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Brooke's Briefing: COVID Updates, the first Comp Plan Vote, Team Pinto in the Community

Posted by
Emmanuel Brantley
on
May 3, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

Over the last two weeks, my team and I have been out in the community every day engaging with neighbors on efforts from Earth Day clean-ups, to assisting our neighbors experiencing homelessness, and helping our neighbors get vaccinated. It was great to be in-person across the Ward and have the opportunity to engage with so many of you.

I heard a quote recently that I loved: “there is no service without the served” -- and this mission continues to guide us to include the voices and ideas of our community. While we have highlighted some of these events in this newsletter, I want to encourage you to continue seeking opportunities to give back and encourage those around you to do the same.

In addition to engaging in community service activities, my team and I held a Ward 2 Community Safety Bike Ride on Saturday, April 24, to hear from residents about their traffic and safety concerns and worked together on ideas to make our streets safer. I would like to personally thank everyone that took part and helped us to spread the word. The Vision Zero initiative will be a priority of mine as we enter budget season, and I hope that you all will remain active and engaged. If you missed the bike ride, check out this recap from ABC 7 news.

On the legislative front, we have some very important updates for you! Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 4, the Council will hold its first vote on the District’s Comprehensive Plan Amendment Act of 2021, the framework that will guide the growth and development of our city over the next 20 years. On Monday, May 10, the District is also set to receive guidance from the federal government on how we may spend recently allocated federal dollars in our upcoming budget. There is more on this in the “Legislative Updates and Council News” section below.

Our city will continue to recover and grow. Please remember to support our local shops and restaurants when you can – our hospitality industry will be strong, but it needs the support of all of us. Thank you for remaining so engaged. We couldn’t do this without you!

Councilmember Pinto leading the Ward 2 Community Safety Bike Ride, pictured at the Walter E. Convention Center

Councilmember Pinto at the Dupont Circle listening session during the Ward 2 Community Safety Bike Ride

In this newsletter, you will find:

  • COVID-19 vaccination updates
  • Guidelines for reopening effective Saturday, May 1
  • A recap of Councilmember Pinto’s recent community engagement activities
  • Sites in Ward 2 proposed for installation of public restrooms
  • The Comprehensive Plan, the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget, and other Council news

Yours in Service,

Brooke

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

On Wednesday, April 28, the District of Columbia closed the COVID-19 vaccination pre-registration portal found at coronavirus.dc.gov as EVERY pre-registered resident has been offered a vaccine appointment and transitioned to providing the vaccine at eleven mass walk-up vaccination sites, which became operable May 1, and through partnerships with various healthcare clinics and providers. There is a walk-up, no appointment needed vaccination site in Ward 2 at the Convention Center located at 801 Mt. Vernon Place, N.W.

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.  

Councilmember Pinto encouraging community members to get the COVID-19 vaccine during DC's #DayofAction

The Public Health Emergency: During a press conference on Monday, April 26, Mayor Bowser announced increased capacity for places of worship, gym facilities, indoor non-essential businesses, and live music venues and theaters accommodating seated guests. The Mayor also announced increased capacity for restaurants and that alcohol sales would no longer require the purchase of food outside at bars and restaurants. Lastly, the Mayor announced a partnership with Audi Field, which will provide a safe, centralized location upcoming for DCPS graduations.

  • To view the Mayor’s press conference, click here.
  • To view the Mayor’s Situational Update Presentation Slideshow, click here.


Community Engagement

 

Recent events have brought a new meaning to the word “service” for Councilmember Pinto and her team. Over the last two weeks, Councilmember Pinto:

Councilmember Pinto and her team volunteering at the Downtown DC Day Services Center

  • Led the first-ever Ward 2 Community Safety Bike Ride to view the conditions of our roads and held listening sessions to learn about your concerns;
  • Assessed road safety with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) Interim Director Everett Lott and other community members;
  • Spent time supporting local vendors at the Rose Park Farmers Market and met with DDOT, the National Park Service, and the Friends of Rose Park to get updates about the Rock Creek Multi-use Trail Project;
  • Attended the recent Ward 2 D.C. Statehood Rally ahead of the U.S. House of Representative’s historic vote passing H.R. 51, sending it to the U.S. Senate;

Councilmember Pinto cleaning up in the Rock Creek Park area on Earth Day

  • Participated in Earth Day clean up events with the Dupont Circle BID and the Rock Creek Conservancy, the Alice Ferguson Foundation, and Potomac Riverkeeper Network;
  • Toured the Duke Ellington School of the Arts ahead of school reopening this fall;
  • Joined the Foggy Bottom Civic Association’s annual meeting to discuss COVID recovery, small business assistance, and the Comprehensive Plan;

Councilmember Pinto joining members of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts community for a school tour

  • Provided opening remarks during the Downtown DC BID’s State of the Downtown DC Event;
  • Organized Team Pinto’s Day of Service at the Downtown Day Services Center to assist to our neighbors experiencing homelessness; and
  • Participated in a COVID-19 vaccine registration door-knocking event around Ward 2 to sign residents up for vaccination appointments.

Legislative Updates and Council News

The Comprehensive Plan: The Council will take its first vote on the Comprehensive Plan Amendment Act of 2021 tomorrow, Tuesday, May 4. The Comprehensive Plan, also known as the Comp Plan, is a 20-year framework that will guide future growth and development in the District of Columbia in areas such as land use and development, public education, transportation and public safety, and more. For more information on the Comp Plan and to view the details of the bill and Council changes ahead of tomorrow’s vote, visit Chairman Phil Mendelson’s website at: chairmanmendelson.com/cow/compplan/.

It’s Budget Season in the District: It's Budget Season in the District: On Monday, May 10, the District of Columbia will receive official guidance from the federal government on how it can spend recently allocated COVID-19 relief funding. At that time, Mayor Muriel Bowser and her team will work quickly to reproduce the District's Fiscal Year 2022 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan, which will be released to the Council for deliberation on Thursday, May 27.

Public Roundtable on the District’s COVID-19 Vaccination Process: Last Thursday, Councilmember Pinto joined the Health Committee, chaired by Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent C. Gray, to discuss the District’s COVID-19 vaccination process. In light of the recent changes to vaccine eligibility, the Committee heard from public witnesses about the challenges with the pre-registration portal, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, in-home testing kits, vaccinations for homebound individuals, and vaccine hesitancy.

Councilmember Pinto during the Health Committee's Public Roundtable on the COVID-19 vaccination process

Council Asks NPS to Close Upper Beach Drive to Cars Permanently: Councilmember Pinto joined Councilmembers Anita Bonds, Janeese Lewis George, Brianne Nadeau, and Charles Allen in supporting Councilmember Mary Cheh’s resolution entitled the “Sense of the Council Requesting the National Park Service Permanently Close Beach Drive to Cars Resolution of 2021”, to request that the National Park Service close upper Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park to cars permanently. To learn more about this effort, check out this article from WUSA.

Sites for Public Restrooms Identified in Ward 2: In 2019, the Council passed legislation to establish public restroom sites in the District of Columbia, and late last month, on April 23, 2021, Mayor Bowser released a report entitled the “Public Restroom Facilities and Promotion Act of 2018: Report on the Sites with Frequent Incidents of Public Defecation and Urination.” In Ward 2, potential sites were identified at Dupont Circle, 27th and K Streets in Northwest, and Gallery Place. We will be sure to communicate all updates to you as this progresses.

D.C. Statehood Bill Passed in the U.S. House of Representatives, Moves to Senate: For the second time in history, the United States House of Representatives voted to pass “Washington, D.C. Admission Act,” symbolically titled “H.R. 51.” With this historic 216-208 vote, the bill must now be considered by the United States Senate.

“The momentum we feed for DC Statehood across the country is palpable and the action taken by the U.S. House has sent a resounding message to correct the injustice facing some 712,000 residents was a very important step,” said Councilmember Pinto. “I am grateful to Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton for her leadership on this issue and will continue to support this effort as we work to achieve statehood for our community – not only for the right to have voting representation in the House and Senate, but also to have control over our own budget, criminal justice system, health care, and autonomy.”  


Announcements



DC Department of Motor Vehicles Announces Residential Parking Permit (RPP) Fees Will Increase Effective June 1

The DC Department of Motor Vehicles (DC DMV) recently announced a new tiered structure for the residential parking permit (RPP) fee becomes effective June 1, 2021. The annual fee for a one-year RPP sticker for the first vehicle registered at a legal mailing address will increase from $35 to $50, and additional fees will apply to other vehicles in that household.

The RPP allows any DC DMV-registered private vehicle, or vehicle with reciprocity, to be parked without restriction in the permit area of the vehicle’s registered address. To be eligible for an RPP, a resident’s street must be zoned for RPP.

The flat $35 RRP fee has not changed since 2011. The new fee structure that will apply to all eligible vehicles registered at a legal mailing address beginning June 1 is as follows:

  1. $50 for the first vehicle
  2. $75 for the second vehicle
  3. $100 for the third vehicle
  4. $150 for each vehicle beyond the first three vehicles

An exemption exists for one resident 65 years of age or older per household. They will pay a $35 annual RPP fee for the first vehicle registered at a legal mailing address. The fee for each subsequent vehicle registered at a legal mailing address will be identical to the tiered rates noted above.

Walter E. Washington Convention Center Interior Improvements & Streetscape.

Events DC is holding a virtual meeting to discuss the Walter E. Washington Convention Center Interior Improvements & Streetscape. Click here to RSVP.

Bike to Work Day

The Washington, DC region’s 20th Anniversary Bike to Work Day is Friday, May 21, 2021. Join us at pit stops in DC, MD, and VA for this FREE event for a healthy and safe way to start your day. Even if you’ll still be working from home in May, get exercise by biking to a T-shirt Pickup Point (pit stop) and then back home to work for the day. The first 15,000 who register and arrive at a pit stop by bike will receive a FREE T-shirt. Staggered hours and a strict COVID policy will be in place. Registration opens early March 2021.

Click here to register.

A Trash Update from DPW

The District Department of Public Works (DPW) has shared news of nationwide shortage of 96-gallon supercans. Currently, DPW does not have any 96-gallon cans in its inventory. An order has been placed, but, DPW does not have an estimate on availability. A delivery timeline will be made public as soon as possible.

15th Street Protected Bike Lane Virtual Public Meeting #2

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the National Park Service (NPS) will host a virtual public meeting on May 12, 2021 to provide updates on the extension of the 15th Street NW Cycletrack, a two-way protected bike lane between Pennsylvania Avenue NW and East Basin Drive SW. DDOT and NPS will design bicycle improvements along the 15th Street NW corridor to close the gap between Pennsylvania Avenue NW and the 14th Street Bridge.

The 15th Street NW Cycletrack is part of DDOT’s 20X22 initiative, a commitment to install 20 miles of protected bike lanes by the end of 2022. The proposed 15th Street Protected Bike Lane will improve safety, access and connections for people biking across the National Mall, from Virginia, and within the District. This public meeting will give residents and stakeholders an opportunity to hear about the conceptual designs in progress, to review public feedback to date, and to provide additional comments for DDOT and NPS to consider during the design and construction process.  

WHAT: 15th Street Protected Bike Lane Public Meeting #2

WHEN: Wednesday, May 12, 2021 at 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

WHERE: Participate live over WebEx

Online: rebrand.ly/15thSt-CycleTrack, password: DDOTmay12!
Dial-in option (audio only): 1-202-860-2110, Access code: 160 044 5507#


The WebEx system will prompt you for an Attendee ID, but this is not required. Press the # key to join the meeting. Watch live and share over social media via DDOT’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Catch the recording on DDOT’s YouTube page.

American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will be available.The meeting will be recorded and captions will be added before it is posted on the website. For interpretation in your language, please contact Karen Randolph, Program Analyst, at (202) 671-2620 or ddot.languageaccess@dc.gov within 72 hours in advance of the meeting.

For more information about the project, please contact DDOT Project Manager Will Handsfield at Will.Handsfield@dc.gov or 202-705-7845 or visit the project website at bit.ly/15thStreetPBL.

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/.

Local Tax Deadline Extended in the District of Columbia

The District of Columbia has extended the deadline to file and pay all income tax returns until May 17, 2021. This extension applies to all D-20, D-30, D-40, Standalone Schedule H, D-41, D-40B, and D-65 tax filers, and includes combined return filers. This extension is automatic and does not require taxpayers to apply.

Taxpayers may continue to request an extension to file their income, partnership and franchise tax returns to October 15, 2021 or November 15, 2021 for combined return filers. All such extension requests must be made by filing the applicable extension form with OTR by May 17, 2021 and making all required payments for tax year 2020 by May 17, 2021.

The deadlines to file Forms D-20ES, D-30ES, D-40ES and D-41ES and to make estimated tax payments remains unchanged. The first quarter payments are due April 15, 2021.

For additional information, please contact OTR’s Customer Service Center (202) 727-4TAX (4829).

Be sure to stay connected with us on social media (@MyTaxDC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram).

Tax Day for Individuals Extended to May 17


The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service has announced that the federal income tax filing due date for individuals for the 2020 tax year will be automatically extended from April 15, 2021, to May 17, 2021. The IRS will be providing formal guidance in the coming days.

To see the press release from the Internal Revenue Service, please click here.


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