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December 9, 2015

 

Dear Neighbors:

This past week, I officially began celebrating the winter holidays as I helped wish “Chag Sameach” to my friends at Ohev Sholom. To all of my Ward 4 neighbors who observe, please allow me to wish you a very Happy Hanukkah. I hope your holiday is fun, easy, and well spent with friends and family.

I also began preparing for Christmas when I bought my Christmas tree from some amazing  Parent Student Teacher Organization volunteers at the West Education Campus. Ever wanted to see me handle a chainsaw? There’s a link to a video of me trimming the tree in this week’s letter.

It’s been another busy week here in Ward 4 with residents young and old. I spent time at Lamond Riggs and Raymond Recreation Centers with some of America’s future leaders and I helped Terrific, Inc. celebrate their holiday party with our amazing senior residents.

Also this week, I continued my commitment of increasing public safety throughout Ward 4 when I attended a Transportation and Environment public hearing on four measures that will ensure our city is safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and motor-vehicles.

Please remember to RSVP this month for the Annual Ward 4 Holiday Party and New Coat Drive!  I can’t wait to see you all there.

Stay warm!

Sincerely,


Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
#Ward4Proud

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Legislative Update

Councilmember Todd Focuses on Pedestrian Safety

On Tuesday, December 8th, Councilmember Todd attended a hearing on improving bicycle and pedestrian safety in the District of Columbia.  Looking at ways to make the District of Columbia safer for all modes of travel, the Committee on Transportation and the Environment held a public hearing on several safety bills including, bill 21-0383, the “Vision Zero Act of 2015” and bill 21-335, the “Bicycle and Pedestrian Safety Act of 2015.”  Councilmember Todd, who is a member of the Committee, discussed his concerns about pedestrian safety in the city, particularly around schools.  Noting the recent incident at Powell Elementary School, Councilmember Todd called on city leaders to develop a detailed plan on how to keep the District’s roads safe for pedestrians, cyclists, and drivers.  The Councilmember also noted that many residents and commuters use alternative ways to travel around the District of Columbia and should be able to move safely and freely throughout the city.  Councilmember Todd plans to follow this legislation closely and looks forward to working with his colleagues on ways to make our city safer for bikers, walkers, and drivers.

Councilmember Todd has worked with District Department of Transportation, Mayor Bwoser, and the Washington Metropolitan Police Department to work to find solutions that will help increase safety. You might also remember that he recently hosted a Ward 4 bike ride with the Washington Area Bicyclist Association to help promote transit safety for Ward 4 cyclists.

The Councilmember believes we need a permanent solution and detailed plan about how to keep everyone on the road safe. The bills discussed in this hearing are a necessary and much-needed first step. #KeepWard4Safe!

 

Upcoming Hearing on Walter Reed Legislation

On Thursday, December 17th, at 1:00 pm, the Committee of the Whole will hold a hearing on bill 21-474, the “Walter Reed Development Omnibus Act of 2015.”  In November, Mayor Bowser sent to the Council this much-anticipated bill, which is a significant legislative step towards the redevelopment of the Walter Reed site.  Upon Council approval, the District will be able to acquire 66.57 acres of land from the U.S. Army and then execute a ground lease for 3.1 million square feet of development, which will include: 2,100 residential units, two charter schools, a town center, which will include a large grocer, neighborhood serving retail, housing and services for seniors and homeless veterans, and a non-emergency ambulatory care clinic.   If you would like to testify or show your support at the hearing, you can contact the Committee of the Whole at (202) 724-8196.

PARCC Results
On Monday, November 30th, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Deputy Mayor for Education Jennie Niles, and State Superintendent Hanseul Kang released the PARCC results for grades 3 through 8. PARCC or the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers exam replaces the DC CAS annual assessment; and is a rigorous evaluation of the District’s students. PARCC, which focuses on the college and career readiness of District students, was administered to both DCPS and charter students; and measured essential skills that students need to be successful in post-secondary education. Similar to the scores of District high school students, Monday’s results revealed that–although DC has made tremendous gains–there is an achievement gap between minority and low-income students and their counterparts. Preparing our students for post-secondary education and closing the achievement gap remains a top priority for Councilmember Todd. As a member of the Committee on Education, Councilmember Todd has been focused on developing education policies that help promote the success of all District students. For a full breakdown of all of the PARCC results, parents and families can check the OSSE website at www.osse.dc.gov/parcc.

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Community Spotlight

4th District MPD

Last week, while walking along Georgia Ave., Councilmember Brandon Todd bumped into a few 4th District MPD Officers on patrol. They were able to talk for a few minutes, and the Councilmember was impressed with the commitment, dedication, and strength of character of the men and women who keep our streets safe in Ward 4. In many ways, our Ward has ensured that we have the resources to keep us safe, including adding over 20 new Police Academy Recruits in the last month to help patrol our neighborhoods. Councilmember Todd thanks the members of the 4th District MPD for their service. #KeepWard4Safe!

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What’s New: In and Around Ward 4

Councilmember Todd  Attends TERRIFIC, Inc.’s Holiday Party


Last week, Councilmember Todd paid a visit to TERRIFIC, Inc.’s holiday party where he ran into some truly spectacular Ward 4 seniors — hardly a surprise, seeing as Ward 4 is home to the second largest number of seniors in the District! Since taking office, the Councilmember has made seniors and their concerns a top priority. In fact, one of Councilmember Todd’s primary points of interest is to ensure that all seniors have the ability to age-in-place, and are treated with the dignity, respect, and care that they deserve.

TERRIFIC, Inc.’s mission is for seniors to age in place while living vibrant and active lives. They are an amazing organization doing some great work for the seniors within the Ward. Their commitment to this cause is admirable.

Did you know Councilmember Todd addressed over 300 seniors in Ward 4 earlier in November? You can watch his Ward 4 State of the Senior Address here:

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Councilmember Todd Buys His Christmas Tree at the West Education Campus

This past weekend, Councilmember Todd paid a visit to the West Education Campus to purchase his Christmas Tree in preparation for the holidays! A great time was had by all, and the Councilmember thanks the wonderful volunteers who made the day possible.  Go West Tigers!

Councilmember Todd was even permitted to trim his own Christmas Tree with a chainsaw (gulp!). We know what you’re thinking, and the answer is Yes– we DO have a video of it. ClickHERE to watch!

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Councilmember Todd Joined the CCCA Annual Holiday Event

 

On Saturday, Councilmember Todd joined the Chevy Chase Citizens Association (CCCA) for their annual Holiday Event.

The Councilmember had a blast spending some time with and hearing from a few of his youngest constituents. Antonio, if you read this, the Councilmember wants you to know that you decorated an AMAZING cookie.

Councilmember Todd also wanted to thank all of the volunteers at these events! For more information, please check out the CCCA’s website HERE.

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Councilmember Todd Celebrates the First Night of Hanukkah


On Sunday, Councilmember Todd met with Rabbi Shmuel Herzfeld and the assembled congregation of Ohev Sholom to help them ring in the “Festival of Lights” and celebrate the first night of Hanukkah. The Councilmember helped light the first candle on the absolutely HUGE menorah in front of the Synagogue, and then joined Rabbi Shmuel and the congregation in song and prayer.

The Councilmember is grateful for the opportunity to have had the opportunity to share this special night with the members of Ohev Sholom. To all who celebrate — חנוכה שמחה

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