This Saturday, 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 has oversight of theMayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs, I take seriously the need to recognize, honor, and support our veterans. That is why, in March of 2017, I introduced the Free Licenses for Veterans Amendment Act of 2017, which would waive the fee associated with obtaining driver’s licenses and identification cards for veterans. This legislation also waives the fee for the spouse of a veteran who has been classified as having a total and permanent disability – a necessary change since many disabled veterans rely on their spouses for transport.
Additionally, during the Fiscal Year 2018 budget deliberations, I was proud to lead the charge in securing $60,000 in funding for a pilot program that assists veterans with their unique transportation needs. Just today, the Mayor’s Office of Veterans Affairs officially launched “VetsRide,” a pilot program that will provide free transportation to DC veterans. VetsRide will give our city’s veterans access to educational, medical, and employment opportunities. If you are interested in participating, or if you know a veteran who might be interested, please call(202) 724-5454 for more information.
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 #Ward4Proud
Legislative Meeting: On Tuesday, November 7, the Council met in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building for their monthly Legislative meeting. Before the meeting, Councilmember Todd recognized Ernest Green, one of the Arkansas Little Rock 9, with a ceremonial resolution for his impact and contributions to Ward 4, the District of Columbia, and the United States.
Councilmember Todd Bill’s that Passed First Reading:
“Ward 4 Full-Service Grocery Store Amendment Act” B22-335
“Office of African American Affairs Establishment Act of 2017” B22-318
“Health Literacy Council Establishment Act of 2017” B22-62
Note: Final reading of these bills will take place December 5th Councilmember Todd’s Introductions:
“D.C. Cemetery Private Road and Parking Lot Exemption of Clean Water Fees Amendment Act of 2017”
D.C. Water has embarked on a 20 year $2.7 billion Clean Rivers Project to eliminate sewage discharge into area waterways. The project is largely funded by an “impervious area charge,” imposed on all customers and listed on bill as the“Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge” or “CRIAC.”
Ex: St. Paul’s Rock Creek Cemetery’s current water bill is nearly $18,000 per month, over $14,000 is CRIAC.
Provides cemeteries relief from CRIAC fee by exempting their private roads andparking lots from being counted in the impervious area assessment.
600k a year if cemeteries are completely exempt, so the FIS should be much less than $3M over the 5 year period.
Allows cemeteries to continue contributing to D.C. Water without extraordinary financial burden
“Energy-Efficient and Water Efficiency Sales Tax Holiday Act of 2017”
In line with the District’s commitment to long-term sustainability, this bill would provide for two tax free weekends (Memorial Day & Columbus Day) for Energy Star qualified products & WaterSense certified products, as designated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
Environmentally friendly appliances such as washers, dryers, refrigerators, and dishwashers are expensive, but the bill is designed to alleviate some of the cost that inhibits people from purchasing them.
Maryland and Virginia currently offer this benefit.
“Universal Free Lunch for All Amendment Act of 2017” B22-456 The Committee invites the public to testify or submit written testimony. Those who wish to testify may sign-up online at http://bit.do/educationhearings or call the Committee on Education at (202) 724-8061 by 5:00pm Tuesday, November 14. Persons wishing to testify are encouraged to bring 10 copies of their written testimony.
The State of School Food Services (Roundtable, no legislation)
Friday, November 17 Committee on Transportation and Environment, 11:00AM RM 500
“Lead Pipe Replacement and Disclosure Amendment Act of 2017” B22-507
Water Rate Increases in the District of Columbia (roundtable of DC Water charges)
Councilmember Todd Sponsors Dia de los Muertos Celebration With Petworth Arts Collaborative
Last Wednesday, Councilmember Todd was delighted to support and attend the Petworth Arts Collaborative’s Dia de los Muertos event. The evening started off with face painting at Qualia Coffee. Then we heard a few songs by the band Mariachi El Ray, which Councilmember Todd was happy to sponsor, before processing up Georgia Avenue and Upshur Street to view the altar art installations. This celebration represented the very best of our diverse community!.Councilmember Todd extends a special thanks to Sara Herrera and Maria Mandle for all their incredible work organizing this multi-day celebration of art and culture.
Councilmember Todd Kicks-Off DC Health Link Open Enrollment, Urges Residents To Sign Up Today!
On Saturday, Councilmember Todd joined Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Hyesook Chung, and other District leaders to kick-off the DC Health Link 2018 open enrollment season and spread the word that affordable, quality health insurance plans are available. From November 1, 2017 through January 31, 2018, individuals and families can choose from 26 different plans through the District’s Affordable Care Act health insurance exchange. To shop and enroll, visit www.dchealthlink.com.
With Ward 4 having one of the highest uninsured rates in the District, Councilmember Todd encourages residents and business owners to see what plans are available to provide you with the peace of mind that health insurance brings. Despite the Federal uncertainty surrounding healthcare, the Government of the District of Columbia is 100% committed to moving toward universal coverage and fostering a robust health insurance marketplace in the District.
Councilmember Todd Presents Ceremonial Resolution Honoring Ernest Green, Member of the “Little Rock Nine”
At Tuesday’s legislative meeting, Councilmember Todd was delighted to present a Ceremonial Resolution honoring and recognizing Ward 4 and Shepherd Park resident Ernest Green. Mr. Green is a member of the “Little Rock Nine,” a group of nine African-American students who bravely desegregated Little Rock Central High School in the face of hatred, opposition, and violence. He is a civil rights trailblazer, and this recognition serves as an expression of our appreciation for his legendary contributions to American society. Councilmember Todd extends his sincere thanks and congratulations to Mr. Green, his wife, ANC 4A01 Commissioner Phyllis Green who represents Shepherd Park, North Portal Estates, and Colonial Village, and his daughter, Mackenzie. You make us all #Ward4Proud!
Paul Howard of LaSalle-Backus Education Campus
Wins 2018 DC Teacher of the Year Award
Mr. Paul Howard, a middle school social studies teacher at LaSalle-Backus Education Campus, has been given the immense honor being named 2018 DC Teacher of the Year. Mr. Howard has been teaching for six years, five of them in DCPS. He brings a level of professionalism and engagement that leaves a considerable impact on his students. Councilmember Todd congratulates Mr. Howard and LaSalle-Backus on this remarkable recognition, and wishes him best of luck as he enters the running for the National Teacher of the Year Award. To watch the NBC 4 story about Mr. Howard, click HERE.
To learn more about LaSalle-Backus Education Campus and their students, teachers, and curriculum, visit their website: www.lasallebackus.com
Mark Your Calendar
Walter Reed Holiday Reflection & Tree Lighting:
Saturday, November 18th, 4 – 6 PM
Councilmember Todd and the Parks at Walter Reed invite you to the inaugural “Holiday Reflection & Tree Lighting” event on Saturday, November 18, from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. to commemorate the history of the campus and ring in the winter season.The event will feature seasonal live music, commemorative ribbon decorating, festive snacks and the lighting of a 20-foot holiday tree. The evening celebrates the rich history of the Walter Reed Campus, while looking forward to the future of the new development. We hope you can join, Ward 4, and bring along your neighbors and friends!
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. We hope to see you the evening of December 16th!
Ward 4 Education Alliance Meeting: Thurs, Nov 9, 6-8PM – Share Input On Coolidge Programmatic Improvements
Upper Ward 4 will soon have a completely renovated Coolidge Middle and High School. Along with the physical modernizations, there will be major programmatic improvements, but they must fit the needs of the young people in our community. DC Public Schools is developing program plans now and will present their initial thoughts to the Ward 4 Education Alliance this Thursday evening, November 9th, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Powell Elementary School (1350 Upshur St NW). This is your chance to share your thoughts with DCPS officials about your wishes for Coolidge’s new programming.
CVS Health Project Offers Free Health Services In Ward 4: Three Opportunities From November 10-12th
As part of CVS Health’s continuing commitment to help improve access to health care for all Americans, CVS is pleased to once again offer Project Health, their annual free health services campaign, at select CVS Pharmacy locations in multicultural communities across the country. Project Health offers an array of free comprehensive health risk assessments, including blood pressure, Body Mass Index (BMI), glucose and total cholesterol screenings. Once screened, CVS Pharmacy helps patients through on-site consultations with bilingual (English/Spanish) nurse practitioners or physician assistants who will analyze results and refer patients who require additional medical attention to no-cost or low-cost medical facilities nearby or to their primary care physician. CVS pharmacists are also available to conduct one-on-one medication reviews and answer any questions patients may have.