Hey folks! I'm working on a longer Ward 6 update, but we have three events coming up fast, and I want to make sure I give you a heads up. You can look for a more typical newsletter from me in the next few days.
It's budget season, and I need to hear from you! What are your priorities? What in your neighborhood needs to be funded or upgraded? Are we spending money on the right programs? Whether you nerd out on local government budgets or just want to see that one small thing fixed on your street, I'd love to chat. At the town hall, I'll walk through the budget process, share what the Mayor has proposed (and where I agree or disagree), and then turn it over to you for questions and comments about what we should be prioritizing. We're holding it this year in the beautiful, newly renovated School-Within-School at Goding - come by at 6 pm if you'd like a special tour of the school, and get inspired for our budget talk. The town hall itself begins at 6:30 pm. RSVP here so we know to expect you.
We do plan to stream the town hall as well - please RSVP above even if you'd just like to watch online.
The second annual Great Ward 6 Spring Clean is happening this Saturday morning (rain or shine)! We have 13 sites across Ward 6 where you can easily drop by and spend a few minutes helping clean up your neighborhood and getting to know your neighbors. Info for all of the host sites is listed here, including any updates to start times. But it's also okay just to pick up the trash on your block or in your alley; you don't have to clean the whole park! (But don't let us stop you.) Even filling one small bag makes a difference. You can RSVP here for any last minute updates.
My team will be at Eastern Market Metro Park distributing bags, gloves, and more if you need some. Most of our host sites will have their own supplies if you plan to show up at one of those 13 specific sites across the Ward.
And of course, spread the love on social media with #W6SpringClean. Can't wait to see you!
Tomorrow at 4 pm, my team and I will be in the NoMa neighborhood for community office hours at Red Bear Brewing Co. I'll be there until about 5:15 pm. Stop by and start the weekend off right by chatting with us about any issues in your neighborhood and supporting your local brewery. RSVP here.
A Note on Congressional Interference
Finally, yesterday, I testified before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Accountability. The hearing was held directly before the Committee voted to approve their second resolution to overturn a DC bill, this time the unanimously-passed Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Amendment Act of 2022 (most of which has already been law since 2020). This is the second bill Congress has interfered with in as many months. First, it was the Revised Criminal Code Act. Now, this commonsense accountability and transparency measure.
The hearing, ostensibly, was supposed to be about public safety, but it was clear none of the members on the Majority side were familiar with the bill before them or even how DC government operates. They also weren't interested in improving the large part of our justice system that's actually federal, like our prosecutor for adult crimes, our courts, the pre-trial and post-release supervision agencies, the parole commission, and the Federal Bureau of Prisons. I provided ten recommendations in my testimony for Congress to join us in reducing gun violence and improving public safety, including through local control of the justice system, stopping gun trafficking across our borders, confirming pending judicial nominations for the 11 vacancies on our courts, funding services for crime victims, and more. But they were more interested in political theater and hurling insults at our residents - even our children. You can watch the full hearing here. Recaps are in the Post and DCist. Video of my opening remarks is here, and you can also read both my oral testimony and my longer written testimony here.
Crime - especially homicides and carjackings - is a persistent and urgent challenge in the District, and no one on the Council or in the Mayor's office believes otherwise. But as Rep. Raskin said at the end of yesterday's hearing, "this was a great missed opportunity." Because there are important and really critical ways Congress could improve public safety, including through DC statehood, autonomy, and representation in both houses.
Finally, President Biden said today he would veto any disapproval resolution related to the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Act if it made its way to him -- a welcome change. If we're going to see sustained improvements in public safety, a major part of that will be rebuilding trust between police and the communities they serve, and this bill is a big step in that direction.