March 30, 2016

Dear Neighbor:

On this day in 1870, in the wake of the Civil War, the United States Congress passed the 15th amendment. This amendment guaranteed the right to vote, regardless of race. It is impossible to fully underscore the significance of this vote; it was a breakthrough for our nation and it paved the way for equality not just along the racial divide, but also across the brow of our national conscience. This monumental vote led the charge for equal rights for citizens in America regardless of their race, gender, wealth, zip-code, or religion.

It would take decades for this amendment to truly be recognized in every state across the nation. Leaders were needed — like Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, Robert Kennedy, and Michael Schwerner — who stood up in the face of bigotry and discrimination to fight for what they believed in. Many of these brave men and women died in their efforts to achieve equality.

We cannot take lightly the sacrifices of the men and women who came before us. Today, we are fortunate enough to have the opportunity, liberty, and ability to vote. It is our civic responsibility to exercise this right, and I entreat you to do so. I encourage you to play an active role in your government. Attend ANC meetings and D.C. Council hearings, call and write my office with questions, and stay informed with the latest news from District agencies. Your participation helps me, help you! I understand that the most effective government is one that listens to, and engages with, the constituents it serves. That is what I aim to do.

After all, that’s the Ward 4 way.


Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
Legislative Update
DC Council to be briefed by Mayor Bowser on the
Fiscal Year 2017 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan
On Monday, April 4th, Mayor Bowser will brief members of the Council on her proposed Fiscal Year 2017 Budget and Financial Plan.  The budget, which was transmitted to the Council on March 24th, will be considered by Councilmembers through a series of hearings that will take place between April 6th and April 26th.  During those hearings, Councilmember Todd, who is a member of the Committee on Education, the Committee on Transportation and the Environment, and the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs, will be speak directly with agency Directors and representatives about the financial health of each agency and how the District is investing in projects that are important to Ward 4 residents.  In addition to speaking with agencies that fall under the purview of his Committees, Councilmember Todd will be evaluating the budgets of agencies that closely affect the lives of Ward 4 residents.  Some of those agencies include the Office on Aging and the Metropolitan Police Department.If you have any questions regarding the Fiscal Year 2017 Budget hearing schedule, please contact Councilmember Todd’s Legislative Director, Michele Blackwell at (202) 724-8052 or

Official Launch: Ward 4 Council Website

We are proud and excited to announce the launch of the Ward 4 Council website. The website has everything:  newsletters, legislation, information about Ward 4, upcoming events, photos, videos, meeting request forms and more!

This new site is yet another amazing resource for all things Ward 4-related.

Please visit the site. We are all immensely proud of the work that went in to creating it and we are excited to officially go live. The url to the site is or, alternately, you can click HERE to access it.

If you experience any difficulty using the site, or have a question about some of the information on it, please contact our Communications Specialist, Jordan Rummel, at or (202) 724-8191.

Ward 4 Spotlight!
Three Ward 4 Students Awarded
Full-Ride Scholarships to
George Washington University
Three Ward 4 students (out of a group of ten from around the District) won free rides to George Washington University through the Stephen Joel Trachtenberg program. The program has funded the costs of tuition, room, board, books, and fees for more than 160 students from D.C. In addition, the students will be able to participate in a “Summer Pathways” program, allowing them to take one GWU class over the summer to “ensure a seamless transition to college.”

The winners from Ward 4 include; Mikias Gebremeskel (Roosevelt High School) who hopes to one day become a dentist, Daniel Nguyen (Capital City Public Charter School), the senior class president, and Nathan Hanshew (Washington Latin Public Charter School) who hopes to pursue a career in medicine. Please join Councilmember Todd in congratulating these fine young scholars, who are off to a great start in their upper-academic careers!

The Week In Review
Councilmember Todd joins the Students of Whittier Education Campus to Celebrate their Academic Success

Last week, Councilmember Todd joined the students of Whittier Education Campus to celebrate their all-around high marks on their Achievement Network (“ANet”) exams. The Councilmember was pleased to recognize two students, Bethel Ebringa and Chimeremma Nwokwu, for their individual achievements on the math exam and spelling bee, respectively.

The Councilmember is a graduate of the D.C. Public School system and a member of the D.C. Council Committee on Education. He is a fierce advocate for our children and students, and is relentless in his mission to modernize the schools in Ward 4 and the District as a whole. With the support of his newly founded Education Advisory Committee, Councilmember Todd is wholly dedicated to ensuring every single student in the District has access to world-class educational facilities, instruction, resources, and opportunity. The students of the District of Columbia have an ally on the D.C. Council in Councilmember Todd!

Please join the Councilmember in congratulating the success of these fantastic students!

The Councilmember Kicks-Off the
Satchel Paige Little League Season

Over the weekend, Councilmember Todd helped to kick-off the Satchel Paige Little League Opening Day with dozens of budding young athletes. Youth sports are a crucial building block in any young child’s life and help teach our young people how teamwork, hard-work, and practice can help lead us to achieve success. It is no coincidence that the Councilmember adheres to these same principles day-in and day-out right here at the Council. Councilmember Todd would like to send a special ‘thank you’ to all of the parents, volunteers, ex-ballplayers, government employees (the Department of Parks and Recreation, in particular) and of course, Satchel Paige Little League President Andre “Smokey” Lee, for their help, effort, and dedication in ensuring this year’s season is top-class for our kids. You are true leaders in the community!

For more information on the Satchel Paige Little League, please check out their website,HERE!

Councilmember Todd Joins Walker’s Legacy To Advocate for Equal Opportunity and Representation for Women in Business

Though great strides have been made, a disproportionate inequality and bias still exists when it comes to women in the workplace. Women still make far-less than men do per-dollar, and underlying sexism in the office, and elsewhere, is still prevalent. In this country, while we have always celebrated the ideals of fairness and equality, it is still evident that a divide exists based, at times, on gender, age, wealth, address, or skin color. In March, National Women’s History Month, it is pertinent we take a collective look at our nation to celebrate the achievements we have made and examine closely the areas that still need improvement.

It is on this topic that Councilmember Todd was invited to speak to the collected attendees of the “Walker’s Legacy” Power 50 Luncheon this past weekend. Walker’s Legacy, an organization committed to advocating specifically on behalf for women of color in professional business fields. In Ward 4, we pride ourselves on a history of women who have gone against the grain in order to succeed and thrive in the face of hardship. Women like Mayor Muriel Bowser, former Councilmember Dr. Charlene Drew-Jarvis, and Takom, D.C. small business owner Angel Anderson.

Councilmember Todd will never stop fighting for such an important issue as this. For more information about Walker’s Legacy, please check out their website HERE.

Events & Announcements
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 at Roosevelt High School. 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!

“OurRFP” Public Workshop Regarding the Redevelopment of 1125 Spring Road NW, on Saturday, April 9
On Saturday, April 9th, from 11:00am to 1:00pm, at Raymond Recreation Center (3725 10th Street, NW) the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development invites you to an OurRFP Public Workshop for an interactive discussion of community goals in redeveloping the site at 1125 Spring Road, NW. The District will present an analysis of the site, and then attendees will be invited to share feedback and thoughts on the next step of development. Community feedback will be combined with citywide objectives to create “OurRFP.”For more information, please contact Tsega Bekele at or (202)727-6365.

Last Chance to Apply for the White House Internship Program and the D.C. Scholars Program at the White House
Do you know a leader interested in interning at the White House? Encourage them to apply today for the Fall 2016 White House Internship Program – the final internship opportunity in the Obama Administration. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, 18 years of age or older before the first day of the internship, and meet at least one of the following criteria: Currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution); Graduated from an undergraduate or graduate degree program at a college, community college, or university (two-to-four year institution) no more than two years before the first day of the internship; or a veteran of the United States Armed Forces who possesses a high school diploma or its equivalent and has served on active duty, for any length of time, in the two years preceding the first day of the internship. Additional information on both programs, including eligibility requirements, application materials, and internship timelines are available HERE
The Fall 2016 White House Internship Program application cycle closes on Sunday, April 17, 2016 at 11:59 PM, EST and the application for the D.C. Scholars Program at the White House closes on Sunday, April 24, 2016 at 11:59 PM EST.  Application questions should be directed to

Ward 4 Council Staff

Brandon T. Todd
(202) 724-8052

Sherryl H. Newman
Chief of Staff
(o) (202) 724-8052
(c) (202) 215-5455
snewman@dccouncil.usDolly Turner
Deputy Chief of Staff/Scheduler
(o) (202) 654-6406
(c) (202) 304-8123

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

Michele Blackwell
Legislative Director
(o) (202) 724-7774
mblackwell@dccouncil.usJordan Rummel
Communications Specialist
(o) (202) 724-8191
(c) (202) 294-2506