This week, the Council took the first vote on the 2024 budget. This is a thoughtful, equitable, and resident-focused budget that I am confident will advance my priorities of improving public safety, ensuring economic resilience, and promoting housing stability. I am especially proud the Council was able to restore funding to legal aid and victim services, maintain full funding for retention and recruitment efforts at the Metropolitan Police Department that I passed through my committee budget, and increase funding to provide housing supports to more who need it and prevent residents who are facing difficult economic times from falling into homelessness.
I am also proud to have gotten funding for the blueprint for my bill – the RECOVERY Act – to support Downtown recovery. I successfully pushed for funding to convert vacant office buildings to market-rate and affordable housing, fill long-vacant, ground-level retail spaces with the new kinds of amenities residents need Downtown, and provide trusted community organizations with the resources they need to invest in more immediate public safety initiatives including lighting and security.
We were also able to prevent some cuts from being made and harmful measures from being added to our budget. While I am disappointed that the K St Transitway project has been delayed, I was able to work with my colleagues to ensure this project will move forward by providing funding for a redesign that ensures we transform K Street into beautiful, green, and multimodal avenue. A transformed K St is critical for ensuring efficient, reliable, and equitable transit across DC.
I also was able to eliminate a proposed $2 rideshare surcharge on trips in and out of Downtown that would have had disproportionate impact on residents living Downtown and dissuaded people from living, working, and spending time Downtown just as we are fighting to do the opposite. Finally, we prevented a proposed tax increase that would have left buildings Downtown vacant and had devastating impacts on our tax revenue.
The Council has two more votes on our budget – on May 30th and June 6th – and there is more work to be done before then to ensure our community has what it needs, but I am proud of the place we are right now to ensure your tax dollars advance public safety, rebuild resilience and vibrancy Downtown, and support residents needs in housing and legal aid.
In non-budget news, if you haven’t already, I would love for you to sign up to come march with me in the Pride Parade on Saturday, June 10th! Sign up here to join Team Pinto as we celebrate DC pride!
Yours in service,
Budget Updates: The Council took the first vote approving the 2024 budget this week. The next vote will be on May 30th. Councilmembers are able to circulate amendments to the budget passed today and the Council will vote on these amendments at the May 30th meeting.
In the last few weeks, Councilmember Pinto and Team Pinto have been out and about in Ward 2 and across the city including to:
LISTEN: The Politics Hour: It’s budget season around the region. Councilmember Pinto discussed public safety with Kojo Nnamdi and Tom Sherwood.
WATCH: WJLA: 7News wants to know: How do we reduce violent crime in Washington, DC? “‘Preventing or intervening in crime. Supporting our first responders and police. Making sure people are held accountable and we are improving accountability. Disrupting and ending cycles of violence and filling additional gaps and strengthening our collaborations among our government partners,’ says DC Councilmember Brooke Pinto.”
Washington Post Editorial Board: K Street is terrible. The D.C. Council should finally fix it. “‘If we don’t make investments for downtown right now,’ said Ward 2 D.C. Council member Brooke Pinto (D), ‘then we will suffer as a downtown and as an entire city for years to come.’”
Washington Post: Budget tensions emerge as D.C. Council prepares for vote. “Pinto is also seeking to reverse the mayor’s proposal to sunset the Criminal Code Reform Commission, which helped develop a controversial overhaul of the criminal code that Congress voted to block in March. While Bowser argued that the commission had completed its work, Pinto noted the city’s criminal code still needs an update, ‘and we rely on the [commission’s] expertise greatly.’”
DC News Now: DC family demands accountability after slow 911-EMS response that they believe cost their relative his life. “‘When someone calls 911 for a life-threatening emergent situation, we expect an emergent and urgent response from all of our first responders,’ Pinto said. ‘It’s broader than just the call takers but also into FEMS (Fire and Emergency Medical Services) to see what was going on and if any mistakes were made.’”
Washington City Paper: Failing the Test: Bowser’s Promised Crime Lab Evidence Retesting Is Nowhere to Be Seen, Despite Years of Work. “‘There are a lot of benefits that could be made by having an independent structure, but it’s not where we are right now,’ Pinto says, noting that the SAB has only met once this year due to Bowser’s delays in appointing members to the panel. ‘They are certainly not yet equipped to take on such an important function of overseeing an agency that has had so many issues in the past, and that we, as a city, need to be operational.’”
AFRO News: Councilwoman Brooke Pinto addresses District’s outdated air conditioning codes as weather is impacted by climate change. “‘I had been hearing from residents across the city over the last several weeks complaining about how hot it is in their apartment units,’ Pinto said to the AFRO, during unseasonably warm weather in early April. ‘I started looking more into why that is and what the regulations surrounding this were. CCCB is supposed to update the regulations around air conditioning units every three years, but they have not been updated in 10 years.’”
Team Pinto is going on neighborhood walks with each of our amazing Ward 2 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners! This week, we’re highlighting ANC 2C04 and Commissioner Kristin Roe. Pablo from Team Pinto met with Commissioner Roe to walk ANC 2C04 in City Center. Some of the topics they discussed included pedestrian safety, housing, and support for Downtown and Chinatown. If you live in ANC 2C04, you can reach Commissioner Roe at 2C04@anc.dc.gov.
Did you know? ANC 2C04 is home to the United States Mint, which is responsible for producing our country’s coinage.
We’re introducing a new section of our newsletter, highlighting a Ward 2 win our office has secured for residents and how our office can help you navigate government agencies and advocate for your neighborhood.
Thanks to Pablo on Team Pinto for helping support this community institution! If you need help navigating a government agency or recieving services, please contact our Constituent Services team here!