Since January 2021, I’ve had the honor of representing Ward 4 on the DC Council. Here’s what I’ve delivered during my time in office.

Addressing housing affordability

  • Early in my first term I took action against negligent landlords by working with the DC Attorney General to file lawsuits and win consent decrees. In November 2023 I continued this work by introducing the Do Right by DC Tenants Act, to prevent landlords with unaddressed issues of severe neglect from taking on new properties.

  • One of my proudest achievements on the Council was working closely with Councilmember Brianne Nadeau to pass the Homes and Hearts Budget Amendment. This powerful provision of the DC budget funds new housing vouchers to end homelessness for hundreds of DC residents and families every year.

  • In early 2023, when tenants in rent controlled buildings were threatened with massive rent hikes, I successfully fought to limit rent increases for tenants in rent-controlled units. This win was particularly important for our seniors and neighbors with disabilities.

  • DC’s high housing costs are a challenge for seniors in particular. During COVID many seniors fell behind on their mortgages and risked losing their homes. I led the fight to extend the moratorium on foreclosures until federal assistance could arrive.

  • And part of being a leader is bringing new ideas to the table. One of the reasons I’m so determined to serve four more years is to pass the Green New Deal for Social Housing. This bill, introduced in April 2022, will create a new agency tasked with creating mixed-income, deeply affordable, and sustainable housing in ways that other cities around the world are already using with success.

Strong schools for every student

Our Ward 4 schools are phenomenal. Ward 4 has outstanding educators, principals, social workers, parent-teacher organizations, and students, and they inspire me to make sure they have what they need to thrive.

  • I led the Council to fund a full-time librarian in every DCPS school. School librarians are a key part of academic excellence but also supportive learning environments for every student.

  • We passed the DCPS Digital Equity Act to ensure that students and teachers have the classroom technology they need to succeed.

  • We fought against and reversed big budget cuts to many of our schools for 2023 that would have led to fewer teachers, fewer counselors, and fewer teacher aides at many of our local schools.

  • We fought alongside the Washington Teachers’ Union and won the pay increases for DCPS teachers, to help make DC schools a place where excellent teachers want to work.

  • Through the Homes and Hearts Amendment we also passed permanent pay raises for early childhood educators. Early childhood education is a key part of long-term academic success, and educators deserve to be paid comparably to their DCPS counterparts. 

  • We did summer readiness tours to fix maintenance issues at every single one of our Ward 4 DCPS schools. I also led the Council to pass emergency school maintenance legislation to do the same for schools across the District.

  • I passed and funded the School Transparency and Security Act together with Councilmember Robert White to fix door locks, PA systems, and security cameras at schools that keep students safe.

  • We solved the severe overcrowding at Roosevelt High School and secured a new dedicated space for Roosevelt STAY — an achievement that many people told me was “impossible.”

  • We secured a swing space in Ward 4 for Truesdell Elementary to keep students from being sent to another ward while their school was being modernized

  • Together with school communities, we advocated and one an accelerated modernization of Truesdell, Whittier, and LaSalle Backus. The modernization of those schools is now expected to complete a year ahead of schedule.

Community safety

During my time as Assistant Attorney General for DC in the Juvenile Section of the Public Safety Division, I learned to use safety strategies that are backed by evidence.

Evidence clearly shows it takes safety agencies working together to reduce violence. That's the approach I've taken when it comes to our safety work. Here’s what that has included so far:

  • I brought intensive intervention to Kennedy Street and Petworth, two of the neighborhoods that have experienced the most challenging violence. We started this work by bringing slumlords to court to address blighted properties where illegal activity was taking place.

  • We successfully advocated to bring the Office of the Attorney General’s CURE the Streets program to Kennedy Street and their work has since expanded to more parts of the ward.

  • Kennedy Street is now a focus area for DC’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention, which provides both immediate crisis response services and long-term stabilization support.

  • In June 2023, the largest criminal crew in Ward 4 was held accountable when a dozen alleged members were indicted on federal charges.

  • After fierce Council oversight, in early 2024 DC's crime lab regained accredidation for one of its three core functions. The Crime Lab had been unable to process evidence since losing its accredidation in April 2021, and this forced DC to outsource evidence analysis to labs all over the country, where they were often de-prioritized. Regaining partial accredidation for the Crime Lab is an enormous step in improving prosecutions.

  • I secured six new CCTV security cameras for MPD Fourth District to address coverage gaps in at-risk areas and provide more evidence for MPD to investigate cases.

  • Disagreements between young people should never escalate to deadly violence. In 2023 I introduced The Conflict Resolution Education Amendment Act, which will require conflict mediation to be taught in every school curriculum.

  • Poverty is a contributor to violence and ending poverty is a violence reduction strategy. We partnered with the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement to create a dedicated job training and transitional employment program for at-risk individuals in Wards 4 and 5.

  • In 2021 we held a jobs fair on Kennedy Street with dozens of partner agencies who provided people with jobs on the spot.

  • We know young people in particular are involved in violence at concerning rates, so I advocated for and won an additional lawyer in the OAG to do more prevention in at-risk youth. And in July this year we expanded Safe Passage to support student arrival to and departure from school.

  • Every solution to reducing violence includes strong partnerships between agencies and the community. We have proactively requested support from and coordinated efforts between DC agencies. We also made sure that community members were part of these conversations, and have held community safety strategy discussions in multiple parts of Ward 4.

All of this has had results. In ANC 4D, home to Kennedy Street, we saw a measurable decrease in violent crime and homicide in the two years since intensive interventions began. As of March 2024, violence across the District is trending in the right direction and we will continue working to build on this progress.

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Expanding economic justice

The safest communities aren’t the ones with the most arrests — they are the ones with the most resources. So from rental assistance to school facilities and more, I’ve worked to bring resources to the Ward 4 community. This is a key part of my approach to office.

  • When we passed Homes and Hearts, we put money back into the pockets of working families through the Earned Income Tax Credit.

  • We gave SNAP a raise and increased the minimum monthly Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) payment guaranteed to all participants, helping families all over DC put food on the table.

  • I strongly support and remain committed to protecting Initiative 82, which phases out the inequitable tipped minimum wage for service workers.

  • And I was proud to help pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, to give domestic workers in DC some of the same basic workplace protections of every other worker.

Making streets safer

Everyone deserves to get around safely, no matter our age, ability, or whether we’re driving, taking transit, biking, or walking. DC has lost too many loved ones to traffic violence — including Ward 4 neighbors Timothy Abbott and Zy'aire Joshua — and neighbors all over DC have witnessed repeated crashes but have been told there was no reason to change the traffic pattern.

  • I led the Council in passing and funding the Safe Routes to School Act, which will require major traffic safety improvements at every school in DC, starting from the ones that have been left behind.

  • I have fought alongside ANC commissioners and neighbors for traffic safety improvements at countless dangerous intersections alongside our ANC commissioners and neighbors.

  • Ward 4 now has dozens more speed bumps, speed tables, traffic lights, pedestrian islands, and all-way stops than it did three years ago — and every day we are fighting for more.

Responding to COVID

I became Councilmember in the middle of a pandemic that threatened everyone’s health and working families’ ability to simply get by. So we got to work.

  • Staying home was a matter of safety during this time. I led the fight to extend the moratorium on evictions until rental assistance became available to allow as many people as possible to stay at home safely.

  • When rental assistance did become available in the form of the STAY DC program, my office worked with community organizations to host application assistance clinics right outside of apartment buildings to make sure Ward 4 tenants got the rental relief they needed.

  • Thousands of people depended on unemployment during the pandemic to cover basic expenses like housing costs and medication. Together with my colleagues on the Council, we provided millions of dollars in relief funds for workers excluded from traditional unemployment, including thousands of immigrant neighbors, returning citizens, and people in the cash economy who can’t use unemployment but who needed help.

  • Some of the people who needed vaccinations most were having trouble accessing them. We partnered with community organizations to reach out to seniors who don’t have internet access to help them sign up for appointments. Not only that, my office arranged for buses to take veterans and seniors to vaccination sites for their appointments.

As vaccines became available to everyone, we noticed that Ward 4’s vaccination centers were crowded and unsafe. I fought to secure a larger vaccine site at Lamond Recreation Center where thousands of Ward 4 residents (including my mom) got free vaccinations.

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Supporting seniors

Ward 4 has the most amazing, caring, dedicated seniors in DC, and they have made Ward 4 what it is today.

  • DC has a program to help seniors with home repairs and renovations, but it’s been backlogged for years. Through fierce oversight I succeeded in both increasing funding for the program and improving it so that seniors in Ward 4 can care for their homes and age in place.

  • To make sure seniors know about all the resources and programs DC has available, I deliver a print newsletter to hundreds of seniors in Ward 4 every quarter. (Know a senior who needs one? Learn more about this on the Council office website.)

  • And it has been an honor and a joy to host annual Turkey giveaways, holiday dinners, Senior Jubilees, Mothers Day and Fathers Day events, special events and programs with the Departments of Aging and Community Living and Parks and Recreation, and visits and ceremonial letters for special birthdays — especially our centenarians.

Meeting the needs of our community

Finally, constituent service requests for pothole repairs, leaf pickup, parking accommodations and more are a huge part of the work of any ward-level office. People from all over DC call our office with constituent service requests because they know the Ward 4 office gets stuff done.

  • We've knocked on the doors of thousands of Ward 4 residents as part of our Community Access, Resource, and Engagement (CARE) Days. I started CARE Days during the height of the pandemic to listen to neighbors on their doorsteps, and bring resources and services to residents directly.

  • Over the last three years my office has responded to more than 7,000 requests for service. From broken streetlights to picking up bulk trash, we've responded to an average of 20 community requests every day — more than any other Council office.

  • I'm an incredibly proud supporter of our local small businesses, including our five Main Street corridors including Uptown Main Street, Takoma Main Street, Lower and Upper Georgia Avenue Main Street and our newest Main Street program at The Parks.

  • I've fought alongside neighbors to deliver on hyperlocal priorities like maintaining the Juanita E. Thornton Library in Shepherd Park, delivering an all-electric bus fleet for the future Northern Bus Garage in 16th Street Heights, and winning School Connect transportation services for students in Lamond Riggs.

  • And throughout all of this, I've prioritize consistent and transparent communication via weekly newsletters, print versions for seniors, and social media platforms to make sure every resident of Ward 4 knows what's happening and how to be part of it.

We've accomplished a lot, but there is more to do.

I look forward to building on everything we've already accomplished together in my next four years in office.

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