Cherry Blossom and Budget Season are now here! I was thrilled to attend the Opening Ceremonies for the National Cherry Blossom Festival last night! There are so many engaging activities planned for residents of all ages free of charge from now through April 17th! I'm especially looking forward to all of the fun activities Downtown. You can learn more about the festival here.
Last week, Mayor Bowser presented her proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Budget to the Council at Ward 2’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library! The Mayor’s budget includes many of the Ward 2 priorities I requested in my letter to the Mayor including investments in public safety, affordable housing and supports for our neighbors experiencing homelessness, a cap on annual increases in property taxes for seniors from 5% to 2%, investments in our businesses and downtown recovery, and services and infrastructure for our students including a new Center City Middle School(!!), and enhancements for roadway, bike lane, and sidewalk safety.
Now that the Mayor has sent her proposed budget to the Council, the Council has the opportunity and duty to make further changes and to finetune the budget. Over the course of the next three weeks, the Council will hold Budget Hearings to hear from residents and our agencies about the Mayor’s proposed budget for the next fiscal year – Fiscal Year 2023 which begins in October 2022 and lasts through September 2023. These Budget Hearings are important to ensure that we are making investments in the programs and priorities that matter most to residents. You can review the schedule and learn how to sign-up to testify here. I would love to hear from you and ensure that I can champion Ward 2 priorities alongside you!
Even if you can’t make it to the budget hearings, you can still email my team at firstname.lastname@example.org to let us know what your priorities are!
Yours in Service,
TEAM PINTO IN THE COMMUNITY
In the last few weeks, Councilmember Pinto and the team were thrilled to be in the community at events. Team Pinto:
IN THE NEWS
Street Sense Media: Councilmember Pinto spoke with Street Sense Media, a publication which uses a range of creative platforms to spotlight solutions to homelessness and empower people in need, about the PERIOD Act to provide pads and tampons in all District buildings. “Before experiencing homelessness, [Chris] Cole said she didn’t think about how much period products cost. But now, the cost prevents her from buying products. Cole said the legislation would be incredibly helpful. “I hope this legislation gets passed,” she said.
The DC Line wrote a story about the important impact of Councilmember Pinto’s legislation to provide period products in all District schools. Councilmember Pinto got this bill passed and funded so that it will take effect this spring.
Center City Middle School: The Council held a roundtable about the importance of establishing a standalone Center City Middle School. Dozens of witnesses testified and joined Councilmember Pinto in support of establishing this school. In her letter regarding Ward 2 Budget Priorities, Councilmember Pinto asked the Mayor to fund the middle school. Last week, the Mayor announced that her budget does indeed include funding for the middle school with an expected completion date for the 2028-2029 school year! Councilmember Pinto will work to make sure this funding remains in the budget.
The FY 2023 Budget
The Council Budget Office has a wealth of information to help understand the budget.
The Mayor presented her proposed budget for FY2023 (FY23) last week. All the budget documents can be found here. Volume 1 is the Executive Summary and is a great place to start. If there are certain agencies of particular interest, you can take a deeper dive looking at:
- Volume 2 which includes agency chapters in the Government Direction and Support, Economic Development and Regulation, and Public Safety and Justice clusters.
- Volume 3 which contains agency chapters in the Education cluster.
- Volume 4 which holds agency chapters in the Human Support Services, Operations and Infrastructure, and Financing and Other clusters.
The Capital Improvements Plan (Volume 5) includes all projects that have to do with the physical infrastructure of the city including roads, sidewalks, school buildings, and parks for example.
The Council will now conduct budget hearings to get feedback from the public about what changes should be made to the proposed budget. You can watch Councilmember Pinto’s opening remarks at the first hearing here. The dates of hearings and instructions on how to sign-up can be found here .
Here is the proposed timeline for the Budget moving forward:
Redistricting: The new Ward 2 boundaries are now official! The Ward 2 ANC Redistricting Taskforce is now meeting to provide the Council with recommendations on how the ANC boundaries should be redrawn. The next meeting is March 23rd and is open to the public to view. The full list of meetings can be found below and you can register for all the meetings here .
Legislation co-introduced by Councilmember Pinto:
The Safe Routes to School & Walk Without Worry bills are two ways to make traveling in DC safer for everyone. The Committee on Transportation & Environment hosted a hearing on these important pieces of legislation co-introduced by Councilmember Pinto. DCist wrote an article explaining these bills.
Domestic Workers Bill of Rights: Councilmember Pinto co-introduced legislation to provide important protections for Domestic Workers to ensure fair treatment, wages, and remedies.
Tax Assistance: AARP Foundation has Tax Aide Sites across the District including at the Georgetown Library at 3260 R St. NW. Wednesdays and Fridays from 10AM-2PM. 202-656-1825
Street sweeping has resumed! Make sure you check the signs when you park!