Volume 22 | March 2019
  Stay Connected with Me
Hello neighbor,
The Council is now in what we call “budget season,” when we spend several weeks reviewing the Mayor’s budget proposal, holding budget hearings on all local agencies, and developing committee budget recommendations and reports. As a new committee chair, this budget cycle is different than my last two, so I am spending an incredible amount of time wading through the performance and needs of the agencies within my committee’s jurisdiction to make sure they can meet the needs of our residents.
I’m excited that Mayor Bowser proposed funding my Performing Arts Promotion Amendment Act, which was a major win for the arts in the District. Inspired by the decline of live jazz venues in DC, I wrote this bill with the Capitol Hill Jazz Foundation as an opportunity to support both local artists and local small businesses.
I asked the Mayor to make several critical investments in housing, school technology, mental health services, and additional services for returning citizens. I was happy to see some investments in those needs. However, I am concerned that the investments are too modest to bring about the change we need, and I am incredibly concerned about underinvestment in schools and in violence prevention programs, so I am fighting for more funding.
The economic forecast for the city has recently started to change. After several years of huge financial gains, it looks like our economy is beginning to slow down. That means we must be smart about the financial choices we make. I have been attending budget oversight hearings for the committees on which I sit, and I am chairing four hearings for the Committee on Procurement and Facilities. At each hearing, my goal is to ensure that we’re investing your tax dollars appropriately and effectively.
I encourage you to testify at one of the remaining Committee on Procurement and Facilities budget hearings. The dates are below.
· April 3rd – Contract Appeals Board at 10:00 A.M. (Room 123)
· April 4th – Department of General Services at 10:00 A.M. (Room 500)
I’m also continuing my outreach efforts to reach senior citizens across the District at their homes and wellness centers. This month, my office worked with Howard University and Howard University Hospital to organize an on-site health fair, including dental, blood glucose, and kidney screenings for residents of Seabury at Friendship Terrace Senior Living.
This month, the Council voted to confirm Dr. Lewis Ferebee as DCPS Chancellor. I met with Dr. Ferebee before the final vote to discuss my concerns with his nomination. I worried that he wouldn’t be willing to shake things up at DCPS. So, I asked Dr. Ferebee if he would commit to conducting a full review of DCPS teacher retention, including assessing the IMPACT teacher evaluation system fairness. He agreed. That gave me faith that he is willing to take on the status quo, and enough confidence to earn my vote for his confirmation. I wish Dr. Ferebee absolute success leading our DC Public Schools. Of couse, I will continue to do my oversight.
March 2019

Thank you, AARP DC Penn Branch Chapter and President Dr. DeCarlo, for inviting me to talk to your members and listen to their feedback on how our government can support and protect seniors.
I chaired the Committee on Facilities and Procurement marathon oversight hearing on the Department of General Services. I heard from over 50 residents who provided testimony on building maintenance, school modernization, composting, environmental safety, and contractor payments.
Our Black History Month program, Reflections & Milestones: What's Happening to Black DC , hosted by the Council of the District of Columbia, was powerful! Click here to see the full show.

Thank you to:

The Council honored the original 15,000 Tuskegee Airmen who sacrificed for and served our nation. Those honored included former Congressman Walter Fauntroy and his brother, William Fauntroy. 
I chaired the performance oversight hearing on the Office of the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions and heard testimony from Executive Director, Gottlieb Simon. I want to ensure our Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners are able to be the voice of the residents who elected them and receive the support they need to be effective.
I toured several schools with Education Committee Chair David Grosso to see how the Department of General Services and DCPS modernized them for our students and staff. We’re stronger when our committees work together to ensure that students are in the best learning environments. It was great to meet some of the staff and students of Lawrence E. Boone, Murch, and Bancroft Elementary Schools as well as MacFarland Middle School and Duke Ellington School of the Arts.

I was excited to see young people perform in Blacks in Wax at the Kennedy Center. They did an amazing job representing strong leaders of color.

I took my daughter, Madison, to her first ever show- ‘Picasso’ at the Gala Hispanic Theatre. We had a wonderful time! And although she had a mild tantrum, I know she’ll be a fan of the arts. One day.
‪I always enjoy meeting with fellow parent advocates. Thank you to the Ward 6 Public School Parents Organization for coming to talk to me about their school priorities and concerns.
It was an honor signing the proclamation commemorating the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, Greater Washington Board of Trade, and Consortium of Universities Washington Metropolitan Area's commitment to make our region a “Smart Region” - one that harnesses and directs technology to improve our public health, safety, and transportation.
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