Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The FY 2011 budget season kicks off October 2

The FY 2011 budget season officially starts on October 2 with the pep rally-like kickoff event for AFOs and the odd agency policy wonk.   Agencies will get their marching orders from the Office of Budget and Planning about -- hold on -- how to enter the information into the Web form.   Seriously, they do more than this, not exciting to advocates, but an essential part of the process.   Game on!

S.H.A.P.P.E. has a new Web site

Check out S.H.A.P.P.E.'s new Web site,   The site has some good info including a calendar, testimony, and newsletters.

Can DCPS answer all S.H.A.P.P.E.'s questions correctly?

S.H.A.P.P.E. (Senior High Alliance of Parents, Principals and Educators) weighs in on the school Reduction in Force and budget cut decisions in this September 30 letter to the City Council.   In addition to raising a number of issues about decision drivers, S.H.A.P.P.E. asks the City Council to hold an immediate hearing at which the Office of the Chief Financial Officer and DCPS leadership would testify "to make publicly available all the financial reports, enrollment and staffing data used in the school budget reduction.   This has to be done to better inform any proposed adjustments to the School Reform Act of 2007."

Hearing on proposed core college/career readiness standards

The DC State Board of Education (DCSBOE) and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) are holding a joint public hearing to review proposed common core college and career readiness standards.   The hearing is being held on October 7 at 5:30 pm.   Parents, educators, and others are encouraged to provide feedback and other input.   Details about registering, the hearing location, and the proposed standards are in this notice.

CM Mendelson's newsletter

The latest edition of CM Phil Mendelson's newsletter At-Large Update is now available online.   Among other things, learn about the recently passed crime bill and the upcoming Committee on the Public Safety and the Judiciary hearings.   Subscribe to the newsletter by emailing jshedlock [AT] dccouncil [DOT] us.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Youth hearing, October 10

The next COW public hearing on youth issues for youth only is October 10 at 11:00 am in the Council Chamber in the JAWB.   Details online.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Roundtable on Hartsock confirmation

CM Tommy Thomas (Ward 5) has announced that the Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation (Thomas, chair) is holding a public roundtable on PR 18-0367: "Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation Ximena Hartsock Confirmation Resolution of 2009."   The roundtable will be held on October 2 at 4:00 pm in Room 412 of JAWB.

NBM's Greening the Ghetto, and How Much It Won’t Cost Us

This free program from the National Building Museum is being held October 8, 12:30 - 1:30 pm.   The event will feature Majora Carter, founder of Sustainable South Bronx, who will talk about the revitalization of South Bronx’s Hunts Point.   What does this have to do with kids?   Carter will explain that greening the community is a way to bring social, economic, and environmental benefits to the entire community.   Registration is required.

The Greening the Ghetto program is part of the larger Green Community exhibit that is nearing the end of its run on October 25.   By all accounts, this is a terrific exhibit even if you only have a passing interest in green issues.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The executive branch in the 9/25 DCR

Public hearings on special education:   The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) has announced a number of public hearings on policies related to Part B and Part C of the federal Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).   The hearings will be held on October 8 and 13.   Important details about the subjects and hearings are detailed in the online notice.

Final rules on newborn screening:   The Department of Health issued final rules in the September 25 DCR concerning neonatal screening services.   These screens include hearing and metabolic disorders.

As was announced by the DC Public Library in mid-September, public use of the underground parking garage at the main library (MLK, 901 G St NW) will be discontinued as a result of cuts made in the FY 2010 budget.   The proposed rules (page 7655) published in the September 25 DCR state public parking will cease November 14, 2009.   There is an associated public policy change notice also published.

City Council hearings from 9/25 DCR

Public oversight roundtable on adult training:   The Committee on Housing and Workforce Development (CM Barry, Ward 8, chair) is holding this roundtable on "FY 2010 Adult Training Funding" on October 1 at 11:00 am in Room 412 of the JAWB.   Details about testifying are online.

Public oversight roundtable on "The Winter Plan" for homeless services:   The Committee on Human Services (CM Wells, Ward 6, chair) is holding this roundtable on October 14 at Noon in Room 412 of the JAWB.   Details about testifying are online.

Have you gotten a library card yet?

By now you know that the most important school supply of all is a library card and for adults, a library card is the smartest card in their wallet.

The question is, "Have you gotten your library card yet?"   If not, get your card today and start checking out the world – here and very far away.   Getting a library card is easy.   You can do it online or in person.   School-age children may apply for a card; young children may receive one upon request by a parent.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Week of 9/21 council hearings now online

OCT has finally posted the City Council hearings and roundtables from the week of September 21!   So if you missed the September 22 COW and 15th legislative meeting or the Committee on Human Services roundtable on the DYRS lead entities/service coalitions, go to and watch right now.

Children's budget sees the light of day

Better late than never, I guess.   The District's children's budget (CB), which DC Action for Children and I advocated for for-what-seems-like-ever, makes the Washington City Paper in a story about Republican refugees.

Too bad that picture was used for that story.   The CB idea held and still holds great promise.   The District's children's budget is on the way to becoming a useful planning and evaluation tool.   I will keep working with the executive branch to make that happen; AF is, after all, one of the original supporters of the DC children's budget (along with then Ward 7 CM Vincent C. Gray).

More on council's code of conduct

This is the Power Point Chairman Gray used at the September 21 press briefing.   In it is information about the "Blueprint for Action", the council's plans for implementing a framework for ethical behavior on the part of members and staff.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Interested in the Council's ethics, code of conduct?

Those interested in the City Council's efforts to address ethical lapses and ensure higher ethics and behavior on the part of Councilmembers and staff will be interested in these items:

Gray’s News and Notes

Do you subscribe to Gray’s News and Notes?   If not, check out the latest edition from the City Council chair here.   And be sure to get updates in your inbox; just email Doxie McCoy, dmccoy [AT] dccouncil [DOT] us.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Legal Information Help Line

DC Bar Pro Bono Program has updated its Legal Information Help Line -- (202) 626-3499.   The help line is recorded in 7 different languages:   English, Spanish, French, Amharic, Vietnamese, Korean, and Mandarin.   It can connect callers seeking free legal assistance directly to legal services providers through a menu of prompts.

Events added to calendar

Check out the calendar at the bottom of the page for advocacy and learning events.

New revenue estimate not all good news

So much for thoughts of delaying revenue estimates until after the City Council passed the FY 2010 budget!   The CFO released new rev estimates on September 21.nbsp;  As has been reported, the new estimate reports no change from the June 22, 2009 one.   That being said, tax revenue is reported to be down over the summer and what the future holds for real property tax collections will not be known for a few weeks.   Month-end September is also important for certain income tax and business income tax collections.   Reports will be available around mid-October.   Government types who pay attention to this information eagerly await the October reports, hoping tax declines don't happen or else further budget cuts will be required.

These figures take on new importance given the recent announcements of nonprofit challenges and closures, including WEAVE, DC Action for Children, DC Education Compact, and Hoop Dreams.   More important, however, is how nonprofit challenges impact residents, especially those who rely on community organizations for assistance, often basic necessities.

Opening statement re: 9/23 lead entity roundtable

Interested in youth crime, violence, rehabilitation?   Then you should pay attention to the Committee on Human Services roundtable underway to learn more about the status of the lead agency/service coalition grants and New Beginnings issues.   Since the roundtable is being held in Room 412 of the JAWB, it is not being aired live but can be viewed as as video on demand, perhaps as soon as tomorrow.   In the meantime, take a look at Committee Chair Tommy Wells' opening and closing statements.

CM Wells' community office hours restart 9/24

Tawanna Shuford recently announced that Ward 6 CM Wells will resume the 4th Thursday tradition of H Street NE Community Office Hours.   This month's event will be held on Thursday September 24, 2009, from 8:00 - 9:30 am at Sidamo Coffee and Tea (417 H St NE).   To stay apprised of CM Wells' activities, etc., contact Tawanna, tshuford [AT] dccouncil [DOT] us or (202) 724-8072.

Miss the 9/21 COW press briefing?

If you missed the City Council's pre-COW and leg session press conference on September 21, then check it out as a video on demand at OCT.   This is not the exception, but the rule.   Other COW press briefings and hearings/roundtables are available within a day or so of taking place.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Accountability and health care reform on Ward 3 Dems' agenda, 9/24

Kathy Patterson, former Ward 3 CM and current board member of the D.C. Open Government Coalition, will be the special guest speaker at the September 24 Ward 3 Dems meeting.   Ms. Patterson will talk about holding elected officials accountable.   Amy Walter, who covers health care reform for the National Journal and is Editor-in-Chief of Hotline, will headline a panel discussion on the politics of health care reform afterward.

The meeting is from 7:15 – 9:30 pm at St. Columba Episcopal Church (4201 Albemarle St NW, one block off Wisconsin Ave At Tenleytown Metro).   Ms. Patterson is on at 7:15 pm with Ms. Walter and the health panel starting at 7:45 pm.   More information is available online.

Nonprofit troubles

As has been widely circulated over the past few days, WEAVE is having financial troubles.   WEAVE is making progress toward their goal of raising $85,000 by September 30.   And just in, the DC Education Compact (DCEC) will cease operations on September 30, 2009.

Legislation introduced to protect foster kids

Ward 6 CM Tommy Wells has introduced Foster Care Identity Protection Act of 2009 to protect youth in foster care from identity theft that could cripple their personal financial credit as they become adults.   The bill was referred to the Committee on Human Services of which Wells is chair.

Finally, FY 2010 budget docs

According to the City Council's budget office, there is no new BSA but instead a consolidated amendment to the second engrossed BSA.   Note:   Read these two documents together.   The consolidated amendment will make no sense if read alongside the second engrossed BSA currently in LIMS on the City Council Web site.   Another note:   The enrolled will not be completed for quite some time in the estimation of the council.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Literature for young 'uns, DC's great read!

Each year, the literary heritage of the 50 states, DC and the US Virgin Islands is shared with the Library of Congress Center for the Book during the National Book Festival (September 26, 2009 on the mall).

DC's book is Our White House: Looking In, Looking Out, a creation of more than 100 authors and illustrators and the National Children’s Book and Literacy Alliance.   A Web site has been developed to complement the book; the site is geared toward adults to engender interest in and passion for this country's history with their children, grandchildren, and students.

9/22 COW and leg meeting agendas

Read the September 22 Committee of the Whole (COW) meeting agenda here and the legislative meeting agenda here.

DC Public Charter School Board to tweet during board meetings

The DC Public Charter School Board will start tweeting its board meetings at the October 26 meeting.   Follow the conversation by going to   To comment or ask a question, type in #PCSBMeetings and then type your short message regarding the board meeting.

Jacks-Fogle legislation hearing scheduled

The Committee on Human Services (CM Wells, Ward 6, chair) and the Committee on Health (CM Catania, At-large, chair) are holding a joint public hearing on B18-356, "Jacks-Fogle Family Preservation Case Coordination Authorization Act of 2009", on October 8 at 11:00 am in the Council Chamber.   Those who want to testify should register with Jennifer Barry, jbarry [AT] dccouncil [DOT] us or 724-8170.   Individuals will have three minutes and panels five minutes to testify.   Details about the hearing are found in the hearing notice.

CM Thomas presser on child care privatization

CM Tommy Thomas (Ward 5) will hold a press conference on September 22 at 9:00 am on the steps of the JAWB.   The CM will be joined by advocates and others who are concerned that the Department of Parks and Recreation is privatizing early learning programs.   Questions about the press conference or CM's views on the issue should be directed to Victoria Leonard, (202) 727.8204 (desk), (202) 403.7866 (cell), or vleonard [AT] dccouncil [DOT] us.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

DC Public Library cuts hours and services

DCPL announced on September 17 that effective October 5, the library will change hours of operation and some services.   The changes result from budget cuts made by Mayor Fenty and the City Council this summer.

The revised FY 2010 budget, expected to be approved on September 22, 2009, is nearly 11% less than the FY 2009 approved budget.   DCPL has operationalized the cuts in the following ways:

  • Library hours will change at all library locations.
  • Neighborhood libraries will no longer be open on Sundays.   Instead, Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library, which is currently closed on Sundays from Memorial Day to Labor Day, will be open year-round on Sundays.
  • The library’s bookmobile will not operate in FY 2010.   However, Library staff will continue to visit schools to provide literacy support to students.
  • Later in October, the parking garage at MLK will no longer be available to the general public.

How to contact Jesse Bailey

As was recently announced on this blog, Jesse Bailey is the new staffer in Council Chair Vince Gray's office on education and early learning.   Now we have more info on his title and contact info:
    Jesse Bailey
    Senior Legislative Analyst
    Office of Chairman Vincent C. Gray
    Council of the District of Columbia
    1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
    Washington, DC 20004
    (202) 727-5585
    (202) 724-7139 (fax)

DCPL budget cut eliminates parking at MLK

DC Public Library has announced changes in hours and services resulting from FY 2010 budget cuts.   Important to advocates and others who use the main library (MLK) for meetings, trainings and events, DCPL has decided to close the parking garage to the general public starting at an unyet determined date in late October 2009.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Council press conference in advance of 9/22 leg meeting

Council Chair Vincent C. Gray has announced that the City Council, now back in session after an abbreviated summer recess, will resume its regular pre-legislative meeting press briefing.   The next briefing will be held on September 21 at 10:00 am in Room 412 of JAWB.   The chair expects that general council business and legislative announcements will be made.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Council Chair gets new education staffer

Jesse Bailey has joined chair Vince Gray’s legislative team to work on education reform issues including early learning.   Jesse Bailey replaces Jesse Rauch who left the chair’s team a few weeks ago.   Jesse B.’s email is jbailey [AT] dccouncil [DOT] us.   Prior to this, Jesse B. was executive director at Pre-K for All DC.

Parents needed for special education panel

The State Advisory Panel on Special Education advises the mayor and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) on issues related to special education.   Members of the panel include parents, government officials, and community organizations and are interested in issues affecting special education, or the coordination and delivery of special education and related services to children and youth with disabilities.   Learn more about this volunteer position by contacting Desiree Brown, (202) 741-0271, desiree [DOT] brown [AT] dc [DOT] gov.

DC Young Democrats debate school vouchers

The DC Young Democrats (DCYD) are holding an Oxford Style Resolution Debate on the issue of school vouchers on September 29 from 7:00 - 8:30 pm at the Jack Morton Auditorium (805 21st St NW, 3 blocks from the Foggy Bottom Metro station).   The attendees will vote and thus determine the debate winner.   Furthermore, the winning side will have their resolution passed within the general body of DCYD, whose members hold nearly 10% of the votes on the DC Democratic State Committee.   More information about the debate and resolution are here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Mayor Fenty's sked, September 16

Mayor Fenty will give remarks at two events on September 16:
  • DCPS Blue Ribbon Award Announcement:   3:00 pm at Noyes Education Campus (2725 10th St, NE
  • DCPS Budget Equalization Update:   4:00 pm at DCPS Headquarters (825 North Capitol St NE)

CM K Brown on adult job training

At-large CM Kwame Brown recently blogged about the new Community College's Workforce Development Program offerings.   DCist and I have also blogged about the FREE job training classes available to adults who are DC residents.   Note that the September 23 assessment previously advertised has been cancelled.

Courses include credential programs (such as Child Development Associate), computers, carpentry, and medical billing.   Information about registration and class locations is online at the Community College's Workforce Development Program Web site.

The course list is quite impressive for the first semester of operations by the new Community College.   So service providers (and everyone else), refer away!

About Patrick Swayze, the life he lived, and his fight

Like the gazillion others who have watched the YouTube clips of Patrick Swayze and left messages on FB, blogs and other sites, I am saddened by his death.

But I am more taken with his fight against pancreatic cancer, about how he lived his life with this terrible disease.   The threat of pancreatic cancer touched my family not that long ago and it scared me to that bad place and back.   Pancreatic cancer is a terrible disease.   Thank goodness my family member ended up not having it.

I did not know Swayze; I'm sure he had downs to the many ups shown in interviews after his diagnosis.   I am impressed with his spirit, and more, bolstered with hope that there is a life to be lived despite the many bad and annoying things that happen to us.   I hope my life fully lived will have helped those I have sought to help.

Rest In Peace, Patrick Swayze.

4D PSA meeting sked

MPD's 4D monthly PSA meeting schedule is a terrific resource for residents and those interested in children and youth.   PSA meetings are a great way to understand what is happening in your neighborhood, what is being done to promote safety and deter crime, and to become involved with your community and neighbors.

While reports of juvenile crime in 4D suggest it is significantly less than in other parts of the city, the fact is that crime exists.   The 2007 youth division annual report states that where MPD District arrests are known, auto theft in 4D in 2007 was the same as in 7D -- 26 (this is from the 2007 annual report of MPD's youth division).

Make DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy the big winner!

You have until October 15 to vote and encourage others to vote for DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy as part of The Christie Cookie Company $25,000 Charity Giveaway!   To nominate DC Campaign, go to the online nomination form.   If you don't see DC Campaign in the drop down list, just click on the bar and type in DC Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Washington, DC.   Only one vote per email is allowed; voters must be at least 18 years old.

WCP report of 2010 candidates

In case you missed this piece from the Washington City Paper, it lists candidates for City Council and mayor as of June 2009.

Clark Ray's new campaign Web site

Clark Ray’s City Council campaign launched a new Web site on September 12, presumably to coincide with the formal kickoff at Java House (See recent blog post.)

Clark Ray running

Clark Ray recently announced his run for At-large City Council seat.   Ray made the announcement at Java Hut in Dupont Circle, highlighting education, economic development, diversity, and accountability.   In addition to the announcement, the campaign blog includes media coverage of the campaign and various statements.

Ray will be challenging current At-large CM Phil Mendelson; Tim Craig has more to say in his September 13 WaPo piece.   Click here for more about Mendelson.

Monday, September 14, 2009

New events added to advocacy calendar

Be sure to check out the calendar at the bottom of the blog for events and actions.   You will find a September 21 discussion of the Nurse-Family Partnership, September 17 Joint Utility Discount Day, and the October 17 domestic violence summit.

New contender for mayor

Leo Alexander is kicking off his campaign for mayor of the District of Columbia on September 14 at 7:00 pm at Pier 7 Restaurant (650 Water St SW).   Those who plan on attending the event are asked to RSVP to debra21756 [AT] aol [DOT] com.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Poor adult literacy negatively effects kids

DC residents, service providers, government officials, advocates, and others should plan on attending the September 29 event "Is Reading Really Fundamental? How Adult Literacy is Related to Different Social Issues."

This event, being held from 6:30 – 8:30 pm at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library (901 G St NW), will highlight how adult literacy is connected to issues such as unemployment, health care, immigration, and poverty - all of which effect children and youth.   The Adult Literacy Resource Center at the DC Public Library is partnering with DC LEARNS to bring featured speaker Talmadge Guy to the District to discuss this important issue.   Dr. Guy is the author of Providing Culturally Relevant Adult Education: A Challenge for the Twenty-First Century.

RSVP by September 20 by emailing Benjamin [DOT] merrion [AT] dc [DOT] gov, by calling (202) 727-2431, or by registering on Facebook,

DYRS youth offer free lawn service in W5

In late August, the Department of Youth Rehabilitation Services (DYRS) announced a lawn service pilot program in Ward 5 for residents who are 65 and older.   The free service provides the opportunity for some young people to become "civically engaged", an important facet of any youth development and rehabilitative approach.   A story in the Washington Informer described both the value to young people and the community response.

Seniors who want to participate in this program should contact DYRS's Kathy Ashe at (202) 576-8397 or Kathy [DOT] Ashe [AT] dc [DOT] gov.

Public meeting on vacant property tax proposals

CM Bowser (Ward 4) recently wrote in her weekly eletter Focus on 4 that on July 31 the City Council approved an amendment to the Fiscal Year 2010 Budget Support Act of 2009 that would lower the vacant property tax from $10 to $5 per $100 of assessed property value.   This amendment will become law, if again approved by the Council, on September 22.

Because of the many intricacies of this issue and because no public hearing was held, the CM is hosting an informal meeting to discuss the current law, the pending amendment, and alternative proposals.   The meeting will take place on September 16 at Emery Recreation Center (5801 Georgia Ave NW) from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.   Those who are unable to attend are being encouraged to submit written comments to Rob Hawkins, legislative counsel, at rhawkins [AT] dccouncil [DOT] us. Comments should be received no later than 5:30 pm September 14.

Why am I talking about this?   Vacant properties can have a negative influence on communities, communities where children, youth and their families live.

New Ward 6 Community Relations & Services staffer

Joshua Hopkins is now the staffer in the Mayor's Office of Community Relations and Services for Ward 6.   Mr. Hopkins can be reached at (202) 340-8313 or joshua [DOT] hopkins [AT] dc [DOT] gov.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Ward 4 annual report

For those who missed it, CM Bowser (Ward 4) published a 2009 annual report in the winter of 2009.   The report highlights a variety of topics including the budget, recreation, and public safety.

Advocates call for an independent DC State Board of Education

Recently, Mayor Fenty vetoed the FY 2010 budget request act.   According to many education advocates, this jeopardizes the whole of the budget.   The veto is also contrary to what the City Council and many residents, parents and others want.

To learn more about taking action to advocate for an independent DC State Board of Education, click here.   You will find a couple of options for voicing your concerns about Mayor Fenty’s actions.

Direct action check list

Our friends from Washington Peace Center have done it again, this time creating a check list for direct actions.   They cover pre-, during, and post-action items.   A great tool!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

FY 2010 budget intel

So the word from on high in the City Council is that members will not be offering any amendments at the second vote of the FY 2010 Budget Support Act.   This is interesting given the work being done on amendments for September 22's second vote in the various committee and staff offices of the CMs.   Time will tell.

Help make the Comfort Center warm and fuzzy

Join DC’s Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) and A Vista Events of Beltsville, MD in the renovation of the Children’s Comfort Center.

A Vista Events is an esteemed event design and production company which has done beautiful and over-the-top work for the likes of the Coca Cola, Washington National Opera, and the opening gala of the National Museum of the American Indian.

This Maryland-based company is donating the creative juices and manpower needed to transform this ho-hum waiting area to a warm, inviting, safe, and youth-oriented space for young people to wait when they first enter the foster care system, before they go home with a family.

But alas, A Vista Events cannot (nor in my opinion should not) do it all and much remains to be done to make this space all it can be.   This means CFSA’s Partners for Kids in Care program needs YOU to donate some items for children and youth:

  • Books:   Ages 5-18
  • Toys for infants and toddlers:   Soft books, Leap frog toys, activity blanket
  • Toys for young children ages 2–4:   Leap frog toys, trucks
  • Toys for young children ages 5–8:   Arts/crafts, balls, Lego blocks, kids movies, work books, stuffed animals
  • Toys for young children ages 9–12:   Art activity kits, game boys, movies/DVDs, computer games
  • Toys for young children ages teens/young adults ages 13–18:   Video games, magazines, movies, self-help/development books

CFSA appreciates all those in the community who are partners to make life better for the children and youth in care.   If you are interested in donating any of the items listed here, contact Beatrice Williar at (202) 727-7101 or Beatrice [DOT] Williar [AT] dc [DOT] gov by October 5, 2009.

Scrapbookers unite for foster kids!

DC’s Child and Family Services Agency has put a call out to the region to help children and youth in foster care know their past – by making Life Books.

Life Books for Children is an initiative of CFSA and the community.   The purpose of a life book is to make sure that a child knows his/her history.   It helps them to understand and make sense of some of the multiple changes that they have experienced.   Most importantly, it is a way that we honor the child’s life and his/her memories.

You can help by donating the usual scrapbooking items such as albums and journals, embellishments, writing/drawing utensils, scissors, glue, and more!

If you are interested in making donations to support this innovative and incredibly powerful project, contact CFSA’s Partners for Kids in Care by October 15 (details in the flier linked above).

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Public hearing on tobacco legislation

The Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary (CM Mendelson, At-large, chair) is holding a hearing on Bills 18-124, "Single Sale of Cigar Products Prohibition Amendment Act of 2009", and 18-428, "Prohibition Against Selling Tobacco Products to Minors Amendment Act of 2009.   The hearing is being held on September 29 at 10:00 am in Room 123 of the JAWB.   Members of the public are encouraged to testify; details about registering for the witness list are in the hearing notice (page 7277) published in the September 4, 2009 edition of the DC Register.

Information about B18-428:

Information about B18-124:

  • Introduced by CMs Alexander, Thomas (Ward 5), Wells (Ward 6), Barry (Ward 8), M Brown (At-large) and Co-sponsored by CMs K Brown (At-large), Bowser (Ward 4), Catania (At-large)
  • Introduced on February 3, 2009
  • The purpose of the legislation is to ban the sale of individual cigars and cigar products that are intended/designed to be used to use marijuana

Rules published in 9/4 DCR

The Department of Health issued final rules establishing licensure regulations for speech language pathologists (page 7314) and requires the Board of Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology to license the speech language pathologists.   No comments were made to the proposed rules published in July 2009.

The Chancellor of DC Public Schools published emergency and proposed rules to correct a typographical error and clarify the eligible time period for extended leaves of absences (page 7344).   The proposed rule will be submitted to the Council for a forty-five (45) day period of review.   The rule will be adopted in not less than thirty (30) days from the publication of this notice in the D.C. Register or upon approval of the rule by the Council whichever occurs later.

The Department of Health Care Finance issued emergency and proposed rules to clarify the criteria through which applicants may prove DC residency for the D.C. HealthCare Alliance program (page 7345).   These emergency rules were adopted on August 27, 2009.   The emergency rules will take effect on September 15, 2009, and will remain in effect until December 25, 2009, unless earlier superseded by a notice of final rulemaking.   The clarifications contained in this rulemaking will allow greater integrity and accuracy in verifying residency of DC HealthCare Alliance applicants, while expanding and standardizing the possibilities through which an applicant can prove residency.   The proposed rule will be submitted to the Council for a thirty (30) day period of review.   The Director also hereby gives notice of the intent to adopt this rule, in final, in not less than thirty (30) days from the publication of this notice in the DC Register, or upon approval of this rulemaking by the Council, whichever occurs later.

Council hearing notices in the 9/4 DC Register

Child- and youth-related hearing notices in the September 4, 2009 edition of the DC Register:
  • The Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary (CM Mendelson, At-large, chair) is holding a public hearing on B18-344, "Information Sharing to Improve Services for Children and Families Act of 2009", on November 4 at 11:00 am in the JAWB Council Chamber.   The full hearing notice is on page 7280 in the September 4, 2009 edition of the DC Register; the notice includes information about testifying.

    The purpose of the bill is to allow government agencies to share information about children and youth with persons with a "professional interest" in the "protection, welfare, treatment, and rehabilitation" of young people.   The bill also requires the Attorney General to report to the public on a quarterly basis information about arrests of people under age 18.

    The bill was introduced on June 16, 2009 by CMs Wells (Ward 6), Graham (Ward 1).

  • The Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation (CM Thomas, Ward 5, chair) is holding a public oversight hearing on "The Status of Day Care Programs and Activities within the Department of Parks and Recreation" on September 9 at 6:00 pm in Room 123 of the JAWB.   The purpose of the hearing is to review the current status of day care programs operated by the Department of Parks and Recreation.   The notice has details about signing up to testify on page 7282.
  • The Committee of the Whole (Council Chair Gray, At-large, chair) is holding a public oversight hearing on Youth Issues on Saturday, October 10 at 11:00 am in the JAWB Council Chamber. The notice has details about signing up to testify on page 7284.
  • The Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary (CM Mendelson At-large, chair) and the Committee on Libraries, Parks and Recreation (CM Thomas, Ward 5, chair) are holding a joint public hearing on B18-367, "Youth and Young Adult Promise Act of 2009", on November 4 at 10:00 am in the JAWB Council Chamber.   The revised notice has details about signing up to testify on page 7285.

    The purpose of the bill is to require the Mayor to implement programs to collect and analyze data relating to juvenile delinquency and criminal gang activity, implement an action plan to intervene and assist at-risk youth and young adults, and develop a Center for Youth-Oriented Policing utilizing the Roving Leader Program to assist in training and provide a comprehensive approach to curtailing juvenile delinquency and criminal gang activity by focusing on positive, early, intervention in policing.

    The legislation was introduced on June 30, 2009 by CMs Thomas (Ward 5), M Brown (At-large), and Graham (Ward 1) and co-sponsored by CMs Alexander (Ward 7), Cheh (Ward 3), Wells (Ward 6), Evans (Ward 2), Bowser (Ward 4), Mendelson (At-large), and Gray (At-large).

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mayor Fenty to remark on H1N1 flu preparation this morning

Mayor Fenty is scheduled to give remarks at the H1N1 Flu Preparation announcement today, September 4, at 10:30 am at Mary's Center for Maternal and Child Care (2333 Ontario Rd NW).

Giving back is a piece of (cheese) cake

When you buy a slice of cheesecake from a Cosi restaurant in the District of Columbia or Virginia – for only $1! – Cosi will donate 100% of the proceeds to Greater DC Cares.


So do your part and Cosi will donate up to $53,000 to Greater DC Cares.   Offer expires October 7.

Find a Cosi near you and learn more about this fabulous deal and Cosi Community Benefit Events.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Help lead change -- attend the Save Our Safety Net Campaign meeting, 9/17

Unfortunately, individual and collective work to save and reweave the safety net is still required.   Thanks to Coalition for Community Investment and the Save Our Safety Net campaign, District residents have leaders facilitating the hard work that remains.

These community leaders have scheduled the Save Our Safety Net campaign meeting at Busboys and Poets (5th and K Sts NW) on September 17 at 6:00 pm.   This meeting kicks off the next phase of advocacy and public education -- as the FY 2010 budget is implemented starting on October 1 and as the city starts work on the FY 2011 budget.   Now is the time to start building pressure for smarter and more responsible leadership and residents, businesses, the faith community, service providers, and others can help make a difference.

The event will feature a presentation on the budget crisis and discussion of alternative courses of action for our city’s leaders.   We’ll also identify opportunities for concerned residents to take action and stay involved.

More information about the issues are on the Beyond Bread blog.   You may RSVP for the event here.

Rep. Norton hosts health reform town hall, 9/15

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) is hosting the September 15 "Fact Check Town Hall Meeting."   The event will be held from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at the U.S. Department of Commerce, 14th St and Constitution Ave NW.

The town hall will open with comments from three District residents.   Experts will answer questions from the public.   The experts are Len Nichols, health care economist, Health Policy Program, New America Foundation; Karen Pollitz, project director, Health Policy Institute; and Nora Super, director, Health and Long-Term Care, AARP.

Like her job fair, small business fair, and all other Norton events, the health care forum is a service to DC residents only and, as usual, residents are asked to bring proof of residency, e.g. driver's license, non-driver's I.D., voter registration card, pay stub, or utility bill.

More information is online.

Young education professionals learn and network

Young professionals interested in education and engaged in various aspects of education (teaching, administration, research, training, higher education) will gather on September 8 at 6:30 pm for The Original YEP Generation event.   The event features a panel discussion featuring Craig Jerald, President, Break the Curve Consulting; Michael Petrilli, VP for National Programs & Policy, Thomas B Fordham Institute; and Jenn Vranek, Founding Partner, Education First Consulting.   These individuals will talk about the first Young Education Professionals-DC (YEP-DC) group, which they founded in 1999, and where they are ten years later.   The event is co-hosted by YEP-DC and the CityBridge Foundation.   A networking reception will follow.

Young Education Professionals is a DC-based network created for and by individuals who are relatively new to the education scene and are looking to meet new colleagues, peers and compatriots.   More information is available on the YEPDC Web site.

More information about the event is online; you may RSVP here.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Public comments needed on use of federal housing funding

The public is encouraged to comment on the District's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Fiscal Year 2010 Consolidated Annual Action Plan for the District of Columbia.

The annual plan lays out the goals for the year, specifically about how DHCD will use federal entitlement program funding:   Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships, Emergency Shelter Grant, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program.

DHCD also seeks public comment on the Five-Year Consolidated Plan
for Fiscal Years 2011-2015.   This plan identifies the policies and strategies to be used to address the housing and community development needs of low to moderate income residents.   Four public hearings are scheduled; details are here.   Additional information is available by contacting DHCD, dhcdevents [AT] dc [DOT] gov or (202) 442-7251.

Domestic Violence Summit -- call for vendors/partners

The Metropolitan Police Department is sponsoring the October 17 Domestic Violence Summit as part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month (October).   The event will be held at Patterson Elementary School (4399 South Capitol Terr SW).   The purpose of the summit is to connect battered women with services and to connect those working to end violence against women and their children.   MPD invites those working on this important issue and who want to participate in the summit to contact Lendia Sue Johnson, 7D Community Outreach Coordinator, at (202) 698-1454 or lendia [DOT] johnson [AT] dc [DOT] gov.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Ward 8 bloggers on WAMU

If you missed Kojo Nnamdi's Ward 8 bloggers show, Blogging Block-By-Block In Ward 8, on August 31, you may listen to the archived show.   Lots of interesting ideas were including blogging as new residents, changing the conversation about living east of the river generally and Ward 8 specifically, and much more.

Library card = access to the world

Did you know that the most important school supply of all is a library card?   For adults, a library card is the smartest card in their wallet.

Yup, ‘tis true.

The whole world is available to young and old at the library.   At the DC Public Library, you can check out books and movies.   Young children are exposed to stories, the excitement of language during story hour.   Young people can get homework help and some teens even can get a job at the library.   Older folks can get assistance with resumes and job searches.

The library opens up a whole new world.   So visit your library today, get a card and start checking out the world – here and very far away.

Getting a library card is easy.   You can do it online or in person.   School-age children may apply for a card; young children may receive one upon request by a parent.   [Note:   A child’s record cannot be reviewed by the parents under the "District of Columbia Confidentiality of Library Records Act of 1984" (DC Law 5-128).   The child must initiate such a request.]

Discussion of health care in DC-listen 11 am - Noon 9/1!

DC Politics Hour with Jonetta Rose Barras on Tuesday, August 1 from 11:00 am - Noon will focus on health care in the District, the reforms that have been implemented, the effectiveness of such reforms, and the gaps that remain in health care for DC residents -- particularly those who cannot afford health insurance.   Sharon Baskerville, Executive Director of the DC Primary Care Association (DCPCA) will guest on this show on WPFW 89.3, a Pacifica radio station.

Get back into the swing of things - check out the advocacy/training calendar

There are lots of educational and advocacy opportunities already scheduled; check out the advocacy calendar at the end of the blog to find something appealing so you can ease you way back into full work mode as summer winds down.