Saturday, December 21, 2013

Ward 5 Report (dated 12-20-2013)

From: Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie <>
Sent: Friday, December 20, 2013 3:54 PM
Subject: The Ward 5 Report: Increasing Minimum Wage, Undergrounding Power Lines

McDuffie Banner

John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Suite 506

Washington, DC 20004

(202) 724-8028

The Ward 5 Report

December 20, 2013

Ward 5 Highlights

Holiday Party

A Message from Councilmember McDuffie

Dear Residents,
I want to thank the over 300 residents who attended last night’s Ward 5 Annual Holiday Party. It was truly a spectacular occasion and one that reflected our ward’s special character.
Because of your generosity, we collected close to 100 toys for the Women’s Wing Organization, which will distribute toys to the children of incarcerated parents over the next week, as well as Ward 5 families who reached out to my office. 1.7 million children have a parent in a federal or state prison. I am not only humbled by the selfless mission of the Women’s Wing Organization, but by Ward 5’s willingness to generously help those among us who are in need during the holiday season.
On behalf of my office, happy holidays. I look forward to working with you in the New Year.
In Service,

Senior Holiday event
Councilmember McDuffie hosted a Ward 5 Senior Advisory Board Holiday Party where Dr. John Thompson, Director of the Office on Aging, addressed guests.

Officer Atkins
Councilmember McDuffie honored with a Ceremonial Resolution, Ward 5 resident Antonial Atkins for being recognized as the 2013 District of Columbia Metropolitan Police Department Officer of the Year.

This week Councilmember McDuffie also joined the Mayor at the ribbon cutting for the House of Lebanon Senior Housing building.

Legislative & Committee Updates

Increasing the District's Minimum Wage

This week, Councilmember McDuffie voted to raise the District's minimum wage to $11.50 per hour and to expand sick leave coverage for District workers. Residents can expect to see the minimum wage increase incrementally over three years. On July 1, 2014, the rate will increase from the current $8.25/hour to $9.50/hour. Each of the next two years will see the minimum wage increase by $1 per hour, until it reaches $11.50/hour in 2016. At that point, the wage will be indexed to the consumer price index, so that it will accommodate increases in the cost of living. These bills now go to the Mayor for his signature.

 Undergrounding Power Lines

The Committee on Government Operations, chaired by Councilmember McDuffie, convened to consider and vote on B20-387, the “Electric Company Infrastructure Financing Act of 2013,” commonly known as the undergrounding bill.
Over the last 10 years, the District has suffered at least 12 major weather events which have caused lengthy outages due to downed power lines and other weather related damage. Residents in Ward 5 have borne much of the brunt of the outages especially because of our large tree canopy.
The purpose of the “Electric Company Infrastructure Financing Act of 2013” is to establish the framework for a modernization of the electric grid by beginning the process of undergrounding feeder lines. 
Though many residents have long asked for their lines to be undergrounded for both reliability and aesthetic concerns, up until now the cost to underground the existing power grid infrastructure has been prohibitively expensive.  The legislation creates a new and innovative system for financing the long awaited undergrounding of wires. 
Cost of Undergrounding
The overall cost of the project will be approximately $937 million, which, although very costly, is only a fraction of previous estimates for undergrounding.  The lower estimate was realized by choosing to selectively underground up to 60 of the worst performing feeders rather than underground the whole system. 
Under the proposal both the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) and Pepco will perform the work, with DDOT primarily responsible for installing the conduit for the underground wiring, and Pepco installing the wiring and associated equipment.  The cost allocation will be roughly $500 million from Pepco, $375 million through secured District bonds, and approximately $62 million from DDOT.  The costs of the bonds and costs incurred by Pepco will be recovered by a surcharge on customers’ bills which is estimated to be $1.50 a month in year one and at its height to reach $3.25 in year 7.  However, those customers who receive residential aid discounts from Pepco will not be assessed the surcharge.  Construction is expected to take 7-10 years.
Hiring District Residents
On October 18, 2013 Councilmember McDuffie met with Allen Lew, the City Administrator, and with Pepco officials  to express concern about the lack of a concrete plan to ensure that District residents will be hired as a result of this proposed $937 million investment. 
Following that meeting, on October 21, 2013 the Committees on Government Operations and Finance and Revenue convened a joint hearing of the Committees to receive testimony and public input on the legislation.  Many witnesses were supportive, but some shared concerns about District residents receiving jobs. 
After the hearing, Councilmember McDuffie continued to have conversations with the Mayor’s office, Pepco, and many advocates, and informed all parties that the Committee on Government Operations would be inserting a goal of having 100% of the jobs generated by this project going to District residents, where qualified, and 100% of the construction contracts to be awarded to District businesses.  Additionally, Councilmember McDuffie inserted a provision into the Committee’s version of the legislation requiring reports every 6 months from Pepco and the Mayor on their progress towards meeting those goals. 
As a result of Councilmember McDuffie’s advocacy, he received an unprecedented commitment from Pepco that it will make every practical effort to ensure that at minimum 75% of the jobs created by the project will go to District residents.   
Bill 20-387 now moves to the full Council for consideration.  It is anticipated that it will be considered by the full Council on January 7, 2014.


RIA Ceremony

Mayor Gray and Councilmember McDuffie Announce Rhode Island Avenue as the Newest DC Main Streets Corridor

Councilmember McDuffie, Mayor Vincent C. Gray, and Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) Director Robert Summers announced the designation of Rhode Island Avenue NE as the newest DC Main Streets corridor. "Rhode Island Avenue is a major source of opportunity for the District," Councilmember McDuffie said. “We can substantially enhance the amenities on Rhode Island Avenue with an investment by the city in a Main Street."
The Friends of Rhode Island Avenue NE will manage the new Main Street program. The nonprofit will work with DSLBD to develop services to support the growth and development of neighborhood businesses, beautify the corridor,  enhance neighborhood engagement, and attract and retain new businesses. At the event, James Holloway, who chairs the Board of Directors for the Friends of Rhode Island Avenue NE, reiterated the organization's commitment to attracting high-quality, family-serving businesses to the area.
The efforts of the Main Street organization will be complemented by a streetscape improvement program currently being undertaken by the District Department of Transportation and that was funded in the FY14 budget by Councilmember McDuffie. You can learn about DDOT's planning process for Rhode Island Avenue by visiting DDOT's website.


DPR Announces the 2013 Winter Wondercamp Schedule
Registration Opens Monday, November 25; Two Sessions will be Offered Session one will take place on Monday, December 23; Thursday, December 26 and Friday, December 27.  Session two will take place on Monday, December 30; Tuesday, December 31; Thursday, January 2 and Friday, January 3.
Winter Wondercamp is offered for children ages 3 to 5 years old, 6 to 12 years old and 8 to 13 years old.  Registration will open at 10 am on Monday, November 25, 2013.  Camps will operate from 9 am to 5 pm, with before care from 8 am to 9 am and after care from 5 pm to 6 pm.  Parents can either register online or by calling the camps office at (202) 671-0372.
DPR's Winter Wonderland Ward 5 camp sites are as follows:
Langdon Park Community Center (2901 20th Street, NE) : Ages 8 - 13  ** CAMP SCORE ONLY (sports camp)
Trinidad Recreation Center (1310 Childress Street, NE) : Ages 3 - 5 & 6 - 12
Turkey Thicket Recreation Center (1100 Michigan Avenue, NE) : Ages 6 - 12
For more information on DPR's Winter Wondercamp, contact DPR's Camps/Seasonal Programs office at (202) 671-0372.

DPW to Observe Christmas, New Year's Day Wed., Dec. 25, Wed., Jan. 1
The Department of Public Works announced that services will be suspended in observance of Christmas (December 25, 2013) and New Year’s Day (January 1, 2014). 
Trash and Recycling Collections:  For the weeks of December 23 and December 30, 2013, DPW will make its regular Monday and Tuesday trash and recycling collections.  Wednesday’s collections will be suspended in once-a-week collection neighborhoods.  Trash and recycling collections will resume Thursday.  In once-a-week neighborhoods, collections will slide one day, so Wednesday’s collections will be made Thursday and so on through Saturday when Friday’s collections will be made.  In twice-a-week collection neighborhoods, Thursday’s collections will be made Friday and Friday’s will be made Saturday.  Trash and recycling containers should be put out for collection no earlier than 6:30 pm the night before collection and removed from public space by 8 pm on the collection day. 
Parking Enforcement:  DPW will not enforce parking meters, residential parking and rush hour lane restrictions Wednesday, December 25 and Wednesday, January 1.  Normal enforcement will resume Thursday, December 26, and Thursday, January 2.  DPW will not tow abandoned vehicles on the holidays.   DPW will enforce parking regulations Monday and Tuesday, December 23 and 24 and Monday and Tuesday, December 30 and 31.
Ft. Totten Transfer Station:  Ft. Totten, located at 4900 John F. McCormack Drive, NE, will be closed Wednesday, December 25, and Wednesday, January 1.  Ft. Totten will be open Thursday, December 26, Friday, December 27, Thursday, January 2 and Friday, January 3 for bulk trash drop-off services 1 pm to 5 pm, and Saturday, December 28 and January 4, 8 am to 3 pm.  The next Saturday household hazardous waste/e-cycling/document shredding drop-off day is Saturday, January 4, 8 am to 3 pm, (these services are available the first Saturday of the month, except holidays). 
DPW will accept only household hazardous waste and e-cyclables on Thursday, January 2 from 1 pm to 5 pm.  DPW does not accept personal documents for shredding on Thursdays as there is no way to secure these items until the contractor is in place on the first Saturday.
Directions to Ft. Totten:  Travel east on Irving Street, NW, turn left on Michigan Avenue, turn left on John F. McCormack Drive, NE and continue to the end of the street.  Directions from additional locations can be found at
Leaf Collections:  Between December 16 and 28, leaf collections will be made from most “Area B” neighborhoods, except December 25.  In Ward 5, Area B is scheduled for collections to be made between December 23 and January 4.
Holiday Tree Collections:  Place holiday trees, wreaths and other greenery next to the trash container at the resident’s regular collection point.  Trees collected between December 29-January 11 will be recycled.  After January 11, trees will be collected with the trash as space allows in the trash trucks.
Residents can use DPW’s Web site – – to view the 2013-2014 leaf collection schedule by selecting Leaf Collection and clicking on “Check Leaf Collection Status in Your Neighborhood” ( enter your address.

Ward 5 Events

Due to the holiday season, our office is unaware of any meetings taking place next week.

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