Wow, the fall legislative session is in full swing and there's a whole bunch happening. Of course, the two major votes last week on Initiative 77 and short-term rentals captured the attention of many residents, but you can expect to see a lot of important bills moving this fall as my colleagues and I race to the end of this legislative period on December 31. Still, even as some of the tough issues can divide us, I've been incredibly grateful that many residents have engaged in thoughtful debate and worked with their neighbors and my office to improve our community. Let's jump in to some of the big issues:
Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety to vote on bills decriminalizing fare evasion, modifying statute of limitations for sexual offenses
Tomorrow, October 4, the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety will vote on a bill that would decriminalize fare evasion on WMATA trains and buses in the District, making the offense a civil citation of $50, and a second bill that would modify the statute of limitations for most sexual offenses in both criminal and civil court.
Release: Councilmember Allen to hold joint hearing investigating fire and response at Arthur Capper Senior Building
Following the fire last Wednesday at the Arthur Capper Senior Building, approximately 160 senior residents were displaced from their homes. All of the seniors are now living in either a hotel in the short-term or with family while the District and the community work to meet their immediate needs and identify long-term housing solutions.
Here are the written remarks delivered by Councilmember Allen (Chair of Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, which includes oversight of the Metropolitan Police Department, which enforces moving violations) at the opening of the hearing on Vision Zero he co-chaired with Councilmember Mary Cheh (Committee on Transportation and the Environment, which has oversight of the District Department of Transportation and the Department of Public Works, which enforces parking).
There's been a tremendous outpouring of support to help the 160 senior residents who lost their home and most of their belongings in the September 19 fire at Arthur Capper Senior Building. Here's how you can help them.
Councilmember Charles Allen and staff are on-site currently at the fire at the Arthur Capper Senior Building at 900 5th St., SE to help displaced residents. From Councilmember Allen:
Today, Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6) will introduce a bill that protects District residents by strengthening laws around lead-based paint in rental units, which pose a unique health risk to young children and pregnant women.
Today the Council returns from recess and begins what will be a very busy fall legislative session. Whether overhauling campaign finance laws to limit big money in politics, crafting new regulations for short-term rentals like AirBnB, increasing energy and sustainability requirements, pushing for public safety and criminal justice reforms, and much more, I'll be working hard to keep you updated on a wide range of important issues the Council is considering. I wanted to begin this newsletter talking about Initiative 77 and today's public hearing considering a bill that would repeal the law.
Ahead of today’s groundbreaking to begin construction to transform 27 acres of parking lots into park and green space around RFK Stadium, Councilmember Charles Allen issued the following statement:
Another Ward 6 Week is in the books -- and this one might have been the best yet.