With the Council’s legislative period concluding at the end of the year, my colleagues and I are working feverishly to give final approval to a number of important bills. You can read more about yesterday’s busy Council meeting in the below legislative update, but I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the progress of legislation I have introduced. Yesterday, three of my bills passed their final votes.
The Protecting Immigrants From Extortion Amendment Act 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, and was fully passed yesterday. I am proud to help double down on the District’s sanctuary city status and provide necessary protections for our immigrant neighbors.
Yesterday Council also passed the Rear Facing Car Seat Safety Amendment Act, whichrequires that children under two years of age be restrained in a rear-facing car seat. This would bring 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. As the District continues its effort to implement Vision Zero, the goal of zero transportation-related fatalities by 2024, this legislation will help keep some of our most vulnerable passengers safe on the road.
Finally, Council passed the Athletic Commission Amendment Act, which 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.
Council also passed two of my other bills on first vote. The DC Water Consumer Protection Amendment Act gives ratepayers an advocate byallowing the Office of the People’s Counsel to represent them when issues arise with water bills, while also bringing greater accountability to DC Water. And the Senior Strategic Plan Amendment Act would require the Office on Aging to develop a ten-year Senior Strategic Plan that will serve as a long-term blueprint for managing and responding to the growth of the District’s senior population.
I look forward to giving final approval to these bills and others at Council Period 22’s final legislative meeting on December 18th. In 2019 and beyond, I will continue to look for new legislative solutions that improve the quality of life for Ward 4 residents.
Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
Committee of the Whole & Legislative Meeting: On Tuesday, December 4th, the Council met in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building for an additional Committee of the Whole and regular Legislative Meeting.
These bills passed their final vote:
Eviction with Dignity Act of 2018 Creates a notice that states the tenant has the right to access his or her belongings for purposes of removing them from the rental unit; at times agreed to by the parties during the 7-day in-unit storage period, excluding Sundays and federal holidays; for no fewer than 16 total hours between the hours of 8:00 am and 6:00 pm; over a period of not more than two days; and without requiring payment of rent or service fees from the tenant
Lead Water Service Line Replacement and Disclosure Amendment Act of 2018 Establishes and sets eligibility requirements and an application process for a lead waterline pipe replacement voucher program for income-eligible District residents.
Leaf Blower Regulation Amendment Act of 2018 Prohibits the sale, offer for sale, or use of gasoline-powered leaf blowers in the District, beginning on January 1, 2022. A person who violates this order shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500.
Program for All Inclusive Care for the Elderly Establishment Act of 2018 (PACE) Establishes a program for the purposes of enhancing quality of life, maximizes dignity of, and autonomy of eligible individuals
Breast Density Screening Notification Amendment Act of 2018 Requires health care facilities to notify patients of mammogram results tending to show high breast density in the summary of the mammography report.
Revise Synthetics Abatement and Full Enforcement Drug Control Amendment Act of 2018 Amends DC Controlled Substances Act to add classes and analogs of synthetic cathinones and cannabinoids to the list making prosecution more efficient.
Internet Sales Tax Amendment Act of 2018 Requires internet sales tax be collected from online retailers who do not have a physical presence in the District of Columbia and directs any revenue to go towards lowering the commercial real property tax rate class 2 from $1.89 per $100 of assessed value to the previous rate of $1.85.
Campaign Finance Reform Amendment Act of 2018 Amends campaign finance law (Beginning Nov. 4, 2020) to inhibit contract bidders and subsequent awardees from donating to elected officials within a year of their award of contract.
Wage Garnishment Fairness Amendment Act of 2018 Provides additional statutory protections from excessive wage garnishment for low- and moderate-income judgment debtors
Fare Evasion Decriminalization Amendment Act of 2018 Decriminalizes the charge of fair evasion by making it a civil offense punishable by fine instead of a criminal offense punishable by imprisonment.
Sexual Abuse Statute of Limitations Amendment Act of 2018 Eliminates the criminal statute of limitations for first, second, third and fourth degree sexual abuse.
These bills passed first vote:
CleanEnergy DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 Increases renewable portfolio standards to 100% and cuts greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2032. An amendment was offered and accepted to the bill that would require utilities to get approval from the Public Service Commission before increasing rates to recoup lost revenue.
Economic Development Return on Investment Accountability Amendment Act of 2018 Would expand the list of economic development incentives that must be tracked in the Unified Economic Development Budget Report to include all incentives used for the purpose of economic development or creating affordable housing, including any funds or resources from the District, or funds the District government administers.
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 Requires property owners to abate a housing code violation within 30 days. Requires inspectors to notify the Office of the Attorney General of any Class 1, 2, 3, 4, infractions that have not been abated within 6 months. Creates new notice of abatement and new penalties for housing code violations that have not been abated after 6 months. Establishes timelines for housing code violation to be conducted at the Office of Administrative Hearings.
East End Grocery Incentive Act of 2018 Establishes an East End Grocery Construction Incentive Program within the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to incentivize the establishment of new grocery stores in Ward 7 & 8.
District of Columbia Education Research Advisory Board and Collaborative Establishment Amendment Act of 2018 Creates at RPP “Research Practice Partnership” a long-term entity that will produce independent education research to the government. The Auditor will conduct an audit of the District’s education agencies, data management, and collection policies and procedures. Additionally, the bill creates an advisory committee of 21 individuals including parents and former teachers.
District Government Employee Residency Amendment Act of 2018 Strengthens and clarifies existing law that requires certain government employees to establish District residency and improve verification and enforcement of residency requirements.
School Safety Act of 2018 Requires all K-12 schools in the District of Columbia to formulate and make public policy for preventing and responding to sexual abuse of children by staff;
Parent-led Play Cooperative Amendment Act of 2018 This bill amends the Child Development Facilities Regulation Act of 1998 to differentiate between formal and informal parent-led play cooperatives, and to exempt parent-led play cooperatives from the requirements of the act.
Firearms Safety Omnibus Amendment Act of 2018 Prohibits issuing a firearm registration certificate to anyone who has, within the five years preceding the application, been convicted of violating an extreme risk protection order, or who has been committed to a mental institution.
Gas Station Advisory Board Abolishment Amendment Act of 2018 Abolishes the Gas Station Advisory Board and provides that DOEE shall execute its duties on behalf of the Mayor going forward.
Safe Fields and Playgrounds Act of 2018 Establishes standards for testing, maintenance and communication with the public about artificial turf.
Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2018 The proposed legislation would legalize sports wagering and require the Office of the Chief Financial Officer (“OCFO”) to adopt rules and regulations governing the conduct of sports wagering in the District.
Public Restroom Facilities Installation and Promotion Act of 2018 Creates two pilots, the first pilot installs 2 bathrooms after the working group decides the location and the second pilot provides financial incentive pilot to businesses in a BID that allow bathrooms to be used by public
Disabled Veterans Homestead Exemption Act of 2018 Exempts veterans classified as having a total permanent disability or that are paid at a 100% disability rating level, from a portion of the property taxes assessed on his or her primary residence
This bill was postponed for December 18th:
East End Health Equity Amendment of 2018 Allows for negotiations regarding a new integrated GW Hospital at St. Elizabeths to continue by exempting GW Hospital from the Certificate of Need process.
For more information regarding hearings or legislation, please contact my Legislative Director, Keiko Yoshino, at email@example.com or (202) 724-8052.
Week In Review
Councilmember Todd Celebrates the Holidays
Last Friday evening, Councilmember Todd enjoyed spending time with Ward 4 neighbors at the Walter Reed Holiday Celebration and Tree Lighting Ceremony. Neighbors enjoyed s’mores, hot chocolate, holiday snacks, and a performance by the Gay Men’s Choir. Councilmember Todd was delighted to help light the tree and looks forward to doing it again next year!
On Monday evening, Councilmember Todd joined Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld of Ohev Sholom – The National Synagogue, as he hosted a Chanukah candle lighting celebration with Shepherd Park neighbors. Councilmember Todd enjoyed singing and dancing with Jewish neighbors and wishes everyone a very happy 4th night of Chanukah tonight!
Mark Your Calendar
18th Annual Ward 4 Holiday Party & New Coat Drive:
Saturday, December 8th, 6 – 8 PM, Lafayette Elementary
With the holiday season fully upon us, Councilmember Todd extends an invitation to join him for the 18th Annual Ward 4 Holiday Party on Saturday, December 8th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Lafayette Elementary School (5701 Broad Branch Road, NW). Per tradition, the event will feature hors d’oeuvres, a dessert bar with the delicious creations of Ward 4 residents, valet parking, and seasonal music and activities. As in years past, the party will also serve as a New Coat Drive to help keep Ward 4 youth warm this winter. Councilmember Todd’s office has identified over 400 Ward 4 young people in need.If you are interested in donating a coat, please email Keiko Yoshino at firstname.lastname@example.org or call my office at (202) 724-8052.
If you are interested in volunteering at the party or contributing a sweet treat to the dessert bar, please contact Dolly Turner at email@example.com or call Councilmember Todd’s office at (202) 724-8052. RSVP on facebook or Nextdoor. The Councilmember looks forward to celebrating the season and enjoying fun and festive cheer with Ward 4 neighbors on December 8th!
Ward 4 Small Business Opportunities
You are invited to a special mixer for Certified Business Enterprises (CBEs) on Thursday, December 6th from 1:30 – 3:30 PM to learn about upcoming business opportunities related to Children’s National’s new Research and Innovation Hub being constructed on the Walter Reed Campus!
Also join The Parks at Walter Reed for their small business outreach event on Thursday, December 13th from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at Emery Heights Community Center (5701 Georgia Ave, NW). Come learn about and prepare for upcoming partnerships at the Parks at Walter Reed. RSVP Required at firstname.lastname@example.org
Register For Visitor Parking Passes With DDOT
The Visitor Parking Pass (VPP) program is designed to allow guests of District residents to park for more than two hours on Residential Permit Parking (RPP) zoned blocks. To qualify for a visitor parking pass, you must live on a RPP block.
Registration is now open for the 2019 VPP program. Qualifed residents may register here: vpp.ddot.dc.gov/vpp/
Leaf Collection Update
From the Department of Public Works (DPW), November 30th:
Due to recent heavy rains and some snow, leaf collections are slightly behind schedule. DPW crews are currently working on Section D in Ward 4. Please continue to rake your leaves into your tree box (or at the curb if there is no tree box) according to the original schedule, so that our crews can collect them as soon as possible. We thank you for your understanding and patience.
For more information about leaf collection in the District, please visit our web page: dpw.dc.gov/service/leaf-and-holiday-tree-collection. There is a link on the page to register to receive alerts about when DPW’s leaf collection crews will be coming to your neighborhood.
DPW also provides an interactive map of leaf collections that can be viewed here: leaf.dpw.dc.gov/leafcollection/. Instructions for using the map are provided on the page.
Protect Your Pipes From the Cold, Prepare For Winter
DC Water shares these tips on how to prepare for winter and prevent frozen pipes in your home:
Preparing Pipes in Your Home for Winter Weather
When water standing inside a pipe freezes, it can expand causing the pipe to break. Pipes that freeze are often exposed to the outside or are in unheated interior areas such as kitchen cabinets, attics, garages, basements and crawl spaces.
Before the onset of cold weather, help prevent frozen pipes by following these recommendations:
Remove, drain and store garden hoses.
Close the inside valves, or bibs, that control the water supply to outside hose attachment.
Open the outside hose bibs to allow any water in the line to drain out. Keep this outside valve open so that any water remaining in the pipe can expand without causing the pipe to break.
You may want to install a “pipe sleeve” for water pipes that are not insulated. Building supply stores carry these and other supplies for insulating pipes.
If you go away for an extended time during cold weather, leave the temperature set above 55 degrees before you leave.
In severe cold weather, let cold water drip from faucets served by exposed pipes. The cold water is still above freezing and will help prevent the pipe from freezing.
How to Thaw Frozen Pipes
Open the faucet so that water will flow through the pipe once the area is melted. Next, apply heat to or around the pipe. Keep all sources of heat away from flammable materials and do not use any open flame devices. Also, do not use devices that will cause the melted ice to boil, as that can also cause pipes to break.
Call a licensed plumber if you cannot locate the frozen section, you are unable to reach it, or you are unable to thaw it.
Pipes outside your home may freeze, especially if exposed to air. Since moving water does not freeze, it is suggested to leave a faucet dripping at the lowest level of the house to prevent the pipes from freezing. If outside pipes do freeze, you should apply heat to slowly thaw the pipes and allow the water to flow. Never attempt to thaw pipes using an open flame of any kind.
For emergency service inside your home contact a licensed plumber. Call the DC Water 24-hour emergency hotline at 202-612-3400 for water emergencies on public property.
Tips To Prevent Package Theft This Holiday Season
Metropolitan Police Department Fourth District Lieutenant Anthony Washington shares these tips for reducing the risk of package theft this holiday season:
Have the packages delivered to your workplace or redirected to your neighbor or relative’s house
Use signature delivery confirmation options when ordering
Leave specific instructions to the shipper on how you want your package delivered and where
Pay extra for insurance coverage
Have the packages delivered to shipping service site “Amazon Locker”
Establish a “Neighborhood Watch Group” (The presence of neighbors watching may prevent thefts from occurring. Never engage a potential suspect. Be a good witness!!!)
Pick up at your local post office
Use the Doorman App (Private service wherein packages are delivered to a local Doorman warehouse. Doorman then notifies the user when it receives the users package via its smartphone app. When a user wants their package(s) delivered, he or she opens the app and schedules package delivery during the one or two-hour delivery window of their choice.)