Ward 1 Update: Fall Priorities
Council recess is coming to an end, which means we are getting ready for the restart of legislative meetings, the first of which is next Tuesday, Sept. 19. “Recess” doesn’t mean vacation – My staff and I have been working on a variety of issues and preparing legislation for the fall. Read more below.
I continue to meet regularly with MPD, community groups, and residents to talk about all that we're doing to address violence in the District and the ward. A number of public safety programs I funded in the fy24 budget will go into effect after October 1. And the Council will be working on a permanent version of the Prioritizing Public Safety emergency bill when we return.
Thanks to all who come out to my BOYB events to meet with me one on one, to the neighborhood Coffee Walks and public safety walks, and reach out to me and my staff by email. If you're not sure where I stand on an issue, please ask. Better yet, come to an event and let's talk about it in person!
And... we're adding a new feature this month. From time to time we'll post a Ward 1 Education Updates from Ben Williams, the Ward 1 representative on the State Board of Education. Be sure to read it below!
Also below: public safety update, community updates, where I've been and where I'll be, and what's in the news.
Traffic Safety Enforcement
Joint hearing, Oct. 4
Four bills, including one of mine, are coming up for a joint hearing of my committee – Public Works & Operations – and the Transportation and Environment Committee.
Together, the bills reflect a shift of focus from infrastructure and street design – something the District is now doing better – to systems of accountability. Enforcement shouldn’t be rooted in who can pay. We can’t just let people pay a fine and continue to drive dangerously.
Parking enforcement, which comes under my committee’s oversight, plays an important part in traffic safety. My bill, B25-0435, the “Fraudulent Vehicle Tag Enforcement Amendment Act of 2023”, gives the Department of Public Works and other enforcement agencies authority to immediately tow and impound cars whose owners have blatantly flouted the law by having clearly counterfeit, obscured, or long-expired plates. Under current law, even a vehicle with no license plates cannot be towed unless it has two or more unpaid tickets.
The bill also empowers D.C. government to proactively investigate and shut down dealers and distributors of falsified and counterfeit temporary tags.
In related news, DPW will have funding that I added to the budget for close to 40 new parking enforcement, booting and towing positions in the budget for the year starting Oct. 1.
Making Trash Work Better for Residents
In October, my committee will take up three bills regarding trash – part of my effort to improve essential government services. All are important pieces of a drive to make trash work better for residents. The first is a bill from Councilmember Henderson that will make buildings with up to eight condos eligible for city trash pickup; a bill from Councilmember Lewis-George would require DPW to take public comment before removing any public litter containers; and the last is from DPW itself, asking for authority to serve trash violation notices by mail, rather than in person, freeing up their staff to do the work of collecting trash.
The new budget, which kicks in on Oct. 1, has funding I allocated for my Clean Curbs initiative. Blocks that have narrow sidewalks and trash collection out front are perfect for this pilot. A single large trash container and single recycling container will be placed on the block and residents can bring their trash and recycling out during the week. No hauling out cans on trash day and no cluttering their front yard spaces or the sidewalk with trash and recycling cans. Three neighborhoods will be selected (you can nominate yours!) for the pilot.
In a big step forward for diverting waste from the waste stream, the curbside composting pilot started last month in Ward 8 and will be rolling out to all wards soon. Waste diversion is a primary objective for me as chair of the Public Works & Operations Committee.
Public Safety Update
Heading into the fall, public safety is top of mind, as always. These past few months have been especially troubling as we’ve seen an increase in violent crime in the District overall and in parts of Ward 1.
I’ve hosted and/or attended numerous public safety meetings, walks, and other events throughout the ward. My staff have participated in others. And I speak about public safety at every Brianne on Your Block and Coffee Walk and everywhere I go. It’s obviously on people’s minds.
I continue to speak with violence interrupters, social workers and outreach workers who are supporting people with substance use disorder and mental health issues, and the commanders and chief at the D.C. Police Department.
I am in frequent conversation with MPD commanders in the 3rd and 4th districts, and with the chief, encouraging her to allocate officers to the areas with the highest rates of crime. That sounds like a no-brainer, but right now officers are not distributed around the city in that way. The chief has said that this is a top priority of hers and I look forward to seeing the changes in staffing in the most affected neighborhoods of Ward 1. Unfortunately, despite years of Council support for all of the positions MPD wants to hire and the substantial signing bonuses now being offered, we have been losing more officers each month than we gain. (My CADET bill is one way I hope we can address that.)
The Council will be taking up legislation this fall to address public safety again, following on the Prioritizing Public Safety Amendment Act we passed in July. One will be a permanent version of that emergency bill. I’m working with other councilmembers to craft improvements to the final bill that will give law enforcement and the justice system tools to protect the public from the most violent criminals while also protecting civil liberties and not detaining people who have not been convicted of a crime.
In the meantime, a number of initiatives in Ward 1 neighborhoods will start in the new fiscal year, which starts on Oct. 1. These include: new safety ambassadors in Adams Morgan; a new violence interrupter around 14th and V streets and additional funds for existing violence interruption efforts in Le Droit Park, Columbia Heights and Park View; targeted substance use disorder outreach along U Street, lower Georgia Avenue and Mount Pleasant Street; and a pilot program for substance use and behavioral health services in the 600 block of T St. In the recently-passed budget, I also created a mechanism to fund a BID-like entity for the U St. area that can coordinate all kinds of non-enforcement services that can impact safety. I am excited about the sobering center that’s coming to Columbia Heights. I will keep you informed as these roll out in the first weeks and months of the new fiscal year.
Solitary Confinement Needs to Go
I’m finalizing legislation that would all but eliminate solitary confinement in DC. Solitary confinement is psychological torture and ruins lives. Jails put people with mental health issues in solitary. Others for minor infractions. And DC uses it three times the national average. That’s not only bad for those held in solitary, it’s bad for public safety.
If we care about reducing crime, we should care about solitary for that reason, too. Solitary is counterproductive — people subjected to solitary often become more violent. It makes us less safe, not more.
Everyone deserves dignity and safety. Conditions in solitary are no better than torture in some countries. We have a moral obligation and our values and humanity are reflected in how we treat prisoners.
It was a powerful experience to hear earlier this month from ERASE coalition members about the damage that solitary does. My bill would all but eliminate its use in DC. That’s good for the dignity of those incarcerated and their rehabilitation, and good for all of us.
WARD 1 EDUCATION UPDATE
Update from Ward 1 State Board of Education Representative Ben Williams
Councilmember Nadeau and State Board of Education Representative Williams regularly stay in touch on the issues, but each represents their own office separately. This update is written by Representative Williams alone.
Hello Ward 1 Residents!
I’m Ben Williams, your Ward 1 State Board of Education representative. The 2023-2024 school year is off and running and I wanted to take a moment to share some important information and upcoming events in our community and around the city.
Ward 1 Family and Education Meet-Up @ Latin American Youth Center
Saturday, September 23, 10 am - 12 pm
Focus on Bullying & Harassment to ensure all students feel safe in school.
Deputy Mayor for Education Town Halls on the Boundary and Student Assignment Study
Participants will review the landscape of DCPS boundaries and student assignment analysis, provide feedback on potential policy tools, and receive an introduction to the online web tool. The two halls will have the same content. You may register to attend at the following links:
- Tuesday, September 26, 12-1:30 p.m. Register for this virtual town hall
- Wednesday, September 27, 6 p.m.-7:30 p.m. Register for this virtual town hall
- Other opportunities to provide feedback
Ward 1 community input is necessary to ensure the Deputy Mayor for Education develops the best proposals for our schools, as well as understands the impacts of its proposals. In addition to the district-wide town halls, the DME will engage with school-specific communities. There is also a Boundary-specific website that collects YOUR feedback at: collecting feedback. You can also sign up to the DME listserv to stay up to date on local engagement activities.
Celebrating Columbia Heights Civic Plaza Report Release
Three years ago, unsatisfied with government resources to assist w/substance use disorder in Columbia Heights Civic Plaza, I funded a pilot for a dedicated community navigator program.
Sometimes, working through District government can feel like a bureaucratic minefield. In the case of Columbia Heights Civic Plaza, after years of false starts, we were able to establish a program that brought together agencies and organizations, outside and government funds, and develop a program that is reaping rewards in lives and public spaces being transformed.
The program – in particular its incredible team of community navigators – has helped dozens of people overcome addiction and created a lifeline for nearly 180 more, while also improving the commercial corridor in Columbia Heights.
District Bridges, our amazing community partner, released a report earlier this week on the challenges and successes of the project, and what it would like to see for next steps.
I've been an avid champion of this effort from the start, which was initially conceived as a way to deal with maintenance issues at the plaza and has grown into something much broader and better. I’ve found funding each year, including funds to expand the program this year and replicate aspects of it beyond Civic Plaza.
We’re also making improvements to the plaza infrastructure in this year’s budget and activating it with activities, bringing together the community.
More than anything, the success is the story of relationships and partnerships that District Bridges and I have really pushed from the start, and these are documented in the report.
Getting District government agencies, which are used to working in silos, to work with each other and with the community groups is a special challenge and triumph that resulted from this work.
What we have found, not surprisingly, is that solutions that help individuals also help neighborhoods, communities and businesses.
We still a lot of work to do in the plaza. But now we have the structures in place and – thanks to this report – a productive look at what worked and what still needs work, a roadmap for the future.
ANC 1A Public Safety Summit
Sunday, September 24, 3:30 p.m. | Columbia Heights Village
Residents are invited to attend an ANC 1A Public Safety Summit on Sunday, September 24th at 3:30 PM. This will be a panel discussion featuring representatives from Metropolitan Police Department, Department of Behavioral Health, Community Response Team, Office of Neighborhood Engagement, DC Office of the Attorney General, and other agencies critical to preventing, responding, and prosecuting offenses. A moderated Q&A session will follow and provide residents with an opportunity to ask direct questions to these leaders in the criminal justice space.
The summit will take place at Columbia Heights Village, located at 2900 14th St NW #7. This event will occur in the common area of the complex. Once you enter, you can inform the person at the desk that you're there for the event, sign in, and enter the room to your immediate right.
From our friends in ANC 1A, in partnership with Councilmember Nadeau’s office, ANC 1B, ANC 1E, and District Bridges
The Columbia Heights Movie Night Series is BACK! Mark your calendars: Friday, September 22nd, October 6th, and October 20th, join neighbors from across the city at Tubman Elementary School's field at 3101 13th St NW. Bring a cozy blanket, take advantage of deals from one of our vendor partners, eat tons of popcorn, and get ready to watch some amazing movies! It's also a great chance to meet other neighbors and your local elected representatives, who are looking forward to seeing you.
9/22 at 7pm: The Incredibles
10/6 at 7pm: The Parent Trap
10/20 at 7pm: Coco
Porchtales Podcast With a Ward 1 Twist
Check out the Season 2 release of Porchtales, HumanitiesDC’s podcast highlighting untold stories of Washington DC. This season is hosted by Ward 1 resident
s Katie Davis who explores one block – Lanier Place, NW – and its eclectic cast of residents through 50 years of history collected by Davis over the decades.
Help Shape the Future of the DC Public Library!
DC Public Library is gathering input on how it can best serve District residents. Your needs may have changed the last three years and the Library would like to know how they can help meet them. Please consider taking this survey (only about 10 minutes of your time). Your feedback will help shape their strategic framework plan. The survey is available in English and Spanish.
Councilmember Nadeau chairs the Public Works & Operations Committee and has an interest in all things trash and especially in finding ways to divert waste from incinerators and landfills. Here’s a quick roundup of DPW programs.
Helping Hand Program. DPW helps community groups that organize Saturday neighborhood clean-up projects through the Helping Hand Program. The program will lend tool kits that include five rakes and brooms, two shovels, and 20 trash bags. A $20 refundable deposit is required for all tool kits loaned under the Helping Hand Program. Free compost can be picked up as well for use in neighborhood beautification projects. DPW will collect trash at the end of the clean-up.
Yard Waste Collection is now year-round. Residents must call 311 to make an appointment for yard waste collection. Residents can also visit 311.dc.gov to make an appointment or download and schedule an appointment using the 311 mobile app available at the Google Play and Apple App stores. DPW only collects yard waste in paper bags. DPW will collect up to 20 paper bags of yard waste from residences that receive DPW’s trash and recycling collection services. Scheduled yard waste collection is an enhancement to the yard waste program. Residents are still able to leave their paper yard waste bags at the point of trash collection and drop off their yard waste at Fort Totten Transfer Station during normal business hours.
Benning Road Transfer Station is now closed for residential drop-off services. The Fort Totten Transfer Station is open for residential drop-off, bulk, trash, and recycling from Tuesday – Friday 10 AM – 2 PM, and Saturday from 7 AM – 2 PM. No Household Hazard Waste at Fort Totten, which is closed Mondays, Holidays, and Sundays.
Special Waste Collection Events (household hazardous waste, electronics recycling, and document shredding) have been relocated to RFK Lot 3, 2400 E Capitol St NE, across from the DC Armory, due to the temporary closure of the Benning Road Transfer Station. Special Waste Collection Events will take place on one Thursday and one Saturday each month through March 2024. View the current schedule.
Public Safety Advisory Red Flag Law Info and Resources
From the Office of the D.C. Attorney General
December 2018, the District adopted a “Red Flag” law to help keep residents safe by quickly removing guns from people who are considered a danger to themselves or others. This “Red Flag” law allows certain District residents to petition the DC Superior Court to issue Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs), which require the temporary removal of firearms and ammunition from potentially dangerous persons.
IN THE NEWS
Editorial: D.C. Should Ban Solitary Confinement
Where Councilmember Nadeau and her staff have been
Tuesday, August 22 | Ben's Chili Bowl 65th Anniversary and Virginia Ali's 90th Birthday
Thursday, August 24 | 3D MPD CAC Weekly Public Safety Leaders Community Walk
Wednesday, August 30 | Meeting with Residents of 14th and Girard Street NW
Thursday, August 31 | 3D CAC Public Safety Community Meeting
Wednesday, September 6 | Solitary Confinement Bill kick-off event
Thursday, September 7 | Meeting with tenant association at Promenade, Columbia Road
Thursday, September 7 | 1672 Oak St Condo Association Meeting
Friday, September 8 | Public safety walk with MPD
Sunday, September 10 | Adams Morgan Day!
Tuesday, September 12 | Ward 1 walk with Department of Buildings
Tuesday, September 12 | Columbia Heights Civic Plaza For All report release event at Gala Hispanic Theatre
Wednesday, September 13 | Tour Manassas Recycling Center
Wednesday, September 13 | DCPS Boundary and Student Assignment Study Committee, Mount Pleasant meeting
Thursday, September 14 | Mount Pleasant public safety walk with MPD, other District agencies and resident
Where Councilmember Nadeau and her staff will be
Tuesday, September 19 | First Council Legislative Meeting after recess
Wednesday, September 20 | Committee on Public Works & Operations Hearing, Councilmember Nadeau, Chair
Tuesday, September 26, 7 pm | Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1D
Wednesday, September 27, 7 pm | Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1E
Thursday, September 28, 7-8 pm | 3rd District MPD Citizen Advisory Committee. 3rd District Station, 1620 V St. NW
Wednesday, October 4, 7 pm | Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C
Thursday, October 5, 6:30 pm | Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1B
Wednesday, October 11, 7 pm | Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A
Thursday, October 19, 6-8 pm | Brianne on Your Block – come meet with Councilmember Nadeau one-on-one | Don Juan Restaurant, 1660 Lamont St NW
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