old Navy. We appreciate any support that the community is able to offer. For more information, contact Rachael Friedlander, School Social Worker, at Rachael.firstname.lastname@example.org.
West Education Campus Christmas Tree Sale!
This Sunday, Next Saturday & Sunday
Are you ready to get in the holiday spirit? Add the scent of a freshly cut tree from the mountains of Virginia to your home this holiday season and be the first on your block to make the tree lights twinkle merry and bright.
The West Parent, Staff & Community Organization (PSCO) is sponsoring a Christmas Tree sale and would love your support. Come and visit West Education Campus (1338 Farragut St. NW, Washington DC). We will have a stand set up on the corner of 14th and Farragut St. Trees of all sizes are available!
Sunday November 26th: 9AM-5PM
Saturday, December 2th: 9AM-5PM
Sunday, December 3th: 9AM-5PM
100% of the profits from this sale will go directly to purchase new computer technology for elementary and middle school students at West Education Campus. West PSCO is a 501(c)(3) charity, so a portion of your purchase is tax-deductible. Don’t miss out. Our trees sold out prior to the third day last year.