Legislation introduced and co-introduced emphasizes commitment to human rights, community engagement, the sustainability of our residents, and protection of our children.

WASHINGTON, DC – (September 22, 2015) – Today, Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon T. Todd introduced two key pieces of legislation: the first to address inequalities for women who are divorced and unable to obtain redress and remain unable to remarry; and the second to encourage community engagement and unity in Ward 4. Additionally, Councilmember Todd joined his colleagues on the Council in co-introducing bills to increase the unemployment compensation and provide cost of living increases, while allowing for some part time employment; establishing a program to educate parents on sudden infant death syndrome; and directing the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to require training in suicide prevention, intervention and postvention for all teachers.

Councilmember Todd remains committed to moving forward an agenda that focuses on his key strategic goals, which include improving the quality of life and safety of District residents. Today’s legislative efforts represent his continued efforts on these fronts.


The Justice for Ex-Spouses Act of 2015 will require that a party to a marriage seeking a divorce certify that he or she has not created a barrier to remarriage for the other party; and to establish a civil cause of action for an individual whose former spouse has maliciously interfered with the individual’s ability to remarry; and to provide for the recovery of damages and reasonable attorney’s fees by the prevailing plaintiff.

“I hope that this bill will help provide safeguards to the many women who have been subjected to this type of treatment”, said Councilmember Todd.

The Emery Heights Community Center Designation Act of 2015, would designate the Emery Recreation Center, located at 5801 Georgia Avenue, N.W., in Ward 4, as the Emery Heights Community Center.
“The community has asked that this facility be renamed because the residents have recognized that this center represents the community of Emery Heights and have gathered together to request this name change to better represent the entire community and its growing needs and expectations.” said Councilmember Todd.


The District of Columbia Unemployment Compensation Act of 2015, introduced by Councilmember Elisa Silverman, proposes to amend the current act to update our unemployment benefits, which have not been increased for a decade. Our UI Compensation Fund is one of the healthiest in the nation, running surpluses in the past couple years. The bill would raise benefits from $359, which is the lowest in the DMV, to Maryland’s weekly maximum benefit of $430 and then have it keep pace with inflation. This would make DC 21st instead of 39th among the states for level of its benefit cap. Additionally, it will also allow those to work part-time and receive benefits while searching for full-time work.

The Safe Sleep for Infants Act of 2015, introduced by Councilmember Yvette Alexander, would provide education for parents relating to sudden infant death syndrome and sudden death of infants, and establish the Sudden Infant Death Syndrome Education and Prevention Program.

The Youth Suicide Prevention and School Climate Survey Act of 2015, introduced by Councilmember David Grosso, would, in part, direct the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to adopt rules requiring that all school-based personnel receive at least 2 hours of suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention training each year; develop approved training curriculum options; to require LEAs to adopt a policy on student suicide prevention; and require submission of an annual report of school climate survey results to the Council.

About Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon T. Todd

Councilmember Brandon T. Todd (D-Ward 4) is a native Washingtonian and lifelong public servant. He was elected to be the Ward 4 Councilmember on April 28, 2015 in a special election. He is Past-President of the Ward 4 Democrats and an active member of many civically-focused organizations across D.C. Prior to joining the Council, he served as the Director of Constituent Services in the Ward 4 Council Office of Muriel E. Bowser.
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For additional information, please contact: Dolly Turner 202-724-8052 or dturner@dccouncil.us