May 5, 2020
I have been keeping you apprised of the steps that the Council has taken to support Advisory Neighborhood Commissions during this public health emergency, and have continued to listen to you and advocate for you. As a result, every coronavirus response bill, including today’s, has included additional flexibility and support for Commissions.
The Coronavirus Omnibus Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 that passed today included two provisions that arose directly from the concerns shared by a number of Commissioners:
- The new legislation allows Commissions to grant funds to organizations that are providing aide to residents impacted by the public health emergency, even if the grants are for food and supplies, are for services provided elsewhere in the city, or are for services that are also offered by government agencies. I recognize that not all Commissions have available funds to use for this purpose. Still, a number of Commissioners requested this flexibility, and I believe it is important to allow Commissions the opportunity to assist in meeting needs across the city if they wish to do so.
- The bill also addresses concerns raised by several Commissioners regarding the petition process for the general election in November. The Council, with the leadership of Councilmember Charles Allen, has changed the petition process and reduced the number of signatures required for ballot access for all elected officials. Under the new procedure, candidates seeking election as Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners must obtain ten signatures as opposed to the existing requirement to receive 25 signatures. In addition, to avoid unnecessary in-person contact during the pandemic, the legislation allows for the electronic circulation and submission of petitions.
If you have any questions about these new provisions, please feel free to contact me or my Committee Director, Shawn Hilgendorf, at 202- 724-8077 or
I will keep fighting for you as we address this emergency together.