Ward 4 Weekly — 6/6/18


June 6, 2018

Dear Neighbor,

As we enter the month of June, the season of graduations and commencements is upon us. This is a time to celebrate the accomplishments of our scholars and bring together friends, family, and the community to honor the importance of education. It is an additional reminder of the centrality of education to so many things that we hold dear — a sense of purpose, pride, and empowerment.

Ward 4 is fortunate to be home to so many excellent public, private, parochial, and charter schools. These sacred halls of learning and knowledge scattered throughout our community not only drive the next generation’s future prosperity, but they are also a focal point of civic engagement, fostering parent-teacher organizations, bringing neighbors together at fundraisers and bake sales, and showing our youth the power of working together toward collective community goals.

To the scholars of Ward 4 and your families: as you celebrate your commencements and graduation ceremonies — from preschool, to elementary school, to middle school, to high school, to higher education — know that your community takes pride and joy in your accomplishments. I look forward to personally joining many of you on your big day and extending my congratulations. Know that your entire community celebrates with you, wishes you the best of luck in your future endeavors, and cannot wait to see what you accomplish next!


Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4

Legislative Update

Legislative Meeting: On Tuesday, June 5th, the Council will meet in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building for their monthly Legislative Meeting.  Councilmember Todd introduced the “Commission on Archives and Records Management Act of 2018.”

Councilmember Todd’s Introductions:

  • “Commission on Archives and Records Management Act of 2018”
    • The bill 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.
    • The bill also requires the Commission to develop a District Archives and Records Management Action Plan.
Upcoming Hearings: 
 Wednesday, June 13
Committee on Education, 10:00AM RM412
  • Graduation Rate Accountability Roundtable
Friday, June 22
Committee on Health, 10:00AM RM500
  • “Omnibus Assisted Living Residence Improvement and Quality Long Term Care Act of 2018” B22-0689
    As introduced, this bill establishes standards for Department of Health inspection of resident files and resident agreements. It establishes the right to civil action against an Assisted Living Residence (ALR) for violations. It requires an ALR to develop policies for daily operations, treatment plans, grievances and emergencies. It requires certain staff to resident ratios. It sets standards for transfer and discharge of residents and establishes a resident’s absolute right to reside in and have access to one’s living unit at all times.
  • “Study of Long-Term Care Services and Supports Act of 2018” B22-690
    As introduced, this bill requires the Department of Health to conduct a study to evaluate availability of affordable long-term care facilities, services and supports for residents of the District of Columbia. Among other things the study will provide a projection of the number of DC residents who will require facility-based and home and community-based long-term care services over the next 10 years and provide any recommendations deemed appropriate for the development of needed service capacity.
For more information regarding hearings or legislation, please contact my Legislative Director, Keiko Yoshino, at kyoshino@dccouncil.us or (202) 724-8052.

Special Note

 Ward 4 Residents Colby & Gwendolyn King, Dr. Vivian Pinn
& Dr. Roselyn Epps Honored By Howard University

Councilmember Todd is proud to highlight the recognition of four incredible Ward 4 residents by Howard University. 

Colbert I. King received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. King writes a weekly column that runs in The Washington Post. In 2003, King won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary for “his against-the-grain columns that speak to people in power with ferocity and wisdom.” King joined the Post’s editorial board in 1990 and served for several years as deputy editorial page editor. Earlier in his career, he was an executive vice president of Riggs National Bank, U.S. executive director of the World Bank, a deputy assistant secretary at the Treasury Department, Democratic staff director of the U.S. Senate’s District of Columbia Committee, a State Department diplomat stationed at the U.S. embassy in Bonn, Germany and a commissioned officer in the U.S. Army Adjutant General’s Corps. King grew up in Washington, D.C. He is married to Gwendolyn King, whom he met at Howard University while they were both undergraduates.

Gwendolyn Stewart King received the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. She is president of Podium Prose, a speaker’s bureau and speechwriting service in Washington, D.C. Prior to the launch of the company, King was senior vice president of corporate and public affairs for PEPCO (now known as Exelon) until her retirement in 1998. From 1989 to 1992, she served as the eleventh Commissioner of Social Security. She held high-level U.S. government appointments in inter-governmental affairs, women’s business enterprise and Social Security from President Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush. King graduated cum laude from Howard University and has received the Alumni Award for Postgraduate Achievement. In 2008, she and her husband established the Gwendolyn S. and Colbert I. King Endowed Chair in Public Policy at Howard University.

Dr. Vivian W. Pinn received an honorary Doctor of Science. Dr. Pinn was the first full-time director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and was associate director for research on women’s health. She held these positions from 1991 until her retirement in 2011. During that time, she established and co-chaired the NIH Committee on Women in Biomedical Careers with the NIH Director. Since her retirement, she was named a senior scientist emerita at the NIH Fogarty International Center. Pinn came to NIH from the Howard University College of Medicine where she had been professor and chair of the Department of Pathology since 1982, the third woman in the United States to hold such an appointment. She was honored by the College of Medicine as one of its “Magnificent Professors” in 2014.  For the first time in its storied history, Howard University has established a university-wide chair that is multidisciplinary in its scope.

The Roselyn Payne Epps, M.D. University Chair is founded to recognize and honor the countless contributions of Dr. Epps as a renowned physician, educator, administrator, mentor, and leader. A graduate of both the undergraduate and medical colleges at Howard University, Roselyn Payne Epps, M.D., M.P.H., M.A. was a pioneer in medicine and public service. Her leadership and contributions in the fields of pediatrics, maternal and child health, public health, and community advocacy are unparalleled. The University Chair will not only reflect her broad interests and influence, but also serve as the model of excellence that is represented by her illustrious career. It is fitting and proper to celebrate her achievements in this way.

Week In Review

 Councilmember Todd Celebrates Career Day
Across Ward 4 Schools

Last week. Councilmember Todd participated in a number of career days at schools throughout Ward 4. Last Thursday he visited Lafayette Elementary School’s American History class to hear from students about their concerns and ideas for improving the school, and discussed the work of being Ward 4 Councilmember. Thursday afternoon, Councilmember Todd presented to Barnard Elementary’s 3rd and 5th graders for career day. On Friday, the Councilmember presented at Imagine Hope Lamond Public Charter School, as well as LaSalle-Backus Education Campus. The students asked great questions and Councilmember Todd enjoyed his time with some extremely bright, young Ward 4  scholars.  

Councilmember Todd, District Leaders Cut Ribbon On New Kennedy Street, NW

Last Friday, Councilmember Todd joined District and neighborhood leadership to cut the ribbon on the Kennedy Street Revitalization Project. This $10 million investment brought new sidewalks, lighting, tree boxes, crosswalks, landscaping, public art, litter receptacles, bike racks, and curb accessibility to Kennedy Street. Councilmember Todd was proud to work with Mayor Bowser on completing this critical project, which is already spurring new investment and growth along this critical commercial corridor.

This ribbon cutting follows a number of actions that Councilmember Todd has taken to continue the revitalization of Kennedy Street. Soon after taking office, he introduced legislation that created the Kennedy Street, NW Economic Development and Small Business Revitalization Advisory Committee. Councilmember Todd was also integral in obtaining funding for the newUptown Main Street, which works to support business investment along Kennedy and Upper 14th Streets, NW.

Kennedy Street is open for business and looks better than ever! 

Councilmember Todd Wears Orange
For Gun Violence Awareness Day

Last Friday, June 1st, Councilmember Todd joined Americans across the country in wearing orange to mark National Gun Violence Awareness Day. Councilmember Todd is committed to working with law enforcement, social and human services agencies, and the community on building a gun free DC where everyone feels safe.

To learn more about National Gun Violence Awareness Day, visit: bradycampaign.org/orange

Councilmember Todd Celebrates Diversity

Councilmember Todd recently celebrated the diversity of Ward 4 and the District at two events. Last week, he kicked off Caribbean Cuisine Month at Spark Caribbean-Inspired Smokehouse. The Councilmember was delighted to present a Ceremonial Resolution recognizing the occasion. He remarked that Ward 4 has the largest Caribbean-American population in the District, and has long been the historic home of DC’s Caribbean-American Community, so marking Caribbean Cuisine Month and Caribbean-American Heritage Month was especially important.

Tuesday, Councilmember Todd attended the Immigrant Heritage Month Celebration at the Reeves Center. Standing with the Directors of the Mayor’s Offices on Latinao Affairs, Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs, and African Affairs, Councilmember Todd remarked that the District’s commitment to our immigrant community is ironclad. From expanding Immigrant Justice Legal Services grant funding, to remaining a sanctuary city, the District values the diverse perspectives and experiences that our immigrants bring, and will continue to remain a welcoming and inclusive city for people of all backgrounds and nationalities.

Mark Your Calendar

Ward 4 Family Fun Day
Saturday, June 23rd, 3 – 5:30PM

You’re invited to join Councilmember Todd for the 18th Annual Ward 4 Family Fun Day on Saturday, June 23rd from 3:00 to 5:30 PM at the Kingsbury Day School (5000 14th St, NW). The event features fun the whole family, including: food, games and bingo, music, face-painting, pony rides, tennis, skating, and activities for all ages.

For more information or to sign up as a sponsor or volunteer, please contact Dolly Turner  atdturner@dccouncil.us or (202) 724-8052. RSVP and learn more on the facebook event: facebook.com/events/2077007212515044/

Important Announcements

5th Annual Kennedy Street Festival:
June 9th, 11 AM – 3 PM

The Kennedy Street Festival is back! Our fifth annual community festival will be on June 9th from 11:00 to 3:00. With celebrating our 5 year anniversary, new and old businesses, buildings, and MORE on Kennedy Street, this year is sure to be our best yet.

As always, the street will NOT be closed for this event, but we’ll have a whole host of vendors, entertainment and activities available for you to enjoy on sidewalks, in storefronts and in parking lots from 3rd Street to 8th Street!

Learn more and RSVP at the facebook event: facebook.com/events/155765658432575/

DC Library Summer Reading Challenge,
Shepherd Park Library Summer Programs & Events 

DC Public Library is excited to offer prizes to kids, teens and adults throughout the summer for reading just 20 minutes a day, beginning June 1st. Visit dclibrary.org/summerchallenge to learn more.

To celebrate the beginning of Summer Challenge, the Shepherd Park (Juanita E. Thornton)Library will be offering special programs throughout the month of June. For a full list of summer programs at Shepherd Park visit dclibrary.org/thornton.

Dance Loft On 14 Offers Summer Youth Classes

Is your child looking for an activity this summer? The Young Dancers Program at Dance Loft on 14 aims to instill a love for movement and the arts in young children. We believe that all children should have the chance to dance, and we bring a strong technical foundation and a nurturing environment to our students. The Loft offers classes for young people ages 3-15 in a diverse range of styles and disciplines.

Saturday Summer Classes will start July 7th and run for 8 weeks until August 25th. Class for 3-4 year olds will be held from 11:15am-12pm. Class for 4.5-6 year olds will be held from 12-12:45pm. To learn more and register, visit: danceloft14.org/summer-youth-schedule/.

A Resource For Parents & Families:
Office of the Student Advocate 

The Office of the Student Advocate is an independent office within the DC State Board of Education that exists to serve all students, parents, and families at public schools throughout the District regardless of sector.

We provide support and resources to families as they navigate our complex public education landscape in a variety of ways:

  • Request for Assistance (RFA) Line: Our RFA line is a “311” for public education questions and concerns. We answer the line LIVE Monday – Friday, 9 am and 5 pm. Your staff and/or constituents can contact us at (202) 741-4692 for resources, referrals, and one-on-one coaching on all public education issues.
  • Education & Community Resource Guide: Our Education & Community Resource Guide is an online portal that highlights over 400 community resources and agencies organized into 20+ topic areas that support or impact public education.
  • Information & Advocacy Resources and Tools: We have a wealth of resources and tools on a variety of topic areas, including attendance, enrollment, and special education. We also have our Parent & Family Go-To Guide, which is a collection of parent-centered resources in one handy document.
To learn more about the Office of the Student Advocate, visit their website: sboe.dc.gov/page/office-student-advocate.

Ward 4 Council Staff

Brandon T. Todd

(202) 724-8052

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

Jackson Carnes
Director of Constituent Services
(o)(202) 741-5293
(c)(202) 316-9078

Keiko Yoshino
Legislative Director
(o) (202) 724-7774
(c) (202) 717-2782

Faye Caldwell
Special Assistant
(202) 724-6663

Christine Kulumani
Legislative Counsel
(202) 790-6837
Dolly Turner
Deputy Chief of Staff
(o) (202) 654-6406
(c) (202) 412-2024

Gary Johnson
Constituent Service Coordinator
(o)(202) 724-8029
(c) (202) 304-8123

Joshua Fleitman
Director of Communications
(o) (202) 724-8191
(c) 202-294-2506

Manny Geraldo
Senior Legislative Counsel
(o) (202) 724-8035

LaRoya Huff
Community Outreach Coordinator
(o) (202) 724-8106
(c) (202) 368-2518



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Our mailing address is:
Office of Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon T.Todd
1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
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Washington, DC 20004

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