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December 30, 2015

Dear Neighbors:

Another year has come and gone, and what a year it has been! Since taking office last year, I have dedicated every single day to serving Ward 4.

Whether I’m hosting neighborhood events like Family Fun Day or the State of the Ward 4 Senior Address, out participating in a walk-through of one of our growing business corridors, or picking up the phone to call Fourth District Commander Manlapaz to discuss how to make the community safer, I am proud to say that I am always finding new ways to serve our Ward.

This week, I’ve compiled a summary of the work I’ve done pertaining to the five issue-areas I promised you I’d focus on when I took office: Seniors, Education, Constituent Services, Economic Development, and Public Safety. While I know there is still plenty of work to be done in 2016, I wanted you to see the tangible ways in which I have served the Ward over the past eight months.

Friends, please have a safe, joyous, and great New Year. I am excited to see what 2016 brings.

Sincerely,


Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
#Ward4Proud

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Public Safety Update from Fourth District Captain Francis Hill


As the year 2015 draws to a close, the Fourth District is showing an 8 % decrease in overall crime for the year, when compared to last year, so we definitely have made progress and are heading in the right direction.  Our goal of course is to maintain and even improve upon this reduction in crime in 2016. As always, we will be carefully reviewing all the information we have regarding reported crimes, and making the appropriate adjustments to our operations and deployment.

As mentioned in last month’s update, on November 24, 2015, twenty recruit officers from the Metropolitan Police Academy were sent to the Fourth District to support patrol operations.  They will be here in the Fourth District through January 1, 2016, primarily walking foot beats in designated areas during the evening hours.  They will be wearing yellow visibility vests and will be highly visible for the purpose of preventing criminal activity.

We will be fully staffed for New Year’s Eve going into New Year’s Day. We’ve reviewed the After Action Reports for previous years, and we will be ready.

As the year 2015 comes to an end, we want to remind everyone of things they can do to protect themselves and reduce the likelihood that they will be victims of crime.

Preventing Robbery 

As with other types of crime, robbery is a crime of opportunity that can be prevented if the opportunity is taken away.

  • Be aware of your surroundings
  • Try not to get distracted while talking on your mobile phones
  • If you believe you’re being followed or if something just doesn’t seem right to you, call 911. We can check it out.

Preventing Burglary

  • Remember to lock your doors and secure your windows
  • If you have a home alarm system, make sure you keep it activated
  • If you see something suspicious at your own house or at a neighbor’s house, call 911 so we can come and check it out. It may be nothing or it may be something, but we won’t know if nobody calls us.

Preventing Thefts from Auto

One of the most common types of theft is theft of valuables from your automobile.  Thefts from autos are crimes of opportunity. Thieves generally won’t waste their time breaking into cars that don’t have valuables in them in plain sight. The best way to prevent theft from your auto is to always keep valuables out of sight, secured in your trunk or a locked glove compartment.

As always, please call 911 to report activity that you believe is suspicious, people who you believe are suspicious, vehicles that you believe are suspicious, etc. Please provide the best description possible when reporting.

“If you SEE something, SAY something.”

Have a Happy (and safe) New Year!

Captain Francis Hill

To follow the MPD 4D List Serv, sign up HERE!

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WHAT’S NEW IN WARD 4

 

Councilmember Todd Joins Mayor Bowser and D.C. Council for Signing of Body Worn Camera Legislation

Today, Councilmember Todd joined Mayor Bowser and his colleagues on the D.C. Council to witness the signing of the Body Worn Camera Program Regulations Amendment Act of 2015.

This legislation will require MPD officers to be equipped with body worn cameras, and will improve accountability, police services, policy-community relations, and transparency within the judicial system. This Act will make the District’s body worn camera program one of the most innovative, progressive, and transparent nationwide.

Councilmember Todd is proud to have voted in support of this measure. He adamantly believes that this legislation will usher in a new era of smarter and more judicious policing which will only serve to make Ward 4 and the District as a whole safer.

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Councilmember Todd Completes Walkthrough of Ward 4 

On Tuesday, Councilmember Todd and Mayor Bowser completed a walkthrough covering parts of Ward 4. Together, they scanned the location for issues and spoke with multiple residents about their neighborhood concerns. Public Safety remains a top priority for the Councilmember, and he does not take any concern or fear lightly.

One of the primary topics discussed was synthetic drug use and the aggressive behavior of its users. Councilmember Todd has heard these concerns and will work in tandem with MPD to make sure that a solution to this problem is found.

If you have a public safety related complaint, please do not hesitate to contact the Fourth District MPD at (202) 715-7400.

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Seniors

I will never stop fighting to ensure our Seniors needs are met, their concerns addressed, and their right to age-in-place protected.

Since taking office, Councilmember Todd has made the issues and concerns of seniors a top priority.

  • Earlier this year, the Councilmember delivered his first “State of the Ward 4 Senior Address” to over 350 seniors, describing in detail his concrete plans to address their needs and concerns.
  • Councilmember Todd hired a Community Outreach Liaison, dedicated to responding to the needs of senior constituents.
  • The Councilmember created a Senior Advisory Committee made up of Ward 4 seniors.

Additionally, Councilmember Todd introduced two bills specifically targeted at improving the quality of life for Ward 4 seniors:

  • The first, The UDC Elder Law Project Establishment Amendment Act, would create an elder law clinic at UDC.
  •  The second, the Sidewalk Safety Amendment Act, would ensure our sidewalks are paved and safe to walk on.

While progress has been made, the Councilmember knows there is still plenty of work to be done on behalf of Ward 4 seniors this year in 2016. This new year looks brighter than ever for our seniors — the backbone of Ward 4!

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Education

The success of our students is integral to the future of Ward 4. There is no excuse not to provide our children with world-class educational resources, facilities, and instruction.

Councilmember Todd, who serves on the Council’s Committee on Education and is a graduate of the D.C. public school system himself, knows the value and importance of ensuring that the students of Ward 4 are given the tools to succeed.

  • The Councilmember broke ground at Lafayette Elementary School.
  • Councilmember Todd funded the start of construction at MacFarland Middle School.
  • At the end of summer break, the Councilmember participated in “Back to School Weeks,” welcoming students, meeting principals and faculty, and spending time in classrooms.

Additionally, Councilmember Todd held various meetings with the Chancellor, the Department of General Services, and the Deputy Mayor for Education to discuss modernization, programming, and issues related to students and staff.

When we invest in our students, we invest in the future of our Ward and the District. Councilmember Todd knows this, and is committed to ensuring that the students of Ward 4 are the best prepared to work, lead, and make this city the best it can be.

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Constituent Services

To efficiently, effectively, and responsively meet the needs of every Ward 4 resident is my top goal, priority, and focus as your Councilmember.

On day one, Councilmember Todd and his office were ready to hit the ground running to work to find solutions to any and all community needs and concerns. Working in tandem with the Mayor’s office and multiple district agencies, the Councilmember’s chief objective is improving the quality of life for Ward 4 residents.

  • The Councilmember has hosted multiple events for Ward 4 residents, including Family Fun Day, the Ward 4 Fitness Day, and the Annual Ward 4 Holiday Party and New Coat Drive, where together we donated over 400 coats to Ward 4 students.
  • Since he took office, Councilmember Todd and his office have received and acted on over 1,500 constituent requests for assistance through e-mails, phone calls, visits, and social media.
  • Councilmember Todd and his staff attend nearly all community, ANC, and civic meetings, taking constituent concerns and talking face to face with Ward 4 residents.

The Ward 4 office has long held a reputation of being the hardest working in the Wilson Building. Councilmember Todd has no plans to change that — he and his staff are always ready to respond to the needs of Ward 4 residents. If you have an immediate concern you need addressed, please reach out to Jordan Bailey, our Constituent Services Coordinator, at JBailey@dccouncil.us, or by phone at (202) 724-8052.

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Economic and Business Development

I want to ensure that businesses in Ward 4 have a chance to be vibrant and flourish. I am committed to seeing our business corridors as hubs for technology, innovation, and economic vitality.
 
Ward 4 is, undoubtedly, the next frontier for economic and business development in the District of Columbia. Councilmember Todd is committed to developing a sound and sustainable strategy, that is collaborative and reflects the interests of long-term residents, new residents, and business owners.

  • The Councilmember is focused on the re-development project at Walter Reed (the single largest economic development opportunity the District will see in years) and helped kick it off when he broke ground on Engine Company 22.
  • Councilmember Todd cut the ribbon at the new Ft. Totten Walmart, which provided dozens of new jobs and opportunities for Ward 4 residents.
  • The Councilmember has worked with the Department of Small and Local Business Development to promote grants for Ward 4 small businesses.

Additionally, Councilmember Todd met with key District Economic redevelopment and business service agencies including DMPED, Great Streets, the Office of Planning, the Chamber of Commerce, the Department of Small and Local Businesses, DC Partnership, Destination DC, and many others.

When we invest in our students, we invest in the future of our Ward and the District. Councilmember Todd knows this, and is committed to ensuring that the students of Ward 4 are the best prepared to work, lead, and make this city the best it can be.

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Public Safety

There is nothing more important than ensuring the residents of Ward 4 feel safe in their homes, their neighborhoods, and their community.
 
Ensuring that Ward 4 neighborhoods are safe to live and work in is one of Councilmember Todd’s top priorities. That’s why he has implemented a multi-pronged proactive approach aimed at preventing crime and preserving safety in our communities. 

  • The Councilmember oversaw and coordinated the training of 65 new block captains in the Ward.
  • Councilmember Todd organized and hosted a public safety meeting, co-hosted by Fourth District Commander Manlapaz, the Fourth District Citizens Advisory Council, and Police Chief Cathy Lanier for over 200 Ward 4 residents.
  • Over the previous year, the Councilmember conducted 10 door-to-door canvasses with MPD in Ward 4 neighborhoods.

Additionally, Councilmember Todd has supported increased funding for public safety initiatives in the Mayor’s supplemental budget, which included more officers patrolling neighborhood streets, new grants for community organizations, and funding for more security cameras. Additionally, the Councilmember recently voted in favor of a new bill requiring MPD to don body cameras when on patrol — this legislation will make the justice system more transparent and the judicial process more efficient and accountable.

Councilmember Todd knows just how important safety is to the residents of Ward 4. That’s why, in 2016, he will continue his efforts in ensuring that our Ward is safe to live, work, and thrive in for years to come.

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Important Announcements

DPR Announces 2015 Indoor Pools Maintenance Schedule

This week, the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) announced the updated temporary closure for the Takoma Aquatic Center, located at 300 Van Buren St., NW. The facility will close beginning Sunday, January 3, 2016 through Sunday, January 24, 2016. The pool and facility will undergo deep cleaning, HVAC system repairs, refurbishment of locker rooms and pool bottom, and installation of UV light water treatment system as a part of DPR’s indoor, year-round aquatic maintenance schedule.
The facility was originally scheduled to re-open on Sunday, January 17, 2016 but will now open on Monday, January 25, 2016.

DPR will continue to keep patrons updated with any changes that may occur and we apologize for the inconvenience. For any additional questions or further assistance, please call the DPR Aquatics office at (202) 671-1289.

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