Yesterday, Council unanimously passed the second and final vote on the Fiscal Year 2019 budget. This $14.5 billion budget is the result of dozens of public forums and hearings, thousands of pages of testimony, and hundreds of hours of thoughtful advocacy from engaged residents. I am proud to affix my signature to this document, which is a reflection of our DC values, as well as the enormous progress we have made and the important work we have left to do as a city. From education and recreation, to public safety, to human services, housing, infrastructure, and beyond, this budget makes the strategic investments necessary to build a thriving, safe, and inclusive District.
Ward 4 boasts significant investments in this budget. We continue to fund our schools, protecting modernizations at West, Coolidge, Dorothy Height, Truesdell, and Raymond, and maintaining Whittier and LaSalle Backus on the Capital Improvement Plan. We invest in Ward 4 recreation amenities at Upshur Dog Park, which will soon get resurfaced, as well as improvements to Chevy Chase Community Center, a new gym and multi-purpose room at Shepherd Elementary School, and construction of the Walter Reed pool.
District-wide, education also remains a top priority, with $32 million allocated for early child care affordability and out of school time programs, as well as $1 million in funding for field trips to artistic and cultural performances and study abroad experiences. This budget prioritizes transportation infrastructure by providing the District’s share of a historic regional agreement on dedicated funding for Metro, allowing our transit system to leverage those funds for additional resources. We fund new public safety initiatives and training, including an expansion of the police cadet program, funding for community-based violence interruption grants, and sustained resources for the popular Private Security Camera Incentive Program. This budget funds innovative health and human services programs such as my Senior Dental Services bill and the increased cigarette tax. It provides for over $30 million in dedicated funding for the arts, and $12 million in funds for relief from high water fees. We direct millions of dollars toward revitalizing neighborhoods with new commercial and residential development, including critically important affordable housing programs.
Thank you to everyone inside and outside the government for your contributions to this budget. I am confident that this collaborative effort has secured the District on a path for continued progress in Fiscal Year 2019.
Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
Legislative Meeting: On Tuesday, May 29th, the Council met in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building for discussion and passage of the Fiscal Year 2019 Local Budget Act. The final vote for the Fiscal Year 2019 Budget Support Act will take place June 5, 2018.
Wednesday, June 6 Committee on Government Operations, 10:00AM RM412
“District of Columbia Paperwork Reduction and Data Collection Act of 2017” B22-574
As introduced, this bill establishes a Data Sharing and Paperwork Advisory Council to improve efficiencies in data collection, information sharing, and information resources management to serve as an advisory body to the Mayor, the Council, and District agencies.
“Comprehensive Boards and Commissions Review Amendment Act of 2018” B22-741
As introduced, this bill requires a comprehensive review of certain boards and commissions every 2 years. The Mayor is required to promulgate rules establishing criteria for evaluating boards and commissions.
Wednesday, June 13 Committee on Education, 10:00AM RM412
Graduation Rate Accountability Roundtable
For more information regarding hearings or legislation, please contact my Legislative Director, Keiko Yoshino, at email@example.com or (202) 724-8052.
Public Safety In Ward 4 & the District
With this past weekend’s recent spike in violence, I have heard from residents who are understandably concerned about public safety as we enter the summer months. One of the most important parts of my job is working with the community, law enforcement, and other components of our government to ensure that we prevent violence.
I remain in constant communication with Commanders Griffin (Fourth District) and Gresham (Second District), as well as Chief Newsham, and have been actively advocating to ensure that Ward 4 has all the resources we need to effectively patrol our neighborhoods. The Fourth District is implementing an aggressive deployment plan in targeted areas to ensure a full compliment of officers is available. The full resources of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) are out to deter future criminal activity and bring to justice those who commit crimes. The Fourth District Crime Suppression Team continues to focus on violent crime, and has recovered over 40 illegal guns this year alone.
You can do your part to keep our neighborhoods safe. Please do not hesitate to call 911 immediately if you observe suspicious activity or criminal conduct. This information is vital to our government’s response. I also encourage everyone to participate in the Private Security Camera Incentive Program. When the cameras catch criminal acts, the footage helps MPD investigate and arrest, and aids with successful prosecution of violent criminals. Information on how you can participate in the program can be found here: ovsjg.dc.gov/service/private-security-camera-system-incentive-program.
While strong law enforcement is obviously a critical component of fighting crime, I would also like to highlight alternative strategies that the District is pursuing in a whole-of-government effort to prevent violence. Council passed and funded, and the Executive continues to implement theNEAR Act (Neighborhood Engagement Achieves Results) — a comprehensive piece of public safety legislation that includes a number of provisions, a critical one being the creation of the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement (ONSE). This new office fosters a community-oriented model of violence prevention and public safety by employing a strategy rooted in a public health approach. They create the opportunity to work with communities to improve public safety without relying solely on law enforcement efforts. We cannot merely arrest our way to safer neighborhoods; we need to build safer neighborhoods by working with the residents in a collaborative partnership.
Councilmember Todd, District Leadership Break Ground On Affordable Veterans Housing at Walter Reed
Last Friday, Councilmember Todd was delighted to break ground on 77 new affordable housing units at Walter Reed, reserved exclusively for veterans who have been homeless. It was an excellent way to kick off the Memorial Day weekend — serving those who have served our nation while continuing investment in affordable housing and advancing the redevelopment of Water Reed. Councilmember Todd looks forward to cutting the ribbon on the completed Abrams Hall!
Councilmember Todd Unveils
Marvel-Themed Little Library At Upshur Park
Last Saturday, Councilmember Todd joined Little Free Library, the Community Alliance for Upper Fourteenth Street (CAUFS), the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), children’s book author Jesse Holland, and members of the community to unveil a new Marvel-themed “Little Library” at Upshur Park. This investment is great way to kick off the summer reading season and open up the wonderful world of books for our young people. As one of 70,000 across the nation, this Marvel-themed little library will bring fun, engaging books directly to children in our community. Councilmember Todd looks forward to this resource helping our youth strengthen reading skills, spark curiosity, and build a lifelong love of learning.
Last Wednesday, Councilmember Todd’s Ward 4 Arts, Humanities, and Culture Advisory Committee, Humanities DC, and Councilmember Todd hosted a Meet & Greet at the home of DC Arts and Humanities Commissioner Darrin Glymph. Councilmember Todd was delighted to celebrate $30 million in dedicated arts funding in the FY19 budget, and had a great evening supporting the arts, humanities, and culture in Ward 4 and the District. Thank you to Commissioner Glymph for opening up your lovely Crestwood home for this occasion, and to Advisory Committee Co-Chairs Joy Ford Austin and George Koch for helping make the event such a success!
To view the full photo album from the event, click HERE. Interested in serving on the Ward 4 Arts, Humanities and Culture Advisory Committee, or getting involved in the local art scene? Contact Dolly Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 724-8052.
Councilmember Todd Attends Mundo Verde PCS
Spring Expo On Water Quality
Today, Councilmember Todd joined DC Water Interim General Manager Henderson Brown at the Mundo Verde Public Charter School for the third grade Spring Expo. The students have been working hard researching issues surrounding the environmental protection of our water supply, including plastics and other pollution, as well as how infrastructure such as the Clean Rivers Project and permeable pavement helps protect our environment and improve water quality. Councilmember Todd was extremely impressed with the thoughtful, articulate presentations, and looks forward to seeing these bright young scholars apply their new knowledge toward protecting our environment and improving our world. The next step for the students is a presentation to the DC Water Board at their upcoming meeting.
To learn more about Mundo Verde PCS and their unique bi-lingual, environmental curriculum, visit www.mundoverdepcs.org.
June is Caribbean-American Heritage
& Caribbean Cuisine Month
June 1st marks the beginning of Caribbean-American Heritage and Caribbean Cuisine Month! Ward 4 has the largest Caribbean population in the District, and Councilmember Todd is delighted to spend the month of June celebrating all that Caribbean-Americans contribute to our community.
To learn Caribbean cuisine recipes and get free promotions and discounts, follow Caribbean Cuisine Month on facebook.
Join Councilmember Todd For The
Kennedy Street Revitalization Project Ribbon Cutting:
Friday, June 1st, 11 AM, 200 Block of Kennedy St,NW
Join Councilmember Todd For Petworth Meditation Garden Ribbon Cutting Ceremony:
Sunday, June 3, 3 PM
You are invited to join Councilmember Todd, Mayor Muriel Bowser, the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR), Department of General Services (DGS), and members of the community to officially cut the ribbon on the beautiful new meditation garden at 13th St/Quincy St/Kansas Ave, NW. The ceremony will take place on Sunday, June 3rd at 3:00 PM. Councilmember Todd is proud to have led the charge on bringing the first meditation garden in the District to Ward 4, and encourages everyone to stop by and enjoy this beautiful recreation amenity.
Conversations: MPD On The Patio,
Second Installment Saturday, June 16th, 9 – 11 AM, Slim’s Diner Patio
Do you have concerns related to public safety? Do you want to get to know the Metropolitan Police Department Officers who help keep us safe and build stronger community ties with the police? Come to “Conversations: MPD on the Patio,” for an informal “chat and chew” with members of Patrol Service Area 407. They will be on the Patio of Slim’s Diner (4201 Georgia Ave, NW) from 9 AM to 11 AM on Saturday June 16th, July 21st, August 18th, and September 15th. All are welcome, no appointments necessary.