April  20, 2016

Dear Neighbor,

Today, the United States Treasury announced that Harriet Tubman — abolitionist, suffragette, and all-around humanitarian —  will be replacing former President Andrew Jackson on the front of the $20 bill. With 2020, the 100th year anniversary of women receiving the right to vote, just around the corner, I could not think of a better way to honor such an integral and important figure in our nation’s history.

Last week, here in D.C., we celebrated the District’s Emancipation Day to honor the history of when, 154 years ago, the bondage of slavery was lifted from within the District walls. How appropriate to receive this news about Harriet Tubman – a historic pillar of the abolitionist movement – so shortly after we celebrated the District’s Emancipation.

Though we celebrate this milestone, there is still work to be done. In the workplace, many women are still victim to harassment and discrimination. In addition, on average in the District, full-time working women earn nearly $7,500 less than their male counterparts. Despite the immense progress we have made, a real gender disparity still exists, and that is unacceptable. Please know that, as your Councilmember, I will continue to fight for policies designed to give everyone — regardless of their age, gender, or the color of their skin — a fair shot at success in our Ward and our city.

That is, of course, the Ward 4 Way.


Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
Legislative Update
DC Council Holds Budget Hearing on the Fiscal Year 2017 Budgets for the Department of Public Works and the Department of Parks and Recreation

On Thursday, April 14th, the Committee on Transportation and the Environment held a public hearing on the Fiscal Year 2017 budgets for the Department of Public Works (“DPW”) and the Department of Parks and Recreation (“DPR”).  During the hearing, the Committee examined funding for these agencies and inquired about their programming for the next fiscal year.  Councilmember Todd, who is a member of the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, attended the hearing and noted that because both agencies provide vital city services, it is important that they have sufficient funding to operate efficiently and effectively.  In particular, Councilmember Todd noted increases in the DPW budget related to graffiti removal, parking enforcement, and solid waste management; and discussed how funding for these key functions are important to Ward 4 residents.  Additionally, Councilmember Todd spoke with DPR about funding for the modernization and maintenance of several Ward 4 DPR facilities, including funding for the modernization of the Chevy Chase Community Center.  The Council hearings on the Fiscal Year 2017 budget will continue until April 26th.  For more information on the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget hearing schedule, please contact Councilmember Todd’s Legislative Director, Michele Blackwell at (202) 724-8052 or mblackwell@dccouncil.us.

Newsflash: Ward 4 Updates
Councilmember Todd Appointed to the Air Quality Committee for the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments
Councilmember Brandon Todd was recently appointed as a Board Member to the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee (“MWAQC”), which is a part of the Metropolitan Council of Governments (“COG”). This committee has been tasked by the Mayor of the District of Columbia, and governors from Maryland and Virginia, to prepare an air quality plan for the Washington-Metropolitan region.  In order to fulfill its task and execute its responsibilities, MWAQC coordinates with other COG committees and the Transportation Planning Board.  Additionally, MWAQC reviews and evaluates air quality policies and adopts a regional air quality plan for the District, Maryland, and Virginia.  Over thirty different regional leaders comprise the Committee, and they represent nearly 20 different local jurisdictions.  Councilmember Todd looks forward to serving on this Committee and working on such an important environmental issue.  For more information about Councilmember Todd’s service on the Metropolitan Washington Air Quality Committee, please contact Councilmember Todd’s Legislative Director, Michele Blackwell at (202) 724-8052 or mblackwell@dccouncil.us.
Councilmember Todd is on Snapchat!
Follow him at “CM_Todd”
As part of the Councilmember’s mission to provide the most transparent, informative, and accessible style of governing possible, he has decided to take another step in order to communicate in a dynamic new space. Councilmember Todd can now be followed onSnapchat, the popular image sharing mobile app, at the username CM_Todd. Snapchat allows us, in real-time, to provide daily updates and behind-the-scenes snippets of Councilmember Todd, his staff, and the work we do every day. Be sure to download this free app, and follow the Councilmember today!
The Week In Review
Councilmember Todd Meets with the D.C. Federation of Democratic Women for their annual “Women in Blue” Advocacy Day
Today, Councilmember Todd met with the D.C. Federation of Democratic Women for their annual “Women in Blue” Advocacy Day to discuss economic development in Ward 4 and the District as a whole. The event provoked real and thoughtful discussion on growth in Ward 4, the revitalization of our business corridors like Kennedy Street and Georgia Avenue, and the immense progress soon to arrive in the Ward at the Walter Reed Medical Campus.
The Councilmember Celebrates
D.C. Emancipation Day
As you might be aware, this past Saturday was Emancipation Day, where residents from all across the District joined together to honor and celebrate the historic emancipation of Washington, D.C., 154 years ago. On Saturday, he joined many residents and colleagues (including Councilmember Orange and Chairman Mendelson pictured above) to honor the day at the annual Emancipation Day Brunch. There, Councilmember Todd was proud to join his colleagues to present a Resolution to speak to the history of the day.

Councilmember Todd is a staunch advocate and defender of the D.C. Statehood initiative, and believes that the residents of the District deserve full and equal representation, just like any other state in the nation. While he is aware of the great progress that has been made, he knows fully that the fight for true equality is not over. He has promised to work tirelessly to achieve this goal.

The Councilmember Attends Family Fitness Day with D.C. Chapter of Jack and Jill
Over the weekend, Councilmember Todd joined Mayor Bowser and the Washington, D.C. Chapter of Jack and Jill for their day of fun and wellness, with a spotlight on the importance of staying healthy and physically fit! Living a healthy lifestyle has always been a top priority for Councilmember Todd. It’s why, last year, he held the first annual Ward 4 Fitness Day to promote exercise and nutrition, and a major factor in his decision to create the Public Health Ward 4 Advisory Committee, which provides our office with proposals and suggestions on how to spread awareness and increase public health knowledge.

With summer, sunshine, and warm weather on the way, we hope you’ll make use of some of the outdoor facilities of Ward 4’s fabulous recreation centers, a full list of which can be found on our website HERE!

Councilmember Todd Joins E.L. Haynes Public Charter School for their Career “Lunch and Learn” Program

This past Friday, Councilmember Todd joined students from E.L. Haynes Public Charter school for their “Lunch and Learn” program, in which he spoke to the class about what it is like to be the Councilmember of Ward 4. Specifically, the Councilmember provided guidance to the students about the steps he took to reach his current role. The takeaway? With enough hard-work, commitment, and a dedication to helping the people around you, anything is possible.

To learn more about E.L. Haynes Public Charter, please visit their website HERE!

Events & Announcements
Join Councilmember Todd For a
One Year Anniversary Open House Celebration!
Did you know that, on May 14th, Councilmember Todd will have been your Ward 4 Councilmember for an entire year? Time flies when you’re working for the community!

The One Year Anniversary Open House will take place on Monday, May 16th, in Suite 105 at the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave., NW) from 5:00pm-7:00pm.  We hope you will join us.

Please give our office a call at (202) 724-8052 with any questions.

The Ward 4 Arts Committee presents: “Ward 4: Celebrating the Visual Arts in Upper DC” Presented by the Zenith Gallery
Ward 4 residents are invited to a special evening, with appetizers and drinks being provided by the event’s hosts, dedicated to the artists residing in our Ward. This community-focused event will feature a special guest appearance by Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd. Come show support for your very own Ward 4 artists in this fun and exciting event, where you can meet or reacquaint yourself with the neighborhood arts scene!

This event will take place TONIGHT, Wednesday, April 20th, from 5:30-7:30 P.M. at the Zenith Gallery (1429 Iris St., NW, Washington, DC 20012-1409).

Zenith Art Gallery and Fine Art Services and Gallery Director/Founder Margery Goldberg are your hosts for this event. Zenith Gallery, nestled within Shepherd Park, is known as one of the most innovative art galleries in this region, and has been in operation for over 38 years. While here for this special community-focused gathering, we invite you to take a few moments to enjoy Zenith Gallery’s 38th Anniversary Exhibit, “Turning 38…Continuing to Innovate.” This show features work from a number of Ward 4 artists: Francesca Britton, Margaret Delorme, Richard Fitzhugh, Margery Goldberg, Gloria Kirk and Karen Starika. We look forward to seeing you there!

The Ward 4 Arts Committee is comprised of residents and leaders in Ward 4, to provide recommendations on policy, attract more A & H programming, and identify initiatives among artists residing in Ward 4 and the District as a whole.

The Committee includes:
Susan Saunders McKenzie (Chair), Mariah Rooney (Chair), Diana Bulgar, Beatrice Davis-Williams, Joy Austin Ford, Margery E. Goldberg, Joigie Hayes-Tolson, Brian Mack, John McLarty, Victoria Murray-Baatin, Loretta Neumann-Smith, Bernadine Watson, Davey Yarborough, and George Koch.

Volunteer for the 8th Annual Extreme Cleanup with Rock Creek Conservatory
Neighbors, please join Rock Creek Conservancy on Saturday, April 23rd, from 9am-12pm in honor of the 8th Annual Rock Creek Extreme Cleanup.  This watershed-wide cleanup effort brings together thousands of volunteers to help clean-up the lands, banks, tributaries, and waters of Rock Creek throughout Maryland and D.C. This year we have over 70 volunteer sites participating in the cleanup.  We hope you will consider coming out to support Rock Creek Park.
Volunteer support is what makes the Extreme Cleanup such an important event.  With your help, volunteers have collected over 15,000 bags of trash, 900 tires, and 38,000 plastic bags over the last 7 years.  Please join us and make the 2016 Extreme Cleanup the best one yet!

Visit their website HERE for more information on the Extreme Cleanup. If you are interested in getting a group involved, please email volunteer@rockcreekconservancy.org.

DDOT Rock Creek East II Livability Study on Thursday, April 28, from 6:00pm – 8:00pm at the Petworth Library
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host a public meeting in Ward 4 to kick off the Rock Creek East II Livability Study on Thursday, April 28, 2016 from 6 PM to 8 PM at the Petworth Neighborhood Library (4200 Kansas Avenue, NW).  At this meeting, DDOT will introduce the project and provide opportunities to give your ideas for improving your neighborhood through interactive activities. The purpose of this study is to identify opportunities for safer travel for residents and visitors to the neighborhoods of Petworth, Crestwood, Brightwood Park, and 16th Street Heights. The goals of the study are to enhance the community quality of life through improvements to transportation safety, connections to destinations, green infrastructure, and sustainability.

Please join us and DDOT on April to participate in this public meeting.

Free Job Skills Workshop at Raymond Recreation Center on Thursday, April 21, from 1:00pm – 3:30pm
On Thursday, April 21st, please join the D.C. Department of Human Resources (“DCHR”) for valuable and winning interview tips and to receive timely information about other career resources and programs offered by DCHR. Additionally, residents will get assistance to navigate any and all online resources that are available. The workshop will take place on Thursday, April 21st, at Raymond Recreation Center (3725 10th St, NW) from 1:00pm – 3:30pm. We hope to see you there!
Ward 4 Council Staff

Brandon T. Todd
(202) 724-8052

Sherryl H. Newman
Chief of Staff
(o) (202) 724-8052
(c) (202) 215-5455

Jordan Bailey
Constituent Services Coordinator
(o)(202) 654-6421
(c)(202) 412-7310

Whitley O’Neal
Constituent Services Coordinator
(o) (202) 741-5923

Connor Weber
Constituent Services Coordinator
(o)(202) 724-8052

Dolly Turner
Deputy Chief of Staff/Scheduler
(o) (202) 654-6406
(c) (202) 304-8123

Michele Blackwell
Legislative Director
(o) (202) 724-7774

Jordan Rummel
Communications Specialist
(o) (202) 724-8191
(c) (202) 294-2506