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Dear Neighbors:

I wanted to take a moment to let you know what I am doing down at the Council to help move our Ward forward. It has been exactly two months since I was sworn in as the fifth elected Ward 4 Councilmember, and I am proud to announce that we have been hard at work here at the Wilson Building and in the community.

What follows is a brief update on what I have been up to over the first 60 days. Thank you for all the hard work you do to make Ward 4 the best ward in the District of Columbia. I look forward to working with each of you on the agenda that we have set together.

Sincerely,

Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4

Legislative Update

As the legislative session came to a close yesterday, Councilmember Todd introduced two key pieces of legislation to assist District seniors and spur economic development in Ward 4. The UDC Elder Law Project Establishment Amendment Act of 2015 will amend the District of Columbia Public Postsecondary Education Reorganization Act to allow income-eligible seniors to gain access to free legal assistance by supervised law students at the University of the District of Columbia. The Kennedy Street, N.W., Economic Development and Small Business Revitalization Advisory Committee Establishment Act of 2015 will establish a new committee dedicated to the revitalization of the Kennedy Street corridor.

Additionally, Councilmember Todd joined his colleagues on the Council in co-introducing bills to protect seniors from exploitation, strengthen contract disclosure rules to consumers, study the needs of students with incarcerated parents, require the installation of carbon monoxide detectors District-wide, and shield residents from the negative health effects of tobacco bars.

Yesterday’s legislative efforts represent significant movement on an agenda focused on expanding services for seniors, improving education, supporting economic development and small business growth, and improving the quality of life and safety in District neighborhoods. Click here to learn more about this legislation.

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Community Update

You may have sent him down to the Wilson Building, but over his first two months in office, Councilmember Todd and his staff have remained accessible to Ward 4 residents by spending time in all twenty Ward 4 neighborhoods. He has sworn in new leadership at the Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association, Civic League of North Portal Estates, and Ward 4 Democrats. He has met with neighbors and government agencies and walked through various neighborhoods to address constituent needs on a block-by-block level. He has stopped by community meetings and block parties across the entire Ward.

If it’s going on in Ward 4, Councilmember Todd wants to be there. And he’s taken the opportunity to bring Ward 4 together with some events of his own. Ward 4 Family Fun Day at the Kingsbury Day School was a huge success. Hundreds of residents from across Ward 4 and the City gathered for food, games, face-painting and laughter on a mild Sunday afternoon to celebrate the spirit of community and family that makes us all love to call Ward 4 home. He was also pleased to host a Meet and Greet for ANC Commissioners and Civic Association Presidents at the home of former ANC Commissioner Michael Yates. Leaders from across the Ward gathered to discuss the needs of their constituents, with Councilmember Todd leading a discussion on how we can all work together to continue the progress in Ward 4.

Additionally, our Constituent Services Team has been out and about through the Ward. DirectorJackson Carnes and Liaison La Roya Huff have been working with residents across the Ward to replace street signs, clean up trash, remove felled trees, and restore alleyways and streets.

If you have a constituent services request, please contact our office immediately at (202) 724-8052, or email Jackson Carnes at jcarnes@dccouncil.us or La Roya Huff at lhuff@dccouncil.us.

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Roosevelt Senior High School

School Modernization Update

In June, the Roosevelt Senior High School community received news from District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) and the Department of General Services (DGS) that construction delays had led them to push back the opening of the modernized Roosevelt campus until the 2016-2017 school year.

Upon receiving this information, Councilmember Todd quickly called together leadership from DCPS, DGS, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) and the Executive Office of the Mayor (EOM) to arrange a walkthrough of the Roosevelt @ MacFarland campus. Joined by alumni and parents, as well as representatives from each office, Councilmember Todd walked the school (pictured above), discussing concerns about rodent abatement, heating and cooling, restroom repair, and general aesthetics. DGS promised significant stabilization over the summer to prepare for the 2016-2017 school year, with 80-90% project completion by the following week.

Upon returning to the campus, the Ward 4 Council staff observed that the project improvements were on schedule. Additionally, commitments have been made by DGS and DCPS to accelerate construction on the Roosevelt athletic facilities in hopes of opening them to winter athletics by October 1, and to all athletics by the spring semester. DCPS and DGS have also committed to improving communication between the government and the community about the status of the project.

Lafayette Elementary School
Over the past two weeks, Councilmember Todd received a number of emails and phone calls from concerned residents regarding an email from DGS outlining design changes to the modernization project at Lafayette Elementary School.

After speaking with representatives from DGS, the Councilmember was pleased to learn that the budget for this project has not changed, remaining at $78 million ($72 million for “hard costs,” like construction and materals, and $6 million for “soft costs,” like permits and contingencies). In late May, DGS discovered that the approved design exceeded the $72 million hard cost budget, resulting in the reported design alterations.

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Public Safety Update

Since swearing into office in May, Councilmember Todd has remained in constant communication with Chief Cathy Lanier and Fourth District Commander Wilfredo Manlapaz to receive updates on the status of public safety in Ward 4 and ensure that the appropriate resources are being employed to keep our communities safe as we experience a slight uptick in public safety concerns across the Ward.In June, the Councilmember joined Commander Manlapaz for a late-night, four-hour ride-along across all 20 neighborhoods of Ward 4 to help him see the streets through the eyes of a D.C. police officer. The Councilmember and Commander also joined Commissioners from Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 4C for a public safety walkthrough of South Petworth, assessing neighborhood concerns and public safety hazards.

Councilmember Todd is currently organizing a Ward-wide network of block captains to assist in addressing public safety concerns. Training will begin soon, with the network coming online this August. If you are interested in becoming involved in this project, please contact Jackson Carnes atjcarnes@dccouncil.us.

Joining the School Improvement Team (SIT) for a meeting with DGS, Councilmember Todd listened to community concerns about the design alterations. While the new design has relocated and slightly reduced square footage for certain learning spaces, the new design continues to exceed the Educational Specifications for the project, and that capacity and programming space will not be affected. DGS apologized for delivering the news of the changes via email rather than a face-to-face meeting, and committed to monthly SIT Team meetings until the project is completed.

Councilmember Todd will remain fully engaged with the agencies and the community regarding the progress of these and all other modernization projects across Ward 4.

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July-August Announcements

Ft. Totten Walmart Begins Hiring

Walmart will hire approximately 300 associates to work at the new store located at Riggs Road NE and South Dakota Avenue NE, slated to open this Fall 2015. A hiring center has opened at 7818 Eastern Ave. NW to recruit and hire new associates. Interested applicants must apply online athttp://careers.walmart.com.  The hiring center hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00am-7:00pm, and Saturdays from 8:00am-3:00pm for candidates who need access to computers for the online application. Walmart will offer a job to any eligible U.S. veteran honorably discharged from active duty since the Veterans Welcome Home Commitment launched on Memorial Day 2013. The store will be hiring both full- and part-time associates.

Ward 4 Public Safety Meeting – Thursday, July 23
Join Councilmember Todd and Commander Manlapaz for a discussion of Ward 4 public safety issues next Thursday, July 23, from 7:00pm-8:30pm at the Fourth District Police Station, located at 6001 Georgia Ave. NW.

The BEACH at the National Building Museum Ward 4 Summer Block Party – Tuesday, August 25
The National Building Museum invites Ward 4 to its popular Summer Block Party. This summer, the Museum is partnering with Snarkitecture, a Brooklyn-based design firm, to bring the beach indoors—no sunscreen required. The BEACH is an interactive 10,000 square foot installation in the Museum’s Great Hall, designed with an “ocean” filled with nearly 1 million translucent plastic balls and a shoreline spotted with beach chairs and tables. As part of the D.C. community, the Museum invites members of Ward 4 to visit the Museum and BEACH with free admission on Tuesday, August 25.

  • The BEACH will open early at 9:00am-10:00am, all visitors must use the F St. doors between 5th St. and 6th St. The Museum is metro accessible via the Red line (Judiciary Square) and the Green/Yellow line (Gallery Place-Chinatown). Please note that all visitors may be subject to a bag check upon arrival.
  • Please bring a valid form of I.D. to present to the admissions desk to confirm your zip code.
  • The general public will be admitted into the Museum at 10:00am.
  • All visitors must check in at the Museum’s admissions desk to receive their complimentary entrance and admissions wristband to the BEACH and Museum exhibitions.
  • Light refreshments and snacks will be available for purchase at Firehook Bakery on the Museum’s first floor starting at 9 a.m. and at Union Kitchen inside the BEACH beginning at 10 a.m.

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