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October Newsletter

October 28, 2021


The Council is officially back in session. While still caring for my infant and 2-year-old at home and technically on maternity leave, I have remained deeply connected to the needs of District residents. I’ve introduced legislation, participated in multiple important hearings, and pushed for transparency in government.

A time sensitive issue I hope you will engage with before the end of this year is the redistricting process. Check out my Instagram explainer in my highlights section on why the redistricting process happens every 10 years and how you can get involved. There are two, main ways you can make your voice heard during this process. First, attend an upcoming hearing and testify on the boundaries that matter most to you. Second, draw and submit your own map using our online mapping software. I look forward to hearing from you through either of these avenues.

In addition to the subcommittee on redistricting, I’ve been focused on introducing legislation that will move the needle towards safer communities in the District. You’ll read highlights below, and I’d hope to see you at an upcoming hearing sharing public testimony.

One hearing I’d like to highlight that was just held by the Committee of the Whole on October 27th discussed a bill I introduced: The Coronavirus Immunization of School Students and Early Childhood Workers Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0423). We heard robust discussion on this legislation and I thank all the public witnesses who testified at this hearing.

Finally, as the weather turns, I hope you enjoy time with family and friends safely. Many outdoor events in the District are ready to welcome you and your community back.

In service,

Christina Henderson
Councilmember, At-Large


Please sign up to testify at our hearings. The subcommittee on redistricting wants to hear directly from residents. Don’t forget to submit your map, too!

Legislative Updates

Coronavirus Immunization of School Students and Early Childhood Workers Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0423)

This legislation will take a necessary next step and require all eligible students and childcare employees to be vaccinated against the coronavirus. The vaccine has been tested, it is safe and has proven results, and we have ample supply. We already require young people to be vaccinated against a number of different diseases in order to attend school or childcare facilities. This is an extension of that effort.

  • This legislation requires all current and future students deemed eligible by the FDA to be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus on or before December 15, 2021;
  • Mandates immunization records for COVID vaccinations starting in December 2021 be transmitted electronically and for all immunizations required for school attendance starting in school year 2022-2023;
  • Requires all staff at licensed child development facilities to be vaccinated against the coronavirus and to submit an annual, electronic certification of vaccination.

*These dates will likely be adjusted in any final legislation since the vaccine approval date is a moving target.

Rightsizing Residential Permit Parking Regulation Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0433)

The geographic scale of ANCs will create Residential Permit Parking (RPP) zones that are more consistent and equitable across the city. It is important to note this legislation would establish RPP zones as the same size of a full ANC area, rather than the smaller single member districts. Some neighborhoods in Wards 1 and 4 already use ANC boundaries for the purpose of RPP.

  • This legislation would create new RPP zones that would match Advisory Neighborhood Commission boundaries, creating smaller but more consistently sized zones similar to those in successful resident parking programs in other cities across the nation, and;
  • Establish the new zones as of January 1, 2023, to allow time for public education and the appropriation of any necessary funding to effectuate the change in Fiscal Year 2023.

College Student Athlete Compensation Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0445)

This legislation would place local guidelines around recent rule changes from the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) permitting college student-athletes to be paid for endorsements or publicity deals – known as use of their “name, image or likeness.” I applaud the NCAA decision to allow players the opportunity to financially benefit from their brand, while still avoiding pay for play. Many Black and brown student-athletes will benefit from this shift toward a more equitable system, and our local regulations must evolve with this change.

  • This legislation would prohibit pay for play, performance, or enrollment at a particular school, as well as compensation for endorsements of restricted products like alcohol, tobacco, gambling, performance enhancing drugs, or adult-only entertainment;
  • Universities would be permitted to require advance disclosure of endorsement deals and agent contracts to ensure compliance with their own rules;
  • Encourage universities to offer financial literacy programming on the basics of budgeting and debt management, taxes, and banking and investment, and;

Update existing athlete agent registration requirements with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to include agents working on these new NIL deals.

Legislative Meeting

Councilmember Henderson speaking at our first legislative meeting in October. Zoom backgrounds highlighted breast cancer awareness month and the importance of getting screened often. Book your screening.

Fall Hearing Highlights

The Look Ahead

  • Mon, November 15 – Minor Access to Medical Records and Appointments Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0231)
  • This hearing will be held by the Health Committee. Proposed legislation including the ‘Medically Necessary Foods Coverage Act of 2021’, the HIV/AIDS Data Privacy Protection Amendment Act of 2021’, and the Beautician and Barber Behavioral Health Support Training Act of 2021 will also be heard at this heaing.
  • Sign up to testify before Thursday, November 11th by emailing
  • You may submit written testimony to this email before Monday, November 29th.
  • Thurs, November 18 – Voter Ownership, Integrity, Choice, and Equity (VOICE) Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0372)
  • This hearing will be held by the Judiciary & Public Safety Committee. This will be the only piece of legislation considered at this hearing.
  • Sign up to testify before Friday, November 12th by emailing
  • You may submit written testimony to this email before Friday, December 3rd.

October in Review
Here is a short recap of hearings on legislation I introduced:

  • Wed, October 27 -- Coronavirus Immunization of School  Students and Early Childhood Workers Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-423)
  • This hearing was held by the Committee of the Whole where we heard testimony from parents, school community leaders, and the Deputy Mayor for Education.
  • You may submit written testimony by email or voicemail before Wednesday, November 10th. Email or call (202) 430-6948
  • Tues, October 12 -- Safe Passage to School Expansion Act of 2021 (B24-0066)
  • Safe Passage sits at the intersection of the other two crises facing our city: Dramatic increases in both gun violence and traffic violence on our streets.
  • We heard from parents, school community leaders, State Board of Education members, and students who know dangerous or troubling routes to school continue to exist. I particularly noted the importance of consistent crossing guards across Wards, high-visibility crosswalks, youth engagement, interagency collaboration, and communication between LEAs and District agencies.
  • Thurs, October 21 – The School Police Incident and Accountability Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0254)
  • We’re requesting an improvement in oversight and accountability around youth arrest data. We know that students of color and students with disabilities are disproportionately affected by all forms of school discipline – disaggregated data on arrests or disciplinary action will allow well-informed decisions to better support these students.
  • We heard from multiple public witnesses and District agencies relevant to this work. Chief Contee shared that the ability to support collection and reporting of this data is possible. The Interim State Superintendent (OSSE) Dr. Christina Grant shared that disaggregated data collection may already be collected, but not compiled into a report.
  • Mon, October 25 – The New Student Loan Borrower Bill of Rights Amendment Act of 2021 (B24-0170)
  • Student loan debt is exploding and threatening to derail the long-term financial health of thousands of our residents. This legislation would expand our consumer protection laws to specifically address some of these unscrupulous practices by servicers and lenders.
  • We heard from the Student Borrower Protection Center, experts on the issue, how important these protections are for oversight, accountability, and borrower protection. We also heard from the US Department of Education’s Senior Advisor of the Office of Federal Student Aid who testified in support of the work this bill will begin.
  • This is a timely conversation. In January 2022, borrowers will face the full weight of their debt, despite the uneven economic recovery and with hopes fading for debt cancellation from the federal government.

The Redistricting Process Continues

Every 10 years, the Census is conducted. This updated survey of our population prompts the redistricting process for all jurisdictions across the United States. For the District of Columbia, our law states that we must right-size our Wards, bringing all 8 Wards as close to the same population as possible. This year, the goal population for each Ward is 86,193. Our regulations allow for a +/- 5% deviation which means Wards can be between 81,883 and 90,503. This is the District’s opportunity to take all aspects of our communities into account – population, age, income, geographic continuity, race, voter turnout, and more. I’ll be looking at maintaining whole census tracts, if we can minimize disruption, and how we can avoid unnecessarily splitting neighborhoods.

There are two ways you can get engaged in this process: 1) Sign up to testify at the Ward-level hearings this month. All are listed below. 2) Draw and submit your own map with our online map redistricting tool.

  • Mon, Oct 18    | Ward 8
  • Weds, Oct 20  | Ward 5
  • Fri, Oct 22       | Ward 3
  • Sat, Oct 23      | Ward 7
  • Mon, Oct 25    | Ward 2
  • Thurs, Oct 28  | Ward 4
  • Fri, Oct 29       | Ward 1
  • Wed, Nov 3     | Ward 6
  • Fri, Nov 5 | City-wide
  • Late Nov. | The Subcommittee then the COW will have separate markup sessions
  • Dec. 7th | First Council vote on new Ward boundaries
  • Dec. 21st | Second Council vote on new Ward boundaries
  • Dec. | Ward task forces are appointed and begin work on ANC boundaries
  • 2022 | ANC boundary hearings will happen throughout March and April with a final vote on the new lines before the end of June.
Ward Map

Our current map with each Ward’s population noted. Draw and submit your map this month.

A note on Transportation Safety in the District

Just last week I wrote to DDOT’s Acting Director Everett Lott asking for updated TSA data and processes. Please read the full response from DDOT here. I have offered my continued partnership as DDOT begins to implement the influx of resources provided under the FY22 budget to support Vision Zero and multimodal safety improvement efforts. While the list of dangerous intersections, streets and corridors needing the agency’s attention may be long, my hope is that we will work together to efficiently and systematically improve our built infrastructure and finally begin reducing the pedestrian and bicyclist injuries and deaths being caused by motor vehicles every day.

The below image shows data on Traffic Safety Assessments or Investigations (TSA/TSI). DDOT will use this data to inform their prioritization of intervention measures. A full list of projects already underway has been provided in the full letter on my website. Director Lott has shared publicly and in this letter that internal processes have been streamlined to meet the need, and properly deploy increased investments in infrastructure across the District.

TSA/TSI data used to inform DDOT investments and prioritization.

Stay Connected

Team Henderson is hiring for a Senior Legislative Assistant. Click here for more on the job opportunity. Thank you for reading! Please stay in touch.

Christina Henderson
At-Large Councilmember

Mike Shaffer
Chief of Staff

Heather Edelman
Deputy Chief of Staff

T.J. Maloney
Legislative Director

Gabrielle Rogoff
Senior Legislative Assistant

Mykelle Richburg
Legislative Assistant

Ana Berríos-Vázquez
Constituent Services Director

Amanda Farnan
Communications Director