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December 2, 2015

Dear Neighbors:

The Thanksgiving leftovers have all been eaten, holiday music plays over every radio station, and each day seems to bring with it the possibility of snow — I have to concede that yes, finally, winter is here to stay.

We’ve had a busy week which kicked off this past weekend with Small Business Saturday, where my staff and I visited many of the local stores that help make Ward 4 a unique and a great place to live. I hope many of you had a chance to enjoy one of our last warm days and support our local businesses!

On Monday, I continued my efforts to improve the 16th Street Circle when I convened a meeting with Councilmember Tom Hucker of the Montgomery County Council, the Executive Office of the Mayor, the Maryland State Highway Administration, the National Park Service, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the District Department of Transportation, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, and members of the Advisory Neighborhood Commission. We discussed not only the current pitfalls of the 16th Street Circle, but also outlined long-term and short-term goals on how we can improve it. Public and neighborhood safety remains one of my top priorities, and I will ensure that you remain updated as new information becomes available.

Coming up later this month is the Annual Ward 4 Holiday Party and New Coat Drive! I can’t wait to see you all there. Make sure to read more information about the party below in the newsletter.

Stay warm!

Sincerely,

Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
#Ward4Proud

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Legislative Update

Councilmember Todd Co-Introduces Bill to Expand Exemptions for TANF Recipients

On Tuesday, December 1st, Councilmember Brandon Todd joined Councilmember Brianne Nadeau and four other colleagues to introduce the “District of Columbia Public Assistance Amendment Act of 2015.”  This bill would amend the District of Columbia Public Assistance Act of 1982 to provide assistance to some of the District’s neediest families.  Currently, families receiving government assistance known as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families or “TANF” can collect for a maximum of 60 months.  This bill would, among other things, continue benefits to children in a household collecting TANF beyond the 60-month time limit; require that families be screened to determine whether or not they qualify for an extension; and require that recipients receive information about the program’s time limit, exemptions, and extensions.  For more information about this bill, please check the Legislation Information Management System at www.dccouncil.us.

Councilmember Todd Co-Sponsors Bill to Provide Regular and Stable Work Hours for District Workers.

On Tuesday, December 1st, Councilmember Brandon Todd co-sponsored the “Hours and Scheduling Stability Act of 2015.”  Introduced by Councilmember Vincent Orange and four other Councilmembers, this bill seeks to set regular work schedules for individuals who work for large retailers and chain restaurants.  Among other things, this bill would require employers to post work schedules 21 days in advance and guarantee an employee a minimum of four hours pay if the employer cancels an employee’s shift.  This legislation aligns with the practice of several large businesses in the District of Columbia and seeks to provide much-needed stability to low-income workers.  For more information about this bill, please check the Legislation Information Management System at www.dccouncil.us.

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New PSA 409 Lieutenant

Angela Cousins will be taking the reigns as the new PSA 409 Lieutenant after having served the Metropolitan Police department in various capacities for over 25 years. Angela’s prior roles include Youth and Community Services Officer in the Sixth District, PSA Sergeant in the Fifth District, PSA Lieutenant in the Second District, and Commanding Officer of the Executive Protection Unit, to name a few.

Please take a moment to welcome Angela to her new role — we look forward to the new partnership that will surely develop between her, the residents within the Fourth District, and the neighbors in PSA 409.

Angela– thank you for working to keep our communities safe!

Angela’s contact information is the following:

E-mail: Angela.Cousins@dc.gov
Phone: (202) 576-8221

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What’s New: In and Around Ward 4

16th Street Circle: UPDATE

On Tuesday, Councilmember Todd helped usher in new progress towards solving the problem that is the 16th Street Circle location.

You might remember when, earlier this month, the Councilmember brought together officials from the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Department of General Services (DGS) to the 16th Street Circle to walk the location, and to restart the conversation on how we can take the necessary steps to ensure the circle is safer. This included removing the excess foliage that makes the circle hazardous, and implementing other safety measures including…

On Tuesday, Councilmember Todd took another step towards solving this longstanding issue in a meeting he convened with Councilmember Tom Hucker of the Montgomery County Council, complete with the full support of the Executive Office of the Mayor. Included in that meeting was the Maryland State Highway Administration, the National park Service, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, the District Department of Transportation, the Montgomery County Department of Transportation, and members of the Advisory Neighborhood Comission. The meeting dealt not only with the current pitfalls of the 16th Street Circle location, but also outlined long-term and short term goals on how it can be improved.

Substantial progress was made during the meeting — specifically, the District Department of Transportation submitted plans to the Maryland State Highway Administration which will move the process forward and alleviate the safety concerns. The Councilmember will ensure that you are updated as new information becomes available.

Thank you, Councilmember Todd for leading the conversation on the 16th Street Circle!

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Councilmember Todd Tours the YWCA

On Monday, Councilmember Todd toured the YWCA National Capital Area Location with Tamara Smith, the YWCA CEO, and Karen Williamson, a YWCA Board Member and Ward 4 Resident, to learn more about the mission of the organization and take a closer look at some of their issues, including workforce development, adult literacy, youth mentoring, and advocacy.

The YWCA’s central mission is to eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all. It is truly an amazing set of goals. Karen Williamson is another Ward 4 resident using her time and effort to help serve her community — one more reason to be #Ward4Proud! Read more about the YWCA here.

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Councilmember Todd Tours Newly Renovated Roosevelt High School

Last week, Councilmember Todd and Mayor Bowser were both invited to tour the newly renovated Roosevelt High School on 13th Street in Petworth. Ensuring Ward 4 students have access to premier level educational resources and facilities is a top priority for the Councilmember, and it is clear that Roosevelt HS will join the list of top-notch school options in the Ward.

A graduate of the D.C. public school system himself, Councilmember Todd has first-hand knowledge of the kind of efforts that need to be made in order to ensure our students are on the right path to succeed. Just last week, the Councilmember, with Mayor Bowser, announced that every student in D.C. would immediately gain free access to any D.C. Public Library. D.C.’s students are D.C.’s future — Councilmember Todd knows that.

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 Small Business Saturday is a Success!

On Saturday, the District of Columbia participated in “Small Business Saturday,” during which D.C. residents were encouraged to visit locally owned stores in their neighborhoods. There was a TON of participation in Ward 4 — President Obama even made an appearance at Upshur Street Books! This weekend, the Councilmember’s staff met up with  Ana Harvey, the Director of the District Department of Small and Local Business Development to participate in the event in Takoma, D.C. Some of the great businesses we saw included:

  • The Spice Suite – a one-stop-shop for all your spice needs
  • La Mano Coffee Bar – Serving up delicious coffee and empanadas all day long
  • Politics and Prose at Busboys and Poets – Combines books, good food and tunes with even better people
  • Trohv – an eclectic home goods store with a variety of items for every possible person
  • The Big Bad Woof – A pet store for the socially conscious consumer

It was great to see some of our neighbors while we were out shopping. Even though Small Business Saturday has past, please remember you can always go shop at one of Ward 4’s amazing locally-owned businesses! It is the efforts of these businesses that make up the amazing fabric of our Ward — it is our duty to support them.

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Upcoming Events

SAVE THE DATE: Annual Ward 4 Holiday Party and New Coat Drive
Saturday, December 19th, 6 to 8 pm, at St Johns’ High School
 You won’t want to miss the Annual Ward 4 Holiday Party and New Coat Drive on Saturday, December 19th! In case you missed our “Save the Date” newsletter, you can click here to check it out.

This year’s Holiday Party is going to be AMAZING. It will feature:

  • Fun and Festive cheer with your neighbors from Ward 4!
  • A *Spectacular* dessert table packed with TONS of delicious treats!
  • A NEW coat drive! Bring a NEW coat (size 2T-18) for a Ward 4 student.
  • Honorary Host: Mayor Muriel Bowser

If you’re planning on attending and would like to volunteer to bring some tasty baked goods, or have any additional questions about the event, please contact Jordan Bailey at (202) 724-8052 or RSVP at Jbailey@dccouncil.us.We can’t wait to see you on December 19th!

 

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