Council’s Progress Continues Where It Left Off

The Council didn’t skip a beat as it returned from its summer working period for the most recent Committee of the Whole and Legislative Meetings.

Most noticeable during the meeting was the quantity of new bills being introduced from the dais. These will be listed individually at the end of the article. The summer working period provides councilmembers an opportunity for more extensive time in the community and a chance for a deep dive into legislative research. The wealth of legislation introduced at the meeting reflects the benefits of both those opportunities.

Among the legislation pre-dating the recess that was voted on at the meeting were bills requiring schools to match the hours of school nurse presence that were in place in 2016, allowing trained school personnel to administer epinephrine to students, and facilitating re-enrollment by DC HealthCare Alliance program participants.

Ceremonial resolutions were presented to radio station WMMJ Majic 102.3 and local DJ icon Donnie Simpson on the occasion of the station’s 30th Anniversary.

The measures introduced from the dais at the meeting included bills that, if passed, would:

  • Seek Congressional action to remove a statue of Albert Pike from federal land
  • Encourage/require solar-friendly roof installation on new and renovated government, commercial, and residential buildings
  • Ensure that those with extensive parking/traffic violations are offered a payment plan
  • Clarify the rules for the use of rent concessions
  • Express the Sense of the Council in support of Dreamers/DACA recipients
  • Require rapid payment of government contractors
  • Create an equitable resolution process for disputes between contractors and subcontractors
  • Increase the rental unit fee
  • Update the rental housing register
  • Require children to wear life jackets when in the vicinity of pools and bodies of water
  • Create a public housing “bill of rights” which enumerates all tenant rights in a single document
  • Provide safe access to public health options, including medical marijuana
  • Improve access to medical marijuana, through provision of same-day access, safe spaces for use, expanded plant count, etc.
  • Expand the sealing of criminal records, such as in cases where arrests don’t lead to charges, charges don’t lead to prosecution, etc.
  • Provide limited affordable rental housing accommodation to the disabled and elderly
  • Create a small business advisory council
  • Compile a comprehensive database of all grants provided by the District government
  • Reform the Youth Rehabilitation Act by restricting its applicability to certain crimes, providing additional insight into and communication regarding the decision made, etc.
  • Establish a state-level clemency request review process
  • Allow churches and nonprofits who do not pay taxes to nonetheless avail themselves of storm water retention tax credits
  • Express the Sense of the Council declaring 2018 the Year of the Anacostia
  • Cap the amount that vehicles involved in farmer’s markets pay at parking meters
  • Establish a back to school shopping sales tax holiday
  • Create a universal “free lunch for all” program at public, public charter, and participating private schools
  • Establish accountability for economic development return on investment
  • Expand opioid overdose prevention efforts
  • Expand opioid abuse treatment options
  • Expand Department of Health smoking cessation efforts
  • Expand eviction prevention efforts, such as requiring that all evictions be reported to the Office of the Tenant Advocate (OTA), and that OTA provide educational materials to all facing eviction
  • Create a Housing Stability Office, helping to prevent residential displacement
  • Designate Rolark Place in Southeast DC
  • Establish the process whereby the District nominates members to the Metrorail state safety board
  • Create a process to identify, and compile a list of, blighted buildings owned by foreign governments
  • Clarify provisions of the Budget Support Act passed prior to the recess

For a full listing of all votes taken at the meeting, please click here.