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Councilmember Henderson's Newsletter

March 6, 2023


We’ve reached the end of performance oversight season! We appreciate the 186 residents and advocates who volunteered their time and energy to testify during the Council Period 25 oversight cycle for the Committee on Health. Council cannot effectively do our work without the input and feedback of residents and advocates. I also appreciate the coordination and frankness of agency directors and government witnesses who provided vital information regarding the operational structures and needs of their respective agencies.

As we kick off Women’s History Month, I’m proud to stand on the shoulders of the women who have trailblazed for the rights and humanity of DC residents. We have so many examples of powerful and determined women, such as Linda Cropp, the first woman to serve as Chairman of the Council; Nannie Helen Burroughs, an educator, businesswoman, and activist who championed the rights of girls in DC by founding the National Training School for Women and Girls; Mary McLeod Bethune, who helped to secure the property at 1318 Vermont Ave NW for the National Council of Negro Women, the first Black-led organization to be headquartered in DC. We also have stellar women who lead several DC government agencies, including DC Health, Office of the State Superintendent for Education (OSSE), the budget directors for both the Mayor and the Council, and many others who serve.

It is encouraging and imperative for my daughters and all our girls to see themselves in these roles. Even though we have made huge strides, there are still many “firsts” and glass ceilings that are being shattered. I’m inspired to continue creating legislation that supports women receiving the full benefits of this city and its resources.

In service,

Christina Henderson

Councilmember, At-Large


Transportation Planning Board Committee

Councilmember Henderson was named the chairperson of the Transportation Planning Board’s (TPB) Access for All Advisory Committee (ACA) for 2023. The committee, which held its first meeting February 27, advises the TPB on transportation issues, programs, policies, and services important to traditionally underserved communities, including low-income communities, underrepresented communities, people with limited English proficiency, people with disabilities, and older adults.


Final Performance Oversight Hearing

Thursday, the Committee on Health held its final performance oversight hearing of the season. Government witnesses for DC Health accompanied Interim Director Dr. Sharon Lewis. As you can see, we had a full house due to the size and function of the agency.


Legislative Updates

This week, Councilmember Henderson introduced two bills that address trash collection and adjusting the District’s residential parking permit (RPP) program.

  • Taking Refuse Away from Small Homes (TRASH) Act of 2023- This legislation would allow condominiums with 8 or fewer dwellings to opt into the Department of Public Works’ (DPW) trash collection program, removing the requirement for them to pay for their own solid waste collection.
  • Residential Parking Permit (RPP) Program Review Act of 2023- This legislation would require the District of Department of Transportation (DDOT) to undertake a study of the District’s RPP program and submit to the Mayor and Council a report proposing new parking districts.


Performance Oversight Updates

February 28: Boards of Medicine, Nursing, Pharmacy, Psychology, and Social Work. Public witnesses testified about the lack of representation of LISW-A board members for the Social Work Board and the implicit bias within the Social Work Board Exam. White, first-time test-takers passed at 98%, while Black candidates passed at 56%, and Hispanic candidates passed at 71%. Several witnesses have pointed out that the National Association of Social Workers has publicly denounced the usage of the exam for licensure.
Board Chairs for Psychology and Pharmacy testified that they would like to increase the lines of communication between the Boards and Council, as well as ensuring that Boards’ concerns and recommendations are given the same consideration as representatives from corporations. Click here to view the full hearing.

March 2: Department of Health (DC Health)- The Committee was encouraged by the number of District high schoolers who testified on a variety of issues, including more access to school based mental health workers and programs and a comprehensive sexual education program. Students expressed that topics such as consent, puberty, and managing emotions should be taught earlier in a child’s school. The government witnesses discussed the agency’s need for additional health inspectors, concerns about healthcare worker licensure and reciprocity, and strategies to combat the opioid crisis. Councilmember Henderson stressed the need for additional Food Safety Sanitarians, or Health Inspectors, as the department only has 16 for the entire city, as well as what can be done to ensure the agency has a current and reliable website to guide residents to desperately needed health resources. Click here to view the full hearing.


Christina in the Community


This week, Councilmember Henderson took a trip to BASIS DC Charter School, along with Dr. Walker-Davis of the DC Charter Board. During her visit, she observed students in Advanced Placement classes for Calculus and African American Studies.

Urban Outreach

This weekend, Councilmember Henderson visited the Urban Outreach Center in Marshall  Heights. The Center, run by Reverend William Stroman aka "Pastor Will", provides emergency food, clothing, and afterschool programming, as well as workforce development in the visual and media arts. Urban Outreach operates with the help of dedicated community members. As the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) allotments return to pre-pandemic levels, residents will lose roughly $93 in monthly benefits. Programs like Pastor Will's play an integral role in ending hunger in the District.

Hillcrest Civic Association

Councilmember Henderson spent time this past Saturday in a listening session at Hillcrest Recreation Center. Residents expressed concern  healthcare access east of the Anacostia. The group discussed solutions to issues such as healthcare providers making house calls for neighbors with limited mobility, increasing food access, and how retailers like CVS could ease the strain on our hospitals and urgent care centers with resources such as the Minute Clinic.


Team Henderson Has Grown!

We are now fully staffed and have two amazing additions to the team.

Meet Taylor Coleman, Staff Assistant

Taylor holds a B.A. from Georgia State University and is pursuing a Master of Public Policy from George Mason University. Her academic research focused primarily on peace building in South Sudan, political polarization, and political favorability. After graduating, she worked for Global Strategy Group, a public opinion firm, as a Research Assistant on the Elections team. Taylor is originally from New Orleans, Louisiana, and enjoys crawfish, writing poetry, and spending time with family. Outside of work, you can usually find her watching a political documentary or trying new foods.

Meet Boyd Jackson, Policy Counsel

Boyd is excited to join Councilmember Henderson’s team as Policy Counsel to the Committee on Health. Prior to joining the Committee staff, Boyd was an associate at a law firm on the health care regulatory team working on coding, coverage, and reimbursement issues for innovative medical technologies. Boyd received his bachelor’s degree from Yale University in economics and received his law degree from Stanford Law School. In his spare time, Boyd is finishing up the dissertation phase of his PhD in Health Policy and Management at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health with a focus on ways Medical-Legal Partnerships can address health-harming legal needs and the social determinants of health. Originally from Alabama, Boyd lives in Eckington and is a proud Ward 5 resident.


Constituent Service Corner

  • Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) Spring Programming Registration: Registration for Spring programs opened on March 1 for aquatics and March 2 for all other programs. DPR is also offering programming during DCPS’ Fun Day on March 10 and for the duration of Spring Break April 18-21. Registration for adult fitness, aquatics, dance, candle-making, music, and movie nights are also open now. Slots fill up extremely quickly, so please register as soon as possible to secure your family’s spot. To learn more and register, click here or visit
  • Melvin R. Wright Youth Law Fair: Saturday, March 18. The Melvin R. Wright Youth Law Fair is back in person this year and looks forward to seeing you. Students in grades 7 thru 12 are encouraged to attend. You can register online or just show up at DC Superior Court on Saturday, March 18. DC Superior Court is located at 500 Indiana Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. They are also seeking attorney volunteers to help for just a couple of hours. To learn more, visit the DC Bar Association’s website.
  • OUC Junior Academy: The Office of Unified Communications (OUC) is hosting a Junior Academy for teens 14-17 interested in public service communication careers! The program is free, takes place for 5 weeks, 1 day a week, after school. Participants will receive a certificate of completion and a graduation ceremony. For more information and to sign up your young person, visit their website.

  • Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program application opened January 30, 2023, at noon. The application deadline has been extended to March 6, 2023. To learn more and apply, click here.
  • State of D.C. Schools Report: The D.C. Policy Center is releasing the fourth annual State of D.C. Schools report, a systemwide overview of public education in the city. State of D.C. Schools, 2021-22 focuses on the return to in-person learning for all students for the first time in almost two years, measuring outcomes, and beginning work on recovery. The event will be held on March 15, 2023, at MLK Library (901 G Street NW), 5th Floor. Coffee and networking begin at 9:30am and the program runs from 10am-11:30am.
  • Check your tax refund status: You can now get information about your tax refund online. This site allows you to determine if your return has been received, if your final refund amount matches the amount you claimed, and if your refund has been mailed. Simply log on using your social security number and the refund amount you requested on your tax return. To check your refund status visit The Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) also has a plethora of resources available to help you figure out your tax bracket, what you may owe, and much more. Visit their website for more information.
  • Sales tax change effective April 1: Council passed legislation increasing the sales and use tax rate on the gross receipts from the sale of or charges for any room or rooms, lodgings, or accommodations furnished to a transient by any hotel, inn, tourist camp, tourist cabin, or any other place in which rooms, lodgings, or accommodations are regularly furnished in the District. The total sales and use tax rate imposed on such gross receipts is increased from 14.95% to 15.95% percent during the time period of April 1, 2023, through March 30, 2027. Visit the Office of Tax and Revenue’s website for more information.
  • Have a constituent service need related to the Health Committee, or any of the other agencies in DC Government? Don’t hesitate to reach out to our Constituent Services Director, Ana Berríos-Vázquez, 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