Charles Allen

Charles Allen Ward 6 Member of the DC Council. Focused on great schools & neighborhoods we can always call home.

Operating as usual

02/12/2021
Remarks at Jails & Justice Task Force Report Release

The conversation about what DC's next jail (or secured facility) should look like is really a conversation about what our criminal justice system should look like, act like, and what its final goals should be. Today, I joined leadership and members of the District Task Force on Jails & Justice for the release of their report "Jails & Justice: Our Transformation Starts Today." It is an 80-point plan crafted over three years to transform the District’s justice system. I funded the report way back in 2019 through the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety's budget. Sharing video from my opening remarks here. If you want to dive into the report, it's right here on the Council for Court Excellence's website, who facilitated the task force: http://www.courtexcellence.org/news-events/district-task-force-on-jails-justice-publishes-phase-ii-report-with-10-year-implementation-plan-to-transform-justice-in-dc

02/11/2021
Eleanor Holmes Norton

Join me tonight for a town hall hosted by our warrior on the Hill, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton as we talk about solutions for safety at the US Capitol and the need to bring down the fence.

Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) hosts a virtual town hall on the impact of the U.S. Capitol attack on D.C. residents, public spaces, and security today at 6:00 p.m. All D.C. residents are invited to attend. D.C. Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6) and representatives from the U.S. Capitol Police also will speak and answer questions from attendees.

Ward 6 seniors: tomorrow morning at 9 am, there will be 2,500 appointments available to get the COVID-19 vaccine. And in...
02/11/2021

Ward 6 seniors: tomorrow morning at 9 am, there will be 2,500 appointments available to get the COVID-19 vaccine. And in March, there will be registration waitlist available, something I've been asking for because I know how frustrating the current system has been on all of our Ward 6 seniors.

DC Health has also told us we can expect next week's dosage to be 50% more vaccines than where we were two weeks ago.

Web Portal: coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccinatedc

Phone: 855-363-0333

02/11/2021
Performance Oversight Hearing: Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety

The Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety will hold an Agency Performance Oversight hearing on the following agencies under its purview:

*Judicial Nomination Commission
*Commission on Judicial Disabilities and Tenure
*District of Columbia Sentencing Commission
*Corrections Information Council
*Criminal Code Reform Commission
*Criminal Justice Coordinating Council

The Post editorial board dedicated an editorial yesterday focused on the first-ever Gun Violence Prevention Director, a ...
02/11/2021
Opinion | D.C. now has a director of gun violence prevention. It’s about time.

The Post editorial board dedicated an editorial yesterday focused on the first-ever Gun Violence Prevention Director, a position I created and funded using the budget process last year working with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America DC.

Linda Harllee Harper is a great selection to set the standard for what this position can do. She'll be working in the City Administrator's office, which is important because we need to understand that gun violence is not simply a policing problem and it deserves the focus of every District government agency if we want to head off the root reasons someone might choose to use a gun.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/dc-now-has-a-director-of-gun-violence-prevention-its-about-time/2021/02/09/8f7c0834-6a65-11eb-ba56-d7e2c8defa31_story.html

Linda Harllee Harper needs to make a difference.

Each year around this time, the Council holds performance oversight hearings. These are public meetings where the heads ...
02/10/2021
Community calendar

Each year around this time, the Council holds performance oversight hearings. These are public meetings where the heads of District agencies come before Council committees to answer questions, explain what they did (and why), and hear/respond to constituents.

It's an important aspect of ensuring both a responsive and effective local government, and that process is just as important during this pandemic, when we can't hold in-person hearings as we would normally.

As I head into my own oversight of the agencies, commissions, and boards under the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, I need to hear from you. What's working with MPD, 911, and Fire and EMS? What isn't working? What about the Board of Elections and the Office of Campaign Finance? These are opportunities to dig into what an agency actually does before we turn to funding and the budget in a few months.

You can find the full schedule for every hearing upcoming (all available virtually here on Facebook) here: https://www.charlesallenward6.com/calendar

And ways you can participate (live testimony for some hearings, written testimony, video submissions) are here: https://www.charlesallenward6.com/performance_and_budget_oversight_20-21

The Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety will hold an Agency Performance Oversight hearing on the following agencies under its purview:

Some welcome news today for Ward 6 neighbors: the Federal Rail Administration has announced it will be revisiting it's p...
02/09/2021
Statement from Councilmember Allen on the Federal Rail Administration’s Decision To Revisit Project Planning for Union Station Expansion

Some welcome news today for Ward 6 neighbors: the Federal Rail Administration has announced it will be revisiting it's proposed plans on the Union Station Expansion Project to focus on greater engagement with neighbors and other local stakeholders. This is a great step for everyone who wants to see Union Station be a regional hub for the next 100 years while also being a part of the neighborhood. Here's my statement:

“The news that the Federal Rail Administration is going to take another look at what Union Station can be is excellent. We get one shot at getting a major transit hub in the heart of the District of Columbia right. We’re expanding rail capacity at a regional transportation hub, but the current proposals give away too much space to parking. Union Station should be an accessible public space for regional and national travelers, but it also needs to fit into a neighborhood. If there’s too much priority and emphasis given to getting cars in and out, you’ll get more of the same: an island cut off from the surrounding area by busy, noisy streets. The FRA needs to work closely with District officials and neighborhood leaders to ensure the Union Station design matches the District’s planning goals and doesn’t induce snarling traffic to a growing, vibrant neighborhood. I think this is a great sign from the new administration that prioritizing public transit and forward-thinking designs will have enormous benefits for the next 100 years. I want to give DC’s warrior on the Hill, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, a lot of credit for listening to her constituents and getting the FRA to take a second look at the preferred alternative.”

https://www.charlesallenward6.com/statement_from_councilmember_allen_on_the_federal_rail_administration_s_decision_to_revisit_project_planning_for_union_station_expansion

Today, Councilmember Charles Allen (Ward 6) is sharing the following statement after the Federal Rail Administration’s decision to revisit project planning on the Union Station Expansion Project’s Preferred Alternative, a key win for DC residents and nearby neighbors to have a greater voice in t...

We hear each week from Ward 6 residents with questions on DMV services. Many services have moved online (services here: ...
02/08/2021

We hear each week from Ward 6 residents with questions on DMV services. Many services have moved online (services here: https://dmv.dc.gov/service/dmv-online-services). For all else, there's a pause until 45 days after the health emergency in requiring to update DMV registration, driver's license or identification, and more. If you're traveling out of state, you can print out this memo from the DMV Director: https://coronavirus.dc.gov/DMV

Ward 6 neighbors - I want to flag this important conversation from AARP DC coming up next week. Financial exploitation a...
02/04/2021

Ward 6 neighbors - I want to flag this important conversation from AARP DC coming up next week. Financial exploitation and abuse for our senior residents living in long-term care is a real and growing problem. That's why I've funded additional attorneys in the Office of the Attorney General to help prosecute offenses against seniors specifically in past budgets and last year fought to restore cuts to Access to Justice grants that fund legal representation to our seniors. However, the best protection is being keeping yourself and your loved ones informed, so I'm sharing this upcoming webinar you can take in from the comfort of your living room.

Learn the warning signs of financial abuse and exploitation, how and when to report, and how local agencies can work together to prevent and address the issue, with experts from the Legal Counsel for the Elderly’s Office of the DC Long-Term Care Ombudsman, DC Department of Aging and Community Living, and local prosecutors.
💻 Register: http://spr.ly/6182He1Sk

Beginning at 1:30 pm, the Council will hear testimony from DC's Chief Financial Officer and representatives from the May...
02/03/2021
Committee of the Whole Public Hearing • Council of the District of Columbia

Beginning at 1:30 pm, the Council will hear testimony from DC's Chief Financial Officer and representatives from the Mayor's budget team on the state of the District's finances, looking back at last year. It marks the kick-off of the long process to craft the next budget.

It’s a pretty interesting and rare conversation on the broader budget, trends in our economy, and a chance for lawmakers to question assumptions, trends, and investments. If you’d like to learn more about local DC, this is a great a hearing to tune in to: https://dccouncil.us/event/committee-of-the-whole-public-hearing-38/

And given the unprecedented year we just put behind us, this will be our clearest look back at which parts of the District suffered the most, which parts stayed strong, and begin the long debate of where we, as a community, should make investments moving forward to help residents. Given that I'll need to hear from you in the coming months, today's hearing is a great way to get a baseline framing of what we're working with.

Public Hearing • Committee of the Whole Committee of the Whole Public Hearing Date Wednesday, February 03, 2021 01:30 pm Add to Google Calendar Add to iCal Location Virtual Meeting Platform 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, DC, 20004 The Committee of the Whole will hold a Public Hearing on the follow...

01/30/2021

I wanted to share some thoughts and my focus from an oversight perspective as DCPS parents prepare to for a limited return to in-person learning. Whatever decision you made for your student(s), I know it was a tough one.

And for our teachers and staff, stay in touch and let me know how your experience is. We have to get through this by working together.

Hey folks, I wanted to provide an update on vaccines heading into this week’s releases. There are a number of updates ba...
01/27/2021

Hey folks, I wanted to provide an update on vaccines heading into this week’s releases. There are a number of updates based on feedback we’ve heard and talked through with DC Department of Health and other agencies.

First, at my request, Southwest’s 20024 zip code has been added to the equity and priority appointments available Thursday mornings at 9 am. I made this request recognizing even within our Southwest neighborhood there is a tremendous disparity in accessibility to reserve a vaccine and who is being harmed by the novel coronavirus. If you live in 20024 (or 20001 and 20002) and are an eligible health care worker or 65 or older, you can log on to the portal tomorrow morning (vaccinate.dc.gov or call 855-363-0333) and request an appointment while they are available.

On Friday, the Department of Health will release more appointments for all eligible groups (health care workers + DC residents 65 and older). At 9 am log on to the portal vaccinate.dc.gov or call 855-363-0333).

On both days, there will only be 1,745 appointments available. The biggest challenge we are facing continues to be a shortage of vaccine and we will need to have patience to understand this will improve over time, but it is a challenge now. Thankfully the Biden administration has committed to a 15% increase in vaccines available to DC residents in the next few weeks. If you are not eligible for a vaccine, please do not try to register yet.

Two quick updates on the process of signing up:

First, just today DC Health committed to getting a vaccine wait list up and running. It won’t be ready tomorrow, but I wanted to share that good news and I will provide more information when it’s ready. This should help to change the dynamic that is forcing our seniors right now to battle each week for limited availability and being available right at 9 am in order to hope to secure an appointment, so I fully support this and look forward to it being implemented in the coming weeks.

Second, you can expect the vaccine portal to have some improvements tomorrow. I worked with the District’s Chief Technology Officer to share some of the major areas where I heard residents having a hard time using the website. Here are some improvements that have been made:

Improvements going into effect tomorrow, January 28, include:

• Enhanced vaccination site management: the website will automatically hide vaccination sites where all appointments are booked; previously, this was manually performed and would lead to the public seeing sites without available appointments
• Streamlined process: the removal of questions regarding insurance information will further streamline the process of booking an appointment
• Site navigation improvements: updated help text and easier to understand buttons will make the website easier to navigate
• Additional confirmation options: users will now have the option to print a confirmation page in lieu of showing an email

Improvements made to vaccinate.dc.gov after January 13 include:

• Removal of CAPTCHA during the booking process: the only remaining CAPTCHA (with enhanced performance) is during the initial screening and is required to secure the site
• Increased site resources: the site was moved to better infrastructure to support the numbers of users clicking on the site at one time and to increase the speed of confirmation email delivery
• Removal of the “change booking” capability: this functionality was removed since new appointments could not be guaranteed and the user did not know if other appointments were available until having already canceled their appointment

Thanks, as always, to every Ward 6 resident who has shared feedback, concerns, or positive news with me and my team as we work to make the whole process work better. I know we’re all ready to move past this pandemic, but we aren’t there yet. Keep wearing your mask(s) and keep physical distancing and limiting your risk. We are making progress, even though I know right now in the hard days of winter it might not always feel like it.

Talk to you soon.

Hey Ward 6, there is additional funding available for DC residents who are otherwise ineligible for traditional unemploy...
01/26/2021

Hey Ward 6, there is additional funding available for DC residents who are otherwise ineligible for traditional unemployment benefits or PUA. This applies mainly to three categories:

1) Recently returned citizens from incarceration;
2) Undocumented residents;
3) Anyone who earns a living primarily in the cash-based economy.

Funding is through DC Cares (local tax dollars) and up to $1,000 per applicant. Importantly, if you received funding last year through DC Cares, you are not eligible this round.

Apply and learn more here (inglès y español): https://production.powerappsportals.com/en-US/

Hey folks, I'm looking to hire a legislative counsel or policy advisor to join my Committee staff and I need your help t...
01/21/2021
Legislative Counsel/Policy Advisor

Hey folks, I'm looking to hire a legislative counsel or policy advisor to join my Committee staff and I need your help to find the best possible person. This is a full-time job working remotely (for now) and eventually back at the John A Wilson Building downtown. I'm looking for someone with a strong interest in criminal justice policy and ready to get to work in a wide-range of areas that fall under the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety's oversight. The job requires (among other skills) strong writing skills and the ability to connect with and work collaboratively with a wide-range of advocates, council colleagues, and constituents.

The full job listing is here, including salary range and benefits: http://www.charlesallenward6.com/legislative_counsel

Please share with anyone who you think might be a good fit on my team - we're excited to welcome them onboard!

Ward 6 Councilmember and Chair of the D.C. Council’s Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety seeks a Legislative Counsel or Policy Advisor to join his Committee staff. The incumbent will maintain a portfolio of legislation and oversight matters within a high-volume and fast-paced legislative ...

01/19/2021

Quick check-in less than 24 hours until #inauguration2021. As much as I want to be there tomorrow with my daughter for this historic moment, we will be tuning in and watching from home. I know neighbors are planning to step outside and make some noise to welcome President Joe Biden and Madam Vice President Kamala Harris.

Get text alerts by texting “INAUG2021” to 888-777. See something suspicious? Email [email protected] or text MPD at 50-411.

Stay safe Ward 6.

Hey neighbors, to answer the question on everyone's mind, yes, expect trash and recycling collection this week, followin...
01/19/2021
Charles Allen on Twitter

Hey neighbors, to answer the question on everyone's mind, yes, expect trash and recycling collection this week, following a normal holiday schedule (slide one day past your normal collection date). This should include residents inside any checkpoints.

https://twitter.com/charlesallen/status/1351317160237412356

“This is regarding questions about whether trash collection will take place as scheduled (with the holiday slide) in #Ward6. https://t.co/KduBDx8VGc”

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