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Brooke’s Briefing: Reopening DC, Vaccine and Budget Updates, Tax Day

Posted by
Emmanuel Brantley
on
May 17, 2021

I am thrilled to report that the District of Columbia will be safely reopening and loosening most restrictions for businesses and some entertainment and fitness facilities on Friday, May 21, with a full reopening scheduled for Friday, June 11. This has been a challenging year for residents, businesses, and government alike. Vaccine appointments and walk-up vaccination clinics are now widely available across the city. If you need assistance with accessing vaccines, please reach out to my office. Additionally, residents between the ages of 12 and 15 are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. There are more details on this below in the “COVID-19 Updates” section of this newsletter.  

To mark “Bike to Work Day” and the lifting of restrictions this Friday as we bring residents and visitors downtown, I’ll be hosting “office hours” at the Golden Triangle’s Office Park at Farragut Square from 2-4 p.m. Please stop by to say hello and share any questions or concerns you have with me and my team! You can RSVP here: tinyurl.com/PintoOfficeHoursMay2021.

If you are a tenant in need of assistance, PLEASE apply for STAYDC – a $352 million rental assistance program that can be applied up to 12 months backwards and up 3 months forward. As the public health emergency comes to a close, it is imperative you apply for this funding to pay your rent if you need support.

I would also like to take a moment to address some community concerns: 

  • Pat Handy Shelter: Please know that my office has met with members of the Chinatown community and has been in frequent contact with the Department of Human Services (DHS). We will continue working with DHS and the Mayor’s Office to increase programming and security at the site as we work to move residents into housing. I have also urged the Mayor to include $100 million in her upcoming budget proposal for permanent supportive housing. 
  • Georgetown Porous Flexible Pavement: DDOT has used Porous Flexible Pavement to repair over one dozen portions of sidewalks in Georgetown. I understand the concern of new sidewalks in Historic Georgetown without review from the Old Georgetown Board and the ANC and have urged DDOT to incorporate community engagement and feedback before they move forward with new projects. I have also insisted that the consider alternatives for longer-term solutions to the sidewalks, which they have agreed to do so. We will continue working on this to ensure the community is involved and updates are made. Thank you to the ANC 2E Commissioners for your leadership on this issue.
  • Black Lives Matter Plaza: DDOT has proposed changes to Black Lives Matter plaza to allow for vehicular traffic on each side of the street with the pedestrian plaza in the center. We will continue to urge DDOT to incorporate the feedback of our entire community – residents, businesses, and protesters in the city as they consider future designs of the space. See my statement here.

Lastly, please don’t forget that Monday, May 17, was Tax Day; both local and federal tax filings were due. For additional information on local taxation, please contact the District’s Office of Tax and Revenue’s Customer Service Center at (202) 727-4TAX (4829). 

In this newsletter, you will find:  

  • COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Updates 
  • Reopening Restrictions Lifted 
  • Citywide Volunteer Opportunities for COVID Vaccination Efforts 
  • Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Updates 
  • Unemployment Insurance in the District 

 Yours in Service,  

 Brooke 

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Reopening in the District of Columbia: On May 21, restrictions on public and commercial activity, including capacity limits, types of activities, and time restrictions, will be lifted. Bars, nightclubs, and large sports and entertainment venues are not permitted to fully reopen until June 11, at which time, remaining capacity limits and restrictions will be lifted.


Walk-up Vaccination Sites Available in the District of Columbia: All District residents, including those who are 16 and 17 years old, may get vaccinated at any one of the District’s walk-up COVID-19 vaccination sites, including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in Ward 2.  

 

Community Corps Day of Action: Earlier this month, Councilmember Pinto joined neighbors to knock on doors to help residents make vaccine appointments. A second Community Corps Day of Action will be held on Saturday, May 22 at 9 am and 11 am so help reach residents who still need help accessing the vaccine. Please sign up at https://servedc.galaxydigital.com/dc-covid-19-community-corps/.  

Residents Ages 12-15 Authorized to Receive the Pfizer Vaccine: District residents between the ages of 12 and 15 can now receive the Pfizer vaccine at one of our local walk-up vaccination sites.

Appointments for Homebound Residents: Homebound residents can now call 1-855-363-0333 to register for an at-home COVID vaccination appointment. Call Center hours from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. on Monday-Friday and 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  

At-Home Testing Kits are Now Available: The District is now offering at-home COVID-19 testing kits at 16 locations. Individuals can learn more and find a list of pick-up and drop-off locations at testyourself.dc.gov.  

In-Person Testing Sites: The District of Columbia continues to make available in-person testing at public locations, which are also shared daily. To learn more about those sites and to save time by pre-registering, visit: coronavirus.dc.gov/register.  

For more on vaccine opportunities, visit: vaccines.gov.

Information on MyIR.DC.gov: Residents can now access their vaccination records online at myir.dc.gov.  


Community Engagement

 

Councilmember Pinto and her team continue to engage neighbors throughout Ward 2 while attending meetings to discuss a variety of concerns including the Council’s upcoming budget oversight work. Councilmember Pinto also continues to work with residents and stakeholders to address important matters concerning small business relief, maternal health support, homelessness, and more. Over the last two weeks, Councilmember Pinto and her team have:  

  • Visited Mary’s Center to better understand how government and nonprofits can partner to improve healthcare service and access for women in DC;

  • Joined communities in celebrating National Teachers Day, National Nurses Day, and Small Business Week;

  • Introduced legislation to rename a small section of Francis Field in memory of former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Rebecca Coder, who passed away while serving in her tenth year of representing the West End;

Councilmember Brooke Pinto visiting Mary's Center
  • Participated in the COVID-19 Vaccine Event at the Kennedy Center to encourage residents to receive the J&J vaccine;

  • Joined the DC Federation of Democratic Women during their Women in Blue Council Advocacy Day to discuss shared budget and policy priorities;

  • Attended all Ward 2 ANC Meetings to share our Ward 2 budget priorities and tell residents how they can get involved;

Councilmember Pinto speaking before the DC Federation of Democratic Women

  • Spoke with residents at recent meetings held by the Dupont Circle Citizens Association and the Watergate South Complex; and

  • Made remarks on the state of the Georgetown before the Citizen’s Association of Georgetown’s annual meeting.

Legislative Updates and Council News

  • Budget Update: On May 27, the Mayor is set to release her proposed budget and financial plan for Fiscal Year 2022. The Mayor will then appear before the Council on Wednesday, June 2, to present her budget to the Council. Residents are encouraged to watch the presentation and can click here to find additional details on the Council calendar.

  • The Surge in Traffic Crashes, Fatalities, and Injuries in the District and the Urgent Need to Fully Fund the Vision Zero Enhancement Omnibus Amendment Act: Councilmember Pinto also joined the Committee on Transportation and the Environment for a public roundtable to discuss the need to make Vision Zero a reality in the District of Columbia and protect pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicle operators traveling on our roadways. “We can't wait any longer to fully fund Vision Zero. We need to build protected bike lanes, improve signaling & street safety, address outdated parking permits, hold reckless drivers responsible, and reduce speeds,” said Councilmember Pinto.  

Councilmember Brooke Pinto with members of the Committee on Housing and Executive Administration

  • Public Roundtable on Unemployment Insurance in the District During the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Committees on Labor and Workforce Development and Government Facilities and Procurement held a joint public roundtable on unemployment insurance in the District of Columbia during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of this two-day roundtable, Councilmember Pinto heard from public and government witnesses about delays in receiving unemployment and the need for improvements at DOES.  

  • Discussing Licensing, Permits, ABRA, and Re-opening with the Business and Economic Development Committee: During the Committee on Business and Economic Development's recent public hearing, Councilmember Pinto discussed the new Reopening DC legislation and allowing for rules on liquor licensing and consumption in public places. Proposed changes to the legislation made during the hearing include: an environmentally-friendly cup return plan, expanding streateries for all months, cross-ownership for on-and-off premise licenses, and storage of alcohol in other jurisdictions.

  • Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety: The Committee advanced the nomination of Chris Geldart for Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice and a hearing on legislation for crime victims support. “Expanding Supports for Crime Victims Amd. Act is important for supporting our hospital-based violence interruption programs. I'm a strong believer in the need for holistic care and proud to co-introduce the bill,” shared Councilmember Pinto during the hearing.

Announcements


Summer Hiring Fair with the Department of Parks and Recreation: DPR is hosting a Summer Hiring Fair! Submit an application online and schedule an in-person interview with DPR Human Resources today! Click here to attend our Summer Hiring Fair.

If you'd rather complete the application process online from start to finish, browse through the positions below and use the links to apply within the DCHR jobs portal. Once there, click the box next to "Department of Parks and Recreation" to sort available positions. For more information on the fair visit: https://dpr.dc.gov/page/dpr-summer-employment.

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), visit https://dmoi.dc.gov/page/amnesty-program-drivers-outstanding-tickets.

DPR Summer Camp Registration Now Open!

DC residents can now register for the Department of Parks and Recreation's (DPR) 2021 Summer Camps.

DPR is excited to welcome back campers and offer core Camps including Discovery, Little Explorers, Sports Camps, Aqua Day Camps, and Therapeutic Recreation - all in accordance with DC Health's safety guidelines.

For information about registration dates, camp activities, safety protocols, or sign up, visit: https://dprsummercamps2021.splashthat.com/.

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