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Councilmember Henderson's Newsletter

July 14, 2023

Hi Neighbors,

The first quarter of Council Period 25 has gone by extremely fast and kept the team busy. As we transition to the summer recess and prepare for the legislative work ahead this Fall, we’ve been reflecting on the last 7.5 months. Here’s a quick look at what’s happened:

January to July 15 At-a-Glance:

  • Number of hearings held by the Committee on Health: 29
  • Amount of money approved in Health cluster in FY24 budget: $5.18 billion
  • Number of nominees approved by Committee on Health: 5
  • Number of bills marked up by Committee on Health: 2 (more pending!)
  • Number of bills chief introduced by Team Henderson: 22 permanents, 4 ceremonials, 3 emergencies, and 1 Congressional Review Emergency
  • Number of Team Henderson bills with a hearing: 11
  • Number of Team Henderson bills marked up: 3
  • Number of Team Henderson bills passed by Council: 6

This week, the Council had its final Legislative Meeting before summer recess. In my last newsletter, I wrote about the rising incidents of gun violence and crime throughout the District and legislation that was being worked on to address the issue. Tuesday, we voted 12-1 to approve new public safety legislation, the Prioritizing Public Safety Emergency Amendment Act of 2023. I worked with the chairperson of the Committee on Public Safety and Judiciary to make some changes to that bill, and my full remarks from that meeting can be found here. I’m continuing to develop innovative solutions that keep all District residents safe.

The weather this weekend is anticipated to be a doozy. Please stay hydrated and cool. There are lots of places you can head to this weekend to beat the heat. This newsletter is full of information about what I’ve been up to. If you want to read ahead, make sure you check out the Constituent Service Corner with information about awesome upcoming community events (free shredding, DPR Late Night Hype continues, National Building Museum Ward Days and more) and several grant programs that are now accepting applications.

In service,

Christina Henderson

Councilmember, At-Large

                                                                                                                                                      Legislative Updates

Councilmember Henderson’s legislation Fairness in Renting Clarification Amendment Act of 2023 was approved by the Committee on Housing on Thursday, June 22. This legislation limits the amount of fees that a housing provider may charge a prospective tenant associated with processing an application for rental housing and increases the notice period for rent increases from 30 days to 60 days. During the July 11 Legislative Meeting, the full Council approved the bill which now awaits Congressional and Mayoral approval. Read the Committee report here.

The School Student Vaccination Emergency Amendment Act of 2023 was approved. It removes the requirement that eligible students in the District of Columbia receive a vaccination against COVID-19. Since the federal and DC governments have ended the COVID Emergency, it is important to make sure that we are stressing the compliance with routine vaccinations to reduce the severity of viruses and illnesses that can impact school-aged children, such as chickenpox, measles, mumps, and polio.

The Council recess rules were amended to allow the Committee on Health to hold hearings on Medicaid redeterminations, if necessary.

NEW BILLS: This week, Councilmember Henderson introduced the Childhood Continuous Coverage Act of 2023, which would require that any child enrolled in Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), or the Immigrant Children’s Program during the ages of zero to five years old will not face a redetermination or risk losing coverage under the program until the end of the month in which they turn six years old.

Councilmember Henderson also introduced two pieces of legislation aimed at streamlining accountability for those who drive dangerously on our District streets.

The Automated Traffic Enforcement Effectiveness Amendment Act of 2023 would:

  • Treat moving violations detected by an automated traffic enforcement system similarly to violations detected by law enforcement by assessing points against driving records.
  • Require the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) to diversify the ATE systems they plan to procure to ensure a certain number can capture footage of the front of the vehicle by 2025;
  • Require DDOT to publish on its website copies of ATE assessment worksheets that the agency uses to evaluate the traffic safety environment of an intersection or stretch of road;
  • Require the Director of the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to biannually send a report containing the motor vehicle record of drivers who acquire five moving violation infractions in the District to the drivers’ respective automobile insurance company. This provision is intended to encourage compliance of traffic laws using private market tools, especially for drivers with out-of-state tags; and
  • Require the towing or immobilization of a parked vehicle with five or more unpaid moving violations and require the towing or immobilization of a parked vehicle displaying counterfeit, stolen, or otherwise fraudulent temporary identification tags.

The License Suspension Reform Amendment Act of 2023 would suspend the license and registration of all drivers and vehicles owned by or registered in the name of any person charged with:

  • Negligent homicide where death is due to operation of a vehicle;
  • Leaving the scene of an accident in which the motor vehicle driven by the person is involved and in which there is personal injury; or
  • Driving while intoxicated or while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or any drug or any combination.

                                                                                                                                     Health Committee Updates

June 28- The Committees on Health and Hospital & Health Equity held a joint Roundtable on Combatting the Opioid and Fentanyl Crisis in DC. There were more than 6 hours of testimony!

Several community health workers and advocates testified during the expert and public witness portion of the roundtable. Witnesses discussed gaps in DC’s infrastructure around tracking and treating substance abuse disorders, how to connect with residents who don’t outwardly present as having an addiction, the impact the crisis is having on youth, and the need to treat the opioid crisis as a public health crisis. Overdoses among several other demographics were highlighted, including veterans, returning citizens, unhoused residents, and those who are entering or have recently been sent to the DC jail. There was concern raised about police raids and how they correlate to an uptick in overdoses.

During the government witness portion, Mr. Zamore, an epidemiological researcher at DC Health, shared that 85% of opioid fatalities since 2017 have been Black men and that 7 teens died of overdoses in 2022.

Dr. Diaz, the Chief Medical Examiner for DC, explained that the majority of overdoses occur in the home or that of a family member. He also said that the chemical compounds in many synthetic drugs are very similar to the real thing but that changing one element completely changes the structure and tests need a reference library (a substance that’s similar in order to create a point of reference) to detect such drugs, which means they are finding novel substances in their toxicology reports daily.

Dr. Bazron, the Director of the Department of Behavioral Health, mentioned the need for those recovering from substance use disorders to have stable housing and said that the stigma of having an addiction pushes many to shame, even though it should not. She provided an update on the newly formed Office of Opioid Abatement which has received funding certification to access the $11 million in opioid settlement funds. View the full hearing.

July 6- The Committee heard testimony on 2 bills. Watch the full hearing.  

Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Amendment Act of 2023: The hearing for this bill included no public feedback. The purpose of this legislation is to amend the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program Act of 2013 to expand the Director of the Department of Health's authority to disclose information related to covered substances' prescribing and dispensing. The bill allows the Director to disclose aggregate and summary data to public or private entities for statistical, research, educational, or grant application purposes. It also permits the Director to disclose information for public health surveillance to designated employees. Additionally, the bill authorizes the Director to charge a fee to offset the operational costs of disclosing certain information.

Uniform Telehealth Act of 2023: The purpose of this bill is to allow licensed health practitioners in the District to provide health care through telehealth. It also expands the circumstances under which qualified out-of-state practitioners are permitted to deliver telehealth services to patients located in the District. The COVID-19 pandemic expanded access to physical and mental health services for District residents, which included guidelines on how providers can and should practice in DC, and with this bill the standard of care must still be met. The hearing for this bill included 7 public witnesses, all in favor of the bill. There was brief discussion among witnesses relating to the certificate of need.

July 13- The Committee held a hearing on 3 bills. Watch the full hearing.

Access to Emergency Albuterol and Glucagon Amendment Act of 2023: This bill had 3 witnesses who testified at the hearing. The bill would require the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) to create an action plan that authorizes schools to possess and administer undesignated albuterol (asthma) and glucagon (diabetes) medication in emergencies. It would also require schools to have at least 2 doses of each drug and require at least 2 school staff to be trained in administering these drugs. Councilmember Henderson asked about data around the benefits of looking for triggers of asthma attacks. Witnesses were in favor of schools being able to supply this medication for students, as it can eliminate the need for a visit to the Emergency Room.

Ambulatory Surgical Facility Amendment Act of 2023 would add certain definitions to the Healthcare and Community Residence Facility, Hospice and Home Care Licensure Act of 1983 and remove the requirement that regulations governing ambulatory surgical facilities list all procedures that can be performed only in such facilities, if not performed at a hospital or maternity center. During the hearing, Dr. Floyd from Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, testified that language in the bill should be amended to clarify that procedures such as abortions, colonoscopies, and colposcopies do not need to be considered “surgery” because they do not call for the heightened environmental controls that surgeries require. They can be provided in a non-surgical facility.

Health Professional Licensing Boards Residency Requirement Amendment Act of 2023 would require that at least 50% of Health Professional Licensing Board positions designated for professional members be filled by District residents at the time of their appointments and while they are members of the board. Additionally, it requires that the professional members of each Board be licensed for the health occupation regulated by the Board on which they sit and engaged in the practice of that health occupation in the District for at least 3 years preceding their appointment. It also requires that members who are not District residents be engaged in the practice of the health occupation regulated by the Board in the District while they are members of the Board. A witness representing the Board of Dentistry highlighted the need for more Dentists to serve on the Board, as none of the current members have first-hand knowledge of the issues and concerns faced by DC-based practitioners.

                                                                                                                                      Upcoming Health Hearings

All hearings will resume after September 15, when Council returns from legislative recess. All past Committee hearings can be viewed on Councilmember Henderson's YouTube page at

                                                                                                                                      Christina in the Community

A Discussion on Environmental Health and Justice in DC Councilmember Henderson joined Attorney General Brian Schwalb at Lamond-Riggs Library this week to discuss environmental health concerns experienced by residents. The group discussed illegal dumping, housing code inspections, lead pipe removal efforts in DC, engaging youth while ensuring they are safe from dangerous drivers, and the inequitable average temperatures throughout various neighborhoods around the city.

Palisades 4th of July Parade Team Henderson joined Councilmember Frumin’s Team to march at the Annual 4th of July Parade. Residents enjoyed engaging with staff and there were dozens of smiling children ready to get their lollipops!

Transportation Planning Board’s Commuter Connections Councilmember Henderson served as the mistress of ceremonies at The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments’ Commuter Connections Awards program. The group recognized five local employers and organizations for their outstanding commute alternative programs at the 26th annual Employer Recognition Awards ceremony at the National Press Club.

Martha’s Table Market Team Henderson had a blast volunteering at Martha’s Table. We spent time preparing fresh vegetables and non-perishable food items for neighbors. Martha’s Table hosts a market Monday-Friday every week. This is a vital program for residents, especially with reductions in SNAP benefits and the recent shuttering of multiple food access points in Ward 8. For more information, visit their website.

School Facilities Readiness Tour with Councilmember Lewis George Councilmember Henderson accompanied Councilmembers Lewis George and Trayon White, staff from the Department of General Services (DGS), and from District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) on a facilities walkthrough at Anacostia High School and Johnson Middle School. The Councilmembers asked each school’s Custodial Foreman about plumbing issues, security camera availability and procurement, as well as lockers for students and HVAC malfunctions. There are only 48 days until the beginning of the school year, and it is imperative that buildings are up to code and can safely welcome students, staff, and community members.

                                                                                                                                                  In Case You Missed It

Councilmember Henderson was featured in several articles over the past two weeks:

                                                                                                                                             Constituent Services Corner

  • Apply for the Enhanced Mobility Program: The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board (TPB) at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) will conduct a solicitation for applications for the Federal Transit Administration’s Enhanced Mobility of Seniors and Individuals with Disabilities (Section 5310) grant program. Applications will be accepted August 1 through September 30, 2023. Visit the COG’s website for more information and to apply.
  • Household Hazardous Waste and Shredding Drop-off next Thursday, July 20: Residents can bring their items to RFK Stadium, Lot 3 (2400 East Capitol St. NE) for drop off and shredding. To find out what items are accepted and to see the full schedule, visit DPW’s website.

  • Medicaid Renewal, Don’t Wait to Update: On April 1, 2023, all DC residents with health coverage through Medicaid, Alliance, or the Immigrant Children’s Program must renew their coverage. Please visit the District Direct website to update your address, phone number, and/or email so that the Department of Healthcare Finance (DHCF) knows where to send your Medicaid renewal letter. If you require assistance, please call the Public Benefits Center at 202-727-5355.

  • Late Night Hype continues this Friday: This Friday, July 14, the Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) is hosting the next installment of Late Night Hype, at Emery Recreation Center (5701 Georgia Ave, NW).  Lat Night Hype is a nighttime carnival-style event featuring bounce house, music, food, video games, free haircuts, hair braiding, manicures, arts and crafts, and more. It is fun for the entire family. For additional information, visit DPR’s website.

  • National Building Museum’s “Look Here: Ward Days”: As part of the Washington, D.C. community, the National Building Museum invites residents of each D.C. Ward to visit the Summer Block Party installation, Look Here, with free admission to all exhibitions during your specific Ward Day. For more details, visit the Museum’s website. Team Henderson will be there to welcome you on August 3 at 10am.

  • Calling all Artists! Apply for the Juried Exhibition Grant (JEG): The Commission on Arts and Humanities (CAH) is offering a funding program for local artists. The Juried Exhibition Grant (JEG) opened earlier this month seeking applications from DC artists who’ve made artwork that reflects on and engages with the past 60 years of social and political progress in the District and beyond. This exhibition will celebrate the 60thAnniversary of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and art works that were inspired by its promises. Applications are currently open and the deadline is July 28 at 9pm. Click here for more information.

  • Beat the Streets with MPD: This community outreach event serves as a traveling Community Festival and is a partnership between the Metropolitan Police Department, local social service agencies and community vendors. Community members of all ages enjoy musical performances from local bands and artists, as well as a street festival-like environment with local vendors and literature distributed by local social service agencies. To view the full calendar of events and locations, click here.
  • Provide feedback on the OST Strategic Plan: The Commission on Out of School Time Grants and Youth Outcomes (OST Commission) is seeking feedback from programs, school staff, and families on the draft 2023-2026 OST Strategic Plan. The plan contains details on district-wide priorities related to out of school time programming including, but not limited to, expanding afterschool and summer opportunities and addressing barriers for students with special needs. Click here for more information.

  • Office of Unified Communication (OUC) Junior Academy Fall Cohort application: The next cohort for the Junior Academy will begin on September 21, 2023! The program will consist of 5 once a week sessions aiming to familiarize youth with OUC career opportunities. They are accepting interested forms on a rolling basis. To learn more information, visit their website to complete the form.

  • Spring Services at Department of Public Works (DPW): DPW began posting residential street sweeping on Wednesday, March 1, 2023. The program will run through October 30, 2023, and motorists are asked to obey posted signs indicating the schedule of parking restrictions to ensure streets are swept thoroughly. DPW will begin cleaning residential alleys from April to October by Ward. For a full list of spring services performed by DPW, visit their website.

  • Have a constituent service need related to the Health Committee or any of the other agencies in DC Government? Want Councilmember Henderson to come to your community event or meeting? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Constituent Services Director Ana Berrios-Vazquez during regular business hours (9:00am - 5:30pm) at 202-724-8105, or

Stay Connected

Thank you for reading! Please stay in touch.

Christina Henderson
At-Large Councilmember

Mike Shaffer
Chief of Staff

Heather Edelman
Deputy Chief of Staff

Gabrielle Rogoff
Legislative Director

Ana Berríos-Vázquez
Constituent Services Director

Nicholas Pcholkin
Legislative Assistant

Chantal Fuller
Communications Director

Taylor Coleman
Staff Assistant

Health Committee

Ona Balkus
Committee Director

Marcia Huff
Senior Policy Advisor

Ashley Strange
Legislative Assistant

Boyd Jackson
Policy Counsel