Happy Monday! I’ll be brief. The countdown to finalize and vote on the FY2024 budget is underway. As of last week, all Committees conducted the budget mark-ups for their respective agencies and the Council completed a marathon Budget Work Session where we discussed Committee recommendations and further priorities. You can find the Committee reports here and the view the Budget Work Session here. The next step is the first vote on the Local Budget Act (LBA) and the Budget Support Act (BSA) by the full Council, scheduled for Tuesday, May 16. The second vote on the LBA will be held on Tuesday, May 30.
In addition to the work on the budget, last week, the Committee on Health held a roundtable on the end of the federal COVID-19 Public Health Emergency on May 11 and what that will mean for residents. Several expert and government witnesses testified about the impact of the pandemic on the healthcare workforce, what this transition means for several government programs such as Medicaid and PEP-V, ongoing virus surveillance, DC’s preparedness for another public health emergency and more. You can view that full roundtable here.
Finally, I’d like to express my appreciation for all the teachers and nurses who work across the District. This year, Teacher Appreciation Week is (May 8-12) and National Nurses Week is (May 6-12), so be sure to show some love to the teachers and nurses in your life. And of course, happy early Mother’s Day to all the mommas, grandmas, aunts, god-moms, and like-moms!
Councilmember Henderson recently introduced the Cooling Our Overheated Living Spaces (“COOLS”) Regulation Amendment Act of 2023, which would:
Require landlords to maintain air conditioning units or systems to provide inside temperatures 15° F less than outside temperatures between Apr. 15 and Oct. 31 of each year.
Require that air conditioning units be inspected and maintained between Sept. 1 and Apr. 1 of each year, and any defects discovered during the inspection must be corrected by May 1.
Establish a Cooling Energy Offset program to provide to grants and financing to owners of rental buildings who are subject to the air conditioning regulations. Read the full press release here.
Christina Around the Wilson Building
Panel on DC Auditor’s Report: COVID-19 and Behavioral Health Last month, Councilmember Henderson participated in a panel on the DC Auditor’s report, COVID-19 & Behavioral Health in the District of Columbia. The report, prepared by Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health and Security, focused on identifying patterns of behavioral health impact during and after the pandemic and developing recommendations to improve data collection and quality related to behavioral health and health care access in DC. Councilmember Henderson discussed the successes and challenges of telemedicine during the pandemic and the panel explored ways to continue providing this method of care as an option for DC residents. Dr. Bazron assured the community that the Department of Behavioral Health will continue supporting providers and patients who utilize both in-person and telehealth services. Read the DC Auditor’s report here.
Alpha Kappa Alpha Lobby Day In the midst of Budget markups, Councilmember Henderson met with local members of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated to discuss her legislative agenda and hear from members about their priorities. The group also hosted a panel discussion on maternal health and youth suicide in the black community. Members were interested in the Expanding Access to Fertility Treatment Amendment Act of 2023 and were excited to hear about the Peer-to-Peer Mental Health Initiative for high school students reflected in the Committee on Health’s FY24 Budget.
Christina in the Community
ANC 4B Earth Day Resource Fair At the end of April, Councilmember Henderson was invited to Whittier Elementary School for ANC 4B’s Earth Day Resource Fair/Celebration. There were a host of demonstrations, environmentally friendly tips, and activities for kids of all ages.
Petworth Porchfest Gordon Sterling and the People gave a great performance at Councilmember Henderson’s house during Petworth PorchFest. Porchfests create camaraderie and community among neighborhoods throughout the city. The first event was hosted in the Takoma Park neighborhood and later celebrated by Adams Morgan, Rhode Island Avenue, and most recently, Southeast.
Constituent Services Corner
DC Greens Community Resource Fair: Saturday, May 13, from 11am-3pm at The Well at Oxon Run (300 Valley Ave SE). Discover local organizations and networks active east of the river that are available to support you! There will be food, music, activities, and local organizations introducing themselves and sharing information about the services they provide. To register or learn more information, visit the event’s website.
Register for Virtual DC School Boundaries and Master Facilities Plan Townhalls: The Deputy Mayor for Education will host two virtual town halls about school facilities and another two virtual town halls about school boundaries in May so that residents can learn more about these two studies and provide feedback. To participate, please click the unique dated hyperlinks below to register. Spanish interpretation will be provided at all meetings.
DC’s Annual Truck Touch: The District of Columbia Citywide “Truck Touch” will be held Saturday, June 3, 2023, from 8 am to 1 pm at RFK Stadium, Lot 8. The event will feature a variety of free activities for kids and adults. A host of DC government agencies will present and demonstrate nearly 30 vehicles used to clean and repair streets, change traffic lights, collect refuse, clear snow, provide emergency services, administer mobile health care, and more. To learn more, visit Truck Touch's website.
Department of Parks and Recreation Summer Camp Lottery Results are LIVE: If you were selected for a program you chose, your receipt will indicate an enrollment status of “Enrolled”; if you were waitlisted, the enrollment status will indicate so; and if you weren’t selected for a camp, the enrollment status will be “cancelled”. For more information on the lottery and how to accept your camp slot, visit DPR’s website.
Check your tax refund status: You can 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 https://mytax.dc.gov. 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.
Medicaid Renewal, Don’t Wait to Update: Beginning April 1, all DC residents with Medicaid, Alliance, or the Immigrant Children’s Program must renew their coverage again. 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.
My School DC Lottery Results are Live: As of March 31, the My School DC Lottery results were released. Families who matched needed to enroll in their selected school by May 1, 2023. For more information on the My School DC lottery, visit their website.
Post Lottery Application: If you missed the lottery application deadline or want to add schools to an existing application, you can add your child to a school’s waitlist by submitting a post-lottery application.
Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) Dual Enrollment Application is live: The DC Dual Enrollment Consortium Program allows participating high school students to enroll in approved college courses at a postsecondary institution and potentially earn college and/or high school credit. Applications are currently being accepted for the program through May 18. Students must be enrolled in an eligible District of Columbia public or public charter school and pursuing a secondary credential such as a high school diploma or GED. To learn more about the program and its eligibility requirements, visit OSSE’s website.
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. The program will run through October 30, 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.
Department of Energy and Environment’s (DOEE) Green Pathways Program is hiring: Are you interested in a career, fellowship, internship, summer job, or volunteer experience in the field of energy and the environment? The goal of DOEE’s Green Pathways is to provide students, young adults, and those interested in energy and the environment with jobs and opportunities in this field. Several positions are available and starting pay is $17/hour. To get more information and to apply, visit DOEE’s 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 Constituent Services Director Ana Berrios-Vazquez during regular business hours (9:00am - 5:30pm) at 202-724-8105, or ABerriosVazquez@dccouncil.gov.