Rent Control, Town Hall, and much more
Ward 1 Telephone Town Hall
I’m hosting a telephone town hall next Monday, August 17th at 5:30pm. I’ll be sharing updates on the FY2021 budget, but otherwise this will be an open discussion. Bring your questions!
Click here to add your name and number to the list. You must sign up by 12:00pm on the day of the town hall. Once you’ve signed up, you’ll automatically get a call at the beginning of the town hall inviting you to join.
Voting in the November General Election
The DC Board of Elections (DCBOE) is finalizing the plans for the upcoming General Election, but here is what we know so far.
Every registered voter will automatically receive a ballot without having to request one. Make sure to check your registered mailing address and update it if necessary.
You will be able to return the ballot by mail or by dropping it into any of 40-50 secure ballot dropboxes that will be placed throughout the city. Dropbox locations will be announced at a later time.
There will be 80 Vote Centers open on November 3. The locations have not announced yet, but there will not be assigned precincts as in past elections, so you will be able to vote at any center.
The Board of Elections is also looking at identifying a few Super Vote Centers that can safely accommodate larger numbers of people and ballot machines. Many previously used sites are small and unable to allow for social distancing.
There will also be two Early Voting Centers in each Ward for “Election Week” that will be open for early voting beginning Tuesday, October 27 through Monday, November 2.
Become an Election Worker
DCBOE is recruiting District residents to serve as Election Workers for Early Voting Week, starting Tuesday, October 27 - November 2, 2020, and the November 3, 2020 General Election. Election Workers can earn up to $600, and training will be provided.
DCBOE is estimating that they will need 4,000 workers. If you are interested in becoming an Election Worker, please complete an online application. You may also contact the Call Center at 202-741-5283 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
New Legislation: Protecting Street Vendors, Strengthening Rent Control
Following years of negative encounters between street vendors and police, I introduced legislation to decriminalize street vending without a license in the District of Columbia. Unlicensed vending would remain a civil infraction, enforced by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA).
Vendors have been trying to cut through red tape to become licensed for years. The vendors share their culture and food with us, and I want to keep them in our communities and keep them safe. During the pandemic and recovery, we should especially ensure that they are able to maintain their traditional source of income.” Many of the street vendors are excluded from government relief funds and belong to communities that have been some of the hardest hit by COVID-19 in the District.
I want to thank my colleagues who co-introduced this bill: Councilmembers Charles Allen, Brandon Todd, Robert White, Anita Bonds, David Grosso, and Mary Cheh.
Rent Control Omnibus
You may remember that during the Council’s legislative meeting regarding the budget, I introduced an oral amendment to strike language that would have reauthorized the current outdated rent control policy for another 10 years. I support reauthorizing rent control, but felt strongly that it needed to be amended and go through the full legislative process. I withdrew the amendment after verbal commitments from Council colleagues to reform the policy within the next year.
A few days later, Councilmember Trayon White and I introduced the Rent Stabilization Program Reform and Expansion Amendment Act of 2020 to start the conversation around strengthening the policy. We expect this bill will have a hearing this fall.
Help us name the Ward 1 Short-term Family Housing Building
The Department of Human Services (DHS), in partnership with the Department of General Services (DGS), is building a Short-term Family Housing building in our Ward to serve families experiencing homelessness. It will be located at 2500 14th Street and is set to open to families next year.
Updates on Public Health Emergency
As a reminder, we are currently in Phase 2 of re-opening under the Public Health Emergency. Mayor Bowser recently issued a mandatory mask order, a travel quarantine, has extended the Public Health Emergency through October 9, and has announced that DCPS will conduct instruction virtually this fall. To stay up-to-date on the District’s operating status visit https://coronavirus.dc.gov/