From Councilmember Trayon White, Sr. <[email protected]>
Subject Doubling Ticket Penalties are Predatory.
Date January 11, 2024 6:33 PM
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Dear Ward 8 Residents,

Yesterday, I introduced 3 bills to help District residents resolve motor vehicle debt and extract themselves from the punitive system created by our government to collect parking and traffic tickets.

The first bill is "The Fair Motor Vehicle Fines and Penalties Amendment Act of 2024." This bill would prohibit parking, standing, and tickets issued by automatic traffic enforcement systems from doubling after 60 or 90 days. Instead, the legislation would provide a reasonable penalty of $10 to $15 to cover the cost of debt collection.
Can you imagine if a landlord charged a penalty the same as the rent if you were late? Or if your credit card or car loan balance doubled on day 31 of non-payment?

The practice of doubling of tickets is predatory. If such actions were performed by private companies it would be considered outrageous. With this in mind, the government should be held to the same standard.

The second bill is "The Ticket Amnesty Amendment Act of 2024." This bill authorizes a 6-month period where penalties (the doubling of fees on past traffic enforcement and automatic traffic enforcement are waived.

This bill will allow residents to pay only the initial amount of the infraction during this 6-month window, and would waive penalties on any ticket issued prior to January 1, 2024.

Past ticket amnesty programs have proven to be successful for the city and residents. The city receives a significant portion of funds that would have never been collected without the amnesty and the residents are unburdened of debt that they could not afford.

The last bill is the "Motor Vehicle Registration Access Amendment Act of 2024". This bill would allow an applicant to register a vehicle despite failure or inability to pay any unpaid debt to the District government, including traffic fines, penalties, and other debts. Under this legislation, the Mayor may limit one vehicle registered per resident for those with outstanding fines.

This bill is premised on the idea that some people need their vehicles to work and function. Withholding a vehicle registration creates more issues while solving none.

District drivers who are unable to register their cars in DC will register their vehicles in other jurisdictions like Maryland or Virginia. These vehicles represent the bulk of DC's uncollectible debt.

In this scenario, the revenue that would be certainly generated by registration fees is lost and replaced with uncollectible debt issued to an out-of-state vehicle.

I have heard complaints that ticket amnesty, reasonable fines, and access to registration will provide a disincentive to pay tickets and obey the law.
This is not true.

District drivers will still be required to satisfy their infractions by law, and the city still has the ability to:
* Tow, boot, and impound vehicles with outstanding tickets. District law states that a vehicle is boot-eligible if it has two or more unsatisfied parking and/or photo enforcement tickets that are more than 60 days old.
* Police drivers and roadways
* Issue points against a drivers license for unsafe driving
* Refuse to issue a work or business permit, occupational license, or certification issued by the District
* Use speed humps and other methods of traffic control that does not involve ticketing
* Refuse to register more than one vehicle if a debt is owe.

Drivers still have an obligation to pay their tickets and most important operate their vehicles safely. This legislation is by no means to give drivers the attitude that they can escape the safeguards in place, but rather, support District drivers from punative penalties for minor driving and parking infractions.

We have an uphill battle to get these measures to the finish line.
The next step is to get these bills to a hearing and vote. I need everyone who supports these measures to contact your Councilmember and the Mayor and voice your support, and request a hearing on these measures. We have seen something, we have said something, and now I need you to do something.


Trayon White, Sr.
Ward 8 Councilmember
[link removed]
January 10, 2024
Councilmember Trayon White introduces legislation on ticket penalties and more

[CLICK TO WATCH] ([link removed])
Join Councilmember Trayon White for the MLK Peace Walk & Parade, this Monday, January 15th. The first 75 people to assemble with Councilmember White for the parade will receive a hat a t-shirt.

Assemble at 10:00 am
Parade at 11:00 am

To walk with Councilmember White visit [link removed].

For more information about the parade and route visit [link removed].
For more information about this event please contact:
The Office of Councilmember Trayon White, Sr.
Jules Jessie
202-724-8045 | 202-812-8329
[email protected]

** The 2024-25 School Year Lottery Application is Open! ([link removed])

The My School DC lottery application for the 2024-25 school year is open and closes on:
* FEB. 1: Grades 9-12
* MAR. 1: PK3 – Grade 8

Learn if your families need to submit a lottery application here ([link removed]) . The lottery is not first come, first served. This means that applicants have until the application deadline to apply and make any edits to their application.

As you help your families prepare to apply, make use of these tools:
* Watch how the lottery works. Take a moment to watch how My School DC matches students to schools ([link removed]) . How you rank your schools on the My School DC application matters!
* Create a list of schools using the School Finder ([link removed])  – you can apply to up to 12!
* Learn what is needed to apply ([link removed]) .
* Applying to pre-K? We have a page for that ([link removed]) .

* Applying to high school? Learn what is required ([link removed]) , including admissions criteria for the eight DC Public Schools (DCPS) selective high schools and programs.
* We want to help you find the right fit for your child with an Individualized Education Program (IEP). There is a point of contact within schools’ profiles ([link removed])  that you can connect with, as well as an overview of the process
([link removed]) .
* Familiarize yourself with Key Terms ([link removed])  and review FAQs ([link removed]) . You’ve asked, we’ve

Need help? Our hotline team is standing by. Give us a call at (202) 888-6336, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. or email us (mailto:[email protected]) . We’re here for you!
Legislative Updates ()

This week, the Council of the District of Columbia voted on the Strengthening Traffic Enforcement, Education and Responsibility (“STEER”) Act ([link removed]) introduced by Councilmember Allen of Ward 6. The STEER Act enhances the booting, towing, and impounding of vehicles based on repeat or serious traffic violations in a 6-month window, gives authority to the office of the Attorney General to bring civil suits against drivers or vehicles, including drivers from outside the district, and claims to have a more streamlined license revocation procedures for repeat DUI offenders. The STEER Act also assesses points on driving records from speed tickets issued by automated traffic enforcement cameras.

The Act was passed on a 12-0 vote with Councilmember Trayon White voting as present.
Committee Updates ()
This week, the Committee on Recreation, Libraries, and Youth Affairs focused on coordinating the performance oversight schedule for FY24. The schedule and registration information will be posted once it is finalized.

Residents are encouraged to participate in the performance oversight process and share their experiences with the agencies that fall under the purview of the Committee. For more information on how to get involved, please email Marketta Buchanan at [email protected].
Councilmember White Brings in the New Year with an ANC Brunch.

January 6, 2024

Councilmember Trayon White hosted a Ward 8 ANC Brunch to bring in the new year with commissioners to share his vision for the Ward & to hear about their concerns and budget priorities, and find deeper ways to connect and collaborate this year.

All commissioners were gifted a certificate of appreciation for their service and a Ward 8 lapel pin and enjoyed some entertainment by @herutheviolinist.

Advisory Neighborhood Commission Elections

As required by law, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners must elect new officers every January, and these officers serve for one year. However, it is important to know that the specific bylaws governing each commission may vary. Some bylaws stipulate a prerequisite of at least one year of service before one can serve as an officer, while others permit officers to serve multiple consecutive terms. This week, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8E and 8A conducted its elections.

On Monday, January 8^th, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8E held its elections. There new officers are:
* Kell Mikel Williams (8E03), Chairperson
* Duane A. Moody (8E05), Vice Chairperson
* Deborah Wells (8E01), Treasurer
* Dolores Bryant (8E06), Secretary

On Tuesday, January 9^th, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8A held its elections. There new officers are:
* Jamila White (8A05), Chairperson
* Robin McKinney (8A06), Vice Chairperson
* Laverne Glenn (8A07), Treasurer
* Tonya Crawford (8A01), Secretary
* Laneice Moore (8A04), Sargent-at-arms

Election Schedule
* Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8B will hold its elections on January 16^th.
* Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8C will hold its elections on January 10^th.
* Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8D will hold its elections on January 30th.
* Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8F will hold its elections on January 25^th.

Ward 8 Residents can take advantage of services from Diane's House

January 9, 2024

This week, Constituent Service Specialist, Louise Thorne visted with Shelly Johnson of Diane's House Ministries, a nonprofit organization developed to address the housing needs of women who are faced with homelessness and living on the street.

Although Diane's House is located in northeast, they support all low income women with the opportunity to obtain permanent housing through transitional housing counseling, skill development and support services.

For more information about this organiztion please contact Rochelle Rose at 202-248-1042 and visit their website at [link removed].
Ward 8 Residents can monitor monthly progress of affordable housing units in DC.

January 9, 2024

Constituent Service Specialist, Eric Cleckley attended the ANC 8A meeting. The meeting had an emphasis on affordable housing. Housing affordability remains a critical compnent to all District residents. Mayor Bowser set a goal of producing 36,000 new housing units and 12,000 affordable units by 2025.

The dashboard ([link removed]) on DMPED's website is updated monthly to reflect the total new housing and affordable units created each month.

For more information on this target and an overview of how the District is working to achieve this goal, please visit

This month marks what would’ve been Davon Thomas McNeal III’s 15th birthday.

Davon, a football phenom and violence interrupter in training, became a victim of the very scourge his mother, Crystal McNeal, was working to stop. On July 4, 2020, he lost his life on the 1400 block of Cedar Street in Southeast shortly after arriving at a cookout his mother was hosting.

Crystal McNeal, joined by dozens of community members, recently converged, once again, on 1400 Cedar Street to honor Davon, for whom that street has been ceremoniously renamed Davon T. McNeal III Way.
Click to read full article: [link removed]

WASHINGTON, D.C. (7News) — D.C. Councilmember Trayon White, Sr. plans to unveil three new bills Wednesday morning aimed at overhauling the District's parking and traffic ticket system.

The proposed legislation seeks to eliminate the doubling of fines within 30 days, provide an opportunity for vehicle registration despite unpaid parking debts, and initiate a ticket amnesty program to ease financial burdens on residents.
Click to read full article:[link removed]
http:// [link removed]

WASHINGTON — Following days of backlash, the Chairman of the DC Council, Phil Mendelson ([link removed]) , decided to delay the vote for his nominee to serve in the District's Sentencing Commission ([link removed]) that was scheduled for Tuesday morning.

"I felt it was important to lower the temperature level of this appointment," Mendelson told WUSA9.

"That is driven largely by these guidelines that are created by D.C.'s sentencing commission that advise judges in general for certain offenses the ranges that would be appropriate," Graves said. "In our estimation, these ranges are too low, and we need a commission that has that view and makes the changes that are needed."

Mendelson believes that Graves' concerns about low sentences are being conflated with Castón's nomination.

The Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, Brooke Pinto, who also serves as one of 17 members on the Sentencing Commission has also echoed concerns about the potential appointment.

Other members of the Council, including Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, thought Castón's vote should have moved forward despite the pushback.

"The committee consists of a whole bunch of people with the same kind of résumé," White said.

Councilmember White said he disagrees with Graves' comments about Castón that indicate, "neither that work nor his lived experience as an incarcerated person renders him an expert in sentencing policy matters."

"Joel provides a unique lens, which is needed when we talk about equity and inclusion," White said.
Click to read full article: (http:// [link removed]) [link removed] (http:// [link removed])

** Quick Links
* Check out the 2020 Ward 8 Progress Report ([link removed])
* Check out the 2021 Ward 8 Progress Report ([link removed])
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