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Brooke’s Briefing: Memorial Day, Budget Oversight Begins, COVID-19 Safety Net Protections, and Community Engagement Updates

Posted by
Emmanuel Brantley
on
May 31, 2021

Dear Neighbor,

Today on Memorial Day we honor the military personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving our country; we are grateful for their courage and sacrifice.  

With the release of the Mayor’s budget proposal on May 27, we have officially entered budget season. You can read the Proposed Budget and Financial Plan for the Fiscal Year 2022 here. Next up, on Wednesday, June 2, the Mayor will come before the Council to present her proposed budget and answer questions. I invite you to join me for the live presentation here. Immediately following the presentation, on Thursday, June 3, the Council will begin holding its annual budget oversight hearings during which government and public witnesses can provide testimony to help determine how to best fund our government priorities.

Councilmember Pinto and her team during Community Office Hours in the Golden Triangle Outdoor Office Park

The DC budget should reflect the interests and priorities of residents. To ensure collaboration, I encourage you to attend and participate in the public budget hearings that will span the month of June. You can also email my team to share your budget priorities. To learn more about the dates of specific hearings and participation instructions, check out the Public Hearing Schedule that can be found on my website.  

As always, my team and I are here to serve you. We look forward to hearing from residents in the approaching weeks to ensure that the budget reflects our commitment to the health, safety, and prosperity of DC residents.

In this newsletter, you will find:  

  • Update on the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget proposal and hearings;  
  • A recap of Councilmember Pinto’s recent community engagement activities;
  • New legislation addressing the COVID-19 safety net protections, affordable housing, and police transparency;
  • Announcements on parking enforcement, rent and utility assistance, grant funding, and more.

Yours in Service,

Brooke  

COVID-19 Updates and Resources

New Mass Vaccination Program: On May 24, DC Health launched a new program to allow faith-based and community-based organizations and DC Employers to schedule vaccine clinics. You can request a mass vaccination from certified vaccination providers for your organization here.

Reopening in the District of Columbia: On May 21, some restrictions on public and commercial activity, including capacity limits, types of activities, and time restrictions were lifted. Bars, nightclubs, and large sports and entertainment venues will be permitted to fully reopen on 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.

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.

COVID Vaccination at Children’s National Hospital: Are you a DC or Prince George’s County resident between the ages of 16 and 22 years old? Sign up to receive an invitation to get vaccinated atChildren’s National Hospital. Children between ages 12 and 15 can sign up to pre-register for the vaccine and will be notified once they become eligible. To sign up, please visit childrensnational.org/VaccineForm.

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

 

As the city reopens and government operations begin the return to normalcy, our team remains committed to engaging with the Ward 2 and DC community as a whole. We value meeting with residents, stakeholders, and advocates to receive feedback, listen to new perspectives, and celebrate various events.

Recently, Councilmember Pinto and her team:

  • Attended DC One Fair Wage Restaurants Career Fair, hosted by One Fair Wage and Raise High Road, an event held to connect District workers with jobs in the hospitality industry;

  • Joined with the Ward 2 and Ward 5 Democrats to discuss budget and legislative priorities;

Councilmember Pinto and community leaders gathering in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month

  • Celebrated Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month with the Mayor’s Office on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs, the DowntownDC Business Improvement District, and local community organizations;
  • Recognized Jewish American Heritage Month and provided a special shoutout to the Capital Jewish Museum and Sixth & I Historic Synagogue as places in Ward 2 to learn more about Jewish history and culture;  
  • Discussed public safety in Georgetown at the Georgetown Business Association alongside the Metropolitan Police Department, DC Attorney General Karl Racine, and the US Attorney Office of DC;

Councilmember Pinto participating in #BikeToWorkDay

  • Participated in National Bike to Work Day with Councilmembers Elissa Silverman and Janeese Lewis George and many Ward 2 neighbors.

  • Commended College Bound, INC. to recognize their 39th anniversary of service to DC high school students;

  • Hosted in-person Community Office Hours for Ward 2 residents at the Golden Triangle Outdoor Office in Farragut Square.

Legislative Updates and Council News

Councilmember Pinto during the Mayor's press conference on the FY22 Budget

  • Budget Update: On Thursday, May 27, the Council received the Mayor's budget proposal which includes many of the priorities for which Councilmember Pinto advocated for on behalf of Ward 2 residents. These include increasing supports for our neighbors experiencing homelessness, strengthening our local economy, ensuring transit safety, investing more in our schools and recreation centers, and much more. To see what's in the budget, view Councilmember's Pinto statement on the Mayor's Fiscal Year 2022 budget proposal here.

  • Public Oversight Hearing on “An Equitable End to Safety Net Protections Put In Place During The Covid-19 Pandemic”: As a member of the Special Committee on COVID-19 Pandemic Recovery, Councilmember Pinto heard from over a hundred public witnesses who provided oral testimony regarding utility shutoffs, evictions, rental assistance, and transitional protections to ensure that vulnerable residents are protected and that our federal allotment for StayDC funding is utilized.

  • Addressing Issues Including Mental Health Care, Violence Interruption, and Police Transparency with the Judiciary and Public Safety: During the Judiciary and Public Safety Committee’s recent public hearing, over sixty public witnesses provided oral testimony as part of a larger discussion regarding the future of policing in DC. “Our city will be more just as we reimagine policing & prioritize mental health— change that communities of color have called on for far too long,” said Councilmember Pinto.

Councilmember Pinto during a public roundtable on the District's 2021 Redistricting process

  • Councilmember Pinto also co-introduced the School Police Incident Oversight & Accountability Amendment Act of 2021 on May 20. The bill requires data on youth arrests to be made public. “Data is powerful- we must use it to better understand and actively address concerns around youth arrests in DC. As we reimagine policing & public safety, we must ensure that our youngest residents are supported & protected,” said Councilmember Pinto. You can view the bill here.

  • Legislative Updates at the Council: On May 18, the Council unanimously voted to pass the Comprehensive Plan, which emphasizes affordable housing and racial equity. On May 18, the Council also extended the Mayor’s authority to extend the COVID public health emergency until July 25.

Looking Ahead

  • The Mayor will present her Fiscal Year 2022 Proposed Budget and Financial Plan on Wednesday, June 2, at 12:00 p.m. before the full Council during a Public Briefing held by the Committee of the Whole. Find more details here.

Announcements

Restarting Parking Enforcement: Beginning on June 1, DC will resume all parking enforcement including towing of illegally parked vehicles as well as requirements to renew vehicle registrations and inspections.

 

Reopening DPR Facilities: Starting Friday, May 21, 2021,  the DC Department of Parks and Recreations is reopening its doors and facilities at full capacity for District residents to enjoy. For more details, visit: https://dpr.dc.gov/page/back-summer-2021

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), 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/.

Grant Panelists Needed: Are you an engaged member of the local artistic and creative scene? The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities is seeking 300+ volunteers to serve as grant panelists this summer. Panelists review grant applications, provide comments, and score applications in order to advise on proposals submitted to the agency's various grant programs. Apply to be a volunteer grant panelist here.

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