From the Office of David Catania

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In This Issue
Back to School Time!
Truancy Legislation Latest
Meet My New Chief-of-Staff
Committee on Health Update
MLK Jr. Memorial Events
Office Meet and Greet
Quick Links

Non-Profit Profile

 

The Northwest Panthers Youth Organization is dedicated "to providing the best possible experience for participants, while stressing the values of teamwork, content of character, sportsmanship and scholastic achievement." The Northwest Panthers are a chapter of AAU Potomac Valley.

 

Not only do they offer football and cheerleading opportunities to engage young people, but they also offer mentoring, tutoring and workshops for the young athletes, their parents and the community. Along with these services they also have ongoing initiatives like their 2011 Northwest Panthers Feeds Families/ Capitol Area Food Bank partnership. The goal is to donate 2500 pounds of canned goods to the food bank by collecting canned goods every Wednesday at the team's practices.

 

For more information on the Northwest Panthers and volunteer opportunities, visit their website at www.northwestpanthers.org.

 

 Northwest Panthers

 

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The Catania Chronicle     

News From the Office of David A. Catania

Greetings!

 

A 'heat dome', an earthquake, and a possible hurricane; so much for a quiet summer! It's been equally active inside my office as we continue to do important work on behalf of all District residents. Below are a few updates on that work.  Happy reading, and enjoy the remaining days of summer.

 

        
                           -David
Back to School Time! 

School is back in session for DC Public and Public Charter Schools. Though back to school shopping for the perfect first day outfit or shiny new school supplies may be first on the minds of students, below are a few helpful tips for parents heading into the new school year.

 

Get your child's school year off to the right start by getting all required immunizations, paperwork, and supplies. For information on the student enrollment packet click here.

 

DC law now requires Universal Health Certificates for every student. The Universal Health Certificate proves that a physical exam was completed within the last year by the student's physician. Age-appropriate immunizations must also be documented on the Universal Health Certificate. Along with a Universal Health Certificate, all students must also have an Oral Health Assessment Form completed by their dentist if they are entering grades Pre-K, Kindergarten, 1st, 3rd, 5th, 7th, 9th or 11th.

 

If students require medication or medical intervention during the day, make sure you speak with the school's principal and nurse. The school nurses will also provide the parent/guardian with an Administration of Medication Permission Form and the Physician Medication Order.

 

To enroll your child in an afterschool program, visit the DCPS Afterschool Programs website. DCPS is also expanding food options in school cafeterias with new options including salad bars and healthier vending machine options. To learn more and to give feedback, visit the DCPS Food Services page. You can also download a suggested school supply list by clicking here. Have a great school year!

Truancy Legislation Latest 

My office has been busy this summer holding meetings with members of the public and youth advocacy community to discuss the landmark truancy and youth behavioral health legislation, the South Capitol Street Tragedy Memorial Act of 2011.  The goal of the Act is to provide comprehensive behavioral health services to District youth and modernize truancy regulations. 

 

The legislation has broad-based support both on the Council and with District residents.  I have worked to ensure an open and inclusive process.  My office has held three public meetings, five meetings with government agencies, and will have a final meeting open to everyone on August 26. 

 

The District's piecemeal approache to combating truancy and addressing youth behavioral health needs have been ineffective at best and counterproductive at worst.  By taking a comprehensive approach, the legislation seeks to address the underlying causes of both issues.  Research strongly indicates truancy and unmet behavioral health needs are two of the most significant contributes to asocial and delinquent behavior.  This legislation will strengthen the safety net that has for too long failed young people in the District.

Meet My New Chief-of-Staff

I would like to welcome Jordan Hutchinson as my new Chief-of-Staff.  Jordan has been the director of the Committee on Health for the last six years.  In her role as committee director, Jordan was charged with oversight of several city agencies, all health-related regulatory and legislative matters before the Council, and nearly a quarter of the District's budget.  She is immensely talented and brings a tremendous breadth of policy knowledge to her new position.

Committee on Health Update 

The Committee on Health, which I chair, has taken advantage of the Council's recess to continue work on implementation of the President's Health Care Reform initiatives.

 

Along with other important health care issues, my team is developing plans for implementation of the Health Insurance Exchange, a requirement of the President's Health Care Reform legislation.  The Exchange will assist District residents in comparing health plans, ensure that information about the plans is understandable, and provide access to affordable health insurance. 

 

Small businesses will be able to use the Exchange to purchase health insurance for their employees and take advantage of tax credits.  The Exchange will also determine eligibility for Medicaid.

 

The Committee on Health will take up the legislation following the Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs' mark-up of the bill in September. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Events

 

Sunday August 28th is the official unveiling of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial. While there are events and celebrations happening throughout the week prior to the unveiling, Sunday the 28th is anticipated to draw thousands of people to the downtown area to celebrate this historical event.

 

On Sunday August 28th a pre-dedication musical tribute begins at 8:30am at West Potomac Park. The official dedication ceremony begins at 11am, and a post-dedication concert will take place from 2-4pm. The day's events are free and open to the public. President Barack Obama, Maya Angelou, Stevie Wonder and Aretha Franklin are a few guests expected to participate in the dedication ceremony.

 

Before heading to the ceremony, there are a few things to know. A list of prohibited items can be found on the Foundation website at www.dedicatethedream.org. Food vendors will be on site accepting cash payments only. Beverages in plastic bottles will be permitted on the grounds, while soda cans, glass bottles and produce will be strictly prohibited. Organizers suggest visitors have a large meal before attending the dedication services, as food vendor lines may be very long, and traveling through the crowd might become difficult. Visitors will be allowed to bring cameras and video recorders as well as small handbags, wheelchairs, strollers and diaper bags. All personal items will be searched by security on site.

 

Visitors are encouraged to take Metrorail to the Arlington cemetery, Farragut West, L'Enfant Plaza or Farragut North stations. Metro anticipates large crowds, so be prepared for long waits and crowded platforms and trains. For more information on Metro services, visit www.wmata.com

Office Meet and Greet

 

Please join my office staff on September 13th from 2-4pm for an informal meet and greet. Light refreshments will be available, so come by and say hello to my staff in Suite 404 of the Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20004.

Thank you for reading. 
  
Sincerely,

 


 

D.C. Councilmember David A. Catania