Brooke's Briefing: Legislative Update, Business Grants, School Lottery

Posted by
Riley Gercak
January 22, 2021

Councilmember Brooke Pinto, Ward 2

Opening Remarks

Dear Neighbor,

I am writing to reflect on the exciting week we have had as we welcomed President Jospeh R. Biden to the White House and watched as Vice President Kamala Harris made history as the first woman, first Black American, and first Asian American to hold her position. I am also writing to provide some updates from the Council over the last two weeks.

While watching the inauguration, I was deeply inspired by our President’s message on unity and equally moved by National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman’s reminder that we are strong enough to transcend our toughest moments.

“A nation that isn’t broken, but simply unfinished. There is always light. If only we’ve brave enough to see it. If only we’re brave enough to be it.”

My office is committed to helping all Ward 2 residents to weather the pandemic and this time of uncertainty, and we will continue to share news as important updates are announced. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to reach out if you need assistance. You can fill out a request for help at

As always, below we have sections with further details from the week around the following:

  • Recent Press: Check out articles in the Washington Post, the GW Hatchet, and the Georgetowner to learn more about our legislative and policy priorities.
  • Engagements with the Community: I loved joining the community in celebration and preparation for this week’s inaugural activities.
  • Legislative Updates: From honoring human rights activities to getting our kids back to school safely to kicking off our business and economic development committee work, we are hard at work moving legislation to support our families and businesses.
  • Announcements and Postings: There are so many ways to get involved or apply for support.

Yours in Service,


Pinto in the Press

The Washington Post Editorial Board – “Naming the street by the Saudi Embassy for Khashoggi is fitting symbolism. We need policy to match.”: In a recent article, the Editorial Board at the Washington Post highlighted Councilmember Pinto’s recent legislation to honor slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi by symbolically naming a road in front of the Saudi Arabian embassy in his honor and discussed the need for government policy and actions to be “consistent with American and global values of respect for the dignity of human life and human rights.” To read the full article, click here.

GW Hatchet – “Pinto aims to address COVID-19, business recovery, homelessness during next four years”: In an interview with the GW Hatchet, Councilmember Pinto spoke about her legislative and community goals for the next four years. In addition to supporting COVID recovery efforts and criminal justice reform, combatting homelessness, and supporting small and local businesses, Councilmember Pinto aims to build a stronger, more connected Ward 2 community. To read the full article, click here.

The Georgetowner Newspaper – “Brooke Pinto on the Insurrection and the Council’s 2021 Priorities”: Following the insurrection on Capitol Hill, Councilmember Pinto spoke to the Georgetowner Newspaper about the need for the District of Columbia to achieve statehood and why this is imperative to local security. Councilmember Pinto also discussed her Council priorities for the next four years. To read the full article, click here.

In the Community

Speaking to Ward 2 Residents During the Mayor’s Pre-Inauguration Press Conference: On Tuesday, one day before the inauguration of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, Councilmember Pinto joined Mayor Bowser during her inauguration safety update to thank Ward 2 neighbors and businesses for their cooperation during this challenging time. As much of the downtown area remained restricted and patrolled in the days leading up to the inauguration, Councilmember Pinto also wanted to thank community partners for supporting the law enforcement agents who worked diligently to keep our city safe. To watch Councilmember Pinto’s remarks, click here.

Visiting the District's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency: Last week, Councilmember Pinto joined At-Large Councilmember Christina Henderson and Ward 4 Councilmember Janeese Lewis George for a tour of the District's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA). This visit presented the Councilmembers with an opportunity to review safety measures in place and better understand the operations undertaken to keep District residents safe throughout the year.

Welcoming the Class of the 117th Congress at the Women’s National Democratic Club: One day before the Presidential Inauguration, Councilmember Pinto joined members of the National Women’s Democratic Club to welcome new and returning members of 117th Class of the United States Congress. During the meeting, which included remarks by Democratic members of Congress from across the United States, Councilmember Pinto reiterated the importance of DC Statehood, spoke about shared hopes for the incoming Presidential administration, and her legislative goals for her current Council term.

The DC Insurance Federation Board Meeting: This week, Councilmember Pinto attended a meet and great with board members of the DC Insurance Federation (DCIF). In addition to learning about DCIF’s to better understand how regulation in the insurance industry impacts District residents and businesses.  

Legislative Update

Street Designations: This month, Councilmember Pinto introduced legislation that would symbolically name three streets in the District of Columbia in honor of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Congressman John Lewis, and slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi. In a press release, Councilmember Pinto stated that "In light of the recent deadly riot on Capitol Hill, which included assaults on journalists, and the President’s lack of regard for justice, equality, and our free and fair election process, it is fitting that today we take this symbolic, but important action to acknowledge and honor three individuals who sacrificed so much to fight for our democracy and whose examples continue to inspire the kind of action this moment requires.” To read our full press release, click here.

Public Hearing on Term 3 School Re-Openings: On Thursday, January 21, Councilmember Pinto joined many education advocates and community members during the Committee of the Whole’s public hearing on the Re-Opening District of Columbia Public Schools for Term 3. During the hearing, Councilmember Pinto asked DC Public Schools Chancellor Dr. Lewis Ferebee about efforts to combat misinformation with science to better address public health emergencies. To watch the recording of the hearing, please click here.

Reaffirming our Fight Against Hate Crimes: In a recent vote, the Council also passed the “Homeland Security Fusion Center and Law Enforcement Authority Emergency Amendment Act of 2021." This legislation designated the Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency (HSEMA) and the fusion center within the agency as law enforcement units. This effort will help District officials to better coordinate between agencies and government jurisdictions. In addition to terrorism and other threats, the primary mission of the fusion center now also includes detecting and preventing hate crimes.

Bill Re-Introductions: This month, Councilmember Pinto re-introduced the “Minor Consent to Healthcare for HIV and AIDS Regulations Amendment Act of 2021” to permit a minor of any age to consent to health services for the prevention, diagnosis, or treatment of HIV or AIDS. She also re-introduced the “Medical Necessity Restroom Access Act of 2021” to provide an individual with an eligible medical condition (inflammatory bowel diseases or pregnancy) with the right to use a public or employee toilet facility at a retail establishment under certain limited conditions.  


Education Updates: The lottery application for DC Public Schools (DCPS) and DC Public Charter Schools is now open. Visit to learn more about schools and submit your application.

DCPS also continues to provide updates on CARES Classrooms and reopening, you can find this information at

The Friends of Rose Park has opened their 2021 farmers' marketvendor interest form page. If you are would like to submit your request, visit The market will run from March 17, 2021 to October 27, 2021 on Wednesdays from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Rose Park (26th and O Streets NW) in Georgetown.

Winter Restaurant Week in the District of Columbia: The District of Columbia will host restaurant week starting Monday, January 25, through Sunday, Feburary 7, to support local restaurants and allow residents to enjoy some of the best food in the country. For a list of participating restaurants, visit

Pandemic Assitance Grant Program: The DowntownDC BID recently announced a new $1 Million Pandemic Assistance Grant Program to support small businesses and organizations in the downtown area. Applications opened on Thursday, January, 14 and will close on Thursday, January, 28 at 5:00 p.m. For more information, click here.

Robust Citywide Retail Grant Now Available: The Department on Small and Local Business Development has announced the opening of the Robust Citywide Retail Grants applications. This year, the District government intends to award up to $7,500 per business to 106 businesses from the total $800,000. Applications close on January, 28, 2021. For more information, click here.

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