Dear Ward Eight:
Welcome to March and Happy Women’s History Month.
Every March, we celebrate Women's History Month which is dedicated to highlighting the contributions of women throughout history. The United States started celebrating Women’s History Month in March 1987. Prior to the month of celebrations, the commemoration began in 1978 as "Women's History Day" in California. In 1980, we began to recognize these contributions as a national week.
We should always be reminded of the contributions of women throughout the years, such as Maggie Lena Walker (July 15, 1864 – December 15, 1934), who was the first African American woman to start a bank and serve as a bank president, to Kizzmekia “Kizzy” Shanta Corbett, Ph.D.,who was the first African American woman to lead the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Moderna COVID vaccine development team. However, we do not have to go far to celebrate and recognize the many great women who have made tremendous contributions to our community. A few that we lost over the past year include Mary Cuthbert, Diane Fleming, Connie Mobley, Eddie Cook, and so many others. We honor each of them for the sacrifice of giving and having such a positive impact on Ward 8.
Today, as we continue to reflect, appreciate, and celebrate women, I give thanks to my mother and grandmother. I am so grateful for the lessons they taught me about life, respect, responsibilities, and caring for others. Their guidance, steadfast support, and sacrifices on my behalf have led me to be a compassionate servant of our people.
On March 25^th, in recognition of Women’s History Month, I will host a Ward 8 Women Symposium. I invite you to join me for a day of health and wellness, education, parenting, and entrepreneurship, to name of few activities. Please contact Kimberly Harper at [email protected]
) for additional information.
Hope to see you on March 25^th.
Trayon White, Sr.
Councilmember, Ward 8
My School DC: Deadline Today
APPLY TODAY ([link removed])
The PK3 – Grade 8 lottery application deadline is March 1.
Kia or Hyundai: Free Steering Wheel Lock
DC residents who own a 2011-2021 Kia or Hyundai can pick up a free steering wheel lock from a Metropolitan Police Department Station.
Please read more details below...
** Spring Program Registration Opens March 1 and 2
DPR is opening registration for swim programs like learn-to-swim, team sports, DCPS fun days/break camp, and so much more!
Spring programs will open for registration this week:
* Wednesday, March 1 - Aquatics Programs Open Registration
* Thursday, March 2 - All Other Programs Open Registration
BROWSE PROGRAMS ([link removed])
DISB Consumer Alert Header
** Beware of Ghost Tax Preparers
The District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) is warning District residents to be on the alert for ghost tax preparers – scammers pretending to be legitimate tax advisors and tax preparers and then try to steal your identity and money.
Generally, tax season is between January 1 and April 15 for the prior year. Many consumers have used the same tax advisors for years and have confidence in their ability to process tax returns. However, others may be seeking a new income tax preparer – one who offers a low fee to consumers expecting refunds. Some of these companies may be ghost tax preparers that prepare fraudulent tax returns, steal their clients’ personally identifiable information and their refunds, and then disappear once the return is mailed.
Ghost preparers use various means of advertising, including social media, emails, text, and phone calls. They may also advertise in community centers, houses of worship, and on neighborhood bulletin boards.
Ghost preparers don't sign the tax returns they prepare. Instead, they remain invisible, never leaving a footprint. They will print out the return and get the taxpayer to sign and mail it. For e-filed returns, ghost preparers will prepare but refuse to digitally sign the tax return as the paid preparer.
According to the IRS, anyone who is paid to prepare or assists in the preparation of federal tax returns must have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN. Paid preparers must sign and include their PTIN on the return. Not signing a return is a red flag that the paid preparer may be looking to make a quick dollar by promising a big refund or charging fees based on the size of the taxpayer’s refund.
Ghost tax preparers may also:
* Contact you with unsolicited tax services.
* Have no business address or telephone number, but rather operate only as a virtual business.
* Require payment of their fee in cash only and not provide a receipt.
* Invent income to qualify their clients for tax credits.
* Claim bogus deductions to increase the refund.
* Direct income tax refunds into their own bank account, rather than the taxpayer's account.
** Report Fraud
If you believe you have been a victim of a ghost preparer, please contact the DISB Enforcement and Consumer Protection Division at (202) 727-8000. Also, free tax clinics are open to all District residents. To view the complete list, visit: disb.dc.gov/freetaxprepresources ([link removed]) .
** OTR Tax Notice 2023-01: Sales and Use Tax Rate Increase on Transient Accommodations ([link removed])
(OTR NOTICE: 2023-01): The District of Columbia Council has passed legislation increasing the sales and use tax rate on the gross receipts from the sale of or charges for any room or rooms, lodgings, or accommodations furnished to a transient by any hotel, inn, tourist camp, tourist cabin, or any other place in which rooms, lodgings, or accommodations are regularly furnished in the District. See Tourism Recovery Tax Emergency Amendment Act of 2022 ([link removed]) , approved on December 27, 2022 (A24-0703).
The total sales and use tax rate imposed on such gross receipts is increased from 14.95 percent to 15.95 percent during the time period of April 1, 2023, through March 30, 2027.
(Note: For bookings that were made before April 1, 2023, but were not fully paid by that date, the rate that applies to payments received on or after April 1, 2023, will be 15.95 percent. For bookings that were both made before and paid in full before April 1, 2023, the rate will remain 14.95 percent, even if the transient accommodation is furnished on or after April 1, 2023.)
For additional information, please contact OTR’s Customer Service Center at (202) 727-4TAX (4829).
Sign Up to Testify ([link removed])
Emmitt Till & Mamie Till-Mobley: Let the World See is a touring exhibition recommended for visitors ages 10 and up that shares the story of how a mother's bravery and fight for justice more than six decades ago fueled the civil rights movement in America. It provides a framework for people and communities committed to racial healing. The exhibition will be at the Martin Luther King Jr., Library through March 12th.
For more information, visit [link removed]
Register ([link removed])
Sign Up ([link removed])
Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge
Black History Month Lighting
The Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge team invited Councilmember Trayon White and his constituent service team to the Black History Month Bridge Lighting Ceremony and Trivia Night.
On February 21st, several gathered at the Solace Navy Yard to celebrate and watch the lighting of the bridge. It was a win for everyone. Councilmember White and his team were one of the first to see the bridge shine black, gold, and Red. Councilmember White's team also came in first place in The Progress Live: Frederick Douglass Memorial Bridge DMB-theme trivia contest.
Department of Parks and Recreation
The Committee on Recreation Libraries and Youth Affairs (RLYA) held its annual Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Performance Oversight Hearing on February 23rd. DPR’s mission is to provide equitable access to recreational programs, services, and facilities- across all 8 Wards.
Over 100 residents gave testimony at the performance oversight hearing on needed renovations, facilities, and programs in their respective communities. There was a large contingent of people and organizations who spoke on a united front to prioritize the newly popular game of pickleball in the District. RLYA Chairman, Councilmember Trayon White Sr. was especially happy to hear from several youths who spoke on the benefits of DPR programming.
Director Delano Hunter was proud to share some of DPR’s accomplishments; among them: Washington, DC’s parks were ranked #1 in the nation by the Trust for Public Lands’ ParkScore Index for the second year in a row. Chairman White engaged Director Hunter in a robust conversation about the status of recreation centers, parks, and programs throughout the city. He demanded accountability for long overdue projects and called for urgency in addressing some neglected issues at Oxon Run Park, Fort Greble Park, and Duke Ellington Field- among others.
Concluding a hearing that was over 8 hours long, the Chairman offered his hand to DPR in support of aims to meet resident needs.
The Committee on Recreation, Libraries and Youth Affairs held a joint roundtable with the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety to discuss youth concerns on Saturday, February 25th at the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center in Ward 8.
In addition to Councilmember White and Councilmember Pinto, who is the chairwoman of the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, Councilmember Anita Bonds and Attorney General David Schwalb were also in attendance.
Youth as young as 7^th grade spoke powerfully on a variety of issues that affect them and their peers, such as bullying, public safety, education, and programming.
Several girls discussed the positives of their involvement with the So What Else program, which expanded their minds to mentoring, and for some, allowed them to get out of their comfort zones.
Parenting and support for parents was a hot topic as well. Ariel, a student at Theodore Roosevelt High School, said there needs to be programs for parents to help them not only deal with stress and trauma, but also to help them raise and support their children emotionally. Araya, a student at Dunbar High School, echoed this sentiment regarding mental health support for parents and said if youth don’t get attention at home, they will look to the streets to get it.
Read the Full Report ([link removed])
ServeDC Performance Oversight
The Committee on Recreation, Libraries and Youth Affairs held a performance oversight hearing for the Mayor’s Office of Volunteerism and Partnerships, also known as ServeDC, on Tuesday, February 28th at 12:00 pm.
Three public witnesses discussed the support that they receive from ServeDC. Alexandra Fields-Evans, who works with CASA for Children of DC, discussed how ServeDC supported her organization financially, which was vital for her work.
Bettye Ward discussed the help that ServeDC provided in her previous work with emergency preparedness for the District. She has since retired but has joined the CERT program, for which ServeDC has once again been instrumental in her work.
Alexis Squire, the Chief Service Officer for ServeDC, thoroughly detailed the work that ServeDC has done over the past fiscal year. ServeDC has continued to work with AmeriCorp and served as a liaison to connect nonprofits with programmatic and financial support.
Squire also discussed how the agency has engaged with working with violence prevention in addition to its work in volunteerism. In addition, the agency continued its DC Start-Up Week to provide networking and information exchange for startups in the District.
On Monday, February 27th, Councilmember White introduced a bill called the Safe Schools and Safe Students Amendment Act of 2023. Chairmen Mendelson, Councilmember Pinto, and Councilmember Gray co-introduced the bill. The bill would roll back the current phase-out of school resource officers and eventual elimination of the school safety division within the Metropolitan Police Department by 2025. We have heard from school communities that many of the public safety concerns that are present in the community are becoming increasingly present in the school community. Restoring the school resource officer program will ensure that an experienced first responder trained especially to interact with youth is available to our school communities. Now that the bill has been introduced, the Chairman of the Council will refer it to a committee or a number of committees. The committee will markup and vote on the legislation, and if approved by the Committee, it will go to a regular vote of the entire
This week, the Council will conduct its final (whew!) performance oversight hearings for the year. Councilmember White is a member of committees that will hear from the following agencies this week: the Department of Employment Services, the University of the District of Columbia, the Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the Office of Budget and Planning, the Office of Contracting and Procurement, the Contract Appeals Board, Serve DC, District of Columbia Public Schools, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education, the District of Columbia Public Charter School Board, the State Board of Education, the Office of the Student Advocate, the Ombudsman for Education, the Board of Elections, the Office of Campaign Finance, the Office of the Inspector General, the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability, the Department of Aging and Community Living, the Commission on Aging, and the Age-Friendly DC Taskforce.
Additional hearings of note include performance oversight hearings for the Department of General Services, the Department of Corrections, the Corrections Information Council, the D.C. Clemency Board, and Office of Unified Communications, the D.C. Housing Authority, and public roundtables on gun violence and violence prevention in the District beginning on Friday and over the weekend. You can find the full calendar of Council hearings here ([link removed]) .
As always, Councilmember White encourages you to engage with the Council on the issues that matter to you.
Calendar of Events: Week of March 1st - March 10th
** Bard Wins First Boys DCIAA Championship and
Dunbar Girls Victorious Again
Bard Wins First Boys DCIAA Championship, Dunbar Girls Victorious Again ([link removed])
The Washington Informer
Ward 8 Council member Trayon White (D) was in attendance along with at-Large Councilman Kenyan McDuffie. “Bard showed what can happen when a team ...
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Monique Diop: [email protected]
Director of Constituent Services
Area of Concentration: All things ANC 8D & ANC 8F
Eric Cleckley: [email protected]
Constituent Services Specialist
Area of Concentration: All things ANC 8A & ANC 8B
Kevin Coleman: [email protected]
Constituent Services Specialist
Area of Concentration: All things ANC 8B & ANC 8E
Louise Thorne: [email protected]
Constituent Services Specialist
Area of Concentration: All things ANC 8C
** Quick Links
* Need a Test? Get a Test: Learn more about COVID-19 testing sites ([link removed])
* Check out the 2020 Ward 8 Progress Report ([link removed])
* Check out the 2021 Ward 8 Progress Report ([link removed])
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