This week, I introduced the RECOVERY Act: my blueprint for a vibrant, resilient, and safe Downtown. Downtown is the economic engine of DC: we rely on the tax revenue it produces to help fund all of the other goals we set from public education to safety to affordable housing initiatives. We must make a proactive investment in the recovery of our Downtown or residents in all eight wards will feel the effects of a declining tax base, reduced revenue, and ultimately a reduction in programs and services.
The RECOVERY Act will make our city center a dynamic destination for residents and visitors. It’s time to look to the future and make Downtown a residential and mixed-use area. This legislation outlines an actionable and practical blueprint to reimagine Downtown as a mixed-use destination for residents and visitors, promote a return to the office, and ensure public safety in business corridors. I look forward to getting this bill passed, funded, and implemented so we can invest in our future prosperity as a city.
This week, the Council received Mayor Bowser’s proposed budget. I am excited to see many of the Ward 2 projects I advocated for funded, including:
However, I am concerned by some of the cuts in the Mayor’s proposed budget, especially to community response teams who handle mental health crises, staffing for key public safety agencies, and victim services. As Chairwoman of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, I will work to ensure our budget meets the public safety needs of our city, provides necessary services to victims of violence, and addresses cycles of trauma.
Over the next few weeks, the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety will be holding hearings on the budgets for each of our public safety agencies as we determine what changes need to be made to best serve DC residents. Check out the full schedule and sign up to testify here!
RECOVERY Act: Councilmember Pinto introduced the Rediscover Equitable Central Occupancy Vitality and Encourage Resilient Yield (RECOVERY) Act, a comprehensive plan for Downtown recovery and a blueprint for creating a dynamic, mixed-use city center. The bill outlines a strategy to incentivize conversions of vacant office buildings to residential and mixed-use development, encourage businesses to provide their employees with accessible childcare, and promote public safety in our business corridors.
Lead Pipes: Last week, Councilmember Pinto introduced legislation to lay out a comprehensive plan to remove and replace all lead water service pipes in the District by 2030, at no cost to homeowners. The Lead-Free DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2023 establishes a removal plan that prioritizes residents and families most at risk from lead pipes. The legislation also creates a program to provide cost-free lead filters to families to protect from lead exposure as we work to identify, remove, and replace these pipes.
Budget Next Steps: On Wednesday, the Mayor presented her proposed budget to the Council. The Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety will start holding budget hearings on public safety agencies next week.
Want to know how the budget process works? Check out this infographic below to learn more:
In the last few weeks, Councilmember Pinto and Team Pinto have been out and about in Ward 2 and across the city including to:
WATCH: DC News Now: Bill introduced to make DC police, firefighters exempt from paying local income tax. “‘It’s clear that staffing at MPD and fire, EMS is really limited right now. And we have to think creatively about how to address these hiring challenges,’ Pinto said. Pinto also says living in D.C. will help them better be able to do their jobs when they’re integrated into the communities they serve. ‘We want more of our officers and our fire and EMS workers to be able to afford to live in the district and exempting their income tax is one way to help make it more affordable,’ Pinto said.”
Washington Informer: D.C. Council Members Introduce Bills on Lead Pipe Replacements. “The legislative efforts seek to leverage new federal funding to support free or low-cost lead service line replacements for every resident. That funding originates in a 2021 act called the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which includes billions of dollars for clean water projects nationally. From that funding, the District expects to receive $28 million a year for the next five years, according to Pinto.”
DCist: A D.C. Task Force Meant To Reduce Murders Fell Apart. Some Say It’s A Part Of A Broader Pattern. “Ward 2 Councilmember Brooke Pinto, who currently chairs the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, told DCist/WAMU in a statement that she and the chairman are ‘working to ensure [the task force] has enough positions filled to meet quorum and continue its important work.’ ‘I am taking a critical look at all entities that have influence on public safety – including the Homicide Elimination Task Force — to ensure there is proper coordination and follow through on its recommendations,’ Pinto said.”
WUSA9: District educators grapple with the impact that youth violence is having on students. “Youth violence has also garnered the attention of the D.C. council. The council is considering a bill that would keep School Resource Officers (SROs) in both charter and public schools. Two years ago, the council voted to remove all SROs by 2025. The legislation is sponsored by Councilmembers Trayon White, Vincent Gray, Brooke Pinto, and Chairman Phil Mendelson.”
The Georgetown Voice: FRESH STARTS Act pushes for better food in the D.C. Jail. “Studies have also indicated that inadequate food can lead to aggressive tendencies, causing some to link violent behavior within the D.C. Jail to the lack of nutrition. Pinto hopes to reduce recidivism and violence in DOC facilities with the FRESH STARTS Act.”
Team Pinto is going on neighborhood walks with each of our amazing Ward 2 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners! This week, we’re highlighting ANC 2A02 and Commissioner Jim Malec. Pablo from Team Pinto met with Commissioner Malec to walk ANC 2A02 in the West End neighborhood. They discussed Francis field and School Without Walls at Francis Stevens renovations and the 23rd and N St NW tennis and basketball courts. If you live in ANC 2A02, you can reach Commissioner Malec at 2A02@anc.dc.gov.
Did you know? ANC 2A02 is home to Rebecca Coder Park, a section of Francis Field. Councilmember Pinto introduced and passed legislation to name the section of the field after Rebecca Coder, a former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner who was serving her fifth term in office when she passed away in May 2018, after a long battle with ovarian cancer.