Brooke's Briefing - Summer Updates, Public Safety in Chinatown, and Office Hours

Posted by
Z. Ades
July 25, 2023

Dear Neighbor,

Every week this summer, I will be sharing updates on a couple of key Ward 2 projects that may not get as much media attention but are incredibly important to Ward 2 residents. These deep dives are intended to serve as progress reports on projects, an insight into how our local government operates, and a way to get a better sense of how my office is advocating on behalf of Ward 2 residents. If there's a Ward 2 project you are interested in learning more about, please email Pablo Velasco Rodriguez at  

Stead Park Recreation Center Renovations

The first project we are taking a deep dive into is the Stead Park Recreation Center which is undergoing a modernization and remodel which includes a new addition to the Recreation Center building. The remodeled space will be significantly expanded, and updates will be made to the playground and splash pad.

My team and I have been monitoring the progress of the construction closely and have coordinated on behalf of the community for needed changes and improvements to the design over the past several years. We are pleased to share that the Stead Park Recreation project is scheduled to be completed in October of this year! We will continue working closely with the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and the Department of General Services (DGS) to ensure this project gets over the finish line. We are so excited to see this community space reopen as a hub for neighborhood life and activity.

501 New York Avenue

I know many residents are concerned about the Mayor’s proposal to temporarily relocate the Central Cell Block to the MPD facility located at 501 New York Avenue. I have been disappointed by how community engagement regarding this project has been handled and share the community’s frustration that the Executive failed to share details on this project with the community, ANC, and Council, including my office, earlier in the process. I was only made aware of this project this spring, and since then my team and I have been moving expeditiously to get more information to neighbors and address the community concerns we have been hearing.  

The current Central Cell Block at the Henry J. Daly building – where people who have been arrested are held for a few hours or overnight before their initial court hearing – is in unacceptable condition and the Department of Corrections (DOC) needs to undergo renovations to make the site fit to house people. After working with DOC and MPD, it has been made clear to me that moving forward with temporarily relocating the Central Cell Block to 501 New York Avenue is their only feasible path forward as there is no other location in close proximity to the Court with built-in holding cells.  

However, I have made clear to the Executive that certain conditions must be met in order for the 501 New York Avenue site to move forward:  

I am hopeful that once these conditions are met, this will substantially address the community’s strongest concerns. I will be working closely with MPD, DOC, and the Mayor to ensure the renovations remain on schedule and are not delayed, and I will continue advocating on behalf of neighbors throughout the duration of this project to ensure residents receive timely updates and have their concerns addressed. I recently visited the site with MPD, DGS, DOC, and ANC Commissioner Nigro to walk through the site and discuss concerns and plans.

Office Hours in Georgetown

Tomorrow, I will be holding office hours in Georgetown at YELLOW. Sign up here to join us and share your priorities for the Georgetown community.

Chinatown Public Safety Forum

Lastly, I will be hosting a community forum on public safety solutions in Chinatown on August 3rd. Chinatown is experiencing an unacceptable rise in crime and violence, and I am committed to bringing the community and government leaders together to find solutions and ensure they are expeditiously implemented. We will be joined by Deputy Mayor Lindsay Appiah, Acting Police Chief Pamela Smith, and United States Attorney Matthew Graves as well as several other government and community leaders including violence and drug prevention experts and local businesses. Residents will have the opportunity to share questions for the panel and hear directly from our government leaders on the solutions they are pursuing. I hope you will join me. You can RSVP here.

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:

LISTEN: DMV Download from WTOP News: Inside the deal: How the DC Council passed its emergency crime bill. “We all want a safer city. Not everyone has the same ideas about how to go about it, but part of my goal here was to bring folks together for a package that could make a difference today – this summer.”  

WATCH: DC News Now: “Immediate difference this summer”: DC Councilmember Brooke Pinto on emergency bill. “‘I am hopeful that making sure that our law enforcement partners have the tools that they need to better close cases, that our prosecutors have the tools they need to better argue for cases, especially those that are most dangerous and most violent in our community, will help us. It is not the last step, but it is an extremely important first step in legislative changes we need to be focused on as a community.’”

WTOP: Bowser nominates Pamela Smith as DC’s new chief of police. “‘In my conversations with Acting Chief Smith, she has shared her commitment to building stronger community relationships, improving trust in and coordination with the police, and increasing officer recruitment and retention,’ Pinto said in a statement. ‘I look forward to holding a thorough confirmation process for this historic nominee that includes robust community input.’”

GW Hatchet: D.C. Council approves District contract to acquire the Aston. “‘Having allowed time for thorough community input and in response to feedback from the community – both concerns and support – I believe the best path forward is for this project to proceed with key conditions included to ensure a more successful outcome,’ Pinto said in a statement Thursday. ‘I continue to believe that the best model to help move individuals experiencing homelessness into stable, dignified housing is through a bridge housing model of non-congregate settings.’”

Team Pinto is going on neighborhood walks with each of our amazing Ward 2 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners! This week, we are highlighting ANC 2D01 Commissioner Ashley Warren. Aukima from Team Pinto met with Commissioner Warren to walk ANC 2D01 in Kalorama Heights. Some of the topics they discussed included the cracking of the Spanish Wall as well as the Pakistan Embassy, which has been sold. If you live in ANC 2D01, you can reach Commissioner Warren at

Did you know? ANC 2D01 is a part of the Sheridan-Kalorama Historic District. The historic district was designated in 1989.

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