Overseeing consumer affairs, creating opportunities for youth
Posted on October 13, 2016 at 3:40 PM
Chair of the new Consumer Affairs Subcommittee
I recently became the Chair of the newly created Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs, which has oversight of major DC agencies including those that help tenants, monitor insurance and banking companies, and enforce construction and housing regulations. I’m hitting the ground running. The Subcommittee will be holding its first hearing on October 20 at 9 a.m. If you would like to testify, please follow the instructions at this link.
One of my major focuses is passing a bill I wrote that gives the Office of the Tenant Advocate more power to go after landlords who don’t maintain their properties. If you had to go to a hotel or rent a temporary room due to poor maintenance of your unit, OTA could go after your landlord for those temporary relocation costs.
I will also have the opportunity to move forward several bills that will crack down on vacant properties, an issue on which I hear from Ward 1 residents regularly.
This is one of several new subcommittees created to fill a gap after the recent departure of Councilmember Vincent Orange. Some of the major agencies overseen by the Consumer Affairs Subcommittee are the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, and the Office of the Tenant Advocate.
Meeting with residents this summer in Ward 1
Fall may be in the air, but our last 90 degree day was just three weeks ago. It was a very busy summer in Ward 1.
I spent a lot of time this summer visiting with some of the great non-profits we have in the community including youth-focused and school-focused groups. I’m focused on making sure our youth have the supports they need to thrive because it’s good for our kids and it’s also something that will help keep them out of trouble.
I also knocked on doors to talk with Ward 1 residents and visited several of our senior buildings. Seniors are one of my most important and vulnerable constituencies so I’m working to make sure city services are working for them and that they’re safe and protected.
I also had the pleasure of attending neighborhood celebrations and block parties and hearing from residents at community office hours in Pleasant Plains, Shaw, U Street, Mount Pleasant, Columbia Heights, and Adams Morgan.
New legislation creates opportunities for DC youth, condemns anti-Muslim bias
Recently, I introduced legislation to replace the DC Trust, which is the way the District gives grants to youth-serving organizations. The bill creates a new system that distributes funds more equitably and in a way that’s focused on outcomes, not politics. It’s important to me that we are more transparent and that we focus on programs that are measurably helping our kids. I introduced the bill in partnership with Councilmember Grosso and the next step is a hearing in the Education Committee.
I also introduced a resolution expressing solidarity with Muslims amid escalation in anti-Muslim rhetoric by political figures this election season. The resolution detailed the many contributions made by Muslim Americans from the days of the American Revolution to today and was inspired in part by the experience of my Jewish ancestors in Europe who faced anti-Semitism. My fellow Councilmembers supported the resolution unanimously.
Upcoming community office hours
Join me for informal office hours in the community to chat one-on-one about issues that matter to you.
Brianne on Your Block
Monday, October 17, 2016
8:00 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Flying Fish Coffee and Tea
3064 Mount Pleasant St NW
Drop by, grab your morning coffee, and chat. The event is one of my Brianne on Your Block events, which are regular opportunities for Ward 1 community members to meet me at locations across the ward. Participants will sign in as they arrive, and I’ll speak with residents in informal conversations about topics that interest them.