For the past several weeks, I have been working alongside my Council colleagues to respond to changes in residents and the need for racial justice and police reform. I have marched with residents, volunteers, my wife and children, and with you. This is a personal issue for me. We are now in a moment where we have to take long-overdue steps toward racial justice and equality.
Councilmember Robert White, today, recommended provisions to include in the Budget Support Act to create an all civilian police complaint board for the Metro Transit Police. White said, “Every police department should have a civilian review board to examine police complaints. It makes police departments better and builds trust with the people they serve.”
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.
Members of the DC Council and staff spent many hours consolidating several emergency bills and developing new ideas to assist District residents and small businesses during this public health emergency. On Tuesday, we passed into law the fourth iteration of coronavirus emergency-related legislation that incorporated all of the earlier emergency bills.
As we navigate through this challenging public health emergency together, I know we all are looking forward to seeing the other side of it. As Vice Chair of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG), I’m working with elected officials from across the region to continue fighting for the federal resources we need to protect and stabilize our region during this pandemic.
Tuesday, the DC Council unanimously passed a fourth piece of legislation in response to the coronavirus public health emergency.
I have been keeping you apprised of the steps that the Council has taken to support Advisory Neighborhood Commissions during this public health emergency, and have continued to listen to you and advocate for you. As a result, every coronavirus response bill, including today’s, has included additional flexibility and support for Commissions.
On Tuesday, I released a statement calling on the DC Department of Corrections (DOC) to quickly provide clarity to the public on its plans to improve conditions and operations at the DC Jail. I’m concerned about the serious reports coming from residents and employees at DC Jail during this public health emergency.
On Tuesday, April 21st, the DC Council held its second virtual legislative meeting and made adjustments to the COVID-19 Response Supplemental Emergency Amendment Act of 2020 , which the Council passed on April 7th. These changes strengthen protections for District residents and small businesses during this public health emergency. My team will continue to use your feedback to better serve District residents during this challenging time.
My top priority is to ensure all District residents have the information and resources you need to protect yourselves and loved ones from the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Although we are living through a public health emergency, together, we will overcome this.