Update 5:00 PM - Mayor Bowser has issued a Stay-at-Home Order. Click here to read the full order.
I wanted to check in and share some updates that have happened since my last newsletter.
First, I want to remind you that is important that we continue to practice social distancing. Try not to leave your home unless you are going to a job that has been designated as essential, buying food, or picking up medicine.
As we ramp up testing, we know that we will continue to see more positive cases. We’ve already seen several cases of community spread, so please continue to protect yourself, your loved ones and our community by staying at home.
This is a quickly evolving situation, continue to visit firstname.lastname@example.org for the latest updates, news, and resources.
Telephone Town Hall
Last Wednesday, March 25, I hosted a Telephone Town Hall to update Ward 1 residents on the District's response to COVID-19.
I was joined by Councilmember Elissa Silverman, Chair of the Labor and Workforce Development Committee. We discussed procedures for testing, updates on benefits, and more.
If you missed it, you can listen to the recording here.
Request A Ballot Today
The Board of Elections is encouraging voters to vote-by-mail for the Primary Election on June 2nd and the Ward 2 Special Election on June 16th. You will need to request a ballot.
There will be a limited number of voting centers open, but we want to keep everyone safe and so we still strongly recommend requesting a ballot. The Board of Elections will also be conducting extensive outreach to inform voters.
A little bit of background –
Last summer, I introduced the Vote By Mail Amendment Act, and the objective of a vote-by-mail system is to increase voter participation and make voting more accessible. It also makes easier to get informed on down-ballot issues. Many other states have already switched to vote-by-mail and seen positive results.
Could we just pass it now? If we were to try to quickly pass and implement it now, we could compromise the integrity of the elections. Councilmember Allen, Chair of the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, connected with other jurisdictions who have been through the process of switching over to vote-by-mail, and they warned him that the program takes at least 2 years to implement properly. Our primary is less than 60 days away.
I’ll continue to work with Councilmember Allen to make sure that we are able to see a full vote-by-mail system happen in our future. For right now, we need you to request a ballot and help us spread the news.
Ways to request a ballot:
- Download the Vote4DC App (super easy!)
- Request a ballot online
- Email email@example.com
- Call (202) 727-2525
I'll be joining At-Large Councilmember Elissa Silverman on Wednesday, April 1 at 5:00pm on Facebook Live to discuss updates on a few of the benefit programs that fall under my committee's jurisdiction.
The Mayor launched the DC Equity Fund which will help provide internet and device access to better facilitate the home-schooling curriculum. If you are experiencing any issues with distance-learning, please let me know. We all want to make sure our students continue to learn and develop.
The DC Public Library is a great resource, you can apply for a library card online and get access to digital books. They also host story time on Facebook Live, Monday-Friday at 10:30am.
As of March 27th, there have been over 30,000 unemployment insurance claim filings with the Department of Employee Services. Check here to see if you are eligible.
If you tried to file 2 weeks ago and experienced some issues, the agency has since made a few updates, so I encourage you to try again.
Quick reminder: make sure you are filling out the application on a desktop, and not your mobile device
I hosted a Small Business Town Hall on March 28th to share updates on the District’s relief efforts for businesses. If you missed the call, you can still review the powerpoint summary here.
The deadline to apply for the Small Business Microgrant is TOMORROW at 6:00pm. If you run into any issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org
The deadline for taxpayers to file and pay their 2019 District of Columbia individual and fiduciary income tax returns is extended to July 15, 2020. The Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR) still encourages taxpayers who are able to file their returns electronically to do so.
Schools continue to provide meals for all students. The locations are updated frequently, and there are currently 5 Ward 1 sites. Here’s the link to check for your nearest location.
The Department of of Aging and Community Living is delivering meals to our seniors.
If you or someone you know is 60+ years old and needs a meal, please call (202) 724-5626, Monday – Friday, 8:30am – 4:30pm.
There are also some stores opening early for seniors:
Immigrants who are tested, screened or treated for coronavirus will not be penalized under the public charge rule. For more information, click here.
Remember to fill out the census! We need every single person counted. The census count determines where billions of dollars in federal funding go to – schools, infrastructure, hospitals. It only takes a few minutes to complete. You can respond to the census by phone, online, or mail. More information is available at 2020 Census.