Last week, I shared that this was a very busy time at the Council. Well, I am proud to say that we have kept the momentum going! Since my last update, the Council has passed two bills that I co-introduced to help strengthen the District’s post-pandemic local economy. The first of those bills closes a legal loophole in our Certified Business Enterprise (CBE) program while the second bill will extend the District’s streatery restaurant program through December 2021. I also voted in favor of bills which restore voting rights to incarcerated District residents with a felony conviction, regulate e-scooters, and seal tenant evictions records. To read more about this legislation and my Council activities this week, see the Legislative Update section below.
I also spent a great deal of time connecting with more residents in Ward 2. I visited the Jelleff Recreation Center to discuss a much-needed modernization. I also joined ANC Commissioners to deliver groceries to our Ward 2 seniors and met with the Dupont Circle Citizens Association.
Let us be mindful that October is Domestic Violence Month and Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This week is also National Mental Health Awareness Week. As we honor the many survivors who have overcome related obstacles, let us encourage those around us who may be facing difficulties and provide our support and encouragement. Keep in mind that you may not know what someone is struggling with, so I ask that we all treat one another with respect and care. We are all one community.
If you or anyone you know is facing a challenge and needs support, please do not hesitate to contact our office. We are happy to help constituents to identify any available resources provided by the District of Columbia.
As always, my office is here to help you.
Yours in Service,
Touring the Jelleff Recreation Center: Last week, Councilmember Pinto joined Club Director Bob Stowers, representatives of the Boys and Girls Club of America, and ANC 2E01 Commissioner Kishan Putta and ANC 2E07 Commissioner Elizabeth Miller to tour the Jelleff Recreation Center. During her visit, Councilmember Pinto learned about Club's efforts to support and virtually engage District youth and families with during this critical time. They also discussed the need to modernize the recreation center so that it can continue serving residents from the surrounding communities and all 8 wards of our city. Councilmember Pinto is eager to work towards modernizing the recreation center and ensuring an inclusive and transparent process for everyone.
Councilmember Pinto Works with DDOT to Increase Community Engagement Before Launching the 7th Street N.W. Car Free Lane Project: The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) was scheduled to launch a pilot program that would have closed off the entirety of 7th Street N.W. to all cars to increase metro reliability for workers during the public health pandemic. Councilmember Pinto facilitated a public discussion during which representatives from DDOT heard from stakeholders both in favor of and opposed to the project. "I believe that public input should always be included in major projects, and I did not advocate for or against this project," said Councilmember Pinto. "My goal was to ensure that as many voices as possible were heard and taken into account before work began." After hearing from hundreds of residents and businesses, DDOT announced that it would postpone the "implementation of 7th Street N.W. Car Free Lanes and continue to work collaboratively with stakeholders along the corridor to refine the concept."
Speaking Before the Dupont Circle Citizens Association: This week, Councilmember Pinto attended the Dupont Circle Citizens Associations meeting to provide updates on the District’s financial status, talk transportation developments and public safety, discuss her first 100 days in office, and address resident concerns.
Delivering Groceries to Our Ward 2 Seniors: Councilmember Pinto and her team joined Commissioner John Fanning of ANC 2F04, Commissioner Janice Ferebee of ANC 2F08, and representatives from Father McKennas Center to distribute groceries to senior citizens living in Judiciary House, Mass House, and Claridge Towers.
Council Passes Councilmember Pinto’s Legislation to Extend the District’s Streatery Program and to Close a Legal Loophole Regarding Certified Business Enterprises: During its 36th legislative meeting, the Council passed two bills co-introduced by Councilmember Pinto and Ward 5 Councilmember and Chairman of the Business and Economic Development Committee, Kenyan McDuffie. The first bill, the Local Business Enterprise Clarification Temporary Amendment Act of 2020, passed unanimously, closing a legal loophole that allowed entities to obtain the designation and benefits of a "Certified Business Enterprise" or CBE which didn’t qualify for the program. The second bill, entitled the Revised Streatery and Pop Up Locations Programs Clarification Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, will extend the District's restaurant streatery program through December 31, 2021. Councilmember Pinto also voted in favor of the Restore the Vote Amendment Act of 2020, the Fairness in Renting Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, and the Shared Fleet Devices Amendment Act of 2020. For full details, view our press release here.
A Citywide Financial Update: In the revenue estimate letter submitted to Mayor Muriel Bowser and the members of the Council, the District’s Chief Financial Officer revealed that the District would face a $211 million deficit for fiscal year 2021. However, revenue estimates for fiscal year 2020 were revised and reflected a surplus of $222 million, some of which may be available to address the deficit. The Council will work the Executive in earnest to address this challenging and changing fiscal climate while also guiding the city through the public health emergency.
This Week at the Council and a Look Ahead: This week, Councilmember Pinto also attended a public hearing convened by the Committee on Transportation and the Environment to discuss the backlog of appointments at the District's Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Importantly, DMV Director Robinson shared that new appointments are released every Tuesday on noon on the DMV website. On Friday, October 9, the Committee will meet again to review waste management and agency operations at the Department of Public Works (DPW). Next week, the Committee on Labor and Workforce Development will continue its conversation on the District's unemployment insurance program. The Committee on Facilities and Procurement will also hold a public hearing on legislation that would make the Health Benefit Exchange Authority's independent procurement authority permanent. For more information on the Council's upcoming hearings, visit https://dccouncil.us/events/.
Flu Shots Available: The Golden Triangle Business Improvement District (BID) will continue their partnership with CVS Health to offer the community of a series of safely distanced outdoor flu shot clinics at Farragut Square Park through Wednesday, October 21. To check available dates and book an appointment, visit the website here. All participants must be 18 years or older, and appointments are required. To download the shareable flyer, click here.
Temporary Lane Closures and Parking Restrictions on 14th Street from New York Avenue to Thomas Circle in Northwest. Starting October 2: The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is scheduled to temporarily close lanes of traffic and restrict all curbside parking on 14th Street from New York Avenue to Thomas Circle NW, between Friday, October 2, and Friday, October 30. The closures and restrictions are needed to resurface the roadway, and the duration of the construction is dependent upon weather conditions. Authorized work hours are from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Monday through Friday and Saturdays as needed. Parking restriction signs will be posted at least 72 hours in advance at locations where parking will not be allowed, and traffic control devices will be in place. Motorists should anticipate moderate delays due to the lane closures. DDOT advises drivers to stay alert while traveling through these locations and to be observant of the work zone.
You’re Invited to Taste and Shop Georgetown: You’re invited to participate in Taste and Shop Georgetown. This three-week-long promotional event features deals at over 65 restaurants, shops, and services. For more information, visit https://www.georgetowndc.com/event/taste-of-georgetown/.
Update from DC Water on the Rock Creek Stem Sewers – Condition Assessment Project: The Rock Creek Stem Sewers – Condition Assessment project involves reviewing existing internal data collected for the sewers within Rock Creek Park and the immediate surrounding area. Once all work is completed, the project team will draft a report recommending rehabilitation and/or further investigation of pipes and manholes within the project area. A majority of these sewers are located within the National Park Service (NPS) property. However, there are limited instances where pipes are on various private properties in portions of the following ANC areas: 1C, 1D, 2A, 2B, 2D, 2E, 3C, 3F, 3G, 4A, and 4C. Normal work hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. For additional schedule information, specific details on equipment that is being used on site, contact information for the project team, and other important information, visit www.dcwater.com/projects/rock-creek-stem-sewers-condition-assessment.
Small Business Resiliency Fund Now Open for Applications: The small business resiliency fund is now open for applications. The fund will provide $3 million in emergency operational funding and will be open to small, local businesses in the District of Columbia with 50 or fewer employees and independently owned restaurants without regard to employee-size. Grant monies may be used for: Business model strategy redesigning and pivoting, business continuity plan development, strengthening of digital retail experiences including complimentary e-commerce platforms and/or online shops to bolster brick-and- mortar business, new marketing efforts, and personal protective equipment (PPE) and/or disinfection products. You can learn more about this grant and other grants available to small businesses here.