Councilmember Todd’s Bills on Vacant Properties and Public School Nurses Progress Through Legislative Process Bill Creating Kennedy Street Advisory Committee Becomes Law
At the 35th Legislative Meeting, three bills introduced by Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd advanced through the DC Council. These pieces of legislation represent critical steps forward for Ward 4 and the District of Columbia. One bill officially became law, and two others moved forward in the legislative process.
Bill 21-321, the Kennedy Street, N.W. Economic Development and Small Business Revitalization Advisory Committee Establishment Act of 2016, introduced by Councilmember Todd on July 14, 2015, passed its final vote unanimously and has become law. This legislation creates the Kennedy Street Advisory Committee, a taskforce of agencies and community stakeholders that will work to redevelop Kennedy Street into a vibrant, pedestrian-friendly corridor with a variety of neighborhood-serving retail options, restaurants, cafes, and mixed-income housing. A full list of the Advisory Committee’s designees can be found here. “This Advisory Committee will be yet another step in revitalizing Ward 4’s Kennedy Street Corridor,” said Councilmember Todd. “I look forward to working with this body to foster robust economic development along Kennedy Street. I commend my colleagues on the DC Council for supporting this critical piece of legislation.”
Bill 21-598, the Vacant Property Enforcement Amendment Act of 2016, co-introduced by Councilmember Todd on February 2, 2016, passed unanimously by consent. This bill would make a number of changes toward enhancing the City’s ability to limit and improve vacant and blighted buildings. Most notably, it would raise the penalties against property owners who violate provisions of the law, act fraudulently, or fail to rectify violations after being notified by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. “Vacant and blighted buildings hinder economic development in Ward 4 and across the District. We must crack down and ensure properties are maintained properly,” said Councilmember Todd. “This bill will incentivize vacant property maintenance by increasing fines on owners – fostering neighborhood growth and development for everyone.”
PR21-1009, the Public Schools Nurse Assignment Emergency Declaration Resolution of 2016, co-introduced by Councilmember Todd today, passed Council unanimously. This legislation would extend the existing nursing contract with the District of Columbia Public Schools until the end of the 2016/2017 academic year. Although Councilmember Todd supports the Department of Health’s best practices for the new school nursing program, he believes that there are outstanding questions that must be resolved. Extending the current nursing contract until the end of this school year will allow time to address those questions. “This legislation is a positive step toward protecting the health and wellbeing of our City’s youth,” said Councilmember Todd. “In addition to providing time to work out the details in the proposed nursing program, this legislation will also ensure that schools with at least 20 hours per week of nursing services will continue to receive that coverage until summer – a major concern of parents I have spoken with.”