It's hard to believe it's already been 100 days since I took office. I am taking a break from budget oversight hearings to give you a quick update on what we've accomplished and how I'm working to keep my promises to the people of Ward 1.
This week, I cast the deciding vote to oppose a contract that would have allowed Corizon Health to provide health care services to DC inmates. I opposed the contract due to the for-profit company’s deeply troubling track record on patient care.
Last month, I introduced an ethics reform bill that will strengthen the Board of Ethics and Government Accountability, the District's newly-established independent ethics watchdog, by expanding its authority, closing loopholes and giving it more resources and power to hold lobbyists, government employees and public officials accountable for breaking the rules. We expect to have a public hearing on the legislation before the Council’s July summer recess.
On Tuesday, I introduced and secured passage of emergency legislation that will help move forward the redevelopment of 64 affordable housing units as well as ground floor support services space at the Maycroft (1474 Columbia Rd. NW) in Columbia Heights. I’ll be working in the coming months to create permanent legislation to address barriers faced by similar affordable housing redevelopment projects.
I've been working with parents and community leaders at Garrison Elementary School, Marie Reed Elementary School, Bruce Monroe at Park View and Bancroft on upcoming modernizations. We've had a setback on our start date for Bancroft Elementary's renovation in the mayor’s new budget, but we're working closely to keep the project moving forward despite the funding delays. We will use the extra year to prepare the best possible designs and plans for the students and community. There is a clear plan to move forward in the following fiscal year – unlike some other schools that have been pushed off indefinitely in this tight budget environment. I have spoken with the Deputy Mayor for Education about this and we all agree that a one year delay is all we can sustain.
I'm also working with DCPS and the Attorney General to make volunteering in DCPS schools easier, and I'm pleased to see additional funding for the Community Schools grants in the mayor’s new budget proposal, which will allow for new community partnerships in our schools.
I've also been meeting with directors of agencies such as the Departments of Transportation, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, Human Services, Housing and Community Development and the Interagency Council on Homeless to ensure they’re hearing about issues affecting Ward 1 residents.
I spent last week’s Council Recess in the ward visiting with seniors, students, teachers, parents and affordable housing providers. Last Thursday, I did a small business walk on upper 14th St from Oak to Spring and met with the corridor’s small business owners to hear about their concerns in the neighborhood. Throughout the week I toured and met with teachers and parents at neighborhood schools including Benjamin Banneker High School, Bruce Monroe Elementary, Adams Bilingual Middle School and Columbia Heights Educational Campus. I met with senior and affordable housing residents at Bernice Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center, Columbia Heights Village and others. I also spent Thursday evening on a ride along with a reserve police officer from the 3rd District, which covers much of Ward 1.
I’ll be hosting one of my regular Coffee Talks on Tuesday, April 28 from 6:30-8pm at Flying Fish Coffee and Tea in Mount Pleasant. Drop in for an informal opportunity to chat with me about issues that matter to you.
Thank you for the opportunity to serve you as Ward 1 Councilmember.
Brianne K. Nadeau
Ward 1 Councilmember
PS. Did you see City Paper ranked Ward 1 the best ward in the District in their yearly Best of DC rankings? I have to agree!