Yesterday Councilmember Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), Chair of the Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, introduced a number of new bills at the January legislative meeting of the DC Council focused on good government and public schools.
Councilmember Allen introduced the Voter Address Confidentiality Amendment Act of 2017, together with Councilmembers Cheh, McDuffie, Evans, Grosso, Todd, and Robert White. The bill will help protect survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking by maintaining the confidentiality of their addresses with the Board of Elections.
“This bill is an important step forward for survivors of domestic violence and stalking. No one should have to give up their right to vote in order to stay safe,” said Councilmember Allen.
Allen introduced the Lobbyist Activity Reporting Transparency Amendment Act of 2017. Co-introduced with Councilmembers Cheh, Grosso, and Silverman, the bill will provide the public with a greater sense of transparency and accountability by requiring lobbyists to report their activities in a more timely fashion and in closer alignment to their lobbying expenditures.
He also co-introduced the Government Contractor Pay-to-Play Prevention Amendment Act with Chairman Phil Mendelson. The bill would address possible conflicts of interest by banning businesses and individuals with District government contracts from making campaign contributions to elected officials.
“These bills are common sense good government measures that are long overdue. Banning contractor contributions and tightening lobbyist disclosure requirements mean greater transparency and accountability for District residents,” said Councilmember Allen.
Councilmember Allen also introduced a number of schools-related bills. He introduced the Community Use of School Facilities Task Force Establishment Act of 2017 together with Councilmembers Grosso, Bonds, and Robert White, to address the community’s desire for greater access to recreational facilities. The task force will seek opportunities to increase access and reduce barriers to public school facilities.
Together with Councilmember Grosso, Allen also co-introduced the Public School Health Services Amendment Act of 2017. The bill would require that all elementary and secondary public and public charter schools have a qualified health professional on site at all times to assess and triage sick and injured children, provide emergency care as needed, and administer medications, as well as conduct health assessments and screenings.
Together with Councilmember Cheh, Councilmember Allen co-introduced the Childhood Lead Exposure Prevention Amendment Act, a bill that would require the Department of General Services to:
- Identify and test water sources in District public and charter schools and child developmental facilities.
- Install and maintain lead filters.
- Take remedial actions when necessary.
- Publish test results and remediation efforts within 5 business days of receiving test results or taking remedial action.
Councilmember Allen said, “This package of education related legislation is really about serving District families and students better. Better access to athletic fields and facilities; better access to medical services; and better, safer drinking water.”