The Council is now in the midst of one of its most critical functions: oversight of the agencies tasked with implementing the laws and policies of our city. Directors of government agencies come before the relevant DC Council Committee to report on their actions and programs, and answer questions from Councilmembers. Agency stakeholders and clients are also afforded the opportunity to testify on their experience, the quality of service, and areas for improvement. The annual oversight process is a crucial accountability mechanism, ensuring that the branches of government check one another and that residents have the opportunity to make their voices heard.
Over the past few weeks, my staff and I have been working diligently to prepare for our oversight hearings. As Chairman of the Committee on Government Operations, I have direct oversight of 37 agencies, offices, and commissions that span the executive, administrative, and operational functions of the government, as well as a wide array of offices that advocate for the diverse populations of the District. I have been engaging and will continue to engage these offices and the residents they serve in a substantive conversation about how we can do an even better job of representing your interests and addressing your concerns.
In an effort to gain an understanding of what is most important to Ward 4 residents, I invite you to participate in the oversight process. In the legislative update below, see upcoming oversight hearing dates and a link to information on how you can register to testify in-person or submit written testimony.
Oversight is all about accountability. And accountability only works when everyone gets involved and shares their input. I thank you for being a part of the process of building an even better government.
Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
Committee of the Whole:
On Tuesday, February 19th, the Council will meet in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building for their regularly scheduled Committee of the Whole and additional Legislative Meeting.
The Committee on Government Operations held three performance oversight hearings for over nine offices this past week, including the Executive of the Mayor and City Administrator’s Office.
On Tuesday, February 12th, Councilmember Todd and his staff attended the first 6 hours of acting DCPS Chancellor Dr. Ferebee’s confirmation hearing. With over thirty public witnesses, many were interested in hearing a commitment from the Chancellor about expanding multilingual education opportunities East and West of the River. The Councilmember pressed the Chancellor on his plans to hire, support, and retain quality teachers, provide principals with more job stability than a one-year contract, and how to address the school environment of systemic stress and fear to get test scores up. The Councilmember reaffirmed his commitment to digital literacy and his expectation that the acting Chancellor will work closely with Office of the Chief Technology Officer to implement a sustainable technology plan for our students and teachers.
For more information regarding hearings or legislation, please contact my Legislative Director, Keiko Yoshino, at email@example.com or (202) 724-8052.
Ward 4 Black History Month Profile
Sam Gilliam is a pillar of the Washington, DC modern and contemporary art communities, an internationally acclaimed abstract painter, and a Ward 4 resident. Gilliam is associated with both the Washington Color School and the Lyrical Abstraction movement. During the 1960s, he began experimenting with folding and draping canvases, creating innovative works which became known as his signature “drape paintings.” These large-scale, brightly colored works were regarded as a major step forward for the development of abstract art. Gilliam is also a committed educator and has said, “Whether I am teaching or making art, the process is fundamentally the same: I am creating.” He was born in Tupelo, Mississippi on November 30, 1933 and graduated from University of Louisville with a BFA in 1955. He taught first at Washington public schools and later at the Maryland Institute College of Art, the University of Maryland, and Carnegie Mellon. In 2005, a major retrospective of his work was held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. His works are also held in The Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the Tate Modern in London.
Week In Review
Councilmember Todd & DDOT Host First Public Workshop
Of The Rock Creek East 1 Livability Study
Last Wednesday evening, Councilmember Todd and the District Dept. of Transportation (DDOT) hosted the first community meeting on the Rock Creek East I Livability Study, an evaluation of much of Ward 4’s transportation network that looks for opportunities to improve safety, accessibility, and multi-modal network connectivity. Councilmember Todd was proud to secure funding for this study, and looks forward to collaborating with DDOT and the community on taking a system-wide approach to strategically investing in our transportation network.
If you missed the meeting or you have more comments to provide, please review the information that was displayed at the meeting on the project website and submit comments throughFebruary 22, 2019.
Councilmember Todd & Community Celebrate
One-Year Anniversary Of Uptown Main Street
Last Wednesday evening, Councilmember Todd joined neighbors to celebrate the first anniversary of Ward 4’s Uptown Main Street (UMS), which provides technical assistance and grant funding support to existing and prospective businesses along the Upper 14th Street, NW and Kennedy Street, NW corridors. Councilmember Todd was proud to secure funding to establish the Uptown Main Street. He shares his sincere thanks and congratulations to UMS Executive Director Jordan Haferbier, the Board of Directors, and the community partners who have made the first year of UMS such a success. Councilmember Todd looks forward to seeing UMS continue to bring new investment and revitalization to the Upper 14th Street, NW and Kennedy Street, NW corridors.
Councilmember Todd Celebrates Chinese New Year,
Marches In Downtown Parade
On Saturday, Councilmember Todd celebrated the Chinese New Year by marching in the annual downtown parade with Ward 4 residents, members of the Chinese-American community, and the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs. Councilmember Todd wishes all a very happy Year of the Pig!
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. If you have questions, please contact Jackson Carnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 724-8052.
Ward 4 Constituent Mix & Mingle Happy Hour:
Thursday, Feb 28th, 6:30 – 8:30 PM, Capitol Cider House
Ward 4 has two census tracts designated as opportunity zones (OZ), a new federal program created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 that provides tax incentives for investments in new businesses and commercial projects. There are two OZ events coming up:
Public Hearing Rescheduled for 2/14
In October, the U.S. Department of Treasury and IRS released proposed implementation regulations on Opportunity Zones. The public hearing on these regulations has been rescheduled for February 14, 2019 at 10 AM. The hearing is being held in the Auditorium, Internal Revenue Service Building, 1111 Constitution Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20224. Email FDMS.email@example.com to be placed on the building access list to attend the hearing. Due to building security procedures, visitors must enter at the Constitution Avenue entrance and present a valid photo ID.
Workshop for DC Businesses
On February 26th, the DC Chamber of Commerce and the DC Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development will host an event to explore how OZ can support operating businesses. Growing small to medium-sized operating businesses and entrepreneurs located in or considering expanding to a DC Opportunity Zone are encouraged to attend. See the event flyer for details.
For more information on Opportunity Zones in Washington, DC, visit oppzones.dc.gov.
Summer Youth Employment Program
Application Deadline: February 16th
The application for the Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program opened on Thursday, January 17th at 12PM. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis and must be received by Saturday, February 16, 2019. For more information about the dynamic program, which provides young adults, age 14-24, with the opportunity to strengthen their resume and gain valuable life-skills, please visit www.summerjobs.dc.gov.
Healthy Start, Healthy Heart Breakfast For Seniors: Monday, February 18th, 10 AM
Xi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. will host a Healthy Start, Healthy Heart Breakfast for Seniors on Monday February 18 at 10 am! Seniors can stop by Xi Omega Center,4411 14th St NW, Washington, DC 20011, for a free heart-healthy meal, and nutritional tips and exercise demonstrations on maintaining a healthy heart.