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Brooke's Briefing: Save WMATA, Budget Updates, New Legislation, Happy Women's History Month

Posted by
Emmanuel Brantley
on
March 8, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

Happy Women’s History Month! While the myriad contributions of women are seen year-round, we are excited to dedicate the month of March to celebrate the ways women continue to make our society stronger. We must also acknowledge that women have been disproportionately affected by this pandemic – as frontline healthcare and childcare workers, grocery workers, and first responders – and a demonstrated mass exodus from the workforce. This must be addressed throughout our recovery.

Councilmember Pinto Kicks Off Women's History Month with the DC Women's Democratic Club and the "Magnificent 7" Women Who Serve as Elected Leaders on the DC Council

We must also reckon with and denounce the recent acts of hate and violence that we have seen towards our Asian-American neighbors across the country. I condemn these actions and want to remind all District residents that in December, the Council passed legislation banning hate crimes in our city. We all need to look out for one another – hate has no place in Ward 2 or our city.

Lastly, the Council is entering the final stretch of performance oversight and will continue working to ensure that District Government agencies are operating efficiently on behalf of District residents. Always know that my office is here to assist you. Please reach out to us at www.brookepintodc.com/help. Thank you for remaining engaged.

Yours in Service,

Brooke

In this newsletter you will find updates on:

  • New Legislation Councilmember Pinto Co-Introduced;
  • The Extension of the Public Health Emergency;
  • The District’s New Budget Timeline and Financial Outlook;
  • Unemployment Insurance for District Residents and Workers;
  • Potential Service Cuts to Public Transportation Service; and
  • Opportunities to Support Local Restaurants in Ward 2.  

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Councilmember Pinto speaking to ABC 7 News about the COVID-19 Vaccine Registration Process

Today, DC Health launches the new pre-registration system for vaccine appointments! To pre-register your information, visit vaccinate.dc.gov. You will be notified in the future once you are able to access the website to book an appointment.

For a comprehensive list of COVID and Vaccine updates, see our weekly COVID update from last Wednesday, March 3, here: https://www.brookepintodc.com/newsroom/covid-update-march-3

For an update on Councilmember Pinto’s questions and insights about changes to the vaccination process, language access, and data discrepancies concerning the District of Columbia in national reporting, see her tweet thread here: https://twitter.com/CMBrookePinto/status/1367939259760541699?s=20

In the Community

Councilmember Pinto meeting with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action


Councilmember Pinto contiunes to connect with residents, businesses, and cultural curators to hear from them, share her legislative goals and priorities, and celebrate milestones. In just the last two weeks, Councilmember Pinto:

  • Celebrated Women’s History Month with the DC Democratic Women’s Club,
  • Presented at monthly meetings for ANC 2E and ANC 2F,
  • Discussed COVID Recovery & Policy with the DC Chamber of Commerce,
  • Explored the influence of African Americans on the National Mall with the Trust for the National Mall,
  • Shared Ideas on Medical and Legal Partnerships with the Medical Society of DC,
  • Met with Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action to discuss gun control and investing in our communities,
  • Visited with the DC Girl’s Coalition on legislative reforms to support our young women in girls, and
  • Attended a briefing with the Council for Court Excellence to hear the final report and recommendations from the DC Jails and Justice Taskforce.

Ward 2 Community Budget Meeting

Councilmember Pinto would lke to thank the many residents and stakeholders who participated in the Ward 2 Community Budget Meeting last week. If you did not testify, but would like to submit written testimony with your concerns about the District’s upcoming budget, please email it ehanson@dccouncil.usby March 31, 2021.

If you’d like to hear what your neighbors had to say, you can click here to watch the full Ward 2 Community Budget Meeting.

Legislative Update

Councilmember Brooke Pinto during a 2021 Performance Oversight Hearing

Performance Oversight

  • Councilmember Pinto has participated in over one dozen performance oversight hearings in the last two weeks where she has asked agency Directors questions around the operations of their agencies and plans moving forward.
  • These oversight hearings have included discussions with the following agencies: The Department of Employment Services, the District of Columbia Housing Authority, the Department of Transportation, the District of Columbia Public Schools, the Office of the Attorney General, the Office of Returning Citizens Affairs, and the Office of Religious Affairs.

Public Health Emergency Extended

This week, the Council passed the Coronavirus Support Emergency Amendment Act of 2021. This legislation extends the Mayor’s authority to declare a public health emergency through May 20, 2021 and provides the Executive with additional time to prepare the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget.

Why Does the Mayor Need Additional Time to Prepare the Budget? What is the District’s Current Financial Status?

  • The District of Columbia is hoping to receive up to $2 billion in federal payments this year, and Mayor Bowser and the Executive team require additional time to ensure that these dollars are spent in a manner that best represents DC values.
  • A revised revenue estimate provided by the District’s Chief Financial Officer in late February shows that the city’s budget deficit has fallen from more than $500 million to $235 million, and places our city in a better position to recover from the pandemic. Furthermore, revenues are expected to return to Fiscal Year 2019 levels in the upcoming year as vaccines are deployed and the economy recovers.
  • The Mayor’s delayed budget submission also means that the Council must schedule new dates and times for budget oversight hearings. Those dates and times have not yet been released, but our office will notify constituents when this information becomes available.

The Council of the District of Columbia's March 2 Legislative Meeting

Councilmember Pinto Co-Introduces Legislation

Councilmember Pinto recently co-introduced legislation to address historical inequalities in the District's healthcare system, bring equity to cannabis regulation, and improve financial conditions for senior citizens.

These bills include the:

  • Bedbug Control Act of 2021

Announcements

Drastic Cuts Proposed to Metrorail & Metrobus Service, Public Comment Period Currently Open:

Metro is facing a significant budget shortfall due to decreased ridership caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Given the steady decline ridership and revenues and an absence of federal relief funding, Metro is proposing to:

  • Close up to 22 Metrorail stations with low ridership that are near other stations
  • Operate Metrorail every 30 minutes on all lines
  • Close Metrorail at 9 p.m. instead of 11 p.m.
  • Adjust where some Red and Yellow line trains begin/end (turnbacks)
  • Eliminate several bus routes


To view the full list of proposed service cuts and adjustments, click here: https://wmata.com/budget.

To help Metro appeal to Congress for additional relief and support, residents can submit written testimony and/or take a user survey before the public comment ends on Tuesday, March 16, at 5:00 p.m. Click here for more: https://metro2022budget2.questionpro.com/.

Residents can also provide oral testimonies during WMATA’s virtual public hearings by dialing in and entering a four-digit code. Hearings begin TODAY, Monday, March 8. For more information, click here:https://wmata.com/initiatives/budget/#2022-proposed

The Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) have reopened the Ready2Play Citywide Survey until April 4, 2021.

If you have not shared your thoughts, suggestions, and priorities regarding parks and recreation in the District, you can take the survey here: ready2playdc.com/citywide-survey.

DPR has also launched a voicemail box number (202) 282-2198, which is available 24/7 for residents facing technological challenges to ensure that their voices are heard.

Finally, Ready2Play developed 8 Key Priorities as part of its SCORP planning process last summer.

Each of these priorities has an individual webpage where you can go to receive more information and leave feedback and suggestions. You can find these by scrolling down on DPR's homepage, right below the section on ward by ward engagement.

Georgetown University's Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership and the Crimsonbridge Foundation Offering Partial Scholarships

Georgetown University's Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership and the Crimsonbridge Foundation have partnered together to offer partial scholarships to CPNL's Nonprofit Management Executive Certificate Program!

Targeted towards leaders from diverse backgrounds serving locally-based and locally-serving organizations, applications for the program are due on April 30, 2021. Want more information on the program?

There will be an open house on March 31st at 5:30 pm, or you can visit this website https://cpnl.georgetown.edu/nonprofit-management/application/.

Unemployment Updates for District Residents and Workers

Residents should be aware of recent updates to unemployment benefits due to the extension of Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation programs and the DOES’ implementation of the Continued Assistance for Unemployed Workers Act (CAA) by the District’s Department of Employment Services (DOES).

These updates include an explanation on the increased or decreased number of benefit weeks, deadlines for additional assistance through the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC), and Extended Benefits (EB) programs.

There is also information on the “High Unemployment Trigger” that the District of Columbia has set off, per the federal government and what this means for PUA and EB recipients.

For more information, please visit: https://does.dc.gov/page/unemployment-compensation

Show Up for DC in Ward 2 at Dupont Circle! Meet at 2000 P Street NW starting at 8:30 a.m.

It's time to let all of DC know it's time for DC Statehood! Join neighbors on the morning of Thursday, March 11, 2021, for the DC Statehood Hearing in the United States House of Representatives. DC Statehood signs will be provided! Feel free to wear Red and White and/or bring Pom Poms and/or Noise-makers!

For details on visibility events in each Ward from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m., click here: https://www.facebook.com/dcvote/events.

Please be mindful of social distancing, wear a mask, and be sure to wash and sanitize your hands when possible.

Near Northwest III Safety and Mobility Study – Public Workshop #2

DDOT is holding its second virtual public workshop to gather community input and discuss ideas for transportation safety projects in near northwest neighborhoods for the Near Northwest III Safety and Mobility Study on Tuesday, March 9 at 5:30pm and 7:00pm. The first meeting was hosted February 16, 2021 and introduced the study area and project overview. The Second Public Meeting will:

  • Build off the first meeting to explain the project prioritization process.
  • Identify 40 project locations within the study area for possible quick-build, safety improvements.
  • Finalize the locations of the 10 projects to be implemented during the study.
  • The project also includes surface art projects that will start in late spring.


We are hoping to reach our local Spanish speaking community to attend the 7:00pm meeting which will be facilitated fully in Spanish. Participants can join the virtual meetings with the links below.

What: Near Northwest III Safety and Mobility Study Public Workshop 2
When: Tuesday, March 9, 2021
English Meeting 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. - join online at rebrand.ly/NearNWIII
Spanish Meeting 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. - join online at rebrand.ly/NearNWIII-Spanish

RSVP (English): https://bit.ly/3qroqDDOT
RSVP (Español): https://ddotnw.eventbrite.com

For more information, please visit: https://nnwiii-dcgis.hub.arcgis.com/

Real Property Taxes Due March 31, Bills Mailed

This week, the DC Office of Tax and Revenue began mailing real property tax bills for the 2021 first half tax year to District property owners. Payments, which reflect current and past due real property tax liabilities, are due March 31. Please reference the attached pdf document for additional information. It also outlines some of the real property tax functionalities available at OTR’s online portal, MyTax.DC.gov.

#TakeOutTuesday Has Come to Dupont Circle!

There are now two neighborhoods in Ward Two – Georgetown and Dupont Circle – offering #TakeOutTuesday deals for neighbors!

Each week, neighbors will promote all restaurants, and highlight two of them that will offer specials and featured dishes. Those dining out are encouraged to support our neighborhood restaurants and to remember those servers and staff members who have had hours cut, lost wages, or been laid off.

This week's specials in Georgetown include:

  • La Jolie Bleu at 1560 Wisconsin Ave NW
  • El Centro Georgetown at 1218 Wisconsin Ave NW

This week's specials in Dupont Circle include:

  • Mikko Nordic Fine Foods at 1636 R Street NW
  • RIS at 2275 L Street NW


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