Integrity. Accountability. Investing in DC.

Newsletter: New Year’s Resolutions: Theatre, Basketball & Good Legislation!

Posted by Elissa Silverman on January 11, 2019 at 4:06 PM

Dear Resident,

Happy New Year!

Thanks to all who started 2019 with me and my staff at my swearing-in and office 2-24.jpgopen house! I’m excited to serve residents and businesses across the District for another four years!

Before I get to details from the D.C. Council’s first full legislative meeting of the year, I want to extend TWO FREE ticket offers so you can make good on resolutions to take advantage of the great arts and entertainment events in our city:

Silverman Night at Studio Theatre: I’m excited to host my third community night with Studio Theatre and invite you to their latest production, Admissions, on Thursday, January 17, at 8:00 pm! Studio Theatre continues to be a wonderful local partner in making sure the arts remain accessible to District residents. I have 50 free tickets available to District residents that can be reserved here. Tickets are first come, first served with a limit of two per person. The form will stay open until all tickets have been distributed! See you at the show!

Capital City Go-Go’s Inaugural Season: If local theatre isn’t your thing, you are also invited to cheer on the Capital City Go-Gos during their 2018-2019 season at the Entertainment and Sports Arena in Congress Heights. They are the District’s newest sports team as an NBA affiliate of the Washington Wizards. EventsDC has provided my office with tickets to each game this season for residents to enjoy. Tickets are first come, first served with a limit of one request per household. You can take a look at their season schedule here and reserve tickets here.

LEGISLATIVE NEWS

Protecting Homeowners from Negligent Damage: I remain focused in 2019 on improving our Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and fulfilling its consumer protection mission. At DCRA hearings, District homeowners have testified time and again about cracked foundations and flooded basements because of construction work on adjacent properties, along with years of battles with contractors who refuse to take responsibility for deficient work. Last year, I introduced a bill to address this, but it did not move to a final vote before the end of the council period. That’s why I re-introduced the Substandard Construction Amendment Act of 2019 this week, which requires negligent contractors to repair damage or pay for a different contractor to repair damage when District homeowners are harmed through no fault of their own. You can read more about the legislation here and follow its progress through the Council here.

A Tax Problem-Solver for District Taxpayers: The District’s tax office has come a long way over the past few decades, seeing significant modernization of its tax systems. However, there is always room for improvement. Every month, I get calls from residents and businesses with epic sagas about trying to pay taxes to our Office of Tax and Revenue. Paying taxes is important for keeping our city running, and it shouldn’t be especially hard or maddening.

I introduced a new bill to address this by giving District taxpayers a designated tax problem-solver, as well as making sure we’re continuously evaluating our tax practices. It creates a new, independent agency to help navigate our tax office and resolve complex tax problems that have not been addressed through normal channels. You can read more details about my Taxpayer Advocate Act of 2019 in the press release here and follow its progress here.

COMMUNITY UPDATES

Celebrating Briana Thompson: Last month, Daniel Savery and Liz Weiss on my LaborImage.png Committee staff attended the graduation for the Building Futures program, the construction pre-apprenticeship program for the AFL-CIO’s Metro Washington Council. We have long seen positive results from the program, with graduates going into union apprenticeships and others finding jobs elsewhere in the field.

I was ecstatic to learn that one of the two women graduating, Briana Thompson (pictured in the back row), learned about the program at the October career fair that I co-hosted with my colleagues Charles Allen and Robert White. Briana did not only graduate but also had two promising interviews and expected to start work in the near future. These are the stories that continue to inspire my office and other jobseekers, and I can’t express enough how proud I am of Briana and the other program graduates!

Construction Training for Ward 7 & 8 Residents: 11th Street Bridge Park and Skyland Workforce Center are partnering again to launch another round of construction training for Ward 7 and 8 residents from Tuesday, January 22 through Tuesday, January 29. Find additional details in this flier.

Hamilton Relay Scholarship Available: I’ve received notice that no applications have been submitted yet for this scholarship. Thousands of students seek scholarship money every year, and I would hate for an opportunity for financial support to be lost. Please help spread the word about the Hamilton Relay Scholarship supporting graduating high school seniors in the District who are deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind or have difficulty speaking. The application deadline is January 19, and more information is available here.

DCPS School Lottery is Open: My School DC Lottery is now open for DC Public Schools’ 2019-2020 academic year. Applications are being accepted through February 1 for grades 9-12 and through March 1 for grades PK3-8. More information is available online here, and questions can be directed to the DCPS Enrollment Team at enroll@dc.gov or (202) 478-5738.

Upcoming Events:

Thanks so much for reading. Best wishes for a peaceful, healthy, and joyous 2019!

Elissa.