Councilmember Brandon T. Todd Outlines Agenda With New Bills on Final Day of Legislative Session

Legislation introduced and co-introduced emphasizes commitment to seniors, education, economic development, and constituent needs.

Today, Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon T. Todd introduced two key pieces of legislation to assist District seniors and spur economic development in Ward 4. Additionally, Councilmember Todd joined his colleagues on the Council in co-introducing bills to protect seniors from exploitation, strengthen contract disclosure rules, study the needs of students with incarcerated parents, require the installation of carbon monoxide detectors District-wide, and shield residents from the negative health effects of tobacco bars.

Throughout his campaign and first six weeks in office, Councilmember Todd has committed to moving forward an agenda that focuses on expanding services for seniors, improving education in D.C. schools, supporting economic development and small business growth, and improving the quality and safety of District neighborhoods. Today’s legislative efforts represent significant movement on each piece of that agenda.

INTRODUCED BY COUNCILMEMBER TODD:

The UDC Elder Law Project Establishment Amendment Act of 2015 will create a new legal project to service seniors across the District of Columbia.

“As the Councilmember representing Ward 4, which has the second largest number of seniors in the District of Columbia, I recognize that there are a growing number of seniors who need legal assistance as they navigate complex issues facing them in their golden years, but cannot afford to seek it on their own,” said Councilmember Todd.

By amending the District of Columbia Public Postsecondary Education Reorganization Act, income-eligible seniors will gain access to free legal assistance by supervised law students at the University of the District of Columbia.

In addition to providing an important public service to aging residents, the bill also provides a unique opportunity for our only publicly-funded law school to provide training and experience for future lawyers.

The Kennedy Street, N.W., Economic Development and Small Business Revitalization Advisory Committee Establishment Act of 2015, would establish a new committee dedicated to the revitalization of the Kennedy Street corridor. The 11-member panel would meet at least quarterly regarding community retail needs, parking and transportation, and potential economic development opportunities.

“Investing in Kennedy Street requires significant collaborative measures and strong leaders to continue the progress of the revitalization of Kennedy Street Northwest,” said Councilmember Todd. “This committee will work collaboratively with the government and the community to ensure that the full potential of Kennedy Street is realized.”

The Committee would include community members, business owners, representatives chosen by Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4D and the Washington, DC Economic Partnership, and leadership or designees from the following D.C. government offices: DMPED, the Office of Planning, the Office of the Ward 4 Councilmember, the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, and the Department of Small and Local Business Development.

CO-INTRODUCED BY COUNCILMEMBER TODD:

The Financial Exploitation of Vulnerable Adults Amendment Act of 2015, introduced by Councilmember Anita Bonds, would enhance protection of District seniors by redefining the legal definition of “vulnerable adults” in the District of Columbia Theft and White Collar Crimes Act of 1982 and the Criminal Abuse and Neglect of Vulnerable Adults Act of 2000 to include persons aged 65 or older. As a result, the bill would criminalize financial exploitation of seniors across the District of Columbia and strengthen penalties for offenders.

The Consumer Disclosure Act of 2015, introduced by Councilmember Mary Cheh, would require a court or responsible administrative authority to approve any transfer of structured settlement payment rights, as well as require disclosure of any contract clause that causes a contract to renew automatically. These important measures will help protect District consumers from unfavorable agreements and assist signators in making fully informed decisions.

The Assessment on Children of Incarcerated Parents Act of 2015, introduced by Councilmember LaRuby May, would initiate a comprehensive assessment of children in District of Columbia Public Schools and Public Charter Schools whose parents have been incarcerated to evaluate the impact of parental incarceration and recommend policies that meet the needs of these children.

The Carbon Monoxide Detector Amendment Act of 2015, introduced by Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander, would update the existing Smoke Detector Act of 1978 to require the installation of carbon monoxide detectors in dwelling units, hotels, motels, hospitals, nursing homes, prisons, and residential-custodial care facilities, and create regulations for their installation and maintenance. As carbon monoxide is an odorless and potentially deadly gas, this new bill has the potential to save the lives of District residents from a silent killer.

The Tobacco Bar Regulation Amendment Act of 2015, also introduced by Councilmember Alexander, would prohibit the licensing and operation of any new tobacco bars located adjacent to or abutting a residential property. If enacted, this legislation would protect residents from the harmful effects of second-hand and third-hand tobacco smoke.

About Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon T. Todd

Councilmember Brandon T. Todd (D-Ward 4) is a native Washingtonian and lifelong public servant. He is Past-President of the Ward 4 Democrats and an active member of many civically-focused organizations across D.C. Prior to joining the Council, he served as the Director of Constituent Services in the Ward 4 Council Office of Muriel E. Bowser. Follow him on Twitter @CMBrandonTodd or at Facebook.com/brandonttodd.


Categories: State or Provincial Government, Public Education, Education, Government

Tags: constituent services, economic development, education reform, senior citizens