March 16, 2016
Dear Neighbor:

We find ourselves halfway through March; inching closer to the ‘pop’ of a baseball hitting a glove, the blooming Cherry Blossoms, and the sound of birds finally returning to their nests. As we shake off the final remnants of winter and stride ardently into spring, let us do so with a renewed motivation, energy, and sense of purpose.

Are you still committed to your New Year’s Resolution?There is no better time to renew your goals, and embrace a healthy lifestyle. Support local growers and purchase your fruits and vegetables at a farmer’s market. Make exercise and physical fitness a priority, and take a jog through Rock Creek Park, ride your bike to work, or take advantage of one of your free memberships to any of our Department of Parks and Recreation gym facilities.

Today, we set the tone for the remainder of the year. Today, we impress the importance of a healthy lifestyle upon our children. There is no excuse to do otherwise. Ward 4 is home to some of the oldest residents not only District-wide, but in the country. I’m sure many of you have seen the video of Virginia McClaurin, the 107 year-old Ward 4 native, who charmed the hearts of the nation when she danced with President and First Lady Obama just a few short weeks ago. Ms. McLaurin is, especially at her age, an inspiration– she is vivacious, exuberant, and exceedingly full of life.

Friends, I hope that you all live as long as, and as happily, as has Ms. McLaurin. The first step to doing so is to live the right way — healthy, active, and engaged.

That’s the Ward 4 way.


Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
Legislative Update

Councilmember Brandon Todd appointed to the
Marijuana Private Club Task Force

On Tuesday, March 15th, Councilmember Brandon Todd was appointed to the Marijuana Private Club Task Force by Chairman Mendelson.  This task force was established by the “Marijuana Possession Decriminalization Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2016,” which was passed by the Council in February.  Current law prohibits the sale and regulation of sale of marijuana in private clubs.  The creation of the task force, however, will allow the Council to examine the potential of a regulatory scheme in the District; and will review arguments in favor of and in opposition to the allowance of marijuana sales.  The task force will include: the Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration; the Director of the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs; the Director of the Department of Health; the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department; the Attorney General for the District; Councilmember Brandon Todd; and Councilmember Brianne Nadeau.  For information on Councilmember Todd’s role on the Marijuana Private Club Task Force, please contact Councilmember Todd’s Legislative Director, Michele Blackwell at (202) 724-8052 or
The Week In Review
Councilmember Todd Visits the Takoma Education Campus to Speak With Students about Healthy Lifestyles


This past week, Councilmember Todd visited the students of Takoma Education Campus to discuss the benefits and importance of gardening, nutrition, and living a generally healthy lifestyle. Washington D.C. currently holds the proud distinction of having thesecond lowest rate of adult obesity in the nation and that is a trend Councilmember Todd has no intentions of changing!

Since he took office, Councilmember Todd has remained a vocal advocate for physical activity and healthy-living. Last year, he hosted the first annual Ward 4 Fitness day as well as the first annual Ward 4 bike ride to promote physical fitness. Additionally, this past February, the Councilmember launched 12 new Advisory Committees to help guide and advise on policy — one of those 12 committees deals exclusively with issues pertaining to health.

The Councilmember Visits Dorothy Height E.S. to Promote Literacy and STEAM Education

This past week, Councilmember Todd visited Dorothy I. Height Elementary School in Ward 4 to join Verizon and First Book in support of their campaign to promote literacy and STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) learning among young people and students. At the event, Councilmember Todd spoke to the assembled 2nd graders about the importance of reading, and then surprised the students in a storytelling of his own (check out an amazing video from this part of the day HERE)!

As a D.C. Public Schools graduate and a current member of the D.C. Council Committee on Education, Councilmember Todd has never wavered in his mission to serve as an advocate for our students — working each day to ensure they have access to world-class educational resources, facilities, and instruction. Additionally, in February, Councilmember Todd launched twelve new Ward 4 Advisory Committees (Read more about them HERE!). One of those Committees deals exclusively with education, and Councilmember Todd intends to work with this Committee in order to continue to make informed and strategic policy decisions to best help the students of the District.

Councilmember Todd Meets with Seniors at Riggs La Salle Recreation Center to
Discuss Tax-Aide Programs 

This past Friday, Councilmember Todd visited Riggs LaSalle Recreation Center with the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP), the District of Columbia Office on Aging, and the D.C. Department of Parks and Recreation to discuss tax-aide programs for Ward 4 and District seniors. A fierce advocate for the rights and needs of our District’s most  treasured residents, Councilmember Todd was thrilled to have the opportunity to speak to the assembled crowd at Riggs LaSalle about these very important resources. There are three AARP Tax Aide Program locations in Ward 4 where trained volunteers prepare tax returns to residents at no cost.

The Petworth Library, located at 4200 Kansas Avenue, NW
The Emery Recreation Center, located at 5801 Georgia Ave, NW
The Lamond Riggs Library, located at 5401 S Dakota Ave, NW

A fourth, the Chevy Chase Community Center (5601 Connecticut Ave, NW), is in Ward 3 but may be an additional nearby option for many Ward 4 residents.

For more information, please give the AARP a call at 888-687-2277 or visit their websiteHERE.

Councilmember Todd Congratulates Deputy Mayor Jennie Niles for Recognition at
E.L. Haynes Public Charter School

Please join Councilmember Todd in congratulating Deputy Mayor for Education, Jennie Niles, as the E.L. Haynes Public Charter School gymnasium was re-named in her honor on Tuesday, March 15th.The gymnasium, which was completed in January of 2012, holds a special place in Mayor Niles’ heart. During the construction process, she was adamant on providing the students of E.L. Haynes with a high-quality space with which they could build themselves into scholar-athletes. For Mayor Niles’, the quality of the gym was always non-negotiable–only world-class would do.

Thank you, Deputy Mayor Niles, for your continued passion and commitment to the children and students of the District!

Events & Announcements
Have a Question? Join Councilmember Todd at his Ward 4 Office Hours on March 18th
Have a question for Councilmember Todd? Or an issue in dire need of attention? Maybe you just want to drop by and say ‘hello’ to your favorite Ward 4 Councilmember?

If so, please stop by the next Ward 4 Office Hours, at Riggs La Salle Recreation Center (501 Riggs Rd, NE), on Friday, March 18th, from 10:00am to 12:00pm to meet with Councilmember Brandon Todd! Remember, appointments are made on a first-come first-serve basis, so arrive as early as you can!

Please direct any questions to our Constituent Services Coordinator, Jordan Bailey, at (202) 654-6421, or by e-mail at

RSVP now for the DCBuys: Reverse Trade Fair on Thursday, March 24th
The DCBuys: Reverse Trade Fair will be held at the Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University (800 Florida Avenue NE) on Thursday, March 24th, 2016. The Fair is an opportunity for local and regional vendors to advertise their goods and services directly to program managers and procurement personnel. The DC Buys: Reverse Trade Fair is a fantastic opportunity to market your product. For companies interested in doing business with the District, this is a fantastic opportunity to find out about upcoming contracting opportunities.

To register for DC Buys: Reverse Vendor Trade Fair, click HERE. For more information about DC Buys, please contact Elizabeth Anderson Cadogan, Business Engagement Manager, directly at (202) 299-3963, or

T. Roosevelt Alumni Association Hosts Personal Hygiene Product Drive for Two Women’s Shelters and Female Students
The T. Roosevelt Alumni Association is collecting new & gently used purses and personal hygiene items to donate to two women’s shelters as well as the female students at Roosevelt H.S. The items being collected include but are not limited to soap, deodorant, dental floss, compact mirrors, combs/brushes, feminine hygiene products, and lip gloss.

The items will be collected until April 9th. For more information please contact Francise Dyson at (202) 870-1683, or Patricia Stozer at (202) 492-3685.

7th Annual Ward 4 D.C. Water Town Hall Meeting On Wednesday, April 6
Councilmember Todd will co-host the 7th annual Ward 4 D.C. Water Town Hall Meeting on Wednesday, April 6. The meeting will take place from 6:30pm – 8:30pm. Since 2010, DC Water has co-hosted one meeting per Ward with District Councilmembers annually to discuss water and sewer related issues.The primary purpose for these meetings is to generate feedback. The meeting will discuss water quality and conservation, wastewater treatment, new projects, community outreach, the D.C. Clean Rivers Project, and customer service, among other areas of interest. See you there!

For DC Water related inquiries, please visit their website, HERE!

Online Application for National Youth Science Camp Fellowship is Available Now!
The National Youth Science Camp Fellowship is a program wherein top students from around the globe are brought to a beautiful campus in the woods near Bartow, West Virginia, for over 3 weeks of hands-on science activities, outdoor adventures, and field trips to D.C. Two graduating high school seniors will be chosen to represent the District of Columbia at this prestigious residential summer science program, with all their travel and camp fees covered.

This year’s camp runs from June 15 through July 10, 2016. (Delegates must commit to attending the full session.)  To register and begin application process, visit Required documents include an academic transcript, CV with leadership activities, awards, etc., a letter of support from a teacher or mentor, and a letter from the student describing his or her academic and professional dreams and how attending the camp will help fulfill them.

Applications must be completed online by MARCH 16, 2016 at 6 pm. Good luck!

Ward 4 Council Staff

Brandon T. Todd
(202) 724-8052

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

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

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

Jackson Carnes
Director of Constituent Services
(o) (202) 724-8793
(c) (202) 316-9078

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

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