Brooke's Briefing: Ward 2 Community Safety Bike Ride, COVID Vaccines, DC Statehood, DCPS Re-opening

Posted by
Tatiana Johnson
April 19, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

In the past two weeks, we have lost four people to traffic violence – 4-year-old Zy’aire Joshua; 29-year-old bicyclist and safe streets advocate Jim Pagels; Brian Johnson, a 30-year-old father expecting another child; and 54-year-old Evelyn Troyah.

It is imperative that as a community, we learn and re-educate ourselves about street safety and take action to ensure that pedestrians, scooter users, bikers, and drivers can travel safely. I also remind all drivers that a moment of inattention, distraction, or speed, can result in the end of a human life.

Councilmember Brooke Pinto speaking during the memorial for bicyclist and safe streets advocate Jim Pagels  

As an elected official, I know that I MUST work with my colleagues to fully fund and implement Vision Zero and bring about citywide changes that will make our streets safer. Here in Ward 2, I will be having a Community Safety Bike Ride this Saturday, April 24th, starting at noon at the Georgetown Waterfront Park fountain (near K Street & Wisconsin Ave., NW). We will ride through and stop in various neighborhoods across Ward 2 to hear directly from neighbors about what safety and transportation issues need the most attention. I hope you will join us; more information is included below.

Moving forward, I will carry with me and honor the memory of those we lost too soon in my advocacy and work.

Councilmember Pinto joining DC residents to bike in honor of the late Jim Pagels

In this Newsletter you will find information regarding:

  • The Ward 2 Community Safety Bike Ride
  • DC Public Schools’ Full Reopening this Fall
  • Increased funding for DC Public Schools in the Mayor's Proposed Budget
  • COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility
  • New Rent Relief Program for District Tenants
  • DC Statehood Advancing on Capitol Hill
  • The Fiscal Year 2022 Budget

Yours in Service,


COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Councilmember Pinto recounts her visit to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center's COVID-19 vaccination center last week

Johnson and Johnson Vaccine

The DC Department of Health has announced the temporary pause of the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine while an investigation into reports of rare but severe side effects occurs. Appointments made via should have received direct notification of the cancellation and been offered the opportunity to rebook their appointment for the Pfizer or Moderna vaccinations beginning last Wednesday.

Please note that only 6 cases out of 6.8 million were identified to have these rare side effects.

Appointment Eligibility and Availability

As of today, Monday, April 19, the District officially enters Phase 2 of the vaccination program. At this time, all District residents aged 16 and older are eligible to receive a vaccine appointment. If you haven’t already done so, please pre-register at

For more information related to the COVID-19 vaccine, visit

Funeral Assistance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has announced that it will provide financial assistance to individuals nationwide who have incurred COVID-19-related funeral expenses. For more information, visit or call 844-684-6333.

DC Public Schools, DC Statehood, and the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget

Councilmember Pinto joining members of the Ward 2 community for Outdoor Storytime

The Reopening of DC Public Schools this Fall and an Announced Increase to the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula: At a press briefing on Monday, April 12, Mayor Bowser announced that D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) would fully reopen this fall for "in-person learning, five days a week, with all educators back in the classroom." Enrollment for students is now open at

During the briefing, Mayor Bowser also shared that she intends to increase the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF), which is used to determine annual operating funding for the District's traditional public and public charter schools.

H.R. 51, Legislation for DC Statehood, Advances on Capitol Hill: On Wednesday, April 14, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton and many other D.C. Statehood advocates celebrated the historic markup and vote on her statehood bill (H.R. 51) in the U.S. House of Representative's Committee on Oversight and Reform. The bill will go to the Rules Committee early this week in the final step before a full vote on the House floor vote and its move to the Senate. The bill has 215 cosponsors, virtually guaranteeing House passage of the D.C. statehood bill for only the second time in history. To see Congresswoman Norton’s full statement, click here.

Community Engagement

Councilmember Pinto speaking to students participating in the Georgetown Medical School's Health Justice Alliance Program

Councilmember Pinto joined with residents and other city leaders this week to address the immediate need for street safety for pedestrians, bikers, and vehicles and honored the memory of a safe streets advocate who we tragically lost.

Councilmember Pinto also took time to discuss shared visions for a gun-free DC, read to young students, and explore the nexus between health, housing, and law with the Georgetown medical and legal communities.

Last week, Councilmember Pinto and her team:

  • Celebrated the memory of Jim Pagels, an avid bicyclist and safe streets advocate, by participating in a memorial bike ride and public vigil.
  • Visited the Walter E. Washington Convention Center COVID-19 vaccination site to hear from residents and workers and check on the vaccine distribution process
  • Met with Deputy Director Everett Lott of DDOT and ANC commissioners to discuss transportation safety and sidewalk maintenance in Ward 2
  • Read to local elementary students in Rose Park for Outdoor Storytime with DC Public Schools and the DC State Board of Education
  • Spoke with students from Georgetown University Medical School’s Health Justice Alliance Program (a clinic she participated in while a student at Georgetown Law) for their plenary session on Housing & Homelessness for Health Justice Week
  • Shared in discussions about a gun-free DC with gun violence advocates during a virtual rally with March for Our Lives DC

Legislative Updates and Council News

The Fiscal Year 2022 Budget: At its most recent meeting, the Council voted to delay further the date by which the Mayor is required to submit her proposed Fiscal Year 2022 budget and financial plan to the Council. The passage of recent federal COVID response legislation requires the Department of the Treasury to issue, prior to May 10, guidelines on exactly how localities can spend the funds included in the massive bill. To ensure that the Mayor's budget proposal reflected the reality of the District's current circumstances and allow the Council an opportunity to discuss the budget proposal thoroughly, the Mayor will now submit the budget proposal on May 27.

After that time, budget oversight hearings will take place. We will be sure to keep you updated on the adjusted budget oversight schedule and share opportunities for public engagement.


Ward 2 Community Safety Bike Ride

Please join Councilmember Pinto and Team for the Ward 2 Community Safety Bike Ride this Saturday, April 24, starting at noon. We'll bike through various Ward 2 neighborhoods and hold listening sessions at each stop to hear directly from residents about their traffic and safety concerns. If you can't be with us the whole time, join us at one or more of the stops listed below. RSVP at:

The schedule of our stops and estimated arrival, departure, and transit times is as follows:

Kick-off Point:
Georgetown Waterfront Park (at the Fountain near K St. & Wisconsin Ave, NW)
Start Time: 12 noon
Departure and Transit Time to Next Location: 12:25pm - 12:45pm

Stop #2:
GW Patio in Foggy Bottom (2028 G St. NW, at the Plaza Near the GW Law & Learning Center Garage)
Estimated Start Time: 12:45pm
Departure & Transit Time to Next Stop: 1:10pm - 1:30pm

Stop #3:
Dupont Circle
Estimated Start Time: 1:30pm
Departure & Transit Time to Next Stop: 1:55pm - 2:15pm

Stop #4:
Logan Circle
Estimated Start Time: 2:15pm
Departure & Transit Time to Final Stop: 2:40pm - 3:00pm

Final Stop:
Mt. Vernon Square (in the Northeast Section of the Park)
Estimated Start Time: 3:00pm

Community Conversation with the Executive Director Men Can Stop Rape and the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Domestic Violence and Sex Offense Section

Join in a Community Conversation with Guest Speakers Neil Irvin, Executive Director of Men Can Stop Rape, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Kenechukwu Okocha, Domestic Violence and Sex Offense Section, on Tuesday, April 20, 2021 at 5:30 p.m.

They will have a candid discussion on the awareness and prevention of sexual assault, sexual harassment and sexual abuse. This event is being held in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

Link to Join:
Event Number: 199 414 3793
Event Password: yQBSwWxe792
To join via audio conference at US Toll: +1-415-527-5035

If you have questions, concerns or need any special accommodations please contact Donice Adams at or 202.815.8732.

Streateries 101, What Small Businesses Need to Know

Join Kimberly Vacca, of DDOT, and Kyle Mulhall, of ANC2B COVID-19 Emergency Response Task Force, for a conversation on DC’s Streateries program. Learn about how the program is changing, including new guidelines and plans to continue this popular outdoor patio program after the pandemic.

Kimberly Vacca is a transportation planner for the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) in the Neighborhood Planning Branch. Her work focuses on public space design, including development and public space review and implementing transformative tactical urbanism programs such as parklets, streateries, and cafes.

Click here to take the restaurant survey.

Co-sponsors: ANC2B COVID-19 Emergency Response Task Force, Dupont Circle Main Streets, and Logan Circle Main Street

Link to Join: RmUT09#success

Meeting ID: 852 2071 5859

Passcode: 931539

One tap mobile: +13017158592, 85220715859#, *931539# US (Washington DC)

DC Mortgage Assistance Program

The DC Mortgage Assistance Program, administered through the DC Housing Finance Agency, is available to provide emergency mortgage support to District homeowners experiencing unforeseen financial difficulties due to sudden decrease or loss of income. You can click here to visit their website and view program qualifications and take the survey to see if you are eligible to apply.

Stronger Together by Assisting You (STAY DC)

The District of Columbia is set to receive $352 million in new federal Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) for the "Stronger Together by Assisting You" (STAY?DC) program and related efforts.

STAY DC will help residents pay 12 months of past-due rent and utility payments and 3 months of forward rent and utility payments.

For more information, visit or call 1-833 - 4 STAY - DC.

Unemployment Resources

If you are in between jobs, you may qualify for unemployment insurance and/or additional benefits to keep you on your feet until the next job comes around. DC Department of Employment Service knows you work hard to help you and those around you, and they would like to offer their assistance in these trying times. Learn more and apply for benefits on their website by clicking here.

Order In, Help Out Innovation Challenge

Councilmember Pinto would like to congratulate Georgetown Main Street (GMS) on their recent application submission and third place win in the American Express Shop Small 'Order In, Help Out' Innovation Challenge.

In the application, GMS detailed their efforts to work with community partners to launch "Georgetown Take Out Tuesday," shared community and restaurant testimonials, and highlighted the giveaway made possible by the donation from the Nancy Taylor Bubes Group. GMS also celebrated the increase in orders throughout the seven weeks of the campaign.

Entries were judged on Strategy; Innovation & Engagement; Feasibility; Need/Response to COVID; and Results and Impact. The review committee was "very impressed with the community impact and creativity demonstrated" in the GMS application.

In addition to receiving $1,000, GMS was invited to participate in the "Supporting Local Restaurants in Their Recovery" session during the upcoming Main Street Now Conference, where GMS will be able to share "the strong bond of the Georgetown community with attendees all across the country."

DC Residents Urged to Take Advantage of $36 Million in Lower Health Insurance Premiums on DC Health Link

DC residents can potentially save thousands of dollars per year on health insurance premiums through the American Rescue Plan, signed into law by President Biden.

  • Savings of nearly $36 million in premiums for DC residents this year
  • Plans as little as $2/month for residents who lost their jobs
  • Monthly savings average $146 a month for residents who have already provided their income information to DC Health Link
  • 100% payment of COBRA for laid off workers through September

District residents can go to right now to preview their premium savings and enroll in a health plan.

  • If you are paying full price for a health plan through DC Health Link today, log on to your account and see if you qualify for lower premiums.
  • DC Health Link estimates that these currently enrolled customers will save 40% on their premiums.
  • Current and potential new customers can go to “Plan Match” – an anonymous tool on DC Health Link—and in less than 30 seconds can see if they qualify for lower premiums.

Enrollment is open now! Visit for more information or call 855-532-5465. Don’t delay, enroll today!

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