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Stay up to date on the latest news from Councilmember Henderson.

D.C. to replace collapsed pedestrian bridge over Route 295, Bowser says

The collapse left the majority-Black community increasingly isolated from the other side of the highway, shining a light on equity concerns. D.C. Council members Mary M. Cheh (D-Ward 3) and Christina Henderson (I-At Large) called on the city to conduct a broader study about how to better connect the two sides. Among the possibilities, they said, is slowing traffic through the corridor.
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DDOT Will Replace Collapsed Pedestrian Bridge In Ward 7, Bowser Announces Ahead Of Council Hearing

Cheh and Councilmember Christina Henderson (I-At Large) both advocated for a broader look at the 295 stretch, suggesting a study to turn it into a boulevard instead of a freeway or turn it into a tunnel with a park over it. “Let’s use this opportunity to think a bit more creatively and innovatively about how we connect, reconnect neighborhoods, and redo or rather correct the injustice that was done before,” Henderson said, pointing to a document about how 295 took out more than 35 homes, several stores, a popular nightclub, and a church when it was built in the 1950s.
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DC still weighing additional incentives to get residents vaccinated as demand plateaus

Christina Henderson asked whether any consideration had gone into instituting a scholarship incentive — a program Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan unveiled for the state earlier this week — that could bring in more kids ages 12 to 17 to get vaccinated.
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D.C. Council votes to ban sale of flavored tobacco, including menthol cigarettes

The 8-to-5 vote came after a lengthy debate in which legislators who opposed the ban — and even some who favored it — raised concerns that the law could create opportunities for Black smokers to be harassed by police, and that the city would be unfairly targeting a smoking choice preferred by Black residents.
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No word from DDOT on collapsed bridge repair timeline, transportation help for neighbors

Councilmembers like Mary Cheh, who is head of the Transportation Committee, and Christina Henderson have also written to DDOT, pushing for an investigation and solutions.
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DC to Close Roads for Inspections Amid Questions in 295 Bridge Collapse

D.C. Councilmember Christina Henderson said it's important to rebuild the bridge because many residents used it to access the Deanwood Metro station. Henderson said that more than $3 million already marked for bridge maintenance in next year's budget "definitely" wouldn't be enough to replace the bridge.
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DC Council passes ban on sales of flavored tobacco products

The D.C. Council passed a bill Tuesday evening banning the sale of flavored tobacco products, such as flavored e-cigarettes, menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars. The bill, called the Flavored Tobacco Product Prohibition Amendment Act of 2021, would update a long-standing ban on the sale of tobacco products to minors under 16 to include e-smoking devices within a quarter-mile of middle and high schools, and eliminate the sale of flavored tobacco products.
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D.C. Council Votes To Ban Sales Of Flavored Tobacco, But Exempts Hookah Bars

The D.C. Council on Tuesday gave preliminary approval to a bill that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco, including menthol cigarettes, and prohibits electronic smoking devices from being sold within a quarter-mile of any middle or high school. The ban — which requires a second vote and Mayor Muriel Bowser’s signature before taking effect — would put D.C. alongside a growing number of states and localities taking action against flavored tobacco products and electronic cigarettes, and comes as the Food and Drug Administration has announced its intention to ban menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars.
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DC councilmembers mull amendment to flavored tobacco ban

The council’s newer Office of Racial Equality reviewed the bill and found that while the bill "has the potential to advance racial equity by improving health outcomes, enforcement of the bill has the potential to exacerbate racial inequity in economic and social justice outcomes." The review looks at the impact on businesses within communities of color, where tobacco use is more prevalent. It also looks at the fines that could disproportionately impact those communities and enforcement, which the study noted could lead to more interactions with police if officers are charged with enforcing the ban.
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With DMV Appointments Hard To Come By, D.C. Extends Deadline To Renew Licenses

A growing number of D.C. residents say they’re in a post-pandemic quandary: parking enforcement has resumed, but they can’t get an appointment at the Department of Motor Vehicles to renew their licenses and tags ahead of a July 1 deadline to do so. DMV officials say they’re ramping service back up, but apparently not fast enough to meet the demand of folks who are rushing to get services that were largely suspended during the pandemic. And the situation has drawn the attention of multiple D.C. lawmakers, some of whom tweet as soon as appointments become available while others push the DMV to fully open to the public.
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D.C. ‘Shocked’ and ‘Disappointed’ By Biden Move to Uphold Ban On Recreational Cannabis Sales

Cannabis activists and industry representatives in Washington D.C. are disappointed by the Biden Administration’s continued ban on adult-use cannabis sales in the District.
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Health Equity Digest

The health care system’s “long history of wrongdoing and bias disproportionately experienced by communities of color” contributes to vaccine access and confidence issues, Henderson said. For the District, people who live in the eastern part of the city are often told they need to travel west to get care, and that means transportation challenges, extra time needed away from work, and other burdens, which “has led to greater health disparities and inequitable access for our most vulnerable communities.”
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