I hope you’re doing well and staying safe. The last few weeks have been incredibly busy around Ward 6, as well as at home with our two kids starting their virtual school year, and at the Council as it ramps up for its fall legislative session. In addition, I’ve also been working with local leaders as we continue to respond to, and work to prevent, the persistent gun violence in some parts of our city. This is a multi-faceted challenge, but something we must bring the full weight of government to combat. I’ve seen how we can mobilize government to respond to the public health emergency of COVID-19, and I believe we can and should do the same to respond to the public health emergency of gun violence. I believe that response must be more than a call for “law and order“ -- it must be an effort that leverages the resources, talents, and capacity of every part of government. Gun violence doesn’t just come out of nowhere. It is often the product of trauma and violence, a loss of hope for the future, personal conflict that should be resolved peacefully, challenges with mental health or substance use, and much more. Our Office on Neighborhood Safety and Engagement is engaged in that work and we need to act strategically and with urgency. That’s also why I’ve created, working with anti-gun violence advocates like Moms Demand Action and others, a new Gun Violence Prevention Director position within the highest levels of DC government. Their job will be to focus solely on stopping gun violence and to bring all the resources -- cutting across all DC government agencies -- needed to meet this challenge. This isn’t the only way we will work to end gun violence, but it’s another step we need to take in a comprehensive response to save lives. If you’d like to read more about the many efforts underway to address violence, support survivors and victims, and work on root causes, check out the recent report from the Council on how we’re enhancing funding and initiatives through the District’s budget.
Everything you need to know about voting safely as a DC resident in the upcoming General Election.
I hope this month is a chance for you and your family to find some rest before the end of summer. The Council is on recess for the month of August and I'll be taking a little time off to rest up for the fall. My team will still be responding to constituents, moving projects forward, and generally available to assist. Council meetings, hearings, and votes will resume in September. In the meantime, there's a few urgent pieces of info I want to get in front of you.
Text of Councilmember Charles Allen's letter to United States Secret Service Director James Murray regarding a reported stop of two mothers visiting the National Mall on July 30, 2020
I want to share a quick update today on two new changes in how the District is responding to and slowing the spread of the novel coronavirus that are now in effect. At the top, I want to also note the Mayor extended the Public Health Emergency through October 9 (and may have to again as we move into the fall).
Councilmember Charles Allen Welcomes Chief Judge Josey-Herring, Offers Thanks and Congratulations to Outgoing Chief Judge Robert Morin
Councilmember Charles Allen, Chair of the D.C. Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, issued the following statement regarding the Judicial Nomination Commission’s selection of The Honorable Anita Josey-Herring to serve as the D.C. Superior Court’s next Chief Judge.
A statement from Councilmember Charles Allen, Chair of the Council's Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety:
Last week, the Council passed on first vote the $16 billion budget for the District of Columbia's FY21 (Oct 1 - Sept 30). We will take a second and final vote next Tuesday, July 21, followed by a final vote on the Budget Support Act on July 28.
Happy July! Originally, I was going to focus an update on my proposed budget for public safety agencies, but there's a lot of other important information to share, so please forgive the length of this newsletter.
Councilmember Charles Allen Circulates Budget Recommendations from Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety
Proposed budget would restore funding for violence interruption, civil legal aid, affordable housing, and victims’ services, including new domestic violence shelter