From the Office of Councilmember Brandon T. Todd
April  13, 2016

Dear Neighbor,

On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the District of Columbia Emancipation Act, effectively ending slavery in Washington, D.C. It wouldn’t be until nearly nine months later before President Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, ending “the national shame” of slavery in the United States. As is often the case, the District of Columbia took the first step on a progressive path that the rest of the Country would soon follow thereafter.

I urge you to use Emancipation Day as a time to reflect. To use this day as an opportunity to look back at the history of the District and honor the great strides we have made. But to also cast a watchful eye toward the future, and the great lengths we must still traverse in order to secure real, tangible representation for the District – for our parents, for us, and for every generation to follow.

I encourage you to participate in the various events planned for this Saturday, April 16th, including the Emancipation Day ParadeConcert, and Fireworks. Come out, and celebrate our Emancipation!

Neighbors, though we will celebrate on Saturday, I know that the fight is not yet over. Please know that I will not stop working until we have the full representation we are entitled to, right here in the District of Columbia.


Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
Legislative Update

Fiscal Year 2017 Budget Hearings Continue at the DC Council

This week, the DC Council continued to hold budget oversight hearings on the proposed Fiscal Year 2017 budget.  By Wednesday, April 13th, the Council’s Committees held nine different hearings on various agencies, including a Committee on Education hearing on the Deputy Mayor for Education. During that hearing, the Committee heard from public witnesses who testified about their priorities for this year’s budget, including funding for the modernization program. Specifically, the Committee heard from Ward 4 residents about the importance of maintaining funding for the modernization of Coolidge High School.  As a member of the Committee on Education, Councilmember Todd is dedicated to preserving the modernization funding for Coolidge High School, as well as for other Ward 4 schools.

As the Council continues to hold hearings on the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, Councilmember Todd will continue to follow Ward 4 priorities closely. For more information about the Council’s review of the Fiscal Year 2017 budget, please contact Councilmember Todd’s Legislative Director, Michele Blackwell at (202) 724-8052 or at

Ward 4 Business Owners:
Register Today for Our Office Directory!
 Ward 4 business owners, Councilmember Todd would like to get to know you better in order to best serve your needs, share opportunities with you, and send you invitations to Ward 4 business events.

Please clink on the link HERE to fill in our survey and register for the Ward 4 Council office directory if you are a retail business owner, consultant, CBE, MBE, 8A Certified, or have a part-time business. It will only take 2 minutes!

If you have any questions regarding your business needs in general. please contact Dolly Turner, Deputy Chief of Staff, at or (202) 724-8052.

The Week In Review
Councilmember Todd Meets with Members of the Washington Interfaith Network
On Monday, Councilmember Todd met with members of the Washington Interfaith Network (“WIN”) to discuss issues important to Ward 4 residents. Just a few of the topics that were discussed included new opportunities for affordable housing within Ward 4, and job creation.

WIN is a “broad-based, multi-racial, multi-faith, strictly non-partisan, District-wide citizens’ power organization, rooted in local congregations and associations.” The organization places a great deal of resources and efforts toward training and developing community leaders and working to find solutions to neighborhood problems and areas of concern. Councilmember Todd was thrilled to have the opportunity to have this meeting with this group of D.C. thought-leaders!

For more information about WIN, please visit their website HERE!

The Councilmember Attends Successful “OurRFP” Public Workshop Regarding the Redevelopment of 1125 Spring Road NW
On Saturday, April 9th, Councilmember Todd joined the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development for an “OurRFP” Public Workshop for an interactive discussion of community goals in redeveloping the site at 1125 Spring Road, NW. The District presented an analysis of the site, and then attendees shared feedback, thoughts, criticism, and suggestions on the next step of development. Community feedback will be combined with citywide objectives to create an official “OurRFP.”

For more information on the “OurRFP” process, please contact Tsega Bekele at or (202)727-6365.

Councilmember Todd Visits Truesdell Elementary to Honor the “Jr. Elite Scholars” & “Men of Truesdell”


Last week, Councilmember Todd joined the students of Truesdell Education Campus to celebrate the academic accomplishments of the “Junior Elite Scholars” and “Men of Truesdell.” These students have excelled greatly in their time at Truesdell, and the Councilmember encouraged them to continue their pursuit of knowledge, learning, and academia. The Councilmember also made sure to thank the hard-work of the families, faculty, and staff — all of whom are crucial to ensuring our students are focused and dedicated to their studies.

Please join Councilmember Todd in wishing “Congratulations!” to these bright young scholars from Truesdell Elementary! For more information about the school, please follow their Facebook HERE.

Councilmember Todd Breaks Ground at new “Georgia Row” Condominiums Opposite
The Walter Reed Campus

This past Friday, Councilmember Todd joined Ward 4 neighbors, community leaders, Elm Street Development, and Craftmark Homes to break ground at the site of the “Georgia Row” condominums, across the street from the former Walter Reed Medical Campus.

These condos are one of many new projects coming to Ward 4 in advance of the upcoming re-development at Walter Reed — an undertaking that has been described as the “single largest economic redevelopment opportunity the District of Columbia has ever seen.” In addition, the planned condominiums will increase the tax base by over $30 million in value, provide housing for more than 100 new residents, and revitalize a property that has been vacant for years.

Did you know Councilmember Todd has co-introduced legislation targeted specifically at working to eliminate vacant buildings across the District? The legislation, entitled, “The Vacant and Blighted Building Enforcement Amendment Act of 2015,” would require property owners, after the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs classifies their property as ‘vacant,’ to proactively take steps to prove that his or her property should not be classified as such. The aim of this bill is to encourage property owners to repair unsightly, or vacant-appearing buildings. For more information, please visit the Councilmember’s Legislation page HERE for a link to the specific bill.

Councilmember Todd visits the Fahrenheit Apartment Complex on Georgia Avenue


Also last week, Councilmember Todd visited the Fahrenheit Apartment Complex, located at 3930 Georgia Avenue NW, to meet with developers and tour the property. The complex is clean, modern, located in a great area, and is a top D.C. destination for renters. The Fahrenheit apartment complex is tangible proof of the upward direction the Ward 4 economy continues to trend. Developers are coming to Ward 4, and new residents are moving in every day! The Councilmember is committed to fighting for balanced policies that will continue to attract new business and development to the Ward, while ensuring past, present, and future residents of Ward 4 are looked after.

The first floor of the property has still not been leased and would make a great home for a restaurant; if you, or someone you know might be a good fit for this location, contact Lawrence Rondon at today! For more information on the Fahrenheit Apartments, please visit their website HERE.

Events & Announcements
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 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

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

Dolly 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

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

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