The holiday season is all about the spirit of giving. And this year, the generosity of our residents was on full display at the annual Ward 4 New Winter Coat Drive. Thanks to your donations, this year we have secured a whopping 650 new winter coats, more than double the number received last year! These coats will be donated to the families of less fortunate Ward 4 young people at schools across our Ward, and to non-profit community organizations to distribute to those in-need.
These coats will not only keep our young people warm during a frigid winter, but they will serve as a reminder to them and their families that our community cares for those in-need, and is enthusiastically willing to give to ensure that no one gets left out in the cold. Tonight, my office will distribute these coats to Ward 4 families, welcoming them with holiday treats, hot chocolate, and Santa Claus. I am delighted to help make the holiday season a little warmer and more full of cheer for Ward 4 families who need a helping hand.
To all who donated coats this year: I am sincerely grateful for your generosity and kindness to others. Thank you to the volunteers who helped collect, organize, and transport donations, to Trinity Episcopal Church for hosting tonight’s coat giveaway, and to Keiko Yoshino, my Legislative Director, for coordinating this year’s coat drive. The spirit of giving in Ward 4 never ceases to amaze me, and I am truly grateful to be a part of and represent such a thoughtful and compassionate community.
Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
On Tuesday, December 18th, the Council will meet in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building for the Committee of the Whole and additional Legislative Meeting. This is the final scheduled meeting for Council Period 22. Any legislation that is not passed must be re-introduced next Council Period, which begins in January, 2019. At the December 18th meeting, two bills introduced by Councilmember Todd are slated to pass their final vote.
DC Water Consumer Protection Amendment Act of 2018
Councilmember Todd introduced bill 22-662 the “DC Water Consumer Protection Amendment Act of 2018” to allow the Office of People’s Counsel to represent ratepayers when issues arise with water bills.
Senior Strategic Plan Amendment Act of 2018
Councilmember Todd introduced bill 22-686 the “Senior Strategic Plan Amendment Act of 2018” to require the Office on Aging to develop a comprehensive ten-year strategic plan that shall serve as a long-term blueprint for District senior services.
For more information regarding hearings or legislation, please contact my Legislative Director, Keiko Yoshino, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 724-8052.
Week In Review
Councilmember Todd Celebrates the Holidays
Last Saturday evening, Councilmember Todd hosted Ward 4 residents for the 18th Annual Ward 4 Holiday Party at Lafayette Elementary School. Neighbors enjoyed fun and festive cheer while celebrating the holiday season. Councilmember Todd thanks Lafayette Elementary Principal Carrie Broquard and Home & School Association 1st Vice President Shannon Behm for their hospitality, as well as the planning committee and the volunteers, sponsors, and donors who made the event possible.
This weekend, Councilmember Todd was also delighted to celebrate the holidays throughout the community, including at ANC 4D’s coat drive and holiday party, the 16th Street Heights Civic Association’s holiday party, and the Lamond Community Action Group Holiday Stroll.
Councilmember Todd Discusses 14th Street
Bus Barn Reconstruction With WMATA
On Monday, Councilmember Todd met with officials from the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) to discuss their reconstruction plans for the Northern Bus Garage, commonly known as the “14th Street Bus Barn.” Located on 14th Street, NW and bounded by Decatur St, Iowa Ave, Arkansas Ave, and Buchanan St, the facility serves as a parking and maintenance facility for WMATAs buses that service Ward 4 and the surrounding area. The facility dates back to the early 1900’s and is now in poor and deteriorating condition.
WMATA is planning an approximately $250 million investment to completely reconstruct the garage within its existing footprint. Preliminary plans are to close the garage by Labor Day, 2019. Final designs are expected within the first half of 2020, and will include preserving the 14th street façade while reconstructing the garage behind and creating 50,000-55,000 square feet of commercial space along 14th Street. The demolition is expected to conclude by the end of 2020. The garage will remain closed during construction, which is expected to be complete in 2024. Upon re-opening, it is planned that the number of buses based out of the garage will be reduced from 175 to 150. The plans also include a rebuilding of the streetscape along all sides of the building, public art along 14th Street, and LEED Platinum environmental designation. Learn more at: brandontoddward4.com/blog/wmata-northern-bus-garage-reconstruction.
Councilmember Todd will work with WMATA and neighborhood stakeholders to schedule a community meeting in early 2019 to present the plans and solicit neighbor input before WMATA’s plans are finalized. Stay tuned for more information.
Mark Your Calendar
Join Councilmember Todd
For A Walter Reed Small Business Outreach Event:
Thurs, Dec 13th, 6-8 PM, Emery Heights Community Center
Council Approves New Lead Water Service Line Replacement Program
From DC Water on December 6, 2018:
DC Water today announced plans to work closely with the District government to implement a new lead service replacement program that offers free and discounted replacements of lead water service pipes on private property for thousands of homes across the city. This program will be implemented once it is funded by the District, which is anticipated in October 2019.
The new program, approved by the D.C. Council and headed to Mayor Muriel Bowser for her signature, establishes a city-funded program to encourage the removal of lead service lines located on private property– the small diameter pipes that bring water from the water main into homes. Water mains in DC Water’s distribution system are not made of lead. However there remain roughly 70 miles of lead service lines connecting homes to the public water mains in the District.
While in many cases lead water service lines may not pose any immediate hazard, the simple presence of lead pipes is a risk factor for lead exposure that DC Water has long encouraged homeowners to address. Recently DC Water mailed letters to residential customers in homes with known lead service lines to encourage them to take advantage of DC Water’s existing Voluntary Lead Service Pipe Replacement program. DC Water has also created a service line map where customers can check to see what type of pipes connect their home to the water main.
More information about the issue of lead, tips to reduce risk of lead exposure, and information about the Bill can be found at www.dcwater.com/lead or by contacting DC Water customer service at 354-3600. Additional information about enrolling in the program and how the legislation will be implemented will be added to the website in coming months. For more information please visit: https://www.dcwater.com/LeadBillFAQ
Learn How To Save A Life, Attend Free Course on CPR:
Saturday, December 15th, 12:30-3:00 PM
The Progressive Firefighters Association of Washington, DC will host Hands on Heart ONLY CPR December 15, 2018 at 12:30 PM – 3:00 PM at 4900 -10th Street NE, in the Fellowship Hall of Faith United Church of Christ. Ample parking is available.
Most people who experience cardiac arrest at home, work or in a public location die because they don’t receive immediate CPR from someone on the scene. As a bystander, your actions can only help. Save a life…learn Hands Only CPR. Demonstration will be presented by the DC Fire & EMS Dept.
DCFEMS offers free classes on the basics of Hands-only CPR and AED awareness. Hands-only CPR is a technique that involves chest compressions without artificial respiration. Studies indicate that Hands-only CPR performed immediately may increase a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival. The training instructs participants to focus on their hand placement, tempo and the number of compressions. This life-saving demonstration is free and all are encouraged to attend, bring another family member or neighbor.
For more information or to acknowledge your attendance please contact retired member Nathan Queen at (202) 246-2656
Shaping The District’s Future, Free Community Day At National Building Museum:
Sunday, Dec 16th
This coming Sunday, December 16, the 1968/2018 Collaborative, a group of organizations and people chaired by Ward 4 resident Marya Annette McQuirter and engaged in programming related to D.C. in 1968 throughout the year, will close out the 50th Anniversary of this historic year at the National Building Museum, 1 – 4 pm. All members of the public are invited to join.
Pepco Meeting On Eastern Avenue Project:
Tuesday, December 18th, 7 PM
Pepco staff will be on-hand at a community meeting to discuss the ongoing Eastern Avenue project on Tuesday, December 18, 2018 at 7:00 pm in the Community Center auditorium of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, located at 6810 Eastern Avenue, NW. Pepco is currently undergrounding electrical wires prior to the District Dept. of Transportation fully reconstructing the roadway.
Tips To Avoid Theft From Auto
Metropolitan Police Department Fourth District Captain Franklin Porter shares these tips for reducing the risk of theft from auto, the most common type of crime in Ward 4. The Fourth District will continue to stay alert and patrol your neighborhoods around the clock. However, if you see anyone suspicious walking near parked vehicles and looking into them please don’t hesitate to call 911. Please take the precautions listed below to help ensure your auto is not targeted by thieves:
Keep Your Valuables Out of Sight
The best way to prevent theft from your auto is to always keep valuables out of sight. Never leave cell phones, briefcases, suitcases, or electronic devices (cell phones, iPods, laptop computers, etc.) in your car in plain view. Take these items with you, or secure them—all the time, every time.
Secure Your GPS Device
While many GPS devices are mounted in the dashboard of the vehicle, the MPD encourages anyone who uses a portable GPS device to take it with you, along with any other items of value, when you park the car.
Use Your Trunk
If your car has a trunk, use it. Put valuables in there or in a locked glove compartment. Hiding items under seats is better than leaving them in plain view, but securing them inside the glove compartment or trunk is a far better deterrent.
Don’t Tempt Thieves with New Purchases
During the holiday season especially, or any time you’re shopping, place packages in the trunk, not on the passenger seats or floors.
Remove Your Radio Faceplate
If you can unfasten your sound system and take it with you, or lock it in your trunk, do so. And don’t forget to do the same with your CDs and tapes.
There have been a lot of vehicles broken into with the handicap placards stolen. If you are home and not utilizing your placard place it out of sight, locked in the glove compartment.
Lock It Up
Also, keep your car doors and windows locked—all the time!
Remember: “Outta sight, outta mind”—if thieves can’t see your valuables, they’re less likely to waste their time targeting your auto. Take the time to secure your valuables; it makes a difference.
Office of the People’s Counsel Warns Consumers of Utility Scams
Recently, OPC has received reports about apparent utility scams targeting seniors, low and moderate income, and limited English-speaking District residents. For example, one senior citizen tells OPC that a caller impersonating a utility company representative demanded immediate payment of their electric bill to avoid having their service disconnected. In another example, someone claiming to represent a third-party energy supplier asked for a consumer’s billing information while offering to provide “a coupon” that could be applied to their Pepco bill. Consumers say these scams come in different forms, including salespersons impersonating utility workers while attempting to gain entry to homes, robotic phone calls offering consumers reduced utility rates, and offers of “special” energy rates for seniors.
No matter what the pitch, never give your utility account information, Social Security Number, other personal information, or payment to someone in person or over the phone before verifying that you are speaking directly to a utility company representative. Learn more of OPC’s tips for how to protect yourself HERE.