The maps and models are still unclear about exactly how much, but it seems pretty certain we're getting some snow tonight! After a relatively quiet and warm January and February, Old Man Winter is looking to make a visit before spring takes hold. The National Weather Service and Capital Weather Gang both say to expect snow accumulating beginning this evening and then tapering off on Tuesday morning. Predictions are still varied depending on the forecast model, but many call for 2 to 4 inches of wet and heavy snow. Here are a few tips and reminders to prepare (and two asks for when you wake up on Tuesday...):
Where do I get updates? For all the latest official storm updates from the city, please check out http://snow.dc.gov. Stay safe, stay warm, and please let me know if you have a question or problem I can help you with!
Will plows be out on city streets? Yes. The District's Snow Team will be deployed in advance of and throughout the storm. You can stay up-to-date on plowing activities at http://snow.dc.gov.
Will school or government close? Before the first flakes hit the ground, I'm already getting questions about school on Tuesday. The short answer is that we likely won't know until early Tuesday morning. I will stay in touch with the Mayor and City Administrator, but that decision will be made once conditions and actual snow fall can be assessed. Once the Mayor makes a decision, that information will be shared broadly and with media.
How does Snow Emergency Parking work? You can find a full page of detailed information on parking restrictions here: http://snow.dc.gov/page/driving-and-parking.
Will Metro be impacted? WMATA has announced they will suspend MetroAccess at 4:00 pm today. They will make an announcement later about changes to MetroBus or other services. Stay tuned to local news media and check in with www.wmata.com.
Once the snow stops and before I go sledding, what do you want me to do?
Ask #1 - Shovel your sidewalk and a nearby fire hydrant. Tuesday night will see a re-freeze - so any uncleared sidewalks will be become very dangerous.
Ask #2 - If you're able-bodied, please take just 15 minutes to shovel beyond your own sidewalk. You know your neighbors - make sure you lend a hand to the person who needs it.
I've shoveled my sidewalk plus a little extra, so where can I go sledding? Congress may be gunning for our local laws these days, but don't let them take our sledding, too! Don't forget that the ban on sledding at the Capitol has been lifted! If we get some decent snow, head over to the Capitol for one of the best -- and most scenic -- sledding runs in town.
As the Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, I look forward to leading the Council’s confirmation process for the Mayor’s nominee, Acting Chief Peter Newsham. My top priorities for the next MPD Chief will be:
- Reducing crime in all of our neighborhoods;
- A demonstrated commitment to community policing and relationship building;
- Enhancing the transparency of the Department’s operations and data;
- Protecting our most vulnerable communities and residents, and;
- Stabilizing the police force by recruiting and retaining the best of the best.
I take the Council’s role in confirming a new Chief seriously, as I do our responsibility to engage District residents and our officers. The Committee will hold three public hearings for comment on the nomination. Last week, we held our first hearing east of the river at the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center in Ward 8, and heard a lot of helpful feedback. Next week, we'll host our second hearing in Shaw on Monday, March 20, followed by our third hearing at the John A. Wilson Building or Friday, March 24. Please feel free to share the flyer (pdf, png) with your network.
DC Budget and Tax Changes Taking Effect
The District is about to head into our annual budgeting process. In early April, the Mayor will release her proposed budget for the new fiscal year that begins on October 1. The Council will then spend about six weeks holding hearings and reviewing the plans, and making changes of our own. The District is in a very strong financial position, with repeated quarters of positive growth and revised revenue estimates showing additional funds available. In addition, that increased revenue means that a variety of tax breaks are scheduled to take effect next January as a result:
- The personal exemption will increase from $1,775 to $4,000.
- The business franchise tax rate will be reduced from 9.0% to 8.25%.
- The estate threshold will be raised to match the federal level.
- The standard deduction will be raised for:
-- Singles: $5,650 to $6,100
-- Head of Households: $7,800 to $8,950
-- Married: $10,275 to $12,200
In all, these tax changes will put about $100 million back into the hands of DC residents and businesses. These are on top of changes made last year that subdivided our income tax brackets to be much more progressive and fair to low and middle income earners. If you’d like to read more about the latest information on the District’s financial position, please click here.
A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to tour the historic Carter G. Woodson home and was struck by the richness of our city’s history and the importance of preserving it. Located at 1538 9th Street, NW in Shaw, the site was home to the father of Black History and served as the headquarters for the Association for the Study of African American Life. I encourage everyone to go visit the Woodson home once the National Park Service completes their preservation work.
Eastern Market Main Street Designation
About a week ago, I joined Mayor Bowser and dozens of local business leaders at Eastern Market to celebrate the designation of the new Eastern Market Main Street (EMMS) program. In coordination with the District’s Department of Small and Local Business Development, EMMS was created in last year's budget and funded with an initial $200,000 grant to kick off the program. As a DC Main Street designee, EMMS will implement programs and services to sustain and support the growth of our local small businesses around Eastern Market. The Eastern Market Main Street will help coordinate businesses around the historic market and south to Pennsylvania Avenue to create a long-term vision for the area. This essential work will ensure that a diverse array of small businesses can continue to grow and serve our community. Stores like Capitol Hill Books, Labyrinth, Fairy Godmother and Forecast are invaluable community resources and can’t be easily replaced.
As always, thank you for your support. Please let me know if there’s anything I or my staff can do to help you or your neighborhood.
Ward 6 Community Office Hours on Capitol Hill at Radici, Friday, March 17, 8-9:30am
National Cherry Blossom Festival events start March 15
Peak Cherry Blossom Viewing times - Tidal Basin/Anacostia Park, March 19 - 22
Politics & Art: A Jam Session at the Wilson Building - Wed, March 22, 5:30-9pm
Ward 6 Community Office Hours in Mount Vernon Triangle, Friday, April 7, 8-9:30am
Benjamin Drummond Emancipation Day Celebration events at The Hill Center start April 9
Anacostia River Festival - Anacostia Park, Sunday, April 9 from 1-5 p.m.
Ward 6 Community Conversation with DCPS Chancellor Antwan Wilson - Tuesday, April 11 at 6:30pm
Ward 6 Budget Town Hall - Monday, April 24, 6:30pm at Jefferson Middle School