June 9, 2020

Hello Neighbor,
This has been a difficult time for our city. We have mourned the loss of yet more Black Americans killed by law enforcement, we have seen and participated in protests, and we continue to suffer the effects of Covid-19. I have received hundreds of emails, texts, social media messages, and calls about the unfair and unjust treatment of District residents. I have fought for residents since I arrived on the Council, and I will keep fighting to protect you and to protect your rights. 
  • On May 30th, I shared a video expressing my anger with President Trump, who deliberately antagonized the Black community as people of color and allies protested for racial justice. As our nation grapples with calls for significant police reform, I also shared my disappointment with proposed budget cuts to our local violence interruption programs that effectively reduce crime. 

  • On June 1st, as vice-chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, I joined regional elected officials in a unified call for racial equity in this statement we released. We are calling on residents and officials to take action on racial justice and true equality.

  • On June 2nd, I released a statement calling on the Mayor to end the city-wide curfew so that first amendment protests in support of racial justice could continue. I also asked her to pursue an investigation into assaults by law enforcement on residents and visitors participating in peaceful demonstrations and for an end to the military tactics that were used against peaceful protestors. I am committed to getting a full investigation of the Swann Street incident, which will shape how law enforcement agencies interact with peaceful protestors. I want to ensure our local government protects District residents and visitors.

  • On June 6th, I joined several of my Council colleagues, staff members, and other advocacy groups in protest and to march for racial justice. I also joined Justin "Yaddiya" Johnson, leader of Long Live Go-Go, and hundreds of residents for a march from U Street to Black Lives Matter Plaza.

Now is a time of action, not silence. Despite profound and continuous discrimination, inequalities, and even violence, many people of color have never believed that there would be enough commitment to make real progress on racial justice. I believe that commitment exists today. The Council needs to act boldly to prioritize racial equity and to dismantle systemic racism.
The District is one of the most progressive jurisdictions in the nation, and each of us has a responsibility for turning this tide. My vision is to continue pulling our city together and bringing more people to the table so that we can make progress in this pivotal moment. Without change, there will be no justice.
I was proud to co-introduce the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 , authored by Councilmember Charles Allen. This bill will improve police accountability and transparency, making our communities safer and more equitable .

This bill includes a portion of the Restore the Vote Amendment Act of 2019 , which I wrote to re-establish voting rights to incarcerated DC residents with felony convictions. I wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post outlining the importance of this legislation. Historically, disenfranchisement laws are used as a tool to marginalize Black and Brown people in our country. As a city, we cannot continue to enforce racist and draconian policies that restrict people from the ballot box. While the policing reform bill does not include all the provisions of the Restore the Vote bill, I am happy to share that it will allow residents with felony convictions at the Department of Corrections (DOC) to vote during this year's general election. 

I worked with Councilmember Allen to include several other provisions in the Comprehensive Policing and Justice Reform Emergency Amendment Act of 2020, including provisions to:

  • Expand the Police Complaints Board membership to include representation from each ward of the city;

  • Restrict District law enforcement agencies from acquiring military equipment, such as armored vehicles, grenades, or drones, and requires law enforcement agencies that currently possess this equipment to return it; and

  • Preserve the right to a jury trial for certain assault offenses against a police officer.
UPDATE : Join me and the m embers of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Xi Zeta Omega Chapter, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., Omicron Lambda Alpha Chapter for our FINAL Phirst Pham: Story Time on Wednesday, June 10 th at 7 P.M. for Zoom bedtime stories for kids PreK3 - grade 3

Register in advance for  this event .
My office is teleworking, but still available to you. Connect with me and my staff via phone or email. Please call my personal office at (202) 724-8174, committee office at (202) 741-8593 or email any of my team members.


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