Volume 29 | November 2019
  Stay Connected with Me
Dear Neighbor,
Many senior citizens fear the rising housing costs will make it almost impossible for them to stay in the District. Those on fixed incomes often do not have enough money to cover increasing costs of rent, medication, utilities, and groceries, so I introduced The Golden Girls Bill .

My bill will allow seniors who own homes to rent affordable rooms to seniors who need housing, creating small communities within existing homes, just like in the television show, "The Golden Girls". There are almost 20,000 seniors, in the District who own houses where they brought home newborns, raised teenagers, and watched with pride as their children set off on lives of their own. Now, spare bedrooms sit empty and their houses can often feel too big for just one or two people. This legislation will provide those seniors with a grant to make necessary changes to the house, like installing locks on bedroom doors, grab bars in the tub or shower, more comfortable handles on doors or faucets, or even better insulation. It will also waive the fees for renting. Finally, the bill will provide senior homeowners with a stipend of $300 a month as an incentive to open up their homes to other seniors who want to continue living in our great city.  
Also, this month, the Committee of the Whole and the Committee on Education held a joint hearing on my  Financial Literacy Education in Schools B ill , which would create a financial literacy class for 11th- and 12th-grade students in all DC public high schools. Too many students learn about finances through trial and error when we could instead prepare them to make smart financial decisions before they enter adulthood. My bill calls for this pilot course to instruct students on the basics of personal finance and will cover topics including saving, investing, interest, credit, household budgeting, taxes, and financial aid. 
As Chair of the Committee on Facilities and Procurement, I held a joint oversight roundtable with the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, chaired by Councilmember Charles Allen, on how the Metro Transit Police Department's (MTPD) policing practices impact communities of color. I called for this roundtable in response to the community's outcry for answers after several incidents of potential police misconduct against Metro riders of color. The roundtable brought the community, DC Council, and MTPD together to discuss the experiences people of color are having and how we can improve policing practices. I called for more transparency at MTPD, more diversity on the WMATA board, and a civilian complaint board to address MTPD issues. I intend to work with Councilmember Allen, Chief Ronald Pavlik of the MTPD, and our regional partners to move forward.
Finally, on Entrepreneurship Day, I introduced my  Small Business Procurement Reform Omnibus B ill , to help our local small businesses get paid quicker and secure more contracts. This bill also protects our small businesses by closing loopholes, tightening compliance, and preventing outside companies from claiming to be local businesses.

Many District businesses are in jeopardy of being displaced, like Check-It Enterprises, We Act Radio, and District Clothing, all right in the heart of Ward 8. To secure the future of these three businesses in the District, I introduced a bill to provide a $2 million grant to help these important community institutions buy the buildings they operate out of in order to protect them from displacement. We have to start protecting our small businesses. My hope is that we can learn from and expand this model. I thank Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Chair of the Committee on Business and Economic Development, for holding a hearing on this bill, where it received broad community support.
November 2019
Please be aware of EBT Scammers!

Scammers have figured out how to clone Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards from multiple states, including the District of Columbia to steal TANF and SNAP funds. If you are using a common PIN number, such as 1234 or all one number, please change your PIN immediately.

There are three ways to update your PIN:

1.      Call EBTedge at 888-304-9167
2.      Log in to  www.ebtedge.com
3.      Go to the EBT office at 645 H Street NE or 1649 Good Hope Rd, SE

If you believe your benefits have been stolen, you should verify when and where the funds were spent by calling the EBTedge phone number or logging into the EBTedge website and follow the prompts for reporting.
It's that time of the year when the temperatures are low and hypothermia is a concern for our homeless community. When the temperature or wind chill can be 32 or below, the District of Columbia issues a Hypothermia Alert, so let's be aware of those homeless individuals who may need shelter and heat.

Transportation to a shelter is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you see someone outside in need of shelter or a welfare check, call the Shelter Hotline at (202) 399-7093 or dial 311. If there is an immediate risk to safety, call 911. 
Safeway's annual  Feast of Sharing  will take place from 9:30 A.M. until 1 P.M. on Wednesday, Nov. 27th at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, located at 801 Mount Vernon Place NW.

This free Thanksgiving meal also includes live entertainment, and free health screenings and clothing. Spread the word.

For more information, visit: http://bit.ly/345MsZK
It is always a pleasure to see the WHUR FM family. Thank you, Bobby Gailes and Taylor Thomas for allowing me to join you to support the Thanksgiving food drive. We fight hunger together!
DC Bilingual Public Charter School PreK4 classes shared their concerns with me about cracks in the sidewalk, litter in the woods, and protecting butterflies. There were multiple advocates for stink bugs, too! Hard to say no to these kids.
I was honored to join Councilmembers   Kenyan McDuffie  and  Trayon White to present the Go-go Legacy Hall of Fame Award to the late Reggie “Polo” Burwell. Polo was the artist behind the “bounce beat” sound.
I presented a ceremonial resolution to Sikh Gurdwara DC Temple recognizing the 550th Anniversary of Gurpurab.

I was happy to celebrate the birth anniversary of Sri Guru Nanak Dev Ji, the founder and first Guru of the Sikh faith. I thank Sikh Gurdwara DC Temple for their contributions to our community and for welcoming me and my family.
I thank the DC Reentry Task Force for inviting me to speak at their meeting. I enjoyed the healthy discussion about ways to improve services for the District's returning citizens and look forward to working with the DC Reentry Task Force to ease the road home for our returning citizens.
I hosted former Express Newspaper distributors at the Wilson Building to present them with a ceremonial resolution recognizing their years of service after the abrupt shutdown of the paper in September. These distributors rose before the sun to deliver news to commuters and were the first smile many saw every morning for 16 years, reaching over 239,500 readers daily.
I had fun reading to students at Garrison Elementary School for the 100th Anniversary of  National Children's Book Week .

I truly enjoyed the rap portion of A Little Girl in a Big, Big World , written by  DC Public Schools  students, Daijha Cain, Ashley Cooper, and Makayla Harris.

I thank  Everybody Wins DC  for the invitation and book recommendation. I now have a new book to read to my daughters.
Thanks to the seniors and staff of the Washington Senior Wellness Center for having me this month. I enjoyed spending time with them and appreciate them taking the time to share their concerns as I continue my senior outreach.
I attended the Palisades Town Hall to discuss community concerns and upcoming legislation.
I was extremely excited to introduce a ceremonial resolution to recognize Curtis Lawrence, III for his academic achievement of being dually enrolled at  School Without Walls High School  and  The George Washington University .

Congratulations to this accomplished young man! We are so proud of him.
I joined my Council colleagues, Elissa Silverman and  Trayon White  at the Washington Bar Association Knowledge is Power Committee’s panel, Coffee with a Councilmember. We discussed the status of DC cannabis laws and affordable housing.

Thanks to Dionna Maria Lewis  for having me.
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