Monday, April 12, 2010

Your voice is your power... be heard

I was looking through the D.C. Council 2010 Hearing Schedule because I was looking for information on the Earth Day Roundtable for by business. During my search I discovered a public hearing scheduled for April 19, 2010 at 11:00 AM on Bill 18-595, Neighborhood and Victims Rights Amendment Act of 2009 (aka the Crime Bill). The Bill was introduced by Jack Evans (Ward 2) and Jim Graham (Ward 1).

From the summary it seems like East of the River has the potential to benefit by some of the provisions in the bill. However, I'm a little disappointed that there hasn't been more outreach regarding this bill in Wards 7 and 8, where we have crime hot spots. I asked a few ANC and civic leaders East of the River if they heard of the Bill and they all said no. **raises brow**.

This morning, I sent the following email to Councilmember-at-large Mendelson, Chairman of the Committee on Public Safety and Judiciary:

Councilmember Mendelson,

I was looking for another public hearing and I happened upon the hearing for Bill 18-595 scheduled for April 19, 2010. In light of the recent shooting events East of the River, in addition to the other challenges that our communities face, I would like to request that the committee host additional public hearings and/or community outreach at convenient times (evenings or weekends) and locations accessible to the community. This is an extremely important Bill that has the potential to impact many neighborhoods East of the River. I think the community should be afforded an opportunity to 1) understand the Bill and it's implications and 2) voice their concerns and opinions. I am aware that public testimony can be submitted May 3, but this an important issue and Bill, which deserve additional dialog and community outreach. I am willing to assist with any public hearings and/or community outreach East of the River.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Warmly,
Miss V

I'm waiting for his response. I emphasized to his staff that the community outreach could be tagged onto an existing meeting such as MPD District meetings, civic association, or even organization meetings.

At any rate, East of the River needs to be heard. To testify, contact Ms. Heidi Tseu, Committee Clerk or Ms. Deborah Kelly, Legislative Clerk for Councilmember Mendelson at 202-724-7808, by fax at 202-724-6664, or via email at dkelly@dccouncil.us, and provide your name, address, telephone number, organizational affiliation and title (if any) by close of business Thursday, April 15. Persons wishing to testify are encouraged, but not required, to submit 15 copies of written testimony. If you are unable to testify at the hearing, written statements are encouraged and will be made a part of the official record. The record will close on at 5pm May 3, 2010.

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