Brooke's Briefing - Literacy Updates and Public Safety Walks

Posted by
V. Casarrubias
October 12, 2023

Dear Neighbor,

Reading is fundamental to ensuring our kids get an excellent education and adults have the tools they need to thrive in the workforce and in life. This week, I am sharing a deep-dive on an issue that is deeply meaningful to me: literacy.  

In 2022, I successfully created and funded an Early Literacy Education Task Force (Task Force) to ensure our educators have the resources they need to teach our students how to read. Since it began its work a year ago, the Task Force has been responsible for developing strategies to implement structured literacy training for DC teachers and instructors to strengthen student literacy. I want to give a special thanks to our wonderful Ward 2 State Board of Education Representative Allister Chang, who has been an excellent partner and advocate for our educators and students on structured literacy and provided critical insight as a member of the Task Force.

I am pleased that last week, the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) shared the Task Force’s recommendations to implement structured literacy instruction and training in DC. Structured literacy is an approach to literacy instruction rooted in the science of reading that emphasizes explicit and systematic teaching on essential components of literacy: phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency, and comprehension. This approach is beneficial for all students, and particularly for students at risk of literacy difficulties and those learning English.

Since literacy is the foundational skill for all other learning, students who struggle to read experience challenges in all other subject areas, including in math. As such, teachers need robust, consistent, and evidence-based literacy training to ensure they know how to effectively teach reading. A strong foundation in literacy is essential to the success and wellbeing of all our students and implementing the Task Force recommendations will help DC strengthen that foundation.

The Task Force recommendations include:

I am hopeful that these recommendations will be implemented expeditiously so that our teachers have the resources and training they need to best support our students. I look forward to following the progress of these recommendations closely during the upcoming budget season.

My statement on the terrorist attacks on Israel

Additionally, you may have seen my statement earlier this week on the terrorist attacks this weekend on Israel. You can see it here:  

Lastly, as Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, I will conduct public safety walks in all eight wards with Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, MPD, and other community organizations to discuss your neighborhood-specific public safety needs. I invite you to join the Ward 2 public safety walk on Tuesday, October 17th at 5-6pm. You can RSVP here and see the full schedule of safety walks below.  

Yours in service,


In the last few weeks, Councilmember Pinto and Team Pinto have been out and about in Ward 2 and across the city, including to:

Speak with State Board of Education Representatives to collaborate on strategies around school safety to ensure students and educators have the support they need to keep students safe.

Meet with the Director of the Department of Health Dr. Ayanna Bennett to discuss the intersection between public health and safety needs and the need for a Ward 2 senior center.

Receive the Community Partnership Award from the Georgetown Business Improvement District with Chairman Mendelson for our work to support investments in small business and the C&O Canal.

Posthumously honor former City Administrator Allen Lew for his service to the District with the renaming of Allen Y. Lew Place in front of the Convention Center.

Attend a performance by returning citizens at Woolly Mammoth Theatre, hosted by Attorney General Schwalb, to increase empathy and understanding between District officials and people who have been justice-involved.

Join neighbors and young learners for this year’s annual Walk ‘n Roll to School Day.

Tour the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) Youth Services Center where some youth are held as they await trial to discuss services and improvements with Director Abed.

Hold a roundtable on the nomination of Pamela Smith to be Chief of the Metropolitan Police Department and discussed the need for a whole of government approach to improve safety.

Join the DC Chamber of Commerce and Deputy Mayor Lindsey Appiah to discuss targeted and urgent strategies to improve public safety in the District.

Washington Post. Once again, House GOP members plan to take aim at D.C. crime. “’I urge Congress to assist us in our goal to improve safety by supporting common sense gun control legislation, filling critical judicial vacancies in our DC Courts, increasing staffing at the U.S. attorney’s office, and allowing the District government to effectively represent the interests of our residents and visitors,' Pinto said in a statement.”

DCist. “’It’s important to acknowledge how we got here and where we are, as we pursue the careful balancing that this bill attempts to get right,' Pinto said Wednesday. 'The council had justifiable reasons for wanting to decriminalize fare evasion, given the racial inequity and how fare evasion has been enforced. Recognizing those issues, the bill allows for only a very limited expansion of fare evasion enforcement.'"

WUSA9: Proposed DC Council bill takes aim at fare evaders. “’This bill is seeking to give teeth to what civil enforcement means. We have a city of laws,' Pinto...told reporters following the public hearing. She says her proposal addresses growing concerns over crime and Metro's $750 million dollar shortfall. ‘The Metro Transit Police has a policy that they do not enforce fines against kids,' Pinto told WUSA9. She said the idea that this would target youth is the biggest misconception about her proposal.  

WUSA9: DC’s 911 Call Center coming under fire. “‘In recent years, significant and very troubling concerns and experiences have been raised regarding the operations of the District’s standalone call center,’ said Brooke Pinto, the councilmember who leads the committee... ‘Residents expect and should be able to expect prompt assistance from the OUC when they’re facing an emergency,’ she added. ‘In emergencies, mere seconds can be a matter of life or death.’”

AFRO News: First public safety hearing after summer recess hones in on sexual assault and incarceration. “‘Each of these bills is aimed at addressing issues that we’ve been seeing recently as part of the spike in both violent crime and property crime in the District of Columbia,’ said Brooke Pinto, chairwoman of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. ‘The Accountability and Victim Protection Amendment Act of 2023 is the product of conversations I had with the U.S. Attorney’s Office about gaps that we’re seeing in our criminal laws that are making it difficult to respond to certain crimes and hold people accountable when they harm other community members.’”

Washington Post Editorial Board: How to keep the most violent suspects off the streets in D.C. “Set to expire on Oct. 18, the emergency law also could use enhancement, as Council member Brooke Pinto (D-Ward 2), the chair of the public safety committee, is proposing. On Monday, she unveiled a comprehensive package of crime-fighting legislation for the council to consider, drafted with input from police and prosecutors. ‘We must address the gaps in our legal system,’ said Ms. Pinto.”

Washington Post: Carjacking of congressman renews cries to quell D.C. crime. “Last month, D.C. Councilmember Brooke Pinto (D-Ward 2) introduced legislation that would expand the definition of carjacking to make it easier for police and prosecutors to charge suspects. 'Too many neighbors across the District have been traumatized and victimized by these crimes,’” she said.

Watch: WUSA9: “’What I think about every day are the people who've lost their lives, the families who've lost a loved one, and the communities that are so rampant by gun violence right now,’ said Pinto, who is Chair of DC Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. Pinto’s plan includes an amendment to the DC code giving MPD the right to stop and search someone without a search warrant or probable cause if that person is outside of their home or business and: That person is on probation, parole or supervised release for a gun crime; or That person is on supervised release awaiting trial for a violent crime.”

Team Pinto is going on neighborhood walks with each of our amazing Ward 2 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners! This week, we are highlighting ANC 2G01 Commissioner Tony Brown. Brian from Team Pinto met with Commissioner Brown to walk ANC 2G01 in the Shaw neighborhood. Some of the topics they discussed included rodent control, residential trash collection (and replacing containers with rodent damage), and vacant properties. If you live in ANC 2G01, you can reach Commissioner Brown at

Did you know? ANC 2G01 is home to Shaw Junior High School, now known as Asbury Dwellings. It is a historic structure listed on the D.C. Inventory of Historic Sites and on the National Register of Historic Places since 2008.

Join the Munchkins in Logan Circle for the 12th annual Little Goblins Parade on Saturday, October 28th at 1pm at Garrison Elementary (1200 S St NW). Bring your best costumes and your little ones for a parade, activities, and more to celebrate Halloween!

Join Friends of Mitchell Park for the annual community celebration Mitchell Park Fall Fun Day on Sunday, October 29th, from 2:30 to 5:00 p.m. There will be food, pumpkin decorating, crafts, a costume parade, and more!

The Marine Corps Marathon will be on October 29th with the start and finish in Arlington. The event map is available at Anticipate road closures.

On October 28th, from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., bands Kinda Evil, Red Medicine, Lucky So and Sos, and DJ Wonder will be performing at Library Jam Fest! Join DCPL for an exciting afternoon of live outdoor music outside the historic grounds of Georgetown Library.

As Federal Student Loan repayments are set to resume, the Office of the Attorney General put out a Consumer Alert that includes recommendations and suggestions for federal student loan borrowers. Check out the consumer alert to see how you can prepare for repayments to resume and other resources.

Yard Waste Collection is now year-round. Residents must call 311 or visit to make an appointment for yard waste collection. DPW only collects yard waste in paper bags and will collect up to 20 paper bags of yard waste from residences that receive DPW’s trash and recycling collection services. Residents are still able to leave their paper yard waste bags at the point of trash collection. Residents who wish to can drop off their yard waste at the Fort Totten Transfer Station during normal residential business hours.

WMATA launched Metro Lift, an income-qualified fare program, that provides a 50% discount on Metrorail and Metrobus fares. The discount will reduce the cost of a bus trip to just $1 and rail fare to as little as $1 and no more than $3 depending on how far you travel. Customers who receive Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits in Maryland, Virginia, and DC qualify for Metro Lift and can enroll at Customers may make appointments online or by calling 1-888-762-7874.

Special Waste Collection Events (i.e., Household Hazardous Waste, electronics recycling, and document shredding) have been relocated to RFK Lot 3, 2400 E Capitol St NE (across from the DC Armory), due to the temporary closure of the Benning Road Transfer Station. Special Waste Collection Events will take place on one Thursday and one Saturday each month through March 2024. View the current schedule here.  

Red Line service will be unavailable at Farragut North, Metro Center, and Gallery Place stations with free shuttle buses replacing trains from December 18 through Saturday, December 30 in order for WMATA to perform critical safety repairs. While the Red Line is closed, service will continue to be available on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines on the lower level at Metro Center and Green and Yellow line service on the lower level at Gallery Place. In addition, Judiciary Square Station will be closed from Friday, December 22, through Sunday, December 24. Sign up for MetroAlerts here.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.