Volume 27 | September 2019
  Stay Connected with Me
Dear Neighbor,
Last week, my Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) colleagues and I passed a resolution committing to add 320,000 new housing units to the region by 2030, and making the majority of them affordable to low and moderate-income residents. We will work across jurisdictions and with nonprofits and the private sector to make this happen‬. The  Urban Institute  recently released a study indicating that, if we do not act urgently on housing, nearly 220,000 more families could be priced out of our region. The cost of inaction is too high, so I am proud of this incredible milestone.

My team and I worked hard during the Council recess to prepare for the fall legislative session. The Committee on Facilities and Procurement, which I chair, will hold a hearing on October 3rd focusing on the District’s recreational spaces, with an emphasis on synthetic surface materials, as well as on the Department of General Services' efforts to maintain all DC facilities.
I will be leading an important dialogue to discuss how law enforcement agencies police children of color in the District. I will hold an oversight hearing jointly with Councilmember Allen, Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety. This is a follow up to a letter I sent to WMATA in July. Additionally, I will be looking into the issues of dedicated bus lanes and use of Metro buses to transport students to and from school. I am also excited to join the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, on October 10th, for a hearing on my Restore the Vote bill, which re-establishes voting rights for incarcerated DC residents.
I introduced The Sexual Harassment Data Collection and Reporting Amendment Act of 2019, which creates a centralized tracking system for sexual harassment complaints within DC Government agencies and requires them to report the number of sexual allegations, offenses, and outcomes from filed complaints. Agencies do not currently collect data on sexual harassment complaints. This bill will add transparency and accountability within DC Government. It also will allow the District to determine the effectiveness of the sexual harassment trainings agencies are implementing are effective.

I also introduced legislation to shift the Office of Returning Citizen Affairs (ORCA) from the Executive Office of the Mayor to the Deputy Mayor of Public Safety and Justice, which is a more appropriate placement for an office that is focused on helping returning citizens. Centralizing ORCA with the other criminal justice agencies will create more resources for returning citizens.
In the upcoming weeks, I will hold roundtables with our Advisory Neighborhood Commissions across the city to discuss challenges ANCs face as well as how Commissions invest their resources on behalf of the community. My goal for the roundtables is to deepen the collaborative relationship between the Council and our Commissions. Below are the dates and times of each roundtable:

  • Wards 3 & 4 – 9/25 – 6:00 P.M. at UDC, 4200 Connecticut Ave, NW, Building 44 Room A03
  • Wards 5 & 6 – 10/3 – 6:00 P.M. at KIPP DC College Prep Campus, 1405 Brentwood Parkway, NE
  • Wards 7 & 8 – 10/15 – 6:00 P.M. at R.I.S.E Demonstration Center, 2730 Martin Luther King Jr, Ave SE 
  • Wards 1 & 2 – Date TBD

I’m also continuing my outreach efforts to connect with senior citizens across the District. This month, I visited Congress Heights Wellness Center in Ward 8 and Hattie Holmes Wellness Center in Ward 4 and listened to their concerns and answered questions.

Hispanic Heritage Month is also here, so let's celebrate the great accomplishments of and pay tribute to the generations of Hispanic, Latino, and Afro Latino men and women who have enriched our city and society.

Finally, we can't forget the historic hearing this week in the House of Representatives on DC statehood. It was incredible to witness and be part of the fight for statehood with fellow residents. The statehood hearing and the Million Moe March (the rally to raise awareness against gun violence and DC statehood) were a win for District residents and our culture. Even my daughter Monroe, photo'd above, dressed for the occasion.
September 2019
It's difficult for District residents to visit me at the Wilson Building, so I spent an afternoon with my friends at Hattie Holmes Senior Wellness Center. I appreciate them taking time to share their concerns and questions with me.

I gave the keynote address at the Neighborhood Legal Services Jazz for Justice program. I spoke about their important work to provide access to justice for our residents.

Thank you to the Executive Director Karen Newton Cole and members of the board for keeping the organization focused on the issues impacting our city and country.

I rallied with hundreds of members of Union Food & Commercial Workers Union Local 400 who work at our local Safeway and Giant grocery stores and are renegotiating their contract.
I had a great time with friends at the Congress Heights Senior Wellness Center. As I continue my senior citizen outreach this year, I’m very thankful that they take the time to talk to me about their collective concerns and individual issues.
I visited the Recorder of Deeds building with Department of General Services and the DC Preservation League . The historic building has been vacant for a decade. The Committee on Facilities and Procurement allocated funds to stabilize this building in our last budget and I’m excited to work with DGS and the community to preserve this gem and put it to use again.

I had a great conversation with  Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments  Executive Director Chuck Bean and the Director of the Office of Housing for Virginia, Helen McIlvane, on  News 4 Your Sunday  about affordable housing and its impact in our region.
I was honored to speak to hundreds of incoming  American University  students participating in the Explore DC social justice program. I talked to them about the ongoing challenges and changes in our city, and the importance of respecting residents and our history and culture. These students will be great new members of our community.
I hope you enjoyed this month's edition of my newsletter. If you have any questions or need to bring an issue to my attention, please call my office at (202) 724-8174 or reach out to my team.


My best,

Robert C. White, Jr. Councilmember, At-Large | Council of the District of Columbia
Phone: (202) 724-8174 | Fax: (202) 727-8210 |   www.RobertWhiteAtLarge.com