I want to wish you all a happy Older American month! Our seniors are treasured members of our community and I am especially grateful for the work our senior villages do to engage residents with programming, socialization, and volunteering opportunities. I urge us all to reach out to a senior in your life or community this month to reconnect!
Last week, I shared my common-sense blueprint I’m using to guide my legislative, oversight, and budget work as I lead the Committee on the Judiciary & Public Safety. This blueprint focuses on realistic, attainable, and effective solutions that will bring about meaningful change to make our communities safer: preventing crime, supporting police and first responders, ensuring accountability, ending cycles of violence, and strengthening government coordination.
This is the blueprint I used to craft the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety budget that I released last week. I want to particularly highlight my new Safe Commerical Corridors Grants program (which will provide funding directly to local leaders in our commercial corridors), the significant investments in victim services and legal aid grants, and comprehensive funding for police recruitment and retention.
As we continue to finalize the budget, I am calling on my colleagues to reject proposals that will undermine our efforts to revitalize Downtown. During the budget process, some members of the Council have proposed (1) eliminating the funding to transform K Street and (2) imposing a surcharge on rideshare trips in and out of Downtown. Both of these proposals would disincentivize people from living, visiting, and working in Downtown – precisely as we are trying to do the opposite. I am calling for returning funding to the K Street Transitway project and eliminating the proposed surcharge on rideshare trips in and out of Downtown. Compromising investments in Downtown is compromising our city's economic future and it is imperative that we do not take a shortsighted approach to recovery.
On Monday, May 8, I will be hosting a community meeting to discuss the Dupont Deckover and Streetscape project. Please join me to get your questions answered and share any concerns or priorities you have for this project.
Finally – come march with me in the Pride Parade! Sign up here to join Team Pinto as we celebrate DC pride!
Judiciary Committee Budget: Last week, the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety released its FY 2024 Committee budget report. You can read the report in its entirety here. Next, the Committee’s report (as well as reports from all the Committees) will go to the Committee of the Whole, where the whole Council will consider the budget in its entirety.
Ward 2 Investments: Councilmember Pinto secured funding for a number of Ward 2 schools and community infrastructure projects. Now, she is working to protect these investments and ensure they remain in the final budget. If you want to help protect these investments, you can contact your at-Large Councilmembers here.
In the last few weeks, Councilmember Pinto and Team Pinto have been out and about in Ward 2 and across the city including to:
DC News Now: DC public safety budget invests in recruitment, retention programs. “’We have a hiring crisis nationwide, there are pipeline challenges that our police force is having getting back up to a force size we know we need. So we’ve used this budget to try and be creative,’ said Pinto.”
WAMU: A ‘Downtown Killer:’ Mayor Bowser Decries D.C. Council Plan To Cancel K Street Transitway Project. “Without a revitalized downtown, according to Bowser and her supporters at the rally, other city initiatives and programs from education to social spending would suffer. ‘Compromising our downtown is compromising the long-term economic future of our city,’ said Councilmember Brooke Pinto (D-Ward 2), who is also opposing her colleagues’ proposals.
WTOP: Metro CEO: DC’s fare evasion law needs changing. “’Decriminalizing fare evasion is a blunt instrument that has not only hurt Metro’s revenue, but has hampered law enforcement’s ability to keep all of us safe on public transportation,’ Pinto said. ‘I will continue to work with my colleagues to find a common-sense solution that does not needlessly entangle residents in our criminal justice system but also does not tie the hands of Metro and law enforcement.’”
Washington Post Editorial Board: Why police officers need to be in D.C. schools. “Four D.C. Council members introduced a bill last month to reinstate the police department’s School Safety Division, which is where school resource officers work. They are Trayon White Sr. (D-Ward 8); Vincent C. Gray (D-Ward 7); Brooke Pinto (D-Ward 2), the public safety committee chair; and council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D). Mr. White said students often tell him that school safety is their top concern.”
WTOP: Chief Robert Contee leaving DC police for job with FBI. “D.C. council chair of the judiciary and public safety committee, Brooke Pinto, told WTOP she’s grateful for Chief Contee’s more than three decades of service to the District of Columbia. ‘Well it is certainly going to be a huge loss for the Metropolitan Police Department and the District,’ Pinto said. Pinto’s committee voted this week in favor of giving the police department the money it needs to boost hiring. ‘I have funded in the budget all of the positions that Chief Contee believes MPD can hire,’ Pinto said.”
Team Pinto is going on neighborhood walks with each of our amazing Ward 2 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners! This week, we’re highlighting ANC 2E05 and Commissioner Mimsy Linder. Brian from Team Pinto met with Commissioner Linder to walk ANC 2E05 in Georgetown. Some of the topics they discussed included pedestrian safety and accessibility, business signage, and public safety along Water Street and the Georgetown Waterfront Park. If you live in ANC 2E05, you can reach Commissioner Linder at 2E05@anc.dc.gov.
Did you know? ANC 2E05 is home to Theodore Roosevelt Island. You can learn more about the contributions of African American soldiers to the Civil War during the Juneteenth Commemoration at Roosevelt Island on June 19, 2023. Learn more here.
We’re introducing a new section of our newsletter, highlighting the Ward 2 wins our office has secured for residents and how our office can help you navigate government agencies and advocate for your neighborhood.
Thanks to Aukima on Team Pinto for helping to solve this critical safety issue! If you need help fixing dangerous traffic conditions in your neighborhood, please contact our Constituent Services team here!