Today marks the one year anniversary of when I introduced my Books From Birth legislation. As my first big initiative, it was a thrill to see it all the way through to become law. And now, I'm excited to share that we will officially launch the Books From Birth program very soon. There will be an official kick-off in the coming weeks, but the DC Public Library has posted the program registration online and is encouraging families with young children to sign up for their free books!
DC Security Camera Rebate Program
At last week's legislative meeting of the DC Council, Councilmembers voted unanimously to pass my Private Security Camera System Rebate bill to create an incentive program for residents and neighborhood establishments to purchase and install security camera systems. On Friday, I was proud to join Mayor Muriel Bowser, MPD Chief Cathy Lanier, many of my Council colleagues, and public safety activists from across the city to see Mayor Bowser sign my bill into law.I’m grateful for the support of the entire Council and Mayor Bowser for this program. This $500,000 investment is an important step toward safer streets in neighborhoods across the city. Cameras won't solve all of our public safety challenges, but they make a difference and are one way to help MPD do their job to keep our communities safer. You can read more about the rebate program here and sign up to receive information on how to apply for a rebate.
Winter Storm Preparedness
It looks like we're going to get a major snow storm this weekend! Get ready and please help your neighbors stay safe. Serve DC needs your help clearing sidewalks and front walkways for our seniors and residents with disabilities during the winter weather. Join our Resident Snow Team and help your neighbors over the winter.
For the safety of pedestrians, please remember that DC's new snow removal regulations are now in effect. Commercial and residential property owners can be fined for failing to clear snow and ice from sidewalks and other paths abutting their properties. Snow and ice must be cleared within 8 hours of daylight after snow stops falling and the path should be 3 feet wide to ensure individuals with walkers or wheelchairs can pass safely. The Department of Public Works has been authorized to impose $25 fines on residents and $150 fines on commercial properties if snow and ice haven't been cleared within 24 hours.
In addition to Serve DC, groups like Capitol Hill Village also help organize snow clearing for older or disabled neighbors. You can find more about that program here [see page 11]. If you're part of other efforts, please let me know and I'll help promote them on Facebook and Twitter! I'm going to be working closely with our city agencies and leadership throughout the weekend to make sure we're mobilizing resources and responding rapidly to what could become a severe, historic storm. If you or someone you know is in need of a safe, warm place during the storm, please call 800-535-7252 or 311 (@311DCgov) anytime. Help is available around the clock.
If we get the kind of snow that's being predicted, don't forget that the ban on sledding at the Capitol has been lifted! The recent spending bill passed by Congress included a provision allowing the Capitol Police to welcome sledders back to Capitol Hill. Kids and grown-ups alike are welcome to trek over to the Capitol for one of the best -- and most scenic -- sledding runs in town.
Performance Oversight Schedule Now Official
Yesterday the Council approved the upcoming performance oversight and budget hearing schedules. Please keep in mind that these hearing dates may still move a bit, but more or less, this is a fairly reliable schedule of the upcoming oversight hearings. I encourage you to sign up to testify, share with your neighbors, and stay in touch with my office for any schedule changes. If there are any specific issues you want to make sure I focus on during oversight, please feel free to contact me directly.
Friday, Jan 22, 8-9:30am: Ward 6 Community Office Hours - Capitol Hill
Thursday, Jan 28, 10am: Made In DC hearing
Thursday, Feb 4, 11am: Books From Birth kickoff event, Children's National Medical Center
Friday, Feb 5, 8-9:30am: Ward 6 Community Office Hours - Shaw
Friday, Feb 12, 8-9:30am: Ward 6 Community Office Hours - Southwest
Monday, Feb 22, 11am: Commemorative Flag Request hearing
As always, thank you for your support and please let me know if there’s anything I or my staff can do to help you or your neighborhood.