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July 2010 Issue of The Thomas Connection Newsletter

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     The Thomas Connection
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2010
       The Thomas Connection
      July 2010                                                                     Volume 4, Issue 7

      Building Bridges, Finding Solutions, People First

      In This Issue...
      Feed The Children Comes to Ward 5
      Thomas Receives Statehood Advocacy Award
      Ward 5 Gets Met Branch Trail
      MPD Receives High Marks at Ward 5 Public Safety Forum
      Thomas Sponsors Speed Networking Event for Ward 5 CBEs in the Trades

      feed the childrenFeed The Children Comes to Ward 5
      Ward 5 Councilmember Harry "Tommy" Thomas, Jr. partnered with Feed The Children and the Greater Mt. Calvary food bank to bring in eight tractor-trailers full of food and personal care items to help 3,200 Washington, DC families in need on June 9, 2010
      . The Ward 5 distribution was the most recent stop on Feed the Children's Americans Feeding Americans Caravan, which to-date has helped more than 85,000 families across the country in cities that have been affected by the nation's economic downturn.

      Feed The Children, founded in 1979, is consistently ranked as one of the 10 largest international charities in the U.S., based on private, non-government support. In 2008, Feed The Children distributed more than 133 million pounds of food and other essentials to children and their families in all 50 states and internationally, supplementing more than 760,000 meals each day. Since its founding, the organization has reached out to help those in need in 119 countries around the globe.

      "Feed The Children touches the lives of so many families in such a positive way," said Councilmember Thomas. "It is a privilege to host this very important event in Ward 5."
      state advocacy awardThomas Receives Statehood Advocacy Award 
      Councilmember Thomas' long-standing advocacy for DC statehood was acknowledged at the June 7, 2010 25th Annual Kennedys King Awards Gala, sponsored by the State Democratic Committee. Council Chairman Vincent Gray also received an award for his commitment to achieving statehood for the District.

      Councilmember Thomas has been a tireless supporter of DC statehood. He is a member of the Council's Special Committee on Statehood and Self-Determination. Councilmember Thomas is also the author of the "51st State Commission Establishment Act of 2010," which calls for the establishment of 51st State Commission to advance statehood for the District. Most recently, he introduced the "Sense of the Council on the District of Columbia Receiving Priority Status in Statehood Deliberations in the Congress of the United States of America Resolution of 2010," which states that residents of the District of Columbia should be given all rights associated with statehood prior to Congress extending those rights to other territories.  
      rails to trails openingWard 5 Gets Met Branch Trail
      "Meet the Met," the official launch party for the opening of the Ward 5 section of the Metropolitan Branch Trail, was held on June 5, 2010. Councilmember Thomas and Congresswoman Norton provided opening remarks.

      In his remarks, Councilmember Thomas noted that the Met Branch Trail began as a vision of Brookland resident Patrick Hare. In 1989, Hare organized a group of 11 area cyclists to conduct an exploratory walk/ride. Soon after, the Coalition for the Metropolitan Branch Trail was formed to promote the potential for a multi-use trail.

      In the early 1990s, the Metropolitan Branch Trail was added to the DC
      Comprehensive Plan. The District completed an engineering feasibility study in 1997 that proved a trail would be possible, and in 1998, with assistance from Congresswoman Norton, Congress provided the Metropolitan Branch Trail with $8.5 million in demonstration project funding.

      The District Department of Transportation completed its comprehensive concept plan in 2005, after which site acquisition and construction began.
      The Ward 5 section of the trail was completed in Spring 2010.
      chief lanier at ward 5
safety summitMPD Receives High Marks at Ward 5 Public Safety Forum
      On June 14, 2010, in partnership with the 4D and 5D Citizens' Advisory Councils, Councilmember Thomas held a public safety forum at Luke C. Moore Senior High School. More than 50 residents attended.

      Using automated response software, Councilmember Thomas obtained immediate feedback from residents at the forum on their public safety concerns, evaluation of the criminal court system, and assessment of MPD. The top three public safety issues mentioned were drug activity (66 percent), loitering (43 percent), and burglaries (38 percent). More than 60 percent of residents indicated they feel very or somewhat safe in their neighborhoods. Nearly three-quarters viewed community policing as an effective tool for resolving neighborhood crime. More than half thought judges' sentencing in criminal cases is too lenient, and the vast majority agree that judges should consider the adverse impact crime has on a neighborhood and its residents when issuing sentences.

      MPD received high marks from meeting attendees. More than one-third rated MPD's overall job performance as excellent, and another 44 percent viewed it as good. Nearly half of residents rated Chief Lanier's performance as excellent, and 39 percent viewed it as good. More than three-quarters of attendees rated their District commanders as being very responsive, and 55 percent rated their PSA lieutenants as very responsive.
      Thomas Sponsors Speed Networking Event for Ward 5 CBEs in the Trades 
      As part of his ongoing initiative to promote Ward 5 businesses, Councilmember Thomas partnered with the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce to sponsor a speed networking event on June 26, 2010 for Ward 5 CBEs in the trades with large-firm procurement officers and general contractors for some of the largest District-based economic development projects. More than 20 large firms/general contractors and 20 CBEs participated in the event. "Speed networking is a great way to introduce our Ward 5 businesses to larger firms from across the city, as well as encourage these larger firms to "buy local," said Thomas.

      officialphoto.JPGHarry "Tommy" Thomas, Jr. represents Ward 5 on the Council of the District of Columbia. Thomas chairs the Council's Committee on Libraries, Parks, and Recreation. He sits on four additional committees: Workforce Development and the Environment, Aging and Community Affairs, Housing and Workforce Development, and Public Services and Consumer Affairs.

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