Today DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson announced his intention to reorganize the Council committees to create a new subcommittee on small business to be chaired by Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen. The subcommittee will have responsibility for several issues impacting small and local businesses and entrepreneurs across the District of Columbia. The agencies under the subcommittee's purview will include: Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD), Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration (ABRA), Public Service Commission (PSC), and Office of People’s Counsel (OPC).
Like most of us, last week left me frustrated and concerned with what I saw taking place around our country. I struggle with how I'll explain the events of last week -- the killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, and the horrific murder of five police officers in Dallas, Texas -- to my young daughter. But I realize I'll have to, and most importantly, I must work to prevent it from happening again.
Next Monday is the first day of summer, but you could have fooled me. It's been a busy past few weeks at the Council. Last weekend we celebrated Pride in DC, and like you, I was outraged at the horror and hate that unfolded in Orlando, Florida. I was proud to see leaders like Senator Chris Murphy lead a national call to action on gun violence, but I was frustrated that we don't have our own Senators who could have joined the effort. This week, we've seen big election news for the District and I'm proud that Ward 6 turned out to vote - nearly double the turnout from four years ago! Also this week, DC Public Schools wrapped up the school year and most charter schools have ended the academic year as well. But as summer officially begins for our students, don't forget that the DC Public Library Summer Reading program is already underway. You can sign up now online. And, of course, to all the fellow Dads out there - Happy Father's Day this weekend!
Spring seems to have passed us by and we’re going straight into summer. Maybe you’re like me... I welcomed the summer heat by going straight to a splash park on Saturday with my family to cool off and enjoy. Remember that outdoor pools and splash parks are now open! Also, let's give Shaw Main Streets a quick congratulations for winning the Great American Main Street Award. They are the third winner of this prestigious award from DC, joining Barracks Row Main Street and H Street Main Street as previous winners.
Councilmember Charles Allen made the following statement today on the District’s Homeward DC plan to close DC General:
Today Councilmember Charles Allen introduced the Bicycle Awareness Motor Vehicle License Plate Amendment Act in recognition of Bike To Work Day 2016, a regional event in support of bicycling as a healthy commuting option that saves money, reduces traffic congestion, and improves air quality.
We’ve just made a big decision for our city. Today the DC Council voted to close the DC General Family Shelter, approving the Homeward DC plan to end long-term homelessness in the District.
The Homeward DC legislation isn’t about politics, regardless of disagreements about specific sites or arguments about process. Instead, this effort reflects the unified goal of the Mayor and the Council to close DC General as quickly as possible and replace it with smaller and more appropriate emergency housing for families.
Councilmember Allen Commends WMATA For Urgency of SafeTrack Draft Plan; Has Concerns About Shutdown Timing
Councilmember Charles Allen made the following statement today in response to the release of WMATA's SafeTrack Draft Plan:
There’s no question there is urgent need to make repairs to our Metrorail system to ensure safety and improve reliability. Our Metro system is invaluable to our city and our region. I commend the General Manager for recommending some tough medicine and an aggressive approach – our riders deserve this high level of urgency.
Councilmember Allen’s Made In DC Bill Signed Into Law; Receives Full Funding In Council Budget Mark-Up
Councilmember Charles Allen and DC Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) Director Ana Harvey joined Mayor Muriel Bowser at Union Market yesterday as she signed Councilmember Allen’s Made in DC bill into law. Dozens of local business owners were in attendance as the Mayor also presented a proclamation in honor of Small Business Week.
Over the last week, you’ve likely heard the news about lead in the drinking water at twelve DCPS schools. As a Councilmember, and also as a father, I have found this news totally infuriating. There is no safe level of lead and we all should feel a sense of urgency about getting to the bottom of how this happened and why parents weren’t notified immediately. At hearings last week, and again this week, I have talked with Chancellor Henderson, other DCPS leadership, and DGS Director Chris Weaver about the testing and notification process and I’m not satisfied that the city has done everything we should to make sure parents can have full confidence in the safety of the water in our schools. DGS has committed to retesting every water source at every school and DCPS has committed to notifying parents when above-limit results are found. I also believe testing should be offered for the children at the impacted schools to give parents greater confidence in their child’s safety.