Brooke's Briefing - 2023 Year in Review

Posted by
V. Casarrubias
January 3, 2024

Dear Neighbor,

As 2023 comes to a close and we reflect on this past year, I am moved and inspired by the resiliency, creativity, and compassion of our community – thank you. The end of 2023 marks the culmination of my first year as Chairwoman of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public safety – a responsibility I take very seriously as we experienced a significant rise in violent crime and gun violence that harms too many neighbors and communities throughout the District. I am working every day for a brighter and safer future for all DC residents and acknowledge the deep pain this violence continues to inflict on our communities, with neighbors in Wards 7 and 8 disproportionately impacted particularly by gun violence. The need to move forward solutions and interventions is urgent.

As Chairwoman, I have been inspired by neighbors across DC who have shared their stories and discussed public safety solutions at hearings both at the Wilson Building and virtually, during public safety walks, in community meetings, through emails and phone calls, and in living rooms across our city.

This summer, the Council came together to address public safety by passing my common-sense emergency legislation, the Prioritizing Public Safety bill, that fills critical gaps in our legal system and ensures accountability for those who commit violent offenses. I also moved forward the nomination and the Council confirmed Pamela Smith this fall to be the Chief of Metropolitan Police Department; Chief Smith has been committed to improving public safety through targeted interventions and strengthening community engagement and relationships.  

The Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety considered many proposals – including from my Secure DC plan and those put forth by my colleagues and Mayor Bowser – on interventions that would enhance prevention, accountability, and government coordination measures. In the new year, as Chairwoman of the Committee, I am committed to moving forward many of the strongest public safety initiatives we considered this fall.

What has remained resoundingly clear to me throughout this year is that we all deserve to feel and be safe in our communities, and we must act collectively to move the District in a safer and more secure direction.

While I remain focused on moving forward initiatives that are within the jurisdiction of my Committee, I will continue to support my priorities for wholistic interventions that we know improve life outcomes and wellness for our young people and adults, such as instituting updated literacy curriculums and training opportunities for our teachers, funding after school programs for students, ensuring access to transitional housing and wrap-around supports with community engagement, expanding opportunities for small businesses and downtown economic recovery, and increasing the availability of reliable and sustainable transportation.

I am proud of the work we have accomplished this year, grateful for your partnership, and invigorated for the year ahead fighting for the safety, dignity, and vitality of District residents.

Yours in Service,


Secure DC

Councilmember Pinto strongly believes that transparency, accountability, and public engagement are each essential tenets of responsible legislating, which is why she shared her Secure DC plan to improve public safety with the public on the first day of the Council’s fall legislative session. The Secure DC Plan will:

Increase Prevention and End Cycles of Violence by investing in safe public spaces, protecting victims, and providing job training to reduce recidivism.

Ensure Accountability for offenders of violent crime by improving the legal tools we have, such as expanding gun and carjacking charges, pretrial detention, and prearrest diversion opportunities.

Strengthen Government Coordination by implementing hiring and retention strategies at public safety, human services, and health agencies, and oversight to ensure speedy and accurate response.

Public Engagement

Thousands of residents and stakeholders have made their voices heard in dozens of hearings, written testimony, community events, and meetings to strengthen the safety and vitality of our communities. Councilmember Pinto holds these stories closely to inform all her work on the Council.

Here are some of the ways the Committee has engaged with the public:
Budget for Fiscal Year 2024 (October 2023- September 2024)

As Chairwoman of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, Councilmember Pinto is charged with advancing the budget for our public safety agencies and reviewing legislation introduced that affects these agencies. Despite a tight budget cycle, Councilmember Pinto passed and funded a robust public safety budget that will help keep residents safe, including by:

Councilmember Pinto and her team have continued to maintain direct community outreach and engagement. During our third year, Team Pinto expanded opportunities for Ward 2 neighbors and residents to stay connected and share their ideas and concerns. Some of our work this year includes:

Our downtown core and our small businesses are key to our city’s resiliency and economic strength. Councilmember Pinto knows that more needs to be done to support downtown and we cannot take our downtown businesses for granted. Councilmember Pinto continues to foster strong partnerships with business leaders and stakeholders, including the Downtown and Golden Triangle BIDs and our Ward 2 Main Streets.

Councilmember Pinto meets regularly with senior neighbors to ensure our seniors receive the resources and support they need and deserve to thrive in our communities.

Our LGBTQQIA+ friends, family, coworkers and neighbors are an integral part of our city. Councilmember Pinto attended several events and advanced legislation to honor and protect our LGBTQQIA+ community.  

Legislation and Budget Investments: Councilmember Pinto

Councilmember Pinto continued her work supporting literacy for our students. Ensuring our kids read on grade level is a critical part of student success in the classroom and beyond and Councilmember Pinto continues to champion this cause. This year, students also now have greater access to menstrual products and menstrual education in schools and libraries because of the implementation of Councilmember Pinto’s legislation.

Keeping residents in their homes and moving neighbors experiencing homelessness into housing continues to be an important part of Councilmember Pinto’s work.

Making transportation safer and more accessible is important to Councilmember Pinto’s work serving Ward 2 residents. Councilmember Pinto has also been committed to ensuring there are more opportunities to connect with neighbors through greater access to recreation spaces.

Councilmember Pinto and her team look forward to another productive and meaningful year ahead serving the District. We always welcome your feedback, ideas, and partnership -- reach out to Team Pinto here.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.