This week, I am sharing updates on the passage of Secure DC during its first of two Council votes, and the exciting progress to ensure safe routes to school at Ross Elementary.
I am very pleased to share that on February 6th, the Council overwhelmingly passed my Secure DC Omnibus in its first of two votes! Secure DC includes over one-hundred legislative interventions and solutions that will make sustainable and meaningful improvements across the District to prevent crime, ensure accountability when crime does occur, and improve government coordination to make DC residents safer and more secure in our communities.
Getting to this point required months of dedicated efforts to craft legislation and respond to community feedback, and I am committed to getting Secure DC passed and funded in the next few weeks. I am grateful to the thousands of residents, stakeholders, colleagues, and partners who testified at public hearings, joined public safety walks in all eight wards, and met with me to share their needs, advocate for change, and help shape this landmark legislation.
There was one amendment that was moved on Tuesday that I want to highlight as I will be fighting to get the provision back in the bill before the second final vote.
I often discuss the importance of our US Attorney’s Office (USAO) and Office of the Attorney General (OAG) for prosecuting and closing cases. DNA testing is a critical tool for our law enforcement partners to assist in accurate prosecution, drive down recidivism, and support and bring justice to victims of crime.
My Secure DC Omnibus allowed for the collection of DNA at arrest for felonies and sexual abuse misdemeanors with the requirement that it only be analyzed and tested after an individual is charged or a judicial finding of probable cause is established. If a charge were dropped or a defendant acquitted, Secure DC required the automatic expungement of those DNA samples. DNA collection is a common-sense practice used in 31 states that has been shown to improve case closures for unsolved cases – particularly for sexual assault and homicide – reduce recidivism, and reduce the number of crimes committed.
I am deeply disappointed that this important, common-sense measure was amended out of Secure DC, and I will be working with my colleagues to ensure DNA collection is included in the final package to hold repeat offenders accountable and better deliver justice to victims.
I encourage you to contact your At-Large Councilmembers to share your support the passage of Secure DC without further amendments and for the inclusion of the provision that allows for DNA collection at arrest and testing after probable cause is established.
Parents want their children to be safe going to and from school and I have worked with parents across Ward 2 to make our kids safe while in transit. Working together with parents of Ross Elementary, ANC 2B, and the District Department of Transportation (DDOT), I am very pleased that DDOT has announced it intends to install a speed table on the 1700 block of R Street NW. I want to share my sincere appreciation for Ross parents, neighbors and our ANC2B commissioners past and present who worked hard to on safe routes to school. Below is a list of DDOT’s actions:
The new speed table will address speed and traffic concerns on the block in furtherance of DDOT’s Ross Safety Plan to improve the safety of students and parents who walk and bike to school. In the wake of tragic and jarring accidents, this speed table is a huge win for the neighborhood that I am hoping will allow neighbors to more safely move through the community.
I will continue to work closely with DDOT and our ANCs to facilitate the expeditious implementation of this speed table and additional recommendations in the Safety Plan, including around signage and school crossing zones.
Yours in Service,
In the last few weeks, Councilmember Pinto and Team Pinto have been out and about in Ward 2 and across the city, including to:
Join our neighbors and community leaders to celebrate Groundhog Day with special guest Potomac Phil, who did not see his shadow and announced the early arrival of spring this year!
Speak at the ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of the net zero Stead Recreation Center in Dupont Circle with Mayor Bowser, DPR, DGS, and other community leaders.
Attend a town hall with members of Georgetown Village to discuss the state of Ward 2 with our senior residents.
Attend the opening of The Urban Grape in Shaw, a Black-owned and woman-owned wine store dedicated to building community through beverage.
Participate in the Mayor-Council breakfast meeting in Gallery Place and shared about the interconnectedness of public safety and the stabilization of our downtown.
Speak at the ribbon cutting for the Station U&O housing development in Shaw that creates 108 affordable homes and will ensure the vibrancy and resiliency of the neighborhood.
Join other Georgetown University alumni at a Hoya’s basketball game at Capital One Arena. Hoya Saxa!
Meet with representatives from DC Night Life Council and the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington to discuss ways to ensure safety and success for our workers and businesses.
Attend a DDOT streetlight installation demonstration to learn about the importance of safe and working infrastructure on our streets.
Help this with this year’s Point-in-Time Count to better understand homelessness in the District and work towards initiatives to support individuals experiencing homelessness.
Swear in ANC 2B07 Commissioner Libby Franklin to represent the Dupont Circle neighborhood.
Swear in 2A05 Commissioner Luke Chadwick to represent the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.
Speak with leaders from Bank of America on ways to incentivize and support small businesses.
Attend the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington’s annual holiday party to celebrate our community.
The Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA) is holding a virtual public hearing at 10am on Thursday, February 29th to discuss public input on proposed rules establishing a moratorium zone in North Shaw. Interested participants can find more information, including how to testify at the hearing, here.
The DC Department of Human Resources is hosting a hiring fair at MLK Public Library on Tuesday, February 13th from 10am-4pm. The fair will connect attendees with workshops, community resources, on-the-spot job offers, and more. Those interested in attending can RSVP by texting “Winter” to 69866.