At the start of November, we entered hypothermia season, the time during which individuals with increased exposure to cold weather are susceptible to sustaining abnormally and dangerously low body temperatures or frostbite.
Hypothermia season lasts from November 1 until March 31, and those most affected tend to be our neighbors experiencing homelessness. This winter we are on even higher alert as the health implications of COVID-19 have required officials to reimagine shelter offerings. Meteorologists also anticipate increased snowfall in the coming months and therefore colder temperatures.
Holding fast to its commitment to ensure shelter access during hypothermia season, the District Department of Human Services has rolled out a Winter Summary Plan for Single Adults. This plan contains details on year-round and seasonal shelters for men and women, information on public health protocols within the shelter and a transportation update. The Interagency Council on Homelessness has also developed a Fiscal Year 2021 Winter Plan also contains information about the coordination of hypothermia shelter and other services such a mental health supports, meals, and resources for minority groups. Residents may also call the shelter hotline at 202-399-7093 or 311 for more information.
Please know that I remain committed to working with the Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services and the Department of Human Services to provide supportive services and move more residents into housing.
November is also National Native American Heritage Month, a time for us to celebrate the District of Columbia’s indigenous ancestors and descendants. To learn more about Native American history and culture or learn about celebratory events this month, visit nativeamericanheritagemonth.gov.
Lastly, I would like to thank everyone who participated in this year’s elections. Whether you mailed in your ballot or casted your vote at the polls, your participation made our democracy stronger. I would also like to extend my sincerest appreciation to the many candidates who answered a call to serve their community in such a distinct way. In the end, we are all winners because we choose to lead by example and dedicate ourselves to the cause of bettering our communities.
To everyone in Ward 2, please know that I am thrilled to serve as your Councilmember for the next 4 years! I look forward to listening and learning. And I promise to lead – at times by taking action and in other moments, by empowering others to do the same.
As always, our door is open, and my office is eager to assist you or anyone seeking a helping hand.
Yours in Service,
The State of Older Adults in the District of Columbia: At the request of the Chairman of the Council, the Council Budget Office is releasing a multi-part series entitled the “State of Older Adults in the District of Columbia.” In the reports, residents can learn more about the 90 publicly provided programs and other benefits available to senior adults in the District, identify the seniors who are eligible to enroll in these programs, and he demographic and economic characteristics of the District’s senior population. To view the first three reports, click here.
School Readiness Tours: This week, Team Pinto attended school readiness tours hosted by the District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) in Ward 2. To prepare for school re-openings in term 2, DCPS has prepared a “school building readiness checklist” for each school scheduled to reopen on Monday, November 9. The checklists and tours provide opportunities for community members to ensure that the schools have taken the steps necessary to protect the health of students, teachers, and administrators. Among requirements, schools are required to have adequate personal protective equipment and hygiene supplies on site, socially distant space arrangements, and enhancements to the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system among other things.
“I am pleased to know that our schools in Ward 2 have prepared to receive students and provide safe and nurturing environments for them during this time,” said Councilmember Pinto. “My office will continue to be in touch with the school communities and DCPS to be of support during this transition.”
DCPS recently announced that in-person instruction at our elementary schools would be postponed. More work will be done to survey the community and ensure that the reopening plan meets the needs of students, families, teachers, and administrators alike. For more on school re-openings and general information, visit https://dcpsreopenstrong.com/. To view a specific school readiness checklist, click here.
Welcoming New Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners to Ward 2: On Tuesday, November 3, Ward 2 residents voted for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners to represent their various communities. Councilmember Pinto would like to congratulate each incoming and returning Commissioner.
“I am so excited to welcome returning and incoming ANC Commissioners in Ward 2 and am eager to work together to support our neighborhoods," said Councilmember Pinto. "Thank you for stepping up to the plate and sharing your time, energy, and insights with the city!”
For the latest election results and to view the names of the Commissioners, visit the District of Columbia Board of Elections website here.
Public Hearings Next Week: Next week, the Committee on Facilities and Procurement will hold a public hearing on B23-0923, the “Helping Children Impacted by Parental Incarceration Amendment Act of 2020.” This legislation will require the Office on Returning Citizen Affairs to assess the needs of children in the District of Columbia whose parents are incarcerated. The Committee of the Whole will also hold a public hearing on B23-0736, the Comprehensive Plan, a 20-year framework that will guide future growth and development in the District of Columbia, over the course of Thursday and Friday. Click the links provided for full legislative descriptions, hearing details, and viewing instructions.
The Upcoming Legislative Meeting: On Tuesday, November 10, the Council of the District of Columbia will convene for a legislative meeting and its next additional meeting of the Committee of the Whole. For details on the meeting agendas and for viewing instructions, click here.
DMV Black Restaurant Week: Since its inception in 2018, DMV Black Restaurant Week has served hundreds of black owned restaurants in the Washington DC metro area. This impact was made possible by the 180 volunteers who responded to an article in the Washington City Paper in August 2018. Businesses served have increased their visibility to customers and gained access to capital – two critical pieces holding back their growth and longevity. If you don't see your favorite black-owned on the participants list, send them the following link to REGISTER: https://www.dmvbrw.com/dmvbrw-vendor-registration.
Open Enrollment is Here: Open Enrollment is here! Individuals and families can now renew or enroll in affordable, quality health insurance coverage RIGHT NOW! If you would like for your insurance coverage to be effective January 1, 2021, you will need to enroll by December 15, 2020. Open enrollment ends January 31, 2020. For more information, visit http://DCHealthLink.com.
Leaf Pickup Update: The District Department of Public Works has announced that the vacuum leaf program will resume on Monday, November 9, 2020. Paper bags are NO LONGER REQUIRED, but residents are asked to rake their leaves, for collection, to the curb or into the tree box at the front of the residence. Residents are also asked to keep vehicles away from the curb lanes on scheduled collection days. For more information, visit https://tinyurl.com/DPWLeaf2020.
New Mobile App for Contact Tracing Available for Android and iPhone Users: DC Health has launched a voluntary app that will notify those who have come into close contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19. All iPhone users who have completed the latest operating system upgrade do not need to download any applications, however. After completing the update, iPhone users can visit the general settings tab labeled "Exposure Notifications" and set up alerts. All Android users will need to download the DC CAN app and follow the prompts. Everyone is encouraged to use a notification system to aid contract tracing efforts and help to reduce the spread of the virus. For more information on the new mobile app, visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov/dccan.
Landlords and Tenants Can Create Their Own One-Year Plan: In a release this week, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) supplied a Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) continuing language to help residential tenants impacted by COVID-19 reach a payment plan agreement with their housing provider. Tenants needing assistance with this matter may obtain help by contacting these organizations: