January 23, 2019

Dear Neighbor,

It is unconscionable that our dedicated federal workers are still suffering as the longest shutdown in U.S. history continues unimpeded. I call on the President to work with Congress to #EndTheShutdown immediately. The costs are too high for our residents and the District as a whole. Just look at the numbers. 144,635 people, or 18% of District residents, are directly harmed by this shutdown. By the end of this week, the District will have lost $11.67 million. After 8 more weeks, we will lose $85.21 million, 1.1% of the entire budget.

The Council and Mayor have taken action this past week to help our furloughed federal workers. Yesterday, Council passed the Federal Worker Housing Relief Emergency Act of 2019, requiring judges to halt eviction or foreclosure proceedings until thirty days after the shutdown.

When the U.S. Department of Labor reaffirmed their position that essential employees are ineligible for unemployment benefits, the District decided to move ahead with dispersing our own resources to essential employees. The Mayor is introducing emergency legislation to give the District authority to grant unemployment benefits to essential federal employees, such as TSA and special police, who must show up to work without pay. 
Approximately 110,000 Washingtonians use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) to purchase food, and 41,000 of them are under the age of 18. Mayor Bowser has identified $2 million in local funding that will allow the Department of Human Services to continue providing SNAP benefits in the event the Federal Government stops providing them.
In partnership with the DC Housing Finance Agency, the DC Government will be offering zero percent interest loans up to $5,000 per month to individuals who may not be able to make their next mortgage payment due to the shutdown. The $9 million program will start Friday, January 25th and homeowners can call 1-833-429-0537.

I will continue to pursue any and all options to support our federal workers and those struggling under this unnecessary and harmful shutdown. You can find additional non-profit and private resources below. 


Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4

Legislative Update

Committee of the Whole: On Tuesday, January 22nd, the Council met in room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building for their regularly scheduled Committee of the Whole and Additional Legislative Meeting.

The Council unanimously passed the “Federal Worker Housing Relief Emergency Act of 2019” yesterday which would require judges to halt eviction or foreclosure proceedings if residents can prove that they have furloughed or have been made to work without pay. The bill would be effective for the duration of the shutdown and for 30 days after.

The Council passed the motion to override the mayoral veto of “Fare Evasion Decriminalization Act of 2017” 11-2. The legislation reduces the penalty for fare evasion from a misdemeanor, that could carry jail time and fine of up to $300, to a $50 civil infraction, similar to that of a parking ticket.

Education Hearings

Wednesday, January 30th
Committee on Education, 6:00PM Ron Brown Boys College Preparatory High School
“Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools Dr. Lewis D. Ferebee Confirmation Resolution of 2019”
  • Those who wish to testify may sign-up online at http://bit.do/educationhearings or call the Committee on Education at (202) 724-8061 by 5:00pm on Monday, January 28, 2019

Tuesday, February 12th
Committee on Education, Room 412 at 2pm
“Chancellor of the District of Columbia Public Schools Dr. Lewis D Ferebee Confirmation Resolution of 2019” PR23-67.

  • Those who wish to testify may sign up online at http://bit.do/educationhearings or call the Committee on Education at 202-724-8061 by 5:00pm Friday, February 8, 2019


Government Operations Oversight

Annual agency performance oversight will begin Wednesday, February 6th. The Committee on Government Operations has scheduled five days of hearings. Rooms and times are subject to change. To register to testify, email GovernmentOperations@dccouncil.us.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

  • Government Operations Committee, Room 500, 11:00AM (Estimated Time: 3 hours)
    • Executive Office of the Mayor
    • Mayor’s Office of Legal Counsel
    • Office of the City Administrator
    • Office of the Senior Advisory
    • Office of the Secretary

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

  • Government Operation Committee, Room 412, 10:00AM (Estimated Time: 4 hours)
    • Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives
    • Office of Veterans Affairs
      Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning Affairs

Thursday, February 14, 2019

  • Government Operations Committee, Room 120, 10:00AM (Estimated Time: 3 hours)
    • Office on African Affairs
    • Office on African American Affairs
    • Office on Asian and Pacific Islanders Affairs
    • Office on Latino Affairs
    • Serve DC

Thursday, February 21, 2019

  • Government Operations, Room 123, 11:00AM (Estimated Time: 2 hours)
    • Office of Nightlife & Culture
    • Office of Partnerships & Grants
    • Office of Public Private Partnerships

Thursday, February 28, 2019

  • Government Operations Committee, Room 120 10:00AM/2:00PM 
    Part 1, 10:00 AM (Estimated Time: 1.5 hours)

    • Office of Administrative Hearings
    •  Office of the Inspector General


      Part 2, 2:00 PM (Estimated Time: 2 hours)

    • Office of the Chief Technology Officer
    • Office of Human Rights
    • Office of Risk Management

See the full calendar of oversight and budget hearings at: dccouncil.us/full-performance-oversight-and-budget-schedules-now-available

See the full Council calendar at: dccouncil.us/events

For more information regarding hearings or legislation, please contact my Legislative Director, Keiko Yoshino, at kyoshino@dccouncil.us or (202) 724-8052.

In Case You Missed It

Listen To Councilmember Todd’s
Exclusive Interview On “Hearing The Council” Radio Show 


Miss the broadcast of Councilmember Todd’s “Hearing the Council” interview on DC Radio 96.3FM HD4? Don’t worry, because you can listen on-demand on SoundCloud or iTunes. In this second round interview, listen to Councilmember Todd discuss his most proud accomplishments on the Council, most memorable setback, and thoughts on the Council’s work. Listen all the way to the end to learn what unique object Councilmember Todd collects!

Week In Review

Councilmember Todd Celebrates
DC Central Kitchen’s 30th Anniversary

Last Friday, Councilmember Todd was delighted to present a Ceremonial Resolution commemorating the 30th anniversary of DC Central Kitchen, which for three decades has empowered residents with histories of homelessness, addiction, incarceration, trauma, and chronic unemployment to pursue meaningful careers in our community and gain valuable culinary skills. Councilmember Todd expressed his thanks to DC Central Kitchen for showing how food is a powerful tool for strengthening bodies, empowering minds, and building communities. He looks forward to continuing to support DC Central Kitchen and their work.

To read the full Ceremonial Resolution, visit lims.dccouncil.us/Download/41672/CER23-0001-Introduction.pdf.

Mark Your Calendar

Councilmember Todd Hosts Office Hours
In Chevy Chase & Takoma

Councilmember Todd invites you to mark your calendar for two upcoming office hours events in the Chevy Chase and Takoma neighborhoods:

Chevy Chase: Friday, January 25th, 8:00 – 9:30 AM, Bread & Chocolate
(5542 Connecticut Ave NW)

Takoma: Monday, January 28th, 8:00 – 9:30 AM, Starbucks (232 Carroll St NW)

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 jcarnes@dccouncil.us or (202) 724-8052.

Councilmember Todd To Attend Multilingual Education Fair:
Saturday, January 26th, 10 AM – 2 PM

This Saturday, January 26th from 10 AM to 2 PM at Gallaudet University, Councilmember Todd will attend the Multilingual Education Far of DC, the Premier event for families, educators, students, employers, job-seekers, and language enthusiasts looking to impact their lives through language and culture. Councilmember Todd looks forward to enjoying the over 100 exhibitors and introducing the event’s keynote speaker, Fabrice Jaumont, a world-renowned expert in language immersion programs. Learn more about the Fair and register at: multilingualfair.dcimmersion.org.

Councilmember Todd is greatly interested in expanding dual language immersion programs in DC Public Schools, which is why he recently introduced the Dual Language Immersion Accelerator Program Amendment Act of 2019. Read more about this legislation on Councilmember Todd’s website and in this Washington Post article.

Important Announcements

Additional Resources For Furloughed Federal Workers

To help ease the burden of Ward 4 Federal workers who are furloughed or working without pay, Councilmember Todd shares these  additional resources:

  • Variety of resources from the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington: shalomdc.org/government-shutdown-resources
  • “Better” offers a Shutdown Relief Emergency Mortgage Refinance services: better.com/with/shutdownrelief
  • Verizon is waiving late fees and agent assist fees for federal government employees directly impacted for the duration of the shutdown to help them stay connected: verizon.com/about/news/impacted-government-shutdown-verizon-has-your-back
  • DC Diaper Bank offers free diapers for furloughed government workers: January 24th & 25th, 11 AM – 1 PM, World Central Kitchen at Archives Navy Memorial Metro, must bring Government ID and child’s birth certificate.
  • Food Drives Seeking Donations:
    – 19th Street Baptist Church (call 202-882-7345 for more info)
    – Grace Lutheran Church (email gracepastorwendym@gmail.com for more info)
    – Howard University Administration Building (Thursday, January 24th 5am-9am)
    – John A. Wilson Building (Thursday, January 24th 11am – 2pm)

Will Your Child Attend MacFarland Middle School Or Coolidge Senior High School? Learn More! 


Coolidge Feeder Fest: Saturday, January 26, 10 AM – 1 PM

DC Public Schools will be hosting the first ever Coolidge Feeder Fest! The purpose of the Feeder Fest is for families and communities to engage with the schools in their feeder pattern, and for schools to build and strengthen relationships within their feeder pattern. Event details include:

  • What: Coolidge Feeder Fest 
  • When: Saturday, January 26, 2019 – 10:00am-1:00pm
  • Where: Coolidge High School – 6315 5th St NW, Washington, DC 20011
  • Who: All feeder schools, in-boundary, current and feeder families, and community members in Coolidge High School’s feeder pattern are invited.
  • A DJ and light snacks will also be available for attendees and see the flyer for more details.
  • Questions? The DCPS Enrollment Team is ready to assist via enroll@dc.gov or (202) 478-5738. See you there!

MacFarland Feeder School Family Meet-Up: Wed, January 30th, 7:00 – 8:30 PM

Are you the parent of a student at Raymond EC, West EC, Barnard ES, or Powell ES? Then your child is slated to attend MacFarland Middle School. Robin Appleberry has scheduled an informal gathering of soon-to-be MacFarland parents to meet each other and connect in person, begin getting an idea of what we’d like to get out of this connection, and identify a few next steps. Meet at Moreland’s Tavern (5501 14th St, NW) on Wednesday, January 30th from 7:00 to 8:30 PM. Questions? Contact Robin Appleberry  at robinappleberry@yahoo.com or 202-441-9954.

Purchase Health Insurance Through DC Health Link Before January 31st Deadline

This year, DC Health link is offering 25 quality, affordable health insurance plans for individuals and small businesses. Under DC law, all individuals are required to have health insurance or be subject to a fee. Please visit DC Health Link’s website, dchealthlink.com, to start shopping today.Open enrollment in the District ends January 31, 2019. Need assistance?, call (855) 532-5465 or visit Mary’s Center for Maternal and Child Care at 3912 Georgia Avenue, NW.

The District has the second-lowest uninsured rate in the country, with 96% total coverage. Together, we can reach 100% and ensure that everyone enjoys the access to care and peace of mind that health insurance provides.

My School DC Lottery Accepting Applications Until February 1st,
Briya PCS Field Office Offers Assistance

The My School DC lottery application for school year 2019-2020 is now open. The application deadlines are February 1, 2019 for grades 9-12 and March 1, 2019 for grades PK3-8.

My School DC is the city’s common application and public school lottery for DC Public Schools (DCPS) and the majority of public charter schools (grades PK3-12).

Families must use the My School DC lottery application to apply to:

  • DCPS PK3 / PK4 programs (including programs at in-boundary DCPS schools);
  • DCPS citywide and out-of-boundary schools (PK3-12);
  • DCPS selective high schools (9-12); and
  • all participating public charter schools (PK3-12)

Have questions or need help with your application? Visit the My School DC Ward 4 Field Office at Briya Public Charter School (3912 Georgia Ave, NW) on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 6:00 PM. Or call the My School DC hotline at (202) 888-6336, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. or email info.myschooldc@dc.gov.

For more information and to apply, go to www.myschooldc.org.


Summer Youth Employment Program Accepting Applications Until 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.

Metropolitan Police Dept. Offers Cash Reward
For Information About Illegal Firearms In The Community 

If you have information about illegal firearms in the community, please anonymously share your tip by calling 202.727.9099. You may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,500 for a tip leading to an arrest and a seizure of an illegal gun, and a reward up to $10,000 for a tip leading to an arrest and a conviction in a shooting.  You’ll be doing the right thing and helping to take another gun off the street. Learn more at: mpdc.dc.gov/page/firearm-tip-reward-program.

Seniors Beware: Social Security Scam Alert

The Social Security Administration (SSA) has become aware of reports of fraudulent telephone calls from individuals claiming to represent the SSA. In them, unknown callers are using threatening language to warn unknowing victims that they will be arrested or face other legal action if they fail to call a provided phone number or press the number indicated in the message to address the issue. In some instances, these unknown callers switch tactics and communicate that they want to help an individual with activating a suspended Social Security number. Such calls are a scam, and are not coming from official SSA representatives.

Do not to engage with such callers, and to report any suspicious calls to Social Security’s Office of the Inspector General by calling 1-800-269-0271 or submitting a report on the OIG website. We also urge you to read and share our Social Security Matters blog, which provides more information on the nature of these fraudulent calls, as well as instructions on how to report such activity.

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

LaRoya Huff
Deputy Director of Constituent Services
(o) (202) 724-8106
(c) (202) 368-2518

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


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Office of Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon T.Todd
1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW
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