Ward 4 Weekly — 12/26/18

 
December 26, 2018

Dear Neighbor,

I hope you had a very Merry Christmas and a happy holiday season! With the year soon coming to a close, I cannot help but reflect on all that we have accomplished together in 2018, and look forward to what we can achieve in the year to come. Ward 4 has broken ground on over a thousand new affordable housing units. We have modernized Ward 4 schools to provide world-class facilities for our students. We have seen improvements in quality of life for Ward 4 seniors. We have enjoyed unprecedented economic development and the new opportunity and prosperity it brings. This newsletter will recap just some of this year’s major accomplishments.

2018 truly has been a year of bold action for Ward 4 and the District of Columbia. I am proud of the work we have done down at the John A. Wilson Building since taking office in May 2015. However, I am even more proud of the people of Ward 4 — for being engaged and active citizens of your community, and for being partners in the collective effort to move the District forward. In 2019, I will work with all of you to build on this progress and continue our forward momentum.

As we gather with our friends and families for this holiday season, let us recommit ourselves to the task at hand: making Ward 4 a more vibrant place to live, work, and play. I am confident that with Ward 4’s extraordinary 84,000 residents, 2019 will be an outstanding year.

I wish you and your family a happy and prosperous new year!

Sincerely,

Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
#Ward4Proud

Public Safety

 

Everyone deserves to feel safe in their homes and communities, which is why Councilmember Todd continues to work closely with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD), as well as the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE) and agencies across the government to ensure that public safety remains a top priority for everyone. He is committed to a comprehensive, multi-agency approach to public safety:

  • Year to date, the Fourth District has seen a 9.65% reduction in overall violent crime (comparing 1/1/17 – 12/26/17 vs. 1/1/18 – 12/26/18). While Ward 4 has seen consistent improvement in the rate of violent crime and homicide, our crime rate continues to be driven by property crimes such as theft from auto. Councilmember Todd remains focused on responding to these trends.
  • Secured in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget:
    – $1.7 million to expand police cadet program
    – $1.7 million for violence interruption grants
    – $575,000 for Pathways Program to support at-risk youth
    – $575,000 for additional light stations and crime cameras
    – $500,000 for Private Security Camera Incentive Program
    – $440,000 for trauma-informed care
  • Using the Private Security Camera Incentive Program, Ward 4 installed over 1,079 security cameras through 451 rebates to residents and businesses. These cameras provide our police officers with an unprecedented ability to identify and deter criminals.
  • Organized and hosted a block captain training session for over 50 Ward 4 residents to learn and teach public safety skills and strategies.
  • Councilmember Todd secured a commitment from Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (established by the NEAR Act),  to bring their violence interruption services to Ward 4. These violence interrupters engage the community and address the root causes of violence while taking a public health approach to safety.
  • Working with MPD,  the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety, and ONSE, Councilmember Todd successfully advocated for establishing much of Kennedy St, NW and the surrounding area as a “hot spot” zone, opening up additional public safety resources.
  • Opened Fire Station Engine Company 22 at Walter Reed, improving fire and emergency response times for neighborhoods across Ward 4 with a $13 million public safety investment.

Education

Councilmember Todd understands that education is not a privilege, but a right for all our children across Ward 4 and the District of Columbia. That is why, in 2018:

  • Progress was made on Ward 4 school modernizations:
    – Cut ribbon on the $63 million modernized MacFarland Bilingual Middle School and welcomed students back to class at Ward 4’s only standalone middle school.
    – Continued construction on the $140 million full modernization of Calvin Coolidge Middle and High School, to be completed in August 2019.
    – Cut the ribbon on Dorothy I. Height Elementary School’s new playground.
    – Began planning for Shepherd Elementary School gymnasium after securing $12 million in 2018 budget.
  • Councilmember Todd protected funding for school modernizations and education priorities in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget:
    –  $32 million for early child care affordability and out of school time programs.
    – $4 million for Student Fair Access to School Amendment Act.
    – $2 million for field trips and cultural study abroad experiences.

    – Preserved funding for West Education Campus: $77.5 million.
    – Increased the budget for Dorothy I. Height Elementary School, adding $32 million for total of $67 million modernization.
    – Secured funding for Truesdell Education Campus improvements: $2.6 million
    – Added schools to the Capital Improvement Plan (the rankings prioritizing school modernization)

    • Whittier Education Campus (ranked 11th)
    • LaSalle-Backus Education Campus (ranked 16th)
  • Hosted a listening session with the Ward 4 Education Alliance to receive input on the selection of the next DCPS Chancellor and Deputy Mayor for Education.
  • Visited every Ward 4 school to assess needs and discuss progress with students, teachers, and administrators.

Recreation

Councilmember Todd believes that world class recreation facilities and programs are an integral part of the Ward 4 quality of life. Ward 4 saw significant investments and progress in our recreation amenities in 2018:

  • Cut the ribbon on Petworth Meditation Garden at 13th St. & Kansas Ave, NW, the first of its kind in the District.
  • Cut the ribbon on Bryce Harper Baseball Field at Takoma Community Center.
  • Opened the new soccer mini-pitch at Petworth Recreation Center and continued planning for the new playground, basketball court, and splash pad after securing $2 million in the 2018 budget.
  • Continued planning for the new Lafayette Field House after securing $4.7 million.
  • Secured funding in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget:
    – $44 million for improvements to Chevy Chase Community Center and Upshur & Shepherd Elementary Recreation Centers
    – $5.2 million for an outdoor pool at Walter Reed
    – $200,000 for erosion mitigation at Lafayette Park
    – $50,000 for resurfacing Upshur Dog Park

Seniors

 
Since taking office, Councilmember Todd has made the issues and concerns of seniors a top priority. This year, the Councilmember:

  • Secured in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget:
    – $375,000 for the Senior Dental Services program created by his legislation. Seniors will be eligible to apply for benefits when the Dept. of Health has completed designing the program guidelines.
    – $4.5 million for expanded Safe at Home eligibility
    – Additional $2.2 million for Transport DC
    – $225,000 for the Isolated Senior Outreach Program
  • Initiated or completed over 360 Ward 4 senior affordable units through the Dept. of Housing and Community Development, including 80 units at Walter Reed’s Abrams Hall.
  • Created the Todd Toolkit, a comprehensive collection of information and resources to assist seniors. Contact LaRoya Huff at (202) 724-8106 to obtain a copy.
  • Welcomed a new senior activity coordinator at Chevy Chase Community Center after securing funding in 2018 budget.
  • Hosted an “Age in Place” seminar for Ward 4 seniors with the Dept. of Housing and Community Development.
  • Served as the Age-Friendly DC Business Ambassador, identifying and supporting age-friendly businesses throughout the District.
  • Hosted the annual “State of the Ward 4 Senior” address where over 450 seniors received information and assistance from government agencies and private organizations.

Housing & Economic Development

Ward 4 is, undoubtedly, the next frontier for robust economic development in the District of Columbia. Councilmember Todd is committed to developing a sound and sustainable strategy that is collaborative and reflects the interests of ALL residents and business owners.

  • Secured in the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget:
    – $100 million for the Housing Production Trust Fund to build affordable housing.
    – $10 million for the Housing Preservation Fund for existing renovations.
    – $260,000 for the South Dakota Ave/Riggs Rd. NE Clean Team and Main Street.
    – $8.2 million for Great Streets Grants and the Neighborhood Prosperity Fund.
  • Initiated or completed 1,200 new Ward 4 affordable housing units in Fiscal Year 2018 through the Dept. of Housing & Community Development.
  • Established the Uptown Main Street to spur business development along Kennedy and Upper 14th Streets, NW and provide training and technical assistance to existing businesses.
  • Cut the ribbon on Ward 4’s Short Term Family Housing facility at 5th & Kennedy St, NW to house 45 Ward 4 families experiencing homelessness.
  • Announced a new Target store planned for Upper Georgia Avenue which will bring 55 jobs to the community upon completion in mid-late 2019.
  • Convened the Kennedy St. NW Economic Development and Small Business Revitalization Advisory Committee. 
  • Hosted the Inaugural Ward 4 Small Business Summit to connect business owners with resources and expertise.
  • The Parks at Walter Reed redevelopment project continues to progress:
    – Broke ground on 77 units of affordable housing reserved for previously-homeless DC Veterans, delivery in Summer 2019
    – Broke ground on 80 units of affordable housing reserved for seniors at Abrams Hall, delivery in Summer 2019
    – Started demolition of main hospital building, expected completion in mid-2019
    – Design and permitting underway:

    • 400 unit residential building at corner of Georgia Avenue & Aspen Street
    • Town Center with 322 apartment units and 60,000 sq. ft. of retail
    • 58 new townhomes on Aspen St between Luzon Avenue and 14th Place
    • For more updates, visit: theparksdc.com

Transportation & Infrastructure

Ward 4 residents are constantly on the move, and they deserve a safe, efficient, flexible, modern, and multi-modal transportation network. In 2018, Ward 4 made great strides toward that goal:

  • Secured in the Fiscal Year 2019 budget: 
    – $430 million for street, sidewalk, and alley repair District-wide. 
    – $178.5 million in dedicated funding for Metro to reestablish a safe and reliable system in a state of good repair. 
    – $13 million for DC Water Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge (CRIAC) fee relief, an effort begun via a piece of legislation introduced by Councilmember Todd. 
  • Broke ground on Phase I of the Met Branch Trail and continued work on the Ward 4 section’s design and alignment – constructed expected to begin in 2019/2020.
  • Completed the $10 million Kennedy St. Streetscape Improvement Project that brought new sidewalks, lighting, tree boxes, crosswalks, landscaping, public art, litter receptacles, bike racks, and curb accessibility to the corridor.
  • Added 2 new Capitol Bikeshare stations with an additional 2 coming soon.
  • Oversaw successful completion of DC Water’s Oregon Avenue sewer rehabilitation project, as well as planning and community outreach for upcoming $21 million roadway reconstruction project, expected completion in Q1 2021.
  • Completed 77 green water infrastructure projects across Ward 4 that reduce risk of flooding, improve water quality, and create good paying jobs, representing a $2 million investment.
  • Oversaw repaving of Beach Drive between Broad Branch Road/Blagden Ave NW and Joyce Rd NW; began construction on final phase between Joyce Rd, NW and Maryland border, expected completion Fall 2019.
  • Worked with the Department of Transportation to identify and resolve a myriad of issues with streets, alleys, curbs, trees and sidewalks through the Ward.

Constituent Services

From day one to now, Councilmember Todd and his office have been working to find solutions to any and all community needs and concerns. Working in tandem with the Mayor’s office and District agencies, the Councilmember’s chief objective is improving the quality of life for Ward 4 residents.

  • In 2018, our office responded to thousands of constituent service requests to help with everything from getting streets and alleys repaved, to gaining access to government programs and benefits.
  • The Councilmember has hosted multiple informational, networking and community building events for Ward 4 residents, including Ward 4 Family Fun Day, the State of the Ward 4 Senior Address, the Annual Ward 4 Holiday Party & New Coat Drive, the Ward 4 Bike Ride, Young Professionals Happy Hour, office hours in the Ward, pop-up office hours in the community, and constituent mix-and-mingles.
  • Councilmember Todd and his staff attended community, ANC, and civic meetings, bringing updates and information, taking constituent concerns and talking face to face with Ward 4 residents.

    The Ward 4 office has long held a reputation of being the hardest working in the Wilson Building. Councilmember Todd has no plans to change that — he and his staff are always ready to respond to the needs of Ward 4 residents. If you have an immediate concern you need addressed, please submit a Constituent Services Request Form through Councilmember Todd’s website, or reach out to our Constituent Services team:

Jackson Carnes
Director of Constituent Services
(o)(202) 741-5293
(c)(202) 316-9078
jcarnes@dccouncil.us

LaRoya Huff
Deputy Director of Constituent Services
(o) (202) 724-8106
(c) (202) 368-2518
Lhuff@dccouncil.us

Gary Johnson
Constituent Service Coordinator
(o)(202) 724-8029
(c) (202) 304-8123
gjohnson@dccouncil.us

Legislative

This year, Council concluded its 22nd legislative period and Councilmember Todd completed a term as Chairman of the Committee on Government Operations, which is responsible for overseeing the executive, administrative, and operational functions of the government. The Committee also oversees a wide array of offices that advocate for the diverse population of the District of Columbia. It works to ensure accountability and wise use of taxpayer dollars across the 27 offices and agencies under its purview. In Council Period 23, Councilmember Todd will again serve as Chairman of the Committee on Government Operations.

In February, Councilmember Todd conducted Government Operations oversight hearings to ensure that the quality of government services is second to none, and that our government remains accountable and responsive. In March, the Councilmember Chaired Gov Ops budget hearings to ensure that the agencies and offices under his purview are properly-resourced and are good stewards of tax payer dollars.

Councilmember Todd introduced and passed a number of bills into law in 2018: 

  • Protecting Immigrants From Extortion Amendment Act of 2018
    Expands the definition of extortion to include threatening to notify law enforcement of another person’s immigration status, if that threat is made as an attempt to obtain that person’s property, labor, or services. It is aimed at giving our immigrant neighbors a tool to prevent being extorted by unscrupulous landlords or employers. This legislation was combined with another bill to create the Sexual Blackmail Elimination and Immigrant Protection Amendment Act of 2018.
  • DC Water Consumer Protection Amendment Act of 2018 
    Gives ratepayers an advocate by authorizing the Office of the People’s Counsel to represent them when issues arise with water bills, while also bringing greater accountability to DC Water.
  • Office and Commission of Nightlife and Culture Establishment Act of 2018
    Established an office that ensures all community and government stakeholders work together on building a vibrant nightlife for the District and that neighborhood concerns related to new nightlife are ameliorated.
  • Senior Dental Services Program Act of 2017
    Established a grant program administered by the Dept. of Health that provides basic dental care services for seniors with a household income below $100,000. Seniors will be eligible to apply for benefits when the Dept. of Health is has completed designing the program guidelines.
  • Senior Strategic Plan Amendment Act of 2018
    Requires the Office on Aging to develop a ten-year Senior Strategic Plan that will serve as a long term blueprint for meeting the housing, transportation, employment, and health needs of seniors in the District.
  • Hearing Aid Assistance Program Act of 2017
    Established a Hearing Aid Assistance Program to offset the purchase of a hearing aid for residents with a household income below $100,000. Councilmember Todd will seek funding in the FY 2020 budget.
  • Maternal Mental Health Task Force Act of 2018
    Established a Maternal Mental Health Task Force to provide comprehensive policy recommendations to improve maternal mental healthcare in the District.
  • Farmer’s Market Meter Fee Elimination Amendment Act of 2018
    Protects the financial sustainability of local farmers’ markets by eliminating parking meter fees.
  • Health Literacy Council Establishment Act of 2017
    Established the District Health Literacy Council to educate District residents on the Affordable Care Act, develop a strategic plan to advance health literacy across DC, and provide better heath outcomes for DC residents.
  • Rear Facing Car Seat Safety Amendment Act of 2018
    Requires that children under two years of age be restrained in a rear-facing car seat, bringing District law into alignment with the findings of the American Academy of Pediatrics and the Centers for Disease Control – that children under two are less likely to be severely injured when riding in a rear-facing car seat than a front-facing car seat.
  • Community Residential Facilities Third-Party Notice of Utility Disconnection Requirement Act of 2017
    Requires that any company providing utility services in the District of Columbia provides 30-days’ notice to managing agencies of community residential facilities prior to disconnecting services.
  • Dining With Dogs Act of 2017
    Established the conditions under which dogs are permitted in outdoor dining areas and unenclosed sidewalk cafés.
  • Commission on Archives and Record Management Act of 2018 
    Establishes the Commission on Archives and Records Management to advise and make recommendations on the management of public records and for the collection, custody, and preservation of the official records, documents, and publications of the District of Columbia.
  • Athletic Commission Amendment Act of 2018
    Renames the Boxing and Wrestling Commission as the Athletic Commission, provides grant making authority, mandates safety requirements for amateur mixed martial arts to conform with best practices, and expands the size of the Commission from three to five
  • Office of Administrative Hearings Jurisdiction Expansion Amendment Act of 2017
    Improves government efficiency by codifying several annual memorandums of understanding for services between the Office of Administrative Hearings and other government agencies.
Councilmember Todd was also re-elected as a Vice-Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee, and remains a member of the Transportation Planning Board. In these positions, Councilmember Todd looks forward to helping implement sound regional environmental and transportation policy in 2019 and beyond.

Have a question about these laws or want to discuss a legislative idea? Contact:

Keiko Yoshino
Legislative Director
(o) (202) 724-7774
kyoshino@dccouncil.us
 

Ward 4 Council Staff

Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember
(202) 724-8052
btodd@dccouncil.us

Sherryl H. Newman
Chief of Staff 
(o) (202) 724-8052
(c) (202) 215-5455
snewman@dccouncil.us

Jackson Carnes
Director of Constituent Services
(o)(202) 741-5293
(c)(202) 316-9078
jcarnes@dccouncil.us

Keiko Yoshino
Legislative Director
(o) (202) 724-7774
(c) (202) 717-2782
kyoshino@dccouncil.us

LaRoya Huff
Deputy Director of Constituent Services
(o) (202) 724-8106
(c) (202) 368-2518
Lhuff@dccouncil.us

Dolly Turner
Deputy Chief of Staff
(o) (202) 654-6406
(c) (202) 412-2024
dturner@dccouncil.us

Gary Johnson
Constituent Service Coordinator
(o)(202) 724-8029
(c) (202) 304-8123
gjohnson@dccouncil.us

Joshua Fleitman
Director of Communications
(o) (202) 724-8191
(c) 202-294-2506
jfleitman@dccouncil.us

Manny Geraldo
Senior Legislative Counsel
(o) (202) 724-8035
mgeraldo@dccouncil.us

#Ward4Proud

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