Newsletter: Meet Me Out in the Street and a New Subcommittee this Fall

Dear Resident,

Fall is here! That means cooler weather, fall festivals—and this year, new Council subcommittees GP-Burlieth_Farmers_Market.jpgand an ambitious legislative agenda for the last three months of Council Period 21. That includes, of course, paid family leave. Hillary Clinton said it best at Hofstra University on Monday night: It’s about fairness for families. We must do more to support people who are struggling to balance family and work under enormous stress.

That’s why my staff and I spent this past weekend at the Glover Park-Burleith Farmers Market and Barracks Row Festival talking with residents about why we need your support and how you can help pushBarracks_Row_Festival.jpg paid leave over the finish line. I’ll be hosting community engagement tables at farmers markets across the city throughout the fall. I hope you’ll meet me in your community soon to grab some local produce and a paid leave sticker!

Back at the Wilson Building, I'm excited to welcome my new colleague and fellow paid leave supporter, Robert White. My staff and I enjoyed hosting a pie-filled welcome party earlier this week (with thanks to Dangerously Delicious Pies!), and I look forward to working collaboratively with him on many of the legislative issues below.

WHAT’S COMING UP ON OUR LEGISLATIVE AGENDA

New Subcommittee on Workforce: Last Tuesday, the Council held its first legislative FairSchedulingRally.jpgmeeting after recess, and Chairman Mendelson announced four new Council subcommittees to divide the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs formerly chaired by Vincent Orange, who resigned from the Council last month. I’m excited to chair the new Subcommittee on Workforce; my focus will be on how to increase both economic competitiveness and economic fairness in the city. The subcommittee oversees eight agencies, including the Department of Employment Services and the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity.

So what will this subcommittee be doing? You may have seen last week’s disappointing decision by my Council colleagues to table the fair scheduling bill, essentially killing it this legislative session. You can hear my discussion last week on WAMU with Kojo Nnamdi about how I believe fair scheduling and paid family leave both create more economic stability for District residents. As I said in a statement I released after the vote, I believe the fair scheduling bill is critically important to providing financial opportunity for thousands of hourly employees in the District. That’s why I’m committed to working on my colleagues’ concerns and have started engaging advocates, businesses, and District agency leaders in order to reintroduce a stronger bill next session. I’ve scheduled a subcommittee roundtable on fair scheduling issues in the District in November to continue hearing ways we can strengthen the bill from the public, along with two hearings on wage theft and pay equity. You can read more about upcoming Subcommittee on Workforce activities and how you can participate here.

Protecting Residents from Displacement: Ensuring District residents have equal and sustainable ESA-Community-Benefits-Meeting.jpgopportunities for jobs that pay a living wage and allow individuals to support a family in the city is also why I continue to be invested in the progress of the Wizards practice facility coming to Ward 8. Last week I attended two update meetings in Ward 8 on how Events DC is making sure the project with be truly beneficial to Congress Heights residents. In addition to requesting partnerships to improve Ward 8 schools, expand community arts programs, and grow entrepreneurship opportunities, residents also asked about protections from displacement as property values rise around the facility. You can hear a few residents’ feedback and concerns about how the city is working to prevent displacement on my Periscope feed from the meeting.

I’m looking forward to a hearing next month on the Displacement Prevention Amendment Act I introduced with Ward 8 Councilmember LaRuby May earlier this year. Thank you to At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds for calling a hearing as chair of the Committee on Housing and Community Development, which is scheduled for Thursday, October 20 at 10:00 a.m. in Room 120. If you would like to testify, contact the committee at (202) 724-8900 or email omontiel@dccouncil.us by 5:00 p.m. on October 19. More information is also available here.

You can see the meeting minutes and presentations from past community meetings on the practice facility posted on Events DC’s website here, and I will keep you updated as the displacement bill and community benefits process move forward.

WHAT’S COMING UP IN THE COMMUNITY

This Friday, I’m thrilled to participate in the annual D.C. Fall Career Fair hosted by my office in collaboration with Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen. It’s a direct opportunity to hear from job seekers about what the District can do to better connect resources with residents, and I’m thankful to our workforce training partners for their support to help make this event a success.

Here are a few other events happening that I want to bring to your attention:

Enjoy the start of the new season, and thanks so much for reading.

Elissa.