Yesterday, the Council voted in favor several of my major bills.
Performing Arts Promotion Amendment Act
I wrote this bill to address the loss of venues that host live music. This bill gives a $15,000 tax rebate to restaurants and other small businesses that open their space to our talented residents. DC has such a rich arts and music history, and I want to make sure this legacy lives on. Yesterday, this bill passed its first of two Council votes unanimously!
Economic Development Return on Investment Accountability Amendment Act
After hearing from so many residents who are concerned that the city does not sufficiently track the outcomes for large development projects that receive taxpayer subsidies, I wrote a bill to get that very information. This bill requires reporting on the creation of affordable housing, local jobs, tax revenue to the city, and more for every development project that receives local tax dollars. This bill passed its first of two Council votes unanimously!
Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Omnibus Amendment Act
This bill included most of the provisions of my
Housing Rehabilitation Incentives Regulation Amendment Act
. Included from my bill are provisions that:
- Reduce the amount of time tenants have to wait for housing code violations to be fixed
- Ensure that more of the money from fines on bad landlords go toward fixing housing
- Stop DCRA from delaying enforcement of housing code violations
- Require DCRA to report bad landlords to the Attorney General for legal action
- Increase fines for housing code violations that go unfixed for more than six months
This bill passed its first of two Council votes unanimously!
The LGBTQ Health Data Collection Amendment Act
I wrote and introduced this bill with Councilmember David Grosso. This bill ensures that the District has the tools to understands the health needs of our LGBTQ residents, regardless of the Trump administration's attempts to marginalize them. It allows us to better meet the needs of our LGBTQ population, which has higher proportion of many serious health and human services issues. This bill passed its first of two Council votes unanimously!
I also continued to support the
Fare Evasion Decriminalization Act
which passed the Council yesterday. Metro fails to recognize that there is a serious problem when 91% of criminal citations for fare evasion are issued to Black people. It is clear to me that criminal penalties are not the deterrent that Metro expects them to be, which makes sense because there is simply no evidence that these penalties serve as a deterrent. That’s why other jurisdictions, including King County, Seattle and San Francisco, California have decriminalized
fare evasion. It is time for a new strategy; one that doesn’t set people back for life over $2, one that doesn’t compound racial inequality, and one that is actually based on evidence.
Yesterday was a very productive day after many months of work on key pieces of legislation. We have one more step to go on most of these bills, but I am very proud of how close we are to the finish line.