Hi Ward 1! I have more updates on the District's reopening and important topics being discussed at the Council.
Reopening DC Beginning on May 21, restrictions on most public and commercial activity, including capacity limits, types of activities, and time restrictions, will be lifted.
Childcare Facilities Yesterday, the Mayor also announced new guidance for childcare facilities. Childcare facilities can now resume cohort sizes set in childcare licensing regulations, provided they are able to do so while preserving appropriate physical distancing. You can find the updated guidance here.
Parking Enforcement & Street Sweeping I mentioned this in my last newsletter, but wanted to remind residents that on June 1 the District will restart:
All parking enforcement
Towing of vehicles violating parking zones
Street sweeping and SWEEP enforcement
Vehicles must display valid DC registration and inspection stickers
New tiered residential parking permit fees
There is a new four-month ticket amnesty program to give drivers the opportunity to pay outstanding tickets for parking, photo enforcement (including speed, red-light, and stop sign), and minor moving violations. Drivers eligible for the amnesty program are still obligated to pay the original ticket amount; however, any penalties will be waived. More information can be found at ticketamnesty.dc.gov.
Mask Guidance Yesterday, Mayor Bowser announced new mask guidance. Fully vaccinated people only need to wear masks or social distance in places where it is required. If a business posts a sign indicating that masks are required, then you must wear a mask to go in. Masks are also still required:
On the Metro, on buses, and in taxis and ride shares
Schools and childcare facilities
Even if you are fully vaccinated, you should continue to take a mask with you when you leave home. If you are not yet vaccinated or not yet fully vaccinated, help protect people who are not yet fully vaccinated and those who cannot get vaccinated or may be immunocompromised by continuing to wear a mask when you leave home.
Ward 1 Community Vaccine Blitz As of 5/14, DC Health is reporting 49.0% as the estimated percentage of residents partially or fully vaccinated and 35.7% as the estimated percentage of residents fully vaccinated. We have more work to do to reach herd immunity. Earlier this month, my team hosted 21 pop up events over the course of 4 days to help residents make a plan to get vaccinated. Thank you to all of the ANC Commissioners and neighbors who volunteered to help get Ward 1 residents and workers vaccinated.
Vaccination Options for DC Residents 12+ As of May 13, DC residents who are 12-15 years old became eligible to get vaccinated at walk-up sites, hospitals, health centers, and pharmacies across DC that administer the Pfizer vaccine. See walk-up locations here.
Day of Action It was great to see so many neighbors at the Community Day of Action on May 1 to help residents make a plan to get their COVID-19 vaccine. There is another Community Day of Action coming up on May 22 from 9am - 1 pm. Sign up here to join.
Access to Vaccine Records If you’ve already been vaccinated, you’re probably wondering how to keep track of your vaccination card. Earlier this month, DC Health announced the launch of DC MyIR, a web-based portal that gives District residents secure access to their official COVID-19 vaccination records. The portal allows users to view and print official copies of their vaccination records, as well as any dependents’ records.
StayDC Rental Assistance Program The District is receiving $352 million in federal Emergency Rental assistance funds. StayDC is a financial assistance program for D.C. renters and housing providers who need support to cover housing and utility expenses and offset the loss of income. StayDC can cover back rent, upcoming rent, utility expenses, and extended support. Click here for more information or call 833-4-STAYDC. The success of this program is critical to preventing eviction.
I am performing rigorous oversight of this program to ensure that all our residents in need receive this critical assistance, and that the process to do so is not overly burdensome. If you have feedback on the program, please share it with me by replying to this email.
Just as I encouraged residents to assist friends and neighbors in getting registered for their vaccines, we now need your help getting residents signed up for rental assistance before the eviction moratorium is lifted. We are working on logistics now for a pop up registration event in Ward 1, but you don’t need a special event to help. If you know someone in need of rental assistance, please share the link or phone number with them. Assistance is available in multiple languages.
Coronavirus Public Health Extension Emergency Amendment Act Today, the Council voted to give the mayor authority to extend the public health emergency to July 25. This legislation is tied to the eviction moratorium because the moratorium will end 60 days after the public health emergency ends. There was legislation introduced today to create an exception and allow landlords to file evictions if they have applied for rental assistance on behalf of their tenants. I joined Councilmembers Charles Allen, Elissa Silverman, Janeese Lewis George, Robert White, and Trayon White in co-introducing an amendment to preserve the moratorium as is. We need to prioritize improving the rental assistance application process and get more people approved. The amendment passed.
Comprehensive Plan Today, the Council took its second and final vote on the Comprehensive Plan. My major areas of focus have been:
Crafting much stronger anti-displacement language
Equitable growth & an acknowledgement of how terms like "neighborhood character" have been used as tools of segregation
Ensuring our affordable housing targets meet actual needs, disaggregated by race
I introduced an amendment that increases opportunities for housing and community uses on public sites along U Street. As District-owned land, these are our most significant opportunities to create significant amounts of deeply affordable housing in Ward 1.
Other changes I recommended to the Future Land Use Map were a product of a year+ of analysis & coordination to target increases in housing opportunities & expand community amenities like park space. All map changes in Ward 1 are accompanied by updated policy language in the text that direct any future zoning changes towards increasing affordable housing, protecting tenants, and enhancing open space.
It’s been a great experience being able to work with our new Council Office on Racial Equity during this amendment process. They have been an excellent guide to my work on language that addresses the displacement of communities of color as well as amendments that seek to repair our legacy of segregation and racial redlining.
However, because we’re still amending a document from 2006, there are some issues of racial equity so foundational to the text that it will take a full rewrite to address completely. That’s exactly what I’ve called for. We should be starting a brand-new comprehensive plan in the next 5 years, and I want to make sure that the public process is even more inclusive. Our new plan should be more concise, easier for residents to understand and see themselves in, and even more laser-focused on housing justice and racial equity.
I want to thank all of the community members who participated in the amendment process. I’ll be adding a page to my website to host all things Comp Plan soon. Stay tuned!
Vision Zero I attended the Committee on Transportation and the Environment’s Public Roundtable on, The Surge in Traffic Crashes, Fatalities, and Injuries in the District and the Urgent Need to Fully Fund the Vision Zero Enhancement Omnibus Amendment Act chaired by Councilmember Mary Cheh. We need to get our street safety initiatives moving in the right direction. We know what needs to be done, but the will and the funding needs to be there to match. Here are a few points from my statement:
If residents consistently call for traffic calming while seeing little change, we fail to recognize the needs and agency of our constituents especially communities of color and those who are not able to engage full time.
I’m glad to have the partnership of Councilmembers Mary Cheh and Janeese Lewis George as we talk about doing better on Georgia Avenue. It is a nexus of so many communities in Ward 1 and 4 and yet is one of the most dangerous roads in the District. I've advocated for safer crossings on Georgia and gotten new crossing signals and medians, but it's not enough. We really need a top to bottom re-envisioning of this street and the many others like it.
We should not ask our most vulnerable road users to have to out-organize drivers to give them the safety they deserve. I am fully in support of funding the Vision Zero omnibus, and investing in substantial improvements on our most dangerous arterials across the District.
Human Services Committee
Data Added on Website In June of 2020, the Committee on Human Services requested regular updates from the Department of Human Services in order to track COVID-19 cases and deaths for the District's unhoused population. I’ve posted the combined reports on brianneknadeau.com so the public has a chance to review them.
Vouchers Through American Rescue Plan Last week, we received news that the District will be receiving funding that HUD believes will be enough for 707 Emergency Housing Vouchers (EHV) through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The vouchers will be provided to the DC Housing Authority to assist individuals and families who are:
Homeless or risk of homelessness
Fleeing, or attempting to flee, domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, or
Were recently homeless or have a high risk of housing instability.
ICYMI: Public Restrooms There was exciting progress on the Public Restroom Facilities Installation and Promotion Act that I introduced in 2017. Lack of access to public restrooms is an issue that affects many DC residents, but its effects are particularly felt by residents experiencing homelessness and people with unique restroom needs. The legislation required a report that identified potential locations for public restroom facilities. DCist’s Ally Schweitzer summarized the report here: Here Are Proposed Locations For New Public Bathrooms In D.C. A big thanks goes out to the People For Fairness Coalition for their continued advocacy! Click here if you’re interested in reading the full report.
Police Reform Commission and More This Wednesday, 5/20, the Committee on the Judiciary & Public Safety & the Committee of the Whole will hold a joint public hearing on:
The Recommendations of the D.C. Police Reform Commission
B24-94, the “Bias In Threat Assessments Evaluation Amendment Act of 2021”
B24-107, the “Metropolitan Police Department Requirement Of Superior Officer Present At Unoccupied Vehicle Search No Jumpout Searches Act of 2021”
B24-112, the “White Supremacy In Policing Prevention Act of 2021”
B24-213, the “Law Enforcement Vehicular Pursuit Reform Act of 2021”
Redistricting Roundtable On Monday, 5/24, the Committee of the Whole’s Subcommittee on Redistricting will hold a public roundtable before the Subcommittee on the 2021 redistricting process. More information can be found here.
Budget Schedule A revised budget schedule has recently been released. On 5/27, the Mayor will transmit her budget proposal and financial plan to the DC Council, and then on 6/2, the Committee of the Whole will hold a Public Briefing. To see the full list of budget dates, click here.
In the Community
Thank you to CentroNía for inviting me to this year’s Mother’s Day Celebration! My team was there with vaccine information and rental assistance resources.
Great to see neighbors this past weekend at the Mount Pleasant Uprising Anniversary hosted at Lamont Park. The event featured music, a photo installation of black and white historic pictures of the riots by Rick Reinhard, and a preview of Ellie Walton’s documentary “LA MANPLESA.”
I hope you got a chance to check out the Adams Morgan Partnership BID’s AdMo Art Walk. There were 11 locations with artwork displayed in storefronts. I took the self-guided walking tour last week. Thanks to the BID for providing a fun, safe experience for residents!
I had a chance to stop by the High Road Restaurants Hospitality Job Fair. Employers who were present were committed to paying One Fair Wage to their employees. I ran into our Ward 1 neighbor, and strong advocate for good jobs with fair wages and benefits, John Zottoli.
Utility Bills Washington Gas is offering payment assistance and flexible payment options through the Washington Gas Cares program. More information here.
Tuition-Free Classes for Adults Carlos Rosario International School offers tuition-free classes for DC residents. Classes include English as a Second Language (Basic to Advanced), Citizenship, GED in English and Spanish, Career Training, and more! Apply by June 11 for the Fall 2021 semester.
Career Training Courses Registration is open for classes with YWNA’s Career Education and Training Center. Classes include Adult Literacy, Digital Literacy education, and Hospitality and Administrative Support Service certificate programs. Click here for more information.
Office of Brianne K. Nadeau 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Suite 102 Washington, DC 20004 Phone: (202) 724-8181