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.
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!
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.
*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.
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.
Update existing athlete agent registration requirements with the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs to include agents working on these new NIL deals.
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
October in Review
Here is a short recap of hearings on legislation I introduced:
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.
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.
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