News from Mayor Muriel Bowser: Fall Legislative Agenda

Muriel Bowser Ward 4

John A. Wilson Building

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20004

Phone: (202) 727-2643

Chief of Staff:
John Falcicchio

City Administrator:
Rashad Young

Director of the Mayor's Office of Legal Counsel:
Mark Tuohey

Senior Advisor:
Beverly Perry
Director of Mayor's Office of Community Affairs:
Charon Hines

Director of Mayor's Office of Community Relations and Services:
Tommie Jones
Scheduling Requests:

September 22, 2016 | Vol. 2, Issue 36

Letter from the Mayor

Dear Washingtonians,

Over the past 20 months, my Administration has celebrated many successes. When it comes to working with our partners on the Council, we have made some major achievements by passing legislation that will increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2020; will put us on the razor’s edge of body-worn camera implementation by deploying more than 1,200 cameras; and will preserve and create affordable housing with a $100 million annual investment in the Housing Production Trust Fund. 

This week, with the DC Council back in session, I am rolling out my Fall Legislative Agenda. This agenda gives my Administration another opportunity to build on the work we have done and puts forth new ideas that will make the District safer, stronger, more affordable, and a better place to work and do business.

There is more to come in October, but this week's newsletter is dedicated to highlighting some of the items in my Fall Legislative Agenda. 


Muriel Bowser

In This Week's Newsletter:

A Safer, Stronger DC

Keeping residents and visitors safe is at the top of Mayor Bowser's priority list, and we will continue to work with the community to do so. 

Tackling Crime and Building a More Robust Police Force

Just over a year ago, the Bowser Administration put forth the Safer, Stronger DC plan, a comprehensive public safety agenda to combat violent crime in the District of Columbia, and keep our city safe and strong. Since taking office, we have launched the Robbery Intervention Task Force, equipped over 1,200 officers with body-worn cameras, increased the number of private security cameras installed throughout the District, relaunched the District's illegal gun initiative, and graduated more than 100 community members from the six-week Metropolitan Police Department Community Engagement Academy. Of course, there is still more to do. 

On Tuesday, the Council passed emergency legislation introduced by Mayor Bowser that will help create a more robust police force by expanding the age of eligibility for the police cadet program from 21 to 25, and by encouraging our older, more experienced officers to stay on the force. We also introduced legislation that will close a loophole in the GPS monitoring laws so that we can ensure that all people granted release are held accountable.

In addition to this legislation, we recently made changes to our body-worn camera program that will increase accountability around the use of cameras and provide officers with more training. Dispatchers now remind officers to turn on their cameras, and officers are required to acknowledge over the radio that they have activated their camera when responding to a call for service or having a resident interaction. 

A Better Metro

In May, the Mayor worked with the governors of Maryland and Virginia on legislation that would create the Metrorail Safety Commission, an oversight commission that will provide safety oversight for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA). The Commission is an important step toward creating a safer and more reliable Metro system, and an example of what can be achieved when the region comes together. This legislation will go before the Council in the coming weeks.

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A Fair Shot in All 8 Wards

Mayor Bowser is always working to make DC a better place to work and do business. As the District grows - some estimates showing we will reach 800,000 people within the next 20 years - we are committed to ensuring that prosperity reaches all 8 wards. 

Economic Development Across the District

During the summer, Mayor Bowser worked with the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) to create 10 pieces of legislation that will produce 799 units of affordable housing, over 4,400 construction and permanent jobs, and $865 million in tax revenue over 30 years (plus construction period). 

DMPED is charged with executing the Mayor's economic development strategy in order to create a vibrant and competitive place for job creation, relocation, and growth.

Expanding Opportunities for Certified Business Enterprises

The Certified Business Enterprise (“CBE”) Program helps certified small, local and minority businesses—called CBEs—pursue government contracts. However, despite this help, some CBEs are unable to meet insurance requirements that make them eligible to compete. Securing bonding is a major challenge for small businesses and it greatly impedes their ability to compete for government contracts.

Mayor Bowser is proposing legislation, the “Certified Business Enterprise Bonding Liability Clarification Amendment Act of 2016,” that would reduce the insurance requirements on small businesses related to bonding and surety liability for certified ventures. Specifically, this legislation removes the burden from CBEs to carry at least 51% sole liability for bonding when forming certified joint ventures when applying for government contracts. Many CBEs simply do not have the financial capacity to bond and carry liability for 51% solely and individually. 

Regulations that Make More Sense

This summer, Mayor Bowser spent a week at the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). Now, we are introducing the “Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Community Partnership Amendment Act of 2016.” This legislation will make DCRA work better for everyone.

This legislation serves to do three things: provide an exemption from DCRA business license requirements for de minimis business activity (i.e. a child’s lemonade stand or a sports team's pop-up car wash); require landlords to maintain and post a 24-hour phone number for tenant reports in a visible place; and clarify that the owner-of-record or an authorized agent are the only parties who can register a property as vacant. These three changes will make it easier to do business in DC and give consumers better protections. 

Additionally, through rulemaking, DCRA has submitted language to allow one-family rentals to self-certify their property and exempt them from inspection requirements prior to obtaining a basic business license if they meet certain housing code requirements.

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Ending Homelessness

Coming into office, the District's homeless crisis was at the top of Mayor Bowser's priority list. Last year, the Mayor and the DC Interagency Council on Homelessness released HomewardDC, a comprehensive five-year plan to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. The goals in the plan are ambitious, but achievable. Since taking on this issue, the Administration has been focused on solutions and committed to taking necessary actions. 

As we work toward ending homelessness, it is important to ensure that we do so in the most efficient and effective ways possible for District residents. Legislation introduced by the Mayor will help us better identify District residents when working to house families experiencing homelessness. In addition to this legislation, we will continue to build on the preventative measures we have put in place to stop families from falling into homelessness in the first place.  

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Statehood: What's Next?

Earlier this year, the New Columbia Statehood Commission published a draft Constitution and asked for feedback from District residents both online and at the Constitutional Convention. In June, the Statehood Commission approved the proposed Constitution. 

In the coming weeks, the draft Constitution will be sent to the Council for approval. The first Council hearing on the Constitution is set for September 27 and the second hearing is set for October 6. 

In November, residents will vote to make DC a state. If voters approve the four questions on the advisory referendum, the Statehood Commission will submit the information to the President and Congress. With defined boundaries, a ratified constitution, a commitment to representative government and, most importantly, the will of the voters, the Commission will request admission to the United States.

Learn more about DC statehood at

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