From the Office of Councilmember Brandon T. Todd
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January 20, 2016
Dear Neighbors:

This was a week of great purpose. From honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to spending time discussing senior issues with the Mini Commission on Aging, to introducing legislation aimed at making our District safer – there were a myriad of ways that I was working hard to serve the Ward 4 community.

As the temperature continues to drop and a potentially massive snowstorm looms on the horizon, I urge each of you to think of your friends in the community. Will your elderly neighbors need help shoveling snow, or staying warm? Do you know a mother down the street who could use some help with meals for her children? If we work together — and stay mindful of the needs of our friends and neighbors — we can make it through this storm safely and secure.

There is no stronger bond than one forged by a community that works in tandem with one another. I am proud to live in a Ward where such a relationship exists, and I will work harder than ever to continue to foster our Ward 4 bonds.Sincerely,


Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
#Ward4Proud

Legislative Update

Councilmember Todd introduces the “Anti-Graffiti Amendment Act of 2016”

On Tuesday, January 19th, Councilmember Brandon Todd introduced the “Anti-Graffiti Amendment Act of 2016” to increase graffiti fines for those who willfully deface public and private property in the District of Columbia.  The prevalence of graffiti can have many adverse effects, including harming the character of a neighborhood, driving down property values, and contributing to public safety concerns.  In effort to discourage those bad actors who place unwanted graffiti throughout the District, Councilmember Todd introduced the “Anti-Graffiti Amendment Act of 2016.”  This bill will increase the graffiti fines to $2,500; and increase the penalties for those who illegally possess graffiti materials.  Councilmember Todd believes that today’s bill will ensure that the District of Columbia tackles a serious problem that has become a nuisance in several neighborhoods, adversely affects the District’s business corridors, and has led to public safety issues.

Councilmember Todd joins Mayor Bowser for the signing of the “Private Security Camera System Incentive Program Emergency Act of 2016”

On Friday, January 15th, Councilmember Todd joined Mayor Bowser as she signed the “Private Security Camera Incentive Program Emergency Act of 2015.”  This bill, which takes a significant step towards making the District safer, establishes a security camera rebate program that will not only assist District residents in purchasing security cameras but it will also give MPD officers additional tools to monitor our neighborhoods and streets.  Under the proposed program, residents will be able to apply for a rebate of up to $200 per camera, with a maximum of $500 per residence.  Business, nonprofits, and religious institutions will be able to apply for rebate of up to $200 per camera, with a maximum of $750 per establishment.  Councilmember Todd, who has supported this legislation from the beginning, looks forward to the full implementation of the program.

For more information, please contact the Councilmember’s Legislative Director, Michele Blackwell, at MBlackwell@dccouncil.us or (202) 724-7774.

Snow Storm Procedure
As early as Friday of this week, forecasts are calling for a potentially significant snowstorm to strike the District of Columbia. You may be wondering how the District government plans to address various issues, snow plowing chief among them. Here is the information we have to provide to you currently:

Plowing: Currently, the District is pre-treating several areas throughout the city ahead of the incoming storm. During the days of actual snowfall, plowing will begin upwards of 1 hour AFTER snow has completely stopped falling. You can track the progress of the snow plows HERE.

Snow Team: D.C. Residents and seniors with disabilities need assistance shoveling in front of their homes. The District Snow Teams NEED more volunteers. Visit the linkHERE to sign up and help your neighbors.

Sidewalk Shoveling Exemption: All D.C. Residents are required to remove the snow in front of their residences within the first 8 hours of daylight after snowfall ends. If you live in your own home and are 65 years or older with a disability, you may be exempt. Please visit the link HERE to check and sign up for the sidewalk shoveling exemption.

Letter from Second District Commander Melvin Gresham

To: The Ward Four community

As we enter a new year, I would like to take the time to thank our community for
their support in 2015. In 2015, the Second Police District saw a decrease in
robberies of 8 % and a decrease in burglaries of 32 %. Unfortunately, towards
the end of 2015, we saw an increase in theft from autos and motor vehicle thefts.
Most of these crimes are opportunistic and the perpetrators seized the first
chance to commit the crime.

As a veteran law enforcement member, I have always subscribed to an
old law enforcement philosophy in addressing crime: you must educate the
victims, modify the locations, and address the perpetrators. In 2015, members
of the Second District conducted outdoor public safety seminars in all eight of the
PSAs.  The objective was to inform the community of the information and
technology that is available to decrease the chances of becoming a crime victim.
While we have made a number of property related arrests, we know that there is
still more work to be done.

Educating the community

In most cases, the criminal element searches for vehicles that have unlocked
doors, valuables in plain sight, or vehicles that do not appear to be driven
regularly.  If possible, do not leave any items of value in plain sight. If you
have an alarm, remember to keep activated. And as always, please keep your
doors locked.  Most property related crimes occur late at night or very early in
the morning when there is limited vehicular or pedestrian traffic. As an
additional precaution, always attempt to park in a well-lit area. By adding
additional layers of security to your vehicle, you decrease the opportunity of
becoming a crime victim.

While robberies have decreased, this crime is also a crime of opportunity.
Always attempt to walk in well-lit areas and with someone if possible. Or, walk in
areas that have a consistent pattern of both vehicular and pedestrian traffic.

Modifying the locations

Those involved in criminal activities seek areas that are secluded or poorly lit.
In some instances, the street lights may not be functioning properly or the alley
lights may have burned out.  Please report these incidents to the agency
responsible.  If you witness suspicious persons or activities, please report this
immediately by calling the 9-11 system.  Do not wait until a crime occurs, it is
better to be safe than sorry.

Addressing the perpetrators

To assist law enforcement in an effort to reduce the levels of recidivisms, we are
directing our officers to request from the presiding judge in the case, a court edict
that is commonly referred to as a “stay away order “This court issued order
mandates that the offender “stay away “from the area or community where the
crime was committed.  If he/she violates this order, the penalty is contempt of
court. In closing, I would like to again thank the community for their support in
2015 and as we look forward to an even better year in 2016.

Sincerely,

Melvin Gresham
Commander
Second District

Councilmember Todd
Introduces Anti-Graffiti Legislation
On Tuesday, Councilmember Todd introduced, along with his colleague Councilmember LaRuby May (Ward-8), the “Anti-Graffiti Amendment Act of 2016,” in order to take a proactive approach to stopping graffiti before it happens. Widespread graffiti in our neighborhoods and business corridors is driving down property values, contributing to public safety concerns, and costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands. The act would, in part, increase fines for those who willfully place graffiti on a property without an owner’s consent to $2,500.

This legislation is the step in the right direction to work to deter the bad actors in and around our Ward from ever committing these acts of vandalism in the first place. Since taking office, Councilmember Todd has remained an ardent champion for ensuring that Ward 4’s neighborhoods are safe places to live, work, and thrive. In addition, he has prioritized the concerns and needs of small and local businesses owners, and the overall state of the Ward 4 economy as a whole. This legislation would go a long way in improving both facets of our community — public safety, and the local economy.

For more information regarding the bill, please contact Michele Blackwell, our Legislative Director, at (202) 724-7774 or by e-mail at Mblackwell@dccouncil.us.

AROUND THE WARD!

Councilmember Todd
Marches in MLK Day Parade

 

On Monday, Councilmember Todd joined his colleague Councilmember May (Ward-8: Pictured above) for the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Peace Walk and Parade. On the coldest day of the year, Councilmember Todd, his staff, and a few fantastic Ward 4 residents walked in solidarity in honor of the legacy and memory of the great Dr. King. 

To view the Councilmember’s entire Facebook post regarding the event (complete with ALL the pictures taken) click HERE!

Councilmember Todd Gives Keynote Address at the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church
on Martin Luther King Jr. Day

Also on Monday, Councilmember Todd was invited to address the Vermont Avenue Baptist Church congregation. The Councilmember gave an impassioned speech, which honored the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and also spoke to the idea of finding one’s own purpose. An excerpt of the aforementioned speech can be found below.

“We all have a purpose, whether we know what it is or not. I am honored and privileged to be able to serve 80 thousand residents every day; yet, I am humbled by those who serve in their small neighborhoods blocks, their church, and in their own families. No service is too small, no purpose unimportant. It is not what we do, but how we do it. It is how we serve and live out our purpose that matters most.

Today, as we celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy, please take a few moments to examine your goals and try to find your purpose. It may be simple and direct and unassuming; it may change someone’s life forever.”

-Councilmember Brandon Todd, 1/18/2016

Councilmember Todd joins Mayor Bowser and D.C. Council Colleagues for Signing of
Security Camera Rebate Act

On Friday, Councilmember Todd joined Mayor Bowser and his colleagues on the D.C. Council for the signing of the “Private Security Camera Incentive Program Emergency Act of 2015” to establish a rebate program for residents, businesses, nonprofits, or religious institutions to purchase security cameras.

This Act, which Councilmember Todd has supported from its introduction, is a monumental step forward in ensuring neighborhoods in Ward 4 and throughout the District of Columbia are safer. With the Mayor’s signature, significant tangible progress has been made in ensuring our MPD officers have the necessary tools they need to keep our streets safe.

Our office will continue to update you as more details regarding the rebate program become available. Please reach out Michele Blackwell, our Legislative Director, with any questions regarding the legislation itself. She can be reached at (202)-724-8052 or mblackwell@dccouncil.us.

Councilmember Todd Visits
E.L. Haynes Public Charter School

Also on Friday, Councilmember Todd spent the morning at E.L. Haynes Public Charter School with Chief Operating Officer Hilary Darilek, Principal Brittany Wagner-Friel, and Chief Marketing Officer Julie Anne Green to discuss curriculum, educational opportunities, and how to best prepare and educate students within Ward 4. Councilmember Todd is a graduate of the DCPS system, and a current member of the Committee on Education. Ensuring that our students have access to world-class educational facilities, instruction, and resources remains one of his top priorities.

While at E.L. Haynes PCS, the Councilmember met with Ms. Jessica Rucker, a teacher, who introduced him to her classroom (pictured above). The Councilmember also had a chance to meet with the E.L. Haynes Posse Foundation scholar selections. These incredibly bright and driven young people are the future leaders of our Ward and the District as a whole — please join Councilmember Todd in congratulating these young scholars on their accomplishments!

Councilmember Todd Meets with
the Ward 4 Mini Commission on Aging
Last week, Councilmember Todd joined the Mini Commission on Aging along with the District of Columbia Office on Aging and the D.C. Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services to speak with Ward 4 seniors and address their needs and concerns.

Councilmember Todd remains committed to the seniors of Ward , and he believes that it is only through direct, face to face communication that their needs can be appropriately handled. That is why he is dedicated to spending time in senior centers, meeting with the Mini Commission on Aging, and generally speaking to seniors at every possible opportunity.

Upcoming Events
UPCOMING WARD 4 OFFICE HOURS: February 4th, from 3:00pm – 5:00pm

Councilmember Todd’s next office hours will February 4th, from 3:00pm – 5:00pm, in the Fourth District Precinct at 6001 Georgia Avenue, NW. More details will be provided as they become available.

For any questions, please contact Jordan Bailey, our Constituent Services Coordinator, at (202) 724-8052 or by e-mail at JBailey@dccouncil.us

Ward 4 Council Staff

Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember
(202) 724-8052
btodd@dccouncil.us

Sherryl H. Newman
Chief of Staff
(202) 724-8052
snewman@dccouncil.us

Dolly Turner
Deputy Chief of Staff/Scheduler
(202) 654-6406
dturner@dccouncil.us

Michele Blackwell
Legislative Director
(202) 724-7774
mblackwell@dccouncil.us

Jackson Carnes
Director of Constituent Services
(202) 724-8793
jcarnes@dccouncil.us

Jordan Rummel
Communications Specialist
(202) 724-8191
jrummel@dccouncil.us

Jordan Bailey
Constituent Services Coordinator
(202) 724-8052
jbailey@dccouncil.us

Daniel Callejas
Administrative Assistant
(202) 724-8052

#Ward4Proud
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