Judiciary Committee Update - Second Budget Vote & Public Safety Summit

Posted by
Z. Ades
on
May 31, 2023

Dear Neighbor,  

Yesterday, the Council took our second vote on the 2024 budget, bringing us one step closer to passing the final budget. This budget will make us a safer and more equitable and just city. In determining funding for our public safety agencies, the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety focused on realistic, attainable, and effective solutions that will bring about meaningful change to make our communities safer. I am happy to say that these investments, including my new Safe Commerical Corridors Grants program, significant investments in victim services and legal aid grants, and comprehensive funding for police recruitment and retention, will be funded in this budget.

Earlier this month, I participated in the Mayor’s Public Safety Summit where we worked with public safety partners on strategies to drive down crime. Bringing public safety agencies – both federal and local – together to find solutions is one of my top priorities as Judiciary Committee Chair, and I was glad to see Mayor echoing that sentiment by holding this event.  

During the summit, I shared my common-sense approach to safety - focused on preventing crime, supporting police and first responders, ensuring accountability, ending cycles of violence, and strengthening government coordination. I highlighted budget investments in these areas and discussed still needed solutions.

I will always lean into conversations to listen, learn, and identify solutions. I'm committed to continuing to work with partners to make progress towards a safer city, starting with implementing funding I included in the budget for police hiring and retention, violence interruption, and my Safe Commercial Corridors grants.

After the summit, Mayor Bowser introduced a package of legislation related to public safety. I take incredibly seriously any proposals to put an end to crime and violence and am moving expeditiously to hold a hearing on this bill on June 27th. Public safety affects all of us, and I want to hear from you on this critical issue. Sign up to testify by calling (202) 724-8058 or emailing judiciary@dccouncil.gov.

Below you can learn more about what my team and I have been doing to address public safety in the last few weeks.

Yours in service,

Brooke  

This week, the Council took the second vote on the Fiscal Year 2024 budget. The third and final vote will be next week on June 6th.  

On June 8th, the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety will be holding a hearing on the following legislation:

On June 27th, the Committee will be holding a hearing on the following legislation:  

Anyone wishing to testify should contact Aukima Benjamin, Committee Manager to the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, at least 24 hours prior to the start of the hearing at (202) 724-8058 or via e-mail at judiciary@dccouncil.gov. Witnesses will receive information on how to join the hearing at that time.  

Witnesses who anticipate needing language interpretation, or requiring sign language interpretation, are asked to inform the Committee of the need as soon as possible but no later than five business days before the hearing.  

The Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety held hearings on Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Appiah and Office of Unified Communications Director McGaffin’s confirmations, the FLASH Act – Councilmember Pinto’s bill to give victims of cyberharassment opportunity to seek justice, and appointments to the Homeland Security Commission. Archives of all the hearings and testimony can be found here.  

Chairwoman Pinto has been on the ground, working directly with our public safety partners to address crime and violence in the city.

Councilmember Pinto attended the Washington Interfaith Network’s meeting for Ward 2 Leaders to listen to powerful testimony about the devastating impacts of violence in our community and discuss public safety priorities.

Councilmember Pinto attended a memorial service honoring the lives of officers who gave the ultimate sacrifice and lost their lives in service.

Councilmember Pinto met with Black Swan Academy to learn about their Black Youth Agenda, including shared priorities to ensure provision of menstrual products in schools and mental health support for students.

Councilmember Pinto participated in Mayor Bowser’s Public Safety Summit to work with public safety partners on strategies to address crime and violence.  

Councilmember Pinto toured the DC Department of Forensic Services labs to see the critical work they do to ensure public health and accountability for crimes.

WUSA9: DC councilmember responds to WUSA9 reporting on repeat sexual offender, vows to close ‘gaps in legal system.’  “‘Harassment and the sex crimes as detailed in this reporting, including indecent exposure in front of children, are unacceptable,’ Pinto wrote in a statement to WUSA9. ‘Not only must we have accountability for this type of behavior, but people who are a threat to their community must not be allowed to continue harassing neighbors.’”

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.’”  

FOX5: Mayor Bowser proposes 'Safer, Stronger DC' bill to enhance public safety. “Council Judiciary and Public Safety Chair Brooke Pinto told FOX 5 in a statement: ‘I welcome the mayor’s proposed legislation and am glad that the mayor and the council continue to prioritize public safety as the most pressing concern facing D.C. We must identify and address gaps in our public safety ecosystem and I look forward to reviewing the bill in its entirety and expeditiously holding public hearings once the bill is introduced.’”

WATCH: 7News: 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.”

WUSA9: DC Mayor says we must take a stand against youth violence. “CM Pinto, Chair of the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee, continued in a statement saying: ‘I am committed to expeditiously holding hearings on the Mayor’s legislation and am working with my team to determine the earliest possible date to do so that still conforms with notice requirements and Council policies. It is vitally important that we move forward with this legislation deliberately and hold public hearings to allow the public to share input.’”

POLITICO: A D.C. Cop Allegedly Helped the Proud Boys. Why Hasn’t Liberal Washington Done More About It? “‘The indictment that came last week is a major concern, a huge problem,’ said Brooke Pinto, who chairs the Council’s public safety committee. ‘My commitment is to follow up with MPD to make sure that they have systems in place.’”

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