With all the rain we've had recently, DC Water's new clean rivers tunnel system has been put to work! Did you know that since it opened two months ago, over 400 million gallons of sewage overflow has been prevented from entering the Anacostia River? Instead, that waste now flows to Blue Plains for treatment. When we talk about making big investments in our future and our infrastructure, it's important to remember why it matters and what those investments look like. I'll spend most of this newsletter highlighting what's in next year's District budget, but don't miss my evening office hours this Thursday on H Street, NE - if getting to my regular Friday morning office hours is tough for your schedule, hopefully we can connect on Thursday.
The Council of the District of Columbia just held a first vote on the city’s annual spending plan, which totals $14.4 billion. So, what’s in it for Ward 6 residents, businesses, students, seniors, parents, bikers, walkers, and more? Let’s break it down.
Some highlights from the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety’s 2018 budget recommendations, which passed by a vote of 5-0. The $1.45 billion budget includes 31 agencies and 10,070 full-time employees.
Youth Rehabilitation Amendment Act passes Committee votes 5-0
Today, Councilmember Charles Allen and members of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety voted 5-0 on comprehensive legislation to reform the Youth Rehabilitation Act (the “YRA”), a law passed in 1985 to provide a second chance to young adults convicted of eligible crimes. The bill now proceeds to the full Council for a first vote.
Reforming the “YRA”: The “Youth Rehabilitation Amendment Act of 2018”
What is the Youth Rehabilitation Act?
Under the District’s Youth Rehabilitation Act of 1985, or the “YRA”, young adults under the age of 22 convicted of, and sentenced for, a crime other than homicide are eligible to have their convictions “set aside” if they successfully complete their sentence. They may also be eligible for different sentencing options. This means their conviction won’t be a barrier to future jobs and housing, for example, but can still be used in determining their sentence if they commit another crime or to place them on the sex offender registry, among other uses. Certain offenses are currently ineligible for YRA sentencing and the set aside: murder, first degree murder that constitutes an act of terrorism, and second degree murder that constitutes an act of terrorism. The YRA also requires specific facilities for the treatment and rehabilitation of YRA-sentenced young adults.
This past Monday marked the 11th anniversary of the fire that burned Eastern Market. That was a tough day. But, there's a reason Eastern Market is the longest continuously operating farmer's market in the city. We came together as a community and we rebuilt. Today the market remains a vibrant part of Capitol Hill and DC. As we mark that milestone, I'm working hard to ensure the future of Eastern Market is secure in our upcoming budget.
The DC Council voted unanimously to pass Councilmember Allen's bill that would shield the home addresses of survivors of domestic violence, sexual offenses, stalking, and human trafficking, as well as employees of organizations who serve those survivors or work at reproductive health clinics.
Bill also adds penalties for evicting tenants under false premise
Today, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen introduces the Housing Conversion and Eviction Clarification Amendment Act of 2018, a bill that would disincentivize developers from downsizing multi-unit buildings to protect the total number of units in the market and add a protection for tenants evicted by homeowners under the guise of using the rented space for themselves, but then renting the same space again within one year.
On April 5, 2018, Councilmember Charles Allen sent the following letter to his colleagues on the Council to consider his proposal to decouple the District's estate tax threshold from the federal governments:
This Friday, April 27 we will have 40 employers looking to meet job seekers at Arena Stage at the latest Ward 6 Career Fair. Join Councilmember Charles Allen, along with At-Large Councilmembers Elissa Silverman and Robert White Jr., at this semi-annual Ward 6 Career Fair at Arena Stage (1101 Sixth St., SW) from 9 am to 1 pm.