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Councilmember Henderson's Newsletter

November 13, 2023


'Tis the season of gratitude and Thanksgiving. This weekend, as we observed Veterans Day, we honored the millions of women and men who have served and protected this country in our Armed Forces. There are more than 30,000 veterans who call the District of Columbia home. Each day we learn more and more about the true depths of their sacrifice. The words “thank you” will never be enough, so I try to embody their dedication through my own service to community. 

Later this week, my team and I will volunteer at Food & Friends helping to prepare for Thanksgiving. Throughout the city, the days leading up to Thanksgiving are always jammed packed with opportunities to ensure that everyone has a hearty meal. This edition of the newsletter provides details on some upcoming Thanksgiving food giveaways, as well as an update on what I’ve been working on legislatively and within the community. Before I go, I want to highlight a couple of opportunities to give back: 

In service,

Christina Henderson

Councilmember, At-Large

                                                                                                                                                     Health Committee Updates

Health Committee Markup 

On Wednesday, November 1, the Health Committee held an Additional Meeting vote on 11 measures, including Councilmember Henderson’s Sense of the Council on the Opioid and Fentanyl Epidemic Resolution of 2023 and nominees for the Board of Psychology, the Board of Optometry, and the Health Benefit Exchange Authority Executive Board. All measures passed unanimously.  

                                                                                                                                                  Key Legislative Updates

Committee of the Whole, the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, & the Committee on Executive Administration and Labor Joint Public Hearing

On Monday, October 30, the Committee of the Whole, the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, and the Committee on Executive Administration and Labor held a Joint Public Roundtable on the Mayor’s districtwide Violence Interruption Programs. During the hearing, which included members of the public, community advocates, violence prevention workers and experts, and District officials, community leaders Tony Lewis, Jr. and Pastor Delonte Gholston spoke with Councilmember Henderson about the importance of record-sealing and inclusion for returning citizens. While speaking with District government leaders, Councilmember Henderson emphasized the need for fiscal collaboration among the District’s violence prevention and interruption programs, highlighted the discrepancy in Spanish-speaking violence interrupters, and discussed the strategic focus and performance of Building Blocks DC, a gun violence prevention initiative led by the City Administrator’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention. Information and testimony from the hearing can be found on the Council’s new Hearing Management System here, and a recording of the hearing can be found here.

Committee on Transportation and the Environment & Committee on Public Works and Operations Joint Public Hearing

On Wednesday, November 1, the Committee on Transportation and the Environment and the Committee on Public Works and Operations held part two of a Joint Public Hearing on the following legislation.  

During the hearing, Councilmember Henderson discussed the impact of her traffic safety legislation, the correlation between automatic traffic enforcement cameras and driver behavior, ways to create a strong line of communication between the Metropolitan Police Department, the Department of Motor Vehicles, and the Department Public Works, the process of suspending or revoking licenses for DUI related traffic violations, updating traffic infrastructure, and more with District government leaders. Information and testimony from the hearing can be found on the Council’s new Hearing Management System here, and a recording of the hearing can be found here

Committee of the Whole

On Tuesday, November 7, the Committee of the Whole held a Legislative Meeting and voted on multiple pieces of legislation. During the meeting, Councilmember Henderson answered questions rom other councilmembers about legislation that came through the Committee on Health. All those measures were approved and are listed here:  

Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety Public Hearing

On Wednesday, November 8, the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety held a Public Hearing on Councilmember Brooke Pinto’s Addressing Crime through Targeted Interventions and Violence Enforcement (“ACTIVE”) Amendment Act of 2023. During the hearing, Councilmember Henderson questioned government witnesses from the United States Attorney’s Office, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Public Defender Service, and the Criminal Code Reform Commission about provisions in the bill, specifically those addressing speedy trial timelines, carjacking, and pre-trial detention. Information and testimony from the hearing can be found  here, and a recording of the hearing can be found  here.

                                                                                                                                                        New Legislation

This week, Councilmember Henderson introduced two new bills to support and strengthen the District’s health workforce: 

                                                                                                                                                       Upcoming Hearings

The Council has a NEW centralized system for signing up for hearings. Check it out here:

  • On Tuesday, November 14, at 1:00 pm, the Committee of the Whole will hold a public oversight hearing on DC Public Schools’ Budgeting Practices
  • On Monday, November 30, at 9:30 am, the Committee on Health and the Committee on Housing will hold a joint oversight roundtable on Health and Human Services Benefits Enrollment and the DC Access System (DCAS).  

                                                                                                                                          Christina in the Community

Stabilization and Sobering Center Opening 

On Monday, October 30, Councilmember Henderson joined the Mayor, as well as other Councilmembers and District officials, at the ceremonial ribbon cutting to mark the official opening of the Stabilization and Sobering Center at 35 K St. NE. The facility will provide immediate healthcare support as well as long-term counseling for neighbors who are experiencing substance-related crises.

Humane Rescue Alliance  

On Thursday, November 2, Councilmember Henderson toured the Humane Rescue Alliance Animal Shelter (HRA) on Oglethorpe St. The tour was led by the HRA’s President and CEO Lisa LaFontaine and the Director of Government Affairs Emily Hovermale. During the tour, they highlighted that the shelter is currently over capacity, causing them to use warehouse space to house dogs. They also discussed HRA’s efforts to contain canine influenza in their facilities and HRA’s work to provide veterinary care at an affordable cost to District residents and their pets.

Ward 4 Mini-Commission on Aging

On Thursday, November 9, Councilmember Henderson met with the Ward 4 Mini-Commission on Aging and discussed her food policy and healthcare workforce legislation and Medicaid re-enrollment. Councilmember Henderson and her staff listened to the Commission’s concerns about traffic and road safety and their vision for post-graduate education opportunities for seniors.


                                                                                                               In Case You Missed It: Councilmember Henderson in the News

                                                                                                                       Constituent Services Corner

  • Bread for the City: From November 1 to November 21, you can get your favorite Thanksgiving food items at each Bread for the City location. Neighbors can choose between a whole chicken or turkey for protein, a bag of Thanksgiving fixings and sides, and fresh seasonal groceries. For more details, click here
  • Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce: The GWHCC will be hosting a first-come first-served Turkey Giveaway on Wednesday, November 16, from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. For more details, click here
  • Shiloh Baptist Church Free Food Giveaway: Join the Shiloh Baptist Church for a free drive-thru grocery giveaway on Saturday, November 18th, from 11:00 am to 2:00 pm, at which 300 grocery bags will go to neighbors in need. To register, click here
  • Ward 4 Thanksgiving Turkey Giveaway: Ward 4 families in need can head to the Riggs LaSalle Rec Center (501 Riggs Rd NE) on Saturday, November 18, beginning at 11 am. First come, first served while supplies last. You need proof of Ward 4 residency. For the flyer, click here
  • Ward 5 Holiday Turkey Giveaway: Ward 5 families can reserve their turkey using this link. Pick-up will be on November 20 at the Langston Golf Course Parking Lot (2600 Benning Rd NE).
  • Metro to shut down Red line service at three stations in December for critical repairs and upgrades: On Monday, December 18, Metro will begin a two-week construction project on the Red Line to perform critical safety repairs to the tunnel and track infrastructure, upgrade signal and communications systems, and install new platform edge lights. During construction, Red Line service will be unavailable at Farragut North, Metro Center, and Gallery Place stations with free shuttle buses replacing trains from December 18 through Saturday, December 30. While the Red Line is closed, service will continue to be available on the Blue, Orange, and Silver lines on the lower level at Metro Center and Green and Yellow line service on the lower level at Gallery Place. More information can be found on Metro’s website.  
  • DPW Yard Waste Collection is now year-round. Residents must call 311 to make an appointment for yard waste collection. Residents can also visit to make an appointment or download and schedule an appointment using the 311 mobile app available at the Google Play and Apple App stores.  DPW only collects yard waste in paper bags. DPW will collect up to 20 paper bags of yard waste from residences that receive DPW’s trash and recycling collection services.   Residents are still able to leave their paper yard waste bags at the point of trash collection. Residents who wish to can drop off their yard waste at the Fort Totten Transfer Station during normal residential business hours. 
  • Sign up for DDOT’s weekly construction updates: The 2023 Paving Plan is published on the  PaveDC website at the start of the construction season. The website also includes separate tabs for sidewalks scheduled for repair and the Alley Restoration Plan for Fiscal Year 2023. For more information about these projects, please visit DDOT's interactive tool, PaveDC. To sign up for DDOT’s weekly construction updates, visit the sign up page
  • Medicaid Renewal, Don’t Wait to Update: 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. 
  • 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