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Brooke's Briefing: Concluding Budget Oversight, Council Recess, Connecting with Ward 2 Residents

Posted by
Emmanuel Brantley
on
August 9, 2021


Opening Remarks

Dear Neighbor,

As the Delta variant continues to spread, please remember to wear your mask indoors and get vaccinated. For more information on where to get vaccinated in the District, visit: coronavirus.dc.gov/page/get-vaccinated. We will continue to monitor the latest CDC guidelines and work together to help those in our community remain safe while in-person activity continues. DC is still open.

Councilmember Pinto with Leadership from the Ward 2 Senior Villages and her Chief of Staff on the field on National's Park

At the Council, we are preparing to conclude our budget season with a final vote tomorrow, Tuesday, August 10th. After that time, the District government will begin working towards the implementation of the Fiscal Year 2022 budget, which will go into effect at the beginning of October 2021. I am proud of this budget and thank my colleagues and the many advocates and neighbors for working with me to ensure that we leveraged this budget opportunity to address the many inequities and challenges exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and firmly set ourselves on a path to recovery.

Councilmember Pinto celebrating our Ward 2 senior neighbors during a recent game at National's Park


To learn more about tomorrow’s budget vote and to view our previous budget updates about the funding we have secured so far, please visit the “Legislative Updates and Council News” section of this newsletter.

After tomorrow’s budget vote, the Council will enter recess until September 30th. During recess, the Council will not vote on any legislation or hold any public hearings or roundtables. However, our office will still be open to support constituent requests, address community needs, and prepare for the next legislative session.

As always, thank you for your continued engagement. My team and I look forward to meeting more of you in the community.

Yours in Service,

Brooke

In this newsletter you will find:

  • An update on the FY22 budget oversight process
  • Recent community events
  • Community announcements

In the Community

With summer in full swing, Councilmember Pinto and her team continue to connect with residents in communities across Ward 2 around a variety of topics including public safety, recreation, and youth development.

Over the last two weeks, Team Pinto has:

  • Celebrated our Ward 2 senior neighbors at a baseball outing at Nationals Park;
  • Joined Events DC to recognize recent recipients of the Community Grant Awards for their contributions to youth in the Ward 2 community;

Councilmember Pinto and Police Chief Contee at National Night Out

  • Lectured during a class at the New York Times School on the importance of DC Statehood to our security interests;
  • Attended the second DPR Community Meeting concerning Ellington Field to discuss upcoming improvements;

Councilmember Pinto celebrating Ward 2 organizations at a recent Events DC Luncehon

  • Gathered with community members and members of the Metropolitan Police Department for the annual National Night Out event;
  • Celebrated at the ribbon cuttings for the new Shop Made in DC and Ben’s Chili Bowl locations at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center;
  • Sought solutions and community input to address the gun violence epidemic during the Council’s Gun Violence Prevention and Reduction Initiatives Public Roundtable; and
  • Joined the 9th Street bike lane community meeting to hear from neighbors about this important project.

Legislative Updates and Council News

The Fiscal Year 2022 Budget

Tomorrow, Tuesday, August 10th, the Council will convene for its final vote on the Fiscal Year 2022 budget. In a previous newsletter sent on July 20th, we shared details about the budget items included in the Fiscal Year 2022 Local Budget Act (LBA). Funding secured for these items will help revitalize our schools and parks in Ward 2, address public safety and gun violence prevention across our city, improve our biking and transit infrastructure, and support our small businesses and local workforce.

In a newsletter on August 3rd, we shared that each of the items listed in our July 20th newsletter were secured in a final vote on the LBA and spoke about additional wins secured during that time.

You can click here to review our July 20th and August 3rd newsletters.

Following the final budget vote, our office will send out a comprehensive communication to share highlights and key points.

Announcements

Beginning today, Monday, August 9, to Sunday, August 15, more than 250 local restaurants will participate in Summer Restaurant Week. Restaurants will offer brunch, lunch, and dinner deals, as well as to-go meals.


Visit the Restaurant Week website at ramw.org/restaurantweek to learn more about available options, view participating restaurant menus, make reservations, and place orders.

Welcome Victoria Casarrubias!

Councilmember Pinto welcomed Victoria Casarrubias to Team Pinto! Victoria will be serving in the role of Office Assistant and Scheduler. You can reach her at vcasarrubias@dccouncil.us. She looks forward to working with all Ward 2 neighbors!

Fall Interns in Councilmember Pinto’s Office

Councilmember Pinto has openings for interns this fall. The positions are open to undergraduate, masters, and law students. Importantly, these positions are paid or for class credit. You can learn more on the Council jobs website.

STAYDC Rent and Utility Payment Assistance: Need help with rent or utilities? STAYDC is the District’s new program for residents who need help paying rent or utilities due to the public health emergency. Get started today by visiting stay.dc.gov or call 833-4-STAYDC (78-2932).

Ticket Amnesty: On April 19, 2021, Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a four-month amnesty program to give DC and non-DC drivers the opportunity to pay outstanding tickets. During the amnesty period, the penalties drivers incurred on tickets will be waived. At the end of the amnesty period, all penalties will be added back on all tickets. This program will help eligible drivers pay their outstanding tickets, including District residents who are having trouble obtaining a REAL ID credential because of outstanding tickets.

To view the Mayor's initial press release, click here.

The program runs for four months, from June 1, 2021, to September 30, 2021. For Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), click here.

As of Saturday, July 31, all District residents over the age of two are required to wear a face mask indoors regardless of vaccination status. Residents also continue to be encouraged to visit testing and vaccination sites throughout the city to ensure that they remain safe. All testing and vaccinations are free.

For a list of available vaccination and testing sites, please visit: coronavirus.dc.gov/testing.

Apply Now for DC TAG: DCTAG (DC Tuition Assistance Grant) helps DC residents attend college by providing up to $10,000 a year to participating colleges and universities. Apply by September 17th, 2021 to begin classes this fall.

Text DCTAG @474747 to get started or visit dconeapp.dc.gov.

Child Tax Credit: Beginning July 15, American families began receiving monthly Child Tax Credit payments. Payments range from $250 to $300 ($3,000 to $3,600 per year) per child. To learn more about the Child Tax Credit, please visit www.whitehouse.gov/child-tax-credit/. Please note that nearly all families qualify for this tax credit and some income limitations do apply.

Employee Retention Tax Credit: Is your business eligible for an Employee Retention Tax Credit? This credit provides tax relief for companies that lost revenues in 2020 and 2021 due to COVID-19. For more information on the tax credit and eligibility, please review this article published by the United States Chamber of Commerce.



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