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Brooke's Briefing: DC Statehood, Period Equity, Emergency Housing Bill, Grant Funding, Tax Filing

Posted by
Tatiana Johnson
on
March 22, 2021


Dear Neighbor,

Once again, we are faced with the reality that white supremacy still looms and is an ever-present threat to our safety, security, and democracy. Last week, in an act of domestic terrorism, members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community were unjustly targeted and murdered outside of Atlanta, GA. Like so many, I was outraged and deeply hurt by the senseless loss of life and wish to see perpetrators of this type of hate and violence brought to justice.

We must all take action to make #StopAsianAmericanHate more than just a hashtag. We must make it a call to action and do our part to protect our neighbors. That means educating ourselves and those around us about the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. This also means speaking up loudly and clearly when we see wrongdoing and standing up to hate in any form – even if it comes as a joke or “harmless action.” This is why hate crimes must be prosecuted by our locally elected prosecutor’s office in DC, the Office of the Attorney General, and not the United States Attorney’s Office.

Thank you to everyone who gathered in Chinatown/Penn Quarter last week to stand in solidarity with our Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We must continue to stand together at this time.  

                                                                        Councilmember Pinto speaking on the importance menstrual equality and education

On the legislative front, I have three important updates to share:

1) Period Equity: I introduced the “Expanding Student Access to Period Products Act of 2021” to expand access to free menstrual products for District of Columbia students and develop a related educational curriculum for District public and public charter schools.

2) Health Support: During a public hearing on Monday, March 29, the Health Committee will discuss the “Medical Necessity Restroom Access Act of 2021”, legislation that I introduced to expand public restroom access to individuals with eligible medical conditions.

3) Rental Housing Protections: During the Council's April legislative session, I will introduce the "COVID-19 Rental Housing Emergency Amendment Act of 2021” legislation to help protect tenants who experienced hardship during COVID-19.

In this newsletter, you will find:

  • New Legislation I introduced,
  • Today's Statehood Hearing on Capitol Hill,
  • COVID-19 updates,
  • Information on Local and Federal Tax Deadline Extensions,
  • A new tool for understanding the District’s budget, and
  • Business and community grants.

As always, please remember that my office is here to assist you.

Yours in Service,

Brooke

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Earlier this month, the Council extended the Mayor’s authority to declare the public health emergency through May 20 -- which she has done. Last week, the Mayor also shared new guidance concerning schools, outdoor gatherings, activity in public spaces such as restaurants and fitness centers, and cultural institutions.

Please don't forget that the District's vaccination pre-registration system is now live. All residents 16 and older can now pre-register for a vaccination appointment by visiting vaccinate.dc.gov or contacting the Call Center at 1-855-363-0333.

For more details on the Mayor's guidance and the pre-registration system, please click here to see my COVID update from Wednesday, March 17.

In the Community

The month of March has provided Team Pinto with an opportunity to connect with residents and businesses around the Councilmember’s legislative priorities and highlight her efforts to sustain COVID recovery efforts here in the District.

                                                                 Councilmember speaking on women's contributions in DC and COVID recovery with DMPED

Over the last two weeks, Councilmember Pinto has:

  • Presented at all March 2021 ANC meetings in Ward 2,
  • Advocated for increased funding to avoid proposed cuts to the WMATA budget,
  • Discussed equity in cannabis for the home growing community with DC Marijuana Justice,
  • Celebrated Women’s History Month and spoke about small business recovery with the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED),
  • Shared how Team Pinto upholds and advances the ideas of transparency, accountability, and accessibility in government with the DC Coalition for Open Government, and
  • Engaged with the Virginia Young Democrats, Mission Red, and Virginia State Senator Barbara Favola to discuss menstrual equity and policy.

                                                                      Councilmember Pinto speaking as a guest lecturer before American University students

Councilmember Pinto would also like to thank Professor Gordon Fletcher for inviting her to speak as a guest lecturer on criminal justice reform at American University this week.

Legislative Update

                                                                                         Councilmember Pinto presenting during the March ANC 2A meeting

New Legislation Authored by Councilmember Pinto:

Expanding Student Access to Period Products Act of 2021: Councilmember Pinto introduced this legislation to require DC public and public charter schools, the University of the District of Columbia, private universities, colleges, and vocational schools to install and maintain dispensers of free-for-use period products in women’s and gender-neutral bathrooms. This legislation will also require the Office of the State Superintendent of Education to develop and implement health education standards on menstrual education designed for all students in District of Columbia Public Schools and District of Columbia Charter Schools, beginning in grade 4 and regardless of gender.

COVID-19 Rental Housing Emergency Amendment Act of 2021: During the public health pandemic and for 30 days after that, housing providers are prohibited from increasing rents. Under current guidance, the date at which housing providers could institute rent increases would be June 20 (30 days after the current ending date of May 20). To help protect tenants who experienced hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic, Councilmember Pinto will introduce emergency housing legislation to extend the rent increase moratorium to the end of the pandemic plus one year.

This law will only apply to tenants who faced COVID-19 hardships and meet specific criteria outlined in the U.S. Department of the Treasury FAQs on the federal Emergency Rental Assistance program. The bill would also allow housing providers to recover lost revenues once an apartment unit becomes vacant and provide a method by which housing providers can lower the rents on rent-stabilized apartments during the pandemic and may return those rents to pre-pandemic levels as of March, 2020. In addition to helping tenants, Councilmember Pinto believes this bill could make available more rent-stabilized apartments that housing providers might be keeping vacant for fear of getting stuck at a lower rent because of the pandemic.

                                                                                The new Budget Lookup Tool, courtesy of the DC Council Budget Office

Updated Budget Hearing Schedule: The Council Budget Office has announced a new budget oversight hearing schedule. All residents who wish to testify during the hearings, submit their written testimonies, or watch from home, should view hearing dates and instructions here: www.brookepintodc.com/resources/budgetoversight2021.

New Budget Look Up Tool: The Office of the Budget Director has also unveiled a brand-new Budget Lookup Tool that will make budget data more accessible and transparent for members of the public and all users. The tool will be available during the formation of the budget formulation and throughout the fiscal year. With this tool, residents will be able to look up budget numbers for any District agency and its programs and compare actual and approved budget numbers. Check it out here.

Upcoming Hearing Schedule

Thursday, March 25: The Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety will vote on a resolution nominating Robert Contee III to serve as the Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department. If the vote passes, the measure will be sent before the full Council for a final vote.

Friday, March 26: Committee on Transportation and the Environment will hold a public roundtable on the Office of Public-Private Partnerships DC Smart Street Lighting Project Request for Proposals Approval Resolution of 2021 to learn about the method by which the RFP plans for a streetlight conversion. There are pros and cons to using a public-private-partnership (“P3”) to finance a capital upgrade and maintenance project such as the streetlight LED upgrade. The Committee would like to hear from DDOT as to why this project is best suited as a P3. For instructions on how to watch the roundtable or to make your voice heard, click here.

Monday, March 29: The Committee on Health will hold a public roundtable on the "Medical Necessity Restroom Access Act of 2021", legislation that Councilmember Pinto introduced to provide individuals with eligible medical conditions such as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), or those who are pregnant, with the right to use a public or employee toilet facility at a retail establishment under certain limited conditions. For instructions on how to watch the roundtable or to make your voice heard, click here.

Announcements

DC Statehood Hearing

You may or may not know that on March 22, 2021, there will be a hearing on H.R. 51, which is Congresswoman Norton’s bill to provide for the admission of the State of Washington, D.C. into the Union.

What's Happening: D.C. Statehood Hearing

Who's Invited: All D.C. Residents

Where to Watch: Watch on the House Committee on Oversight and Reform’s webpage here: https://oversight.house.gov/legislation/hearings

When It's Happening: Monday, March 22, 2021

Time: 11:00 a.m.

DC Vote and the Ward 2 Democrats will host a visibilty event in Dupont Circle on Monday, March 22, ahead of the hearing from 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Similar events will be taking place in all 8 Wards. For more information on these events, click the links below.

GMS Grant Application Now Open!

The Georgetown Main Street 2021 Small Business Grant application is now open!

Grants of $3,000 are available to small businesses in the GMS corridor to fund projects that will help businesses grow and stabilize during the pandemic and transition into recovery. Grants can be used for technical assistance, business development, exterior and storefront improvements, interior renovations, security improvements, and/or equipment. Due to multiple other grants that fund these expenses, operational expenses like rent and payroll are not eligible under this program.

The GMS grant selection committee will determine the grant recipients based on a need and community impact criteria point scale.

  • Find the online application with more information here.
  • Verify your GMS corridor status here.
  • Find a printable guide on the GMS website here.
  • Deadline: Friday, April 2 at 5:00 p.m.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton Announced Community Project Funding!


Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton announced the process for applying to her office for Community Project Funding, formerly known as earmarks, for fiscal year 2022. For a Community Project Funding request to be considered, eligible entities must submit an application by March 31, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. to NortonCommunityProjectFunding@mail.house.gov.


A complete application consists of:

  • Name of the recipient
  • Address of the recipient
  • Amount of the request
  • Explanation of the request, including purpose, and a justification for why it is an appropriate use of taxpayer funds
  • Evidence of community support
  • Evidence the entity, other than the District of Columbia government, is a non-profit organization as described under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986
  • Evidence the non-profit’s work is primarily focused on D.C.

Late or incomplete applications will not be considered.

In addition, the House Appropriations Committee has set the below requirements:

  • Members may submit no more than 10 requests
  • Only projects with demonstrated community support will be considered
  • Funding is for fiscal year 2022 only
  • Eligible recipients are state and local governments and non-profit organizations as described under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986
  • Federal programs may require a state or local match for projects. The match will not be waived.

For a Community Project Funding request to be considered, eligible entities must submit an application by March 31, 2021, at 6:00 p.m. to NortonCommunityProjectFunding@mail.house.gov. For more information and requirements, go to their website.

Interested in Joining the DC Bicycle Advisory Council?

Are you an avid Ward 2 biker interested in influencing DC bicycling policies? Apply today to be an appointed volunteer on DC’s Bicycle Advisory Council, http://www.bikedcbike.org/, the advisory body that “evaluates legislation & transportation infrastructure, providing analysis & technical expertise to the legislative & executive branches in DC. To apply, please email bromanowski@dccouncil.us with your contact information and a brief statement of interest

Stead Park Recreation Center – Virtual Community Meeting

Please join the DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the DC Department of General Services (DGS) for a virtual community meeting to discuss the upcoming renovations to the Stead Park Recreation Center. Your attendance and feedback are critical to the process and greatly appreciated. All ages are welcome!

Meeting Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2021
Meeting Time: 6:30 PM

Meeting Link: https://dcnet.webex.com/dcnet/j.php?MTID=m1a3b03efefb00034916110aba601eaea

To Join by Phone:

+1-202-860-2110 United States Toll (Washington D.C.)
+1-650-479-3208 Call-in number (US/Canada)

Attendee Access Code: 360 353 07  

DPR Summer Camp Registration Now Open!

At noon today, Monday, March 22, DC residents can register for the Department of Parks and Recreation's (DPR) 2021 Summer Camps.

DPR is excited to welcome back campers and offer core Camps including Discovery, Little Explorers, Sports Camps, Aqua Day Camps, and Therapeutic Recreation - all in accordance with DC Health's safety guidelines.

For information about registration dates, camp activities, safety protocols, or sign up, visit: https://dprsummercamps2021.splashthat.com/.

Children’s National Hospital Blood Drive

Due to pandemic our blood donations are significantly low at this time. Currently, there is a global shortage of whole blood. Did you know that one unit can help 4-5 little people at Children’s?

An opportunity to donate whole blood to help children at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC. You must be 17 years old to donate and can donate whole blood every 56 days. Everyone must eat a very good breakfast/lunch and start hydrating with water the day before donation and on day of donation drink 16oz. of water.

Sponsor: Eaton Hotel 1201 K Street NW, Washington, DC 20005

Date and Time: March 23 - 24, 2021 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

To book an appointment online for March 23, click here.

To book an appointment online for March 24, click here.  

You can also contact the Blood Donor Center at 202-476-5437 to make an appointment.

The Cherry Blossom Festival is Underway!

The Cherry Blossom Festival has kicked off and will be going on until April 11th! Their new innovative format will honor the traditions of the Festival, while prioritizing the health and safety of participants amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Designed to incorporate both virtual and personal experiences, the Festival programs can be enjoyed by both residents and visitors to the Washington, DC area and fans from afar.

Find out how you can safely participate this year on their website here.

The District of Columbia has extended the deadline to file and pay all income tax returns until May 17, 2021. This extension applies to all D-20, D-30, D-40, Standalone Schedule H, D-41, D-40B, and D-65 tax filers, and includes combined return filers. This extension is automatic and does not require taxpayers to apply.

Taxpayers may continue to request an extension to file their income, partnership and franchise tax returns to October 15, 2021 or November 15, 2021 for combined return filers. All such extension requests must be made by filing the applicable extension form with OTR by May 17, 2021 and making all required payments for tax year 2020 by May 17, 2021.

The deadlines to file Forms D-20ES, D-30ES, D-40ES and D-41ES and to make estimated tax payments remains unchanged. The first quarter payments are due April 15, 2021.

For additional information, please contact OTR’s Customer Service Center (202) 727-4TAX (4829).

Be sure to stay connected with us on social media (@MyTaxDC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).

Tax Day for Individuals Extended to May 17


The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service has announced that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.

To see the press release from the Internal Revenue Service, please click here.

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