Updates

March 1, 2023 | Update

Oversight, a Library and a đźš´ Lane, Public Safety, Street Vendors


NEWSLETTER, March 1, 2023


 

Neighbors:

February has kept us busy with annual agency performance oversight hearings. The Committee on Public Works and Operations, which I chair, has held hearings for 23 agencies. Performance oversight hearings are the Council’s way of reviewing D.C. government agencies to learn what challenges we are facing and ensure we are achieving progress toward our goals. It is also a time for us to hear from residents about where they see agencies doing good work or in need of improvement or changes.

Here is a small portion of what we heard. Read more...

 
Screenshot from Public Oversight Hearing of the Committee on Public Works and Operations.

 

An Update on Public Safety in Ward 1

People throughout Ward 1 and the District are asking what the police, the Council, I, the Mayor, and the rest of District Government are doing to keep us safe from crime. As a mom, a longtime Ward 1 resident, and as your Councilmember, I hear and share your concerns. 

Just this past weekend I was at the 700 block of Fairmont Ave as police executed a search warrant after several rounds were fired on the block overnight; police recovered three weapons and made arrests. This violence is not OK, and neither is the recent increase in property crime. 

Let me share with you a bit about the District government’s approach, and my approach, to public safety, which includes strategic use of resources, funding MPD at over $500 million and bolstering police recruitment efforts, increasing funds for violence interrupters in the ward, implementing services for people in mental crisis, establishing the U St. Safety Initiative, and other measures. It’s a bit of a long read, but I hope you’ll stick with me. 

From my years on the Council and before that as an ANC commissioner, it is clear to me that we must address public safety holistically. No one tool is going to fix crime and, as MPD Chief Contee said just this week, “There is no magic formula.” The solution lies in a mix of short-term immediate interventions and longer-term measures. As Councilmember I support both. 

Policing is an important part of improving public safety, but it's not the only avenue we must pursue. Others include securing good jobs and economic security for our residents; ensuring kids are staying in school and getting an education and that we have the programs and mentors to support them; providing mental health services to people who are in crisis and may cause harm to others or themselves; and installing violence interrupters and credible messengers in the community to help defuse tensions that may spill over into violence. 

We also need the resources – primarily police and the courts – to ensure that when people commit a crime, we can apprehend them quickly, see justice served, and ensure that offenders are rehabilitated after they have served their sentence. 

We need a balance of all these resources, and a balance of funding to support them. And we need to look at the strengths of each of these resources and the role each should play.

Read more...


 

Thank You for Joining me at BOYB

Thanks to everyone who came out for Monday night's Brianne on Your Block. Residents came to talk about trash, rodents, public safety, unemployment benefits and street vending! I love meeting one-on-one with constituents.

Thank you to Buddy’s DC for hosting. And thank you to Jackie from my constituent services staff for being there with me. Sign up for my newsletter or watch on social media for info on the next BOYB on March 20, 6:30-8 p.m. at a location TBD in ANC 1B (we rotate around the ward each month.


 

Aerial view of the U Street site.

 

New Development, New Library Please!

I have requested that the upcoming request for proposals for the redevelopment the District-owned 1617 U Street NW include a public library. I was joined by Councilmember Brooke Pinto, whose Ward 2 sits across U St. from the parcel, in sending a letter to the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development. The site is currently home to Fire and Emergency Services Engine 9 and the Metropolitan Police Department’s 3rd District Headquarters.

This is a great opportunity to further enhance and enrich the surrounding communities. Together with the nearby Reeves Center redevelopment, we look forward to a resurgence of daytime activities in the neighborhood, as well as the addition of important cultural, social, and other amenities that will enrich the neighborhood and elevate the continuing legacy of Black Broadway.

Read more, including our letter...


 

Map showing all Advisory Neighborhood Commission districts.

And a Bike Lane, Too

I shared with the District Department of Transportation my support and the support of all ANCs along the corridor for the enhancement and expansion of the 11th street bike lane, which is under development now. This is an incredible opportunity to fill a bike transit gap. 

Residents have made clear with their voices and their biking and scootering patterns the importance of 11th street to their commutes. It is one of the busiest north-south corridors in the District and the easiest hill to tackle to get up the escarpment that runs along Florida Avenue. The route also connects many public facilities, including 10 schools and two major recreation facilities.

The project builds on the success of the second phase of the Crosstown Cycletrack, which was recently extended along Kenyon Street to connect with 11th, creating a more connected all-ages network for biking. I’m glad to see DDOT moving on these and other projects to improve sustainability and livability in neighborhoods throughout Ward 1 and the District.

Read my letter to DDOT.


 

We're hiring! We're looking for a Committee Director to join our legislative-committee team.
 

Come Work on My Team! 

Join Team Nadeau as Committee Director for the Committee on Public Works and Operations. You’ll be part of a dedicated, smart, fun team working to make District government work for its residents. 

View the job listing.


 

Around the District

An Unjust Eviction from McPherson Square

Earlier this month, at the request of the District government, the National Park Service abruptly changed its plans and cleared unhoused residents from McPherson Square two months ahead of the previous schedule. 

Clearing encampments before people are placed in permanent housing is damaging to our shared goals, and doing it during hypothermia season is inhumane.

I and Councilmembers Robert White, Trayon White, Janeese Lewis George and Matt Frumin each called on the National Park Service to revert to the originally-scheduled April date for clearing the encampment, as the accelerated schedule would be damaging to efforts to move residents of the park into permanent housing. Instead, they went ahead and despite assurances that housing would be found for the 70-plus people living in the park, only a handful found housing by the time NPS went ahead with the operation, as we knew would be the case.

Because of the Homes and Hearts Amendment I authored, there are thousands of housing vouchers available for unhoused residents. The process for approving residents for the vouchers and finding them homes takes too long due to staffing shortages, red tape, and the time it takes to build trust with residents who do not trust that District government means it -- often with good reason -- when they say there is housing for them.

Last week I joined a majority of my Council colleagues in asking the city administrator to work with the Department of Human Services, the Interagency Council on Homelessness, the DC Housing Authority, and national and local housing and homelessness service organizations to come up with an emergency plan by March 15 to clear the backlogs in our housing voucher system. Too many people approved for vouchers are still sleeping in encampments and shelters. 

I want to thank the many advocates and nonprofit agencies that brought their voices to bear on this critical issue of dignity and safety for fellow residents. I know they will continue to keep pressure on the Council and the executive branch on issues of housing.


 

Legislative Update

Street Vendor Advancement Amendment Act

I’m thrilled to have re-introduced the Street Vendor Advancement Amendment Act of 2023 with the support of Chairman Phil Mendelson, to accelerate the decriminalization of street vending and make it easier for street vendors to run successful businesses in D.C. Here in Ward 1 street vendors contribute to the vibrant atmosphere of neighborhoods like Columbia Heights, and to the local economy. This legislation would formalize street vending as a local industry, streamline the business licensing system, and remove police from enforcement of vending rules, leaving that, instead, to licensing agencies, as with all other businesses.

Chairman Mendelson and I worked closely with Vendadores Unidos/Vendors United and the Beloved Community Incubator in writing this legislation, with emphasis on public safety through a racial justice lens. In addition to removing criminal enforcement of street vending, the legislation streamlines the licensing process and better organizes the experience for vendors and pedestrians by assigning vending locations and management of them.

The Committee of the Whole will mark up the bill on March 7.

When the legislation passes, D.C. will follow New York City and Los Angeles to become the third major city in the U.S. to reform its vendor licensing regulations, and finally allow vendors to operate without fear. Read the press release.


 

Community Updates

 

 

Community-Based Grants to Support and Expand Recreation for DC Youth

Mayor Bowser’s Rec for All initiative intends to increase and expand the Department of Parks and Recreation programming through partnering with local nonprofits, businesses, or community-based organizations. The initiative will include added summer camp opportunities, new sports programs, Sunday pool access, and more.

Applications for grants through DPR’s Rec for All Community Grants program will be accepted on a rolling basis until July 30 or until funds are exhausted. Learn more about DPR’s Rec for All Community Grants, including upcoming information sessions.


 

Free Steering Wheel Locks for Owners of Kia and Hyundai Vehicles

DC residents who own a 2011-2021 Kia or Hyundai vehicle are eligible to receive a free steering wheel lock from a Metropolitan Police Department district station while supplies last. MPD is partnering with Kia and Hyundai corporations to combat motor vehicle theft after a social media challenge that encourages using a USB cable to steal these types of cars led to a substantial increase in Kia and Hyundai car thefts. Learn more.

Training Opportunity for Carpenters

The Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters offers open enrollment to anyone interested in becoming a Union Carpenter, with an opportunity to earn while apprenticing. If you know someone who wants to enter the construction industry as a carpenter, or if you want to refer someone you know, tell them to visit EASRC to find their local training center and start the enrollment process.


 

16th St. NW Clean Up & Fix Up Days 

Join fellow residents for a citizen-led cleanup of 16th Street NW, from the D.C. line to H St. NW, on March 11th and 12th from 9:30 - 11:30 a.m. Volunteers will be picking up litter, raking leaves, sweeping sidewalks, and reporting repairs to DC 311. This is also a great opportunity to support our National Park Service by helping to clean along their properties on 16th Street NW. Info is available in English, Spanish, and Amharic. 

Please contact Merrit Drucker at druckersloss@aol.com if you would like to volunteer for your property frontage or block.


 

Contact Us! 
 

Main Office

Brianne K. Nadeau | Councilmember | bnadeau@dccouncil.gov

Jaqueline E. Castaneda | Communications & Constituent Services Specialist |Jcastaneda@dccouncil.gov

David Connerty-Marin | Communications Director | dconnertymarin@dccouncil.gov

Tania Jackson | Senior Advisor | tjackson@dccouncil.gov

Lauren Lipsey | Constituent Services Specialist | llipsey@dccouncil.gov

Maricela Nava | Deputy Chief of Staff & Scheduler | mnava@dccouncil.gov

Kevin Pham | Deputy Director of Constituent Services | kpham@dccouncil.gov

Niccole Rivero | Chief of Staff | nrivero@dccouncil.gov


Legislative and Committee Staff

Ariel Ardura | Senior Legislative Counsel | aardura@dccouncil.gov

David Meni | Deputy Chief of Staff & Legislative Director | dmeni@dccouncil.gov

Sabrin Qadi | Legislative Assistant | sqadi@dccouncil.gov