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The Brazil Bulletin

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  • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
    In This Week s Issue... 91st Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 27-April 7 One NoMa Station Project Brazil Sees The Head of State New Fire Chief
    Message 1 of 18 , Mar 31, 2003
        In This Week's Issue...
      91st Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 27-April 7
      One NoMa Station Project
      Brazil Sees The 'Head of State'
      New Fire Chief is Confirmed
      Brazil Meets With Comcast Executives
      Soccer in the United States
      Gold Star
      Bonehead Award

      The brazil bulletin

      Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember

      Chair, Committee on Economic Development

      (202) 724-8174

      For the week ending March 28, 2003
      _______________________________________________________

      91st Annual National Cherry Blossom Festival, March 27 - April 7
      This year’s National Cherry Blossom Festival marks the 91st celebration of the original gift of 3,000 cherry trees by the city of Tokyo to the people of Washington, DC. The annual festival includes music and sports events, a National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade, and the Sakura Matsuri Street Festival along Constitution Avenue. The activities continue through April 7. “This is one of the most beautiful times of year to be living in the District,” said Councilmember Brazil.  “I hope both residents and tourists alike take advantage of the events that festival organizers have worked so hard to arrange.”   The National Cherry Blossom Festival Parade and Sakura Matsuri will be on Saturday, April 5. For the complete schedule of events visit
      www.nationalcherryblossomfestival.org.

      One NOMA Station Project

      Councilmember Brazil met with the Bristol Group development team, to discuss their plans for One NOMA Station, a key development project in the city’s nascent NoMa community (the area North of Massachusetts Avenue).  The Bristol Group’s development project includes the renovation of the old Woodie’s warehouse building on 1st Street, NE.  (That part of the project is nearing completion and is currently available for lease.)  Ultimately, the project may involve the construction of 4 additional buildings, consisting of approximately 1.8 million square feet.  The project is billed as the largest block of contiguous space in the District, and lies directly across the street from the New York Avenue Metrorail station that is now under construction.  The neighborhood will be anchored by the ATF headquarters building and the new headquarters building for the Securities and Exchange Commission, both of which are under construction.  The NoMa community is also a potential location for a Major League Baseball Stadium.  “The project is going to be an important catalyst to the economic revitalization of the New York Avenue strip and will ‘Keep the Momentum Going.’  I look forward to the building getting tenants very shortly, and I hope the developers are able to move quickly to the next phases of the project,” said Brazil.

      Brazil Sees the ‘Head of State’

      Filmmakers spend about $50 million annually in Washington.  The new blockbuster is “Head of State,” which premiered this week at the new Georgetown Loew’s theatre.  Actor-comedian Chris Rock starred, wrote and directed the spoof about a D.C. Councilman (Alderman) who ran and won the presidency of the United States.  After attending the premiere on Wednesday, Brazil commended the D.C. Office of Motion Pictures – they are doing a fantastic job of generating revenue for the District and showing off Washington and the local government to the world, despite the intransigence of the federal government,” said Brazil.  For more on the movie, visit www.headofstate-themovie.com.

      New Fire Chief Is Confirmed

      The D.C. Council confirmed Adrian Thompson this week as the chief of the D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department.  Chief Thompson has been a firefighter for 33 years and previously served as second-in-command to then-Fire Chief Ronnie Few.  He was named interim chief when Few resigned last summer and was nominated by Mayor Anthony Williams in November.  “I am confident that Chief Thompson will put forth the hard work and effort we need here in the District.  His resume reflects a great deal of experience, and I look forward to working with him,” stated Brazil.

      Brazil Meets With Comcast Executives

      Councilmember Brazil met with representatives from Comcast Cablevision to discuss their progress in improving operations in the District.  Brazil spearheaded efforts last year to establish strong customer service standards for cable providers in the District and to implement a new franchise agreement for Comcast, which requires Comcast to upgrade its system throughout the District.  Comcast reported that more than $72 million has been invested to upgrade the Washington, D.C. system to bring more channel choice, high-speed Internet access, and greater system reliability to District residents.  The upgrade, which was to be completed by October of 2005, has been fast tracked and will be completed by the end of 2003.  Comcast recently received a regional award for its customer service.  “Last council period we worked hard on the customer service legislation to get that kind of service for District residents.  We absolutely will insist that Comcast customers get quality services,” said Brazil. 

      Soccer in the United States

      Brazil attended the U.S. Soccer Foundation Achievement Awards at the Mayflower Hotel.  The 2002 U.S. Men’s World Cup Team was honored, as were: The U.S. Women’s National Team for qualifying for the 2003 Women’s World Cup in China; the Women’s “Under 19” 2002 World Champions; the Men’s Team for qualifying for the “Under 20” 2003 World Championship; the Major League Men’s Champion L.A. Galaxy; Women’s United Soccer Association Champion, Carolina Courage; and the Open Cup Champion Columbus Crew.

      The event marked the achievements of outstanding athletes throughout the United States.  Soccer in this country is “exploding” in popularity, including youth soccer, like “Soccer on the Hill.”  Brazil commended the awardees and pledged “to work with Major League Soccer and the Sports Commission to build a soccer specific stadium in Washington; this will ensure that the District continues to play a visible and important role in the development of soccer in this country.”  To learn more, visit www.ussoccerfoundation.org.

      Gold Star of the Week:  ZAYTINYA, for being nominated for "Best New Restaurant in the USA" by the James Beard Foundation.  Zaytinya, a 200-seat restaurant, opened in October 2002 at 701 9th Street, NW. Its menu of small plates, or mezze, pulses with the flavors of Turkey, Greece, Lebanon and other sunny climes.

      Bonehead: Del. Vincent Callahan, Jr. (R-Fairfax) for stooping too low in order to District bash – so much for regional cooperation!  (Callahan was quoted in the Post, “The District’s deteriorating… if anyone’s looking to the future, they’re [not] going to put anything in the District of Columbia”).  Had Del. Callahan bothered to pay attention, he would have seen that there is much to admire about Washington’s renaissance.  For example, there is $25 billion in development projects in the District; 18 million square feet of residential projects are planned and under construction; 15 million square feet of office space; Home Depot’s opening in the District; Best Buy and The Container Store are moving to Tenleytown; Target’s plans to open a store in Columbia Heights; H&M will put a flagship store downtown; or the Spy Museum’s incredibly successful opening downtown; and the Newseum is leaving old Virginia to be in the Nation’s capital. 

      Shana Heilbron
      Director of Communications & Community Affairs
      Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
      1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 404
      Washington, DC 20004
      www.haroldbrazil.com

       

    • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
      In This Week s Issue: Councilmember Brazil Hails Opening of the New Convention Center
      Message 2 of 18 , Apr 8 6:30 AM
         In This Week's Issue:
        Councilmember Brazil Hails Opening of the New Convention Center
        Brazil Opposes Jail Takeover By Council
        Brazil Introduces Affirmative Action Resolution
        Brazil Meets with Tenleytown Neighborhood Association
        Brazil Holds Budget Hearings for Fiscal Year 2004
        Brazil Speaks to Minority Contractors Association
        Gold Star of the Week: Odie Washington

        The brazil bulletin

        Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember

        (202) 724-8174

        For the week ending April 4, 2003

        Councilmember Brazil Hails Opening of the New Convention Center

        Brazil offered words of appreciation and support as the new Convention Center opened its doors on March 29 and 30 in Downtown Washington, D.C.    From the sparkling glass entrance doors to the high-tech laser show and ribbon cutting, Brazil noted the building and events were “first-class”.  “I have been one of the earliest and strongest supporters of the new Convention Center, and I take great pride in its opening.  The process was long and grueling, but we’ve finally made it!  I could not be happier, especially because of the 17,000 jobs that will be available,” stated Brazil.  Plans for developing the new Convention Center began in 1994, and ground was broken in October of 1998.  The goal of this project was to create a world-class convention facility in the District, to act as a catalyst for the local economy by bringing millions of visitors to the District, creating thousands of jobs, and creating spin-off effects.   Brazil noted, “The Convention Center has already has been a strong catalyst for development downtown and in the nearby communities.  After the doors open, we’ll see even more positive effects on downtown and the District as a whole.” 

        Brazil Opposes Jail Takeover By Council

        Councilmember Brazil voted against emergency legislation that would allow the Council to conduct an environmental inspection of the jail 3 times a year.  The permanent legislation will also allow non-profit groups to come into the prison and have free reign to inspect prison programs and operations.  “That level of intrusion is absurd and threatens the integrity of government,” said Brazil. The legislation anomalously also allows the Department of Health—with its myriad of problems - to serve as a monitor for the Department of Corrections.  The Department of Corrections had been under a court order for 32 years, but the U.S. District Court recently lifted the order.  Brazil said, “The court’s action is an acknowledgement that the conditions at the jail have improved, and that further outside intervention is unnecessary.  The Council action is micromanagement at its worst.” 

        Brazil Introduces Affirmative Action Resolution

        On Tuesday, April 1, 2003, Councilmember Harold Brazil introduced a “Sense of the Council Resolution,” which states that affirmative action programs, especially those in higher education, are necessary to ensure equal opportunity for African Americans and other minorities that have been historically discriminated against in the United States.  “Affirmative Action has opened up the door for African Americans and other minorities… We cannot roll back the hands of time to a period when minorities were shut out of colleges and better paying jobs,” Brazil stated.  Brazil believes that diversity in higher education can provide excellent preparation for students in an increasingly competitive and diverse global marketplace. “ Business gets it – 21 Fortune 500 companies filed amicus briefs in favor of the University of Michigan’s affirmative action policies -and I hope the Supreme Court justices get the point as well, that you can’t have a highly qualified and diverse work force unless minorities have the chance to get into good schools,” he said.  The resolution was supported by all but one of Brazil’s colleagues.

        Brazil Meets with Tenleytown Neighborhood Association

        Brazil’s “Keep the Momentum Going” PowerPoint presentation took him to Ward 3’s Tenleytown Neighborhood Association.  Brazil’s presentation covered development projects throughout the District, both in the neighborhoods and in downtown.  The presentation also targeted projects of specific interest to the Tenleytown community, including the Wisconsin Avenue Corridor, which will soon be home to Best Buy and the Container Store.  Brazil said, “These meetings give me a chance to talk directly with citizens and learn what kind of development they are looking forward to in their neighborhoods.”  Association members also questioned Brazil’s on baseball, tax assessments, and the budget.  For more about the “Keep The Momentum Going” presentation, contact Shana Heilbron, at 202-724-7782 or email at Sheilbron@....

        Brazil Holds Budget Hearings for Fiscal Year 2004

        Councilmember Brazil held budget hearings to review the proposed Fiscal Year 2004 budgets of various agencies under the purview of the Committee on Economic Development. The agencies included the Office of Cable Television and Telecommunications; Public Access Corporation; Sports and Entertainment Commission; Washington Convention Center Authority; Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development; Department of Housing and Community Development; National Capital Revitalization Corporation/RLA Revitalization Corporation, Housing Finance Agency; Office of Local Business Development; Commission on the Arts and Humanities; Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation; D.C. Chamber of Commerce; Ibero-American Chamber of Commerce; and the D.C. Marketing Center.  (The last four entities are independent of, but perform significant services for the District.)  Testimony focused on each agency’s funding request for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2003, and on the agencies’ planned activities for Fiscal Year 2004.  Each year, the Council reviews and modifies a proposed budget presented by the Mayor.

        Brazil Speaks to Minority Contractors Association

        Councilmember Harold Brazil spoke to the Minority Contractors Association about increasing economic opportunities for District local, small and disadvantaged businesses and residents.  “I see local business as the backbone of our economy and our communities, and I am committed to helping them succeed,” stated Brazil.  Brazil last year introduced legislation to improve the District’s Local, Small, and Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (LSDBE) program.  The program provides preference points in government contracting for local, small, disadvantaged, and resident-owned businesses and also sets aside certain contracts for small businesses.  Brazil stated, “The District has made great strides in the past couple of years – it is contracting hundreds of millions of dollars each year with LSDBEs – but there is still more that can be done to provided assistance and opportunities to the LSDBE community.” Brazil closed by saying, “We need to make sure that our current businesses and current residents are lifted by the rising tide, and that the District is doing everything it can to provide assistance and opportunities to LSDBEs.”

        Gold Star of the Week: Odie Washington, for leading the Department of Corrections out of a 32 year court Order with a monitor.

        Shana Heilbron
        Director of Communications & Community Affairs
        Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
        1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 404
        Washington, DC 20004
        www.haroldbrazil.com

         

         
      • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
        In This Week s Issue... - Brazil Holds Hearing on Shaw Community Development Fund Resolution of 2003 - Advisory Committee Meets About the Future of the Old
        Message 3 of 18 , Apr 15 12:04 PM
           In This Week's Issue...
          - Brazil Holds Hearing on "Shaw Community Development Fund Resolution of 2003"
          - Advisory Committee Meets About the Future of the Old Convention Center
          - Brazil Conducts Hearing on Downtown Retail
          - CRA Committee Approves Brazil-Ambrose Master Business Registration Modifications
          - Other Brazil Sightings
          - Brazil and D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission Welcome the Circus to D.C.
          - Gold Star of the Week
          The brazil bulletin
          Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember
          Chair, Committee on Economic Development
          1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 404
          Washington, D.C. 20004
          (202) 724-8174
          EMAIL: hbrazil@...
          For the week ending April 11, 2003
                     
           
          Brazil Holds Hearing on “Shaw Community Development Fund Resolution of 2003”
          Councilmember Brazil held a hearing on the administration of the Shaw Fund, a community development fund established under the Washington Convention Center Authority Act to benefit the Shaw neighborhood. More specifically, the purpose of the fund is to support projects and activities in the community surrounding the new convention center.  The District for the fund previously set $1.2 million aside, and under the Act the dollars are to be transferred from the District to an established community group with the organizational capacity to administer the funds.  PR 15-86, the “Shaw Community Development Fund Approval Resolution of 2003” — which was the subject of the hearing — was submitted by the Mayor pursuant to the Act and would approve the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region as the Fund’s administering agent.  “After hearing testimony, I think the Community Foundation would be an efficient administrator of the Shaw Fund, and they will offer full administrative and financial oversight.  Equally as important, they will be able to get money out to the community in a timely and professional manner.  The residents of Shaw have waited a long time, and I’m happy to see that they are finally going to be put to use,” stated Brazil.  A Committee vote on the resolution is scheduled for Wednesday, April 16, 2003.
           
          Advisory Committee Meets About the Future of the Old Convention Center
          Brazil met with the Deputy Mayor for the Planning and Economic Development and members of the old convention center Advisory and Selection Committee to review the responses to the Requests for Proposals (RFP) that have been submitted by six development teams vying for the right to redevelop the Old Convention Center site.  The Advisory Committee is providing advice and recommendations to the Selection Committee, which will soon select a short list of developers.  The Selection Committee will perform further research and interviews and eventually select a single development team.  The RFP called for at least 600 residential units on the site, extensive retail space, a public plaza, and over 1,000 parking spaces.  The redevelopment project may also include a new central library and/or a theatre/cultural venue.  “As we consider all the development options, I would like the redevelopment to be something that’s a destination for both residents and visitors alike,” said Brazil. 
           
          Brazil Conducts Hearing on Downtown Retail
          Councilmember Brazil held a public roundtable to hear from the government, developers, retailers, and the general public on issues related to bringing a greater number of retailers and stores downtown, creating more retail jobs for District residents, and making downtown a retail destination for shoppers in the District and the metropolitan area.  Specific issues of focus included incentives to encourage retailers to locate downtown; conditions which should be improved to make downtown more attractive to shoppers and retailers; the types of establishments which would create the strongest retail environment; and barriers to downtown development, to name a few.  “Downtown is not only a significant driving force for the District’s economy, it also provides thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars to serve the needs of the District residents and neighborhoods.  But, downtown also can be an exciting retail destination, providing convenient shopping for our residents, tax dollars for the District, and jobs for our residents,” said Brazil.
           
          CRA Committee Approves Brazil-Ambrose Master Business Registration Modifications
          The Committee on Consumer and Regulatory Affairs marked up  “Master Business Registration (MBR) Perfection Act of 2003” 3-0 last week.  The bill responded to concerns raised by small business owners, home businesses, and industry groups that the original master business license legislation was too complex and overly regulatory.  The Brazil-Ambrose amendments exempt businesses with gross revenues of less than $20,000 from the MBR requirements, and also extend the deadline for registering until July 31, 2003.  The bill also specifies that a 1-unit rental property only is required to register if the owner has gross receipts over $20,000.  In addition, the  “Clean Hands” provision of the earlier MBR bill has been rescinded.  “We’ve worked incredibly hard to simplify the registration process and to limit the number of businesses who need to register.  Our changes have worked through the problems many business owners had struggled with, and I think we have a strong, workable process that will benefit businesses and District residents,” stated Brazil.
           
          Other Brazil Sightings
          Councilmember Brazil attended a number of events and meetings throughout the community over the past week.  He has been meeting with directors and representatives of District agencies, like Odie Washington, from the Department of Corrections, to discuss their Fiscal Year 2004 budgets.  Brazil also made his PowerPoint Presentation, “Keep the Momentum Going,” to the members of the Dupont Circle Civic Association.  They were interested in discussing economic development in conjunction with the ABC regulations.  Brazil also attended the grand opening of the new Ritz Carlton Hotel, located at 3100 South Street, N.W. in Georgetown.  “This is yet another great addition to the city that will promote tourism in the District,” said Brazil.  Brazil also attended a candlelight vigil in Ward 5 after the unfortunate shootings that occurred at Colonel Brooks Tavern.  Brazil said, “This is a sad day in the District; my prayers go out to the families and friends who have lost their loved ones in this reprehensible incident.” 
           
          Brazil and D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission Welcome the Circus to D.C.
          The District’s Sports and Entertainment Commission is currently hosting Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey “The Greatest Show on Earth” through April 21, 2003 at the D.C. Armory.    (Tickets are available at Ticketmaster or by visiting www.ringling.com.)  Brazil said, “The Sports and Entertainment Commission is doing a great job ensuring that these events come to Washington.”
           
          Gold Star of the Week: Our military for rescuing Jessica and 7 other American prisoners held by the now vanquished Iraqi forces.
           
           
          ***Attached to the newsletter is the Letter to the Editor written by Councilmember Brazil and printed in Saturday's Washington Post***
           
           
          Shana Heilbron
          Director of Communications & Community Affairs
          Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
          1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 404
          Washington, DC 20004
          www.haroldbrazil.com
           
           
        • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
          In This Week s Issue... Committee on Economic Development Holds Budget Markup
          Message 4 of 18 , Apr 22 10:28 AM
            In This Week's Issue...
            Committee on Economic Development Holds Budget Markup
            Brazil Participates in Brookings Institution Presentation
            Brazil Meets with CHAMPS
            Brazil Office Bids Farewell to Irving Hinton
            Citizens Gather in Support of Voting Rights
            Old Convention Center List Narrowed to Four
            Gold Star of the Week
            Bonehead of the Week
             
             
             
             THE BRAZIL BULLETIN
            Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember
            Chair, Committee on Economic Development
            1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 404
            Washington, D.C. 20004
            (202) 724-8174
            EMAIL: hbrazil@...
            For the week ending April 18, 2003
                       
             
            Committee on Economic Development Holds Budget Markup
            Councilmember Brazil held a meeting to discuss and vote on the proposed budgets of all agencies under the committee’s purview.  Those agencies include the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), National Capital Revitalization Corporation, Sports and Entertainment Commission, Washington Convention Center Authority, and the Office of Local Business Development.  The Committee approved funds for the ReStore DC program, which works to revitalize neighborhood commercial and retail corridors throughout the District and is operated by the Office of the Deputy Mayor.  Brazil also worked to ensure that DHCD was given the authority to spend all available funds in the Housing Production Trust Fund.  “The agencies under my oversight have had a great deal of success over the last year, and the budget the committee has approved for fiscal year 2004 will hopefully bring greater success,” said Brazil.  The committee also authorized an additional $280,000 to the Commission on the Arts and Humanities for projects, including public displays and grants.
             
            Brazil Participates in Brookings Institution Presentation
            Councilmember Brazil participated in a roundtable briefing and discussion hosted by the Brookings Institution to present a discussion paper recently released by Alice Rivlin.  The paper focused on revitalizing Washington D.C.’s neighborhoods.  The paper concludes that: improving the District’s economic and fiscal viability depends on attracting and retaining more residents – especially middle-income families with children; and focusing development resources in target neighborhoods will increase the effectiveness of revitalization efforts.  To advance the cause of spurring population growth by revitalizing selected neighborhoods, the paper suggests: the mayor and the Council must commit to a phased targeting of their revitalization efforts, and use it to set budgetary priorities; a single capital budget should govern both city agencies and schools; public, private and nonprofit enterprises must effectively partner; schools must become an integral part of planning and implementation; and the District needs a citywide housing strategy that both protects low-income households and seeks to attract middle-income residents.  “Much of what was presented today by Ms. Rivlin and others falls right in line with my Economic Development Action Agenda.  As I stated in the Action Agenda, I believe a concentrated focus of the District’s resources in targeted neighborhoods will allow us to reach our goals of improving the lives of current residents and bringing more residents to the District,” stated Brazil.  Councilmember Brazil’s Action Agenda is available online at www.haroldbrazil.com.  Ms. Rivlin’s paper is available at http://www.brookings.edu/dybdocroot/es/urban/gwrp/publinks/2003/rivlinrevitalizing.pdf.
             
            Brazil Meets with CHAMPS
            Councilmember Brazil met with the Economic Development Committee of the Capitol Hill Association of Merchants and Professionals (CHAMPS) to discuss current and future economic development projects on Capitol Hill. Some projects discussed included the Bryan Square and Station Place projects, the redevelopment of the H Street, NE and Barracks Row corridors, and the proposal for the revitalization of South Capitol Street.   “There are so many great projects going on, including housing and new business on Capitol Hill right now,” said Brazil.  “As chairman of the Economic Development Committee, I am working to ensure the revitalization of several other areas around the Hill.  For example, the H Street project is in the planning stages, and the 8th Street Main Street project is nearly complete.”
             
            Brazil Office Bids Farewell to Irving Hinton
            After twelve years of heading up Councilmember Brazil’s constituent services, Irving Hinton is bidding farewell and is off to begin a new career with Comcast Cablevision.  “He has been a loyal and compassionate public servant for the citizens of the District.  Our loss is Comcast’s gain.  I wish Irving the best of luck as he embarks on this new journey,” said Brazil.  Mr. Hinton has been tirelessly working with and assisting residents in all 8 wards of the District, listening to the needs and concerns of the community and helping them make the District a better place to work and live.
             
            Citizens Gather in Support of Voting Rights
            On Tuesday, April 15, 2003, District residents and local government officials came out to Freedom Plaza to show their support and eagerness to get one step closer to equal voting rights in D.C. As part of the overall effort, Mayor Williams signed a bill that will make the District of Columbia ‘first in the nation’ for the Presidential Primary in 2004.  “Hosting the primary first will bring the District the national attention we need to promote our quest for representation at the national level,” said Brazil. 
             
            Old Convention Center List Narrowed to Four
            A short list of teams competing to be the District’s development partner for the old convention center site was announced this week.  The four teams are District of Columbia Civic Development: Millennium Partners, Jonathan Rose Companies, Gould Property Company and EastBanc, Inc.; Forest City – Jarvis Group, LLC; Hines/Smith Georgetown: Hines Interests Limited Partnership, Charles E. Smith Residential and the Georgetown Company; and The Related Companies: Related Companies, L.P., Boston Properties, Inc., MacFarlane Urban Realty Company, LLC and Mr. Dickie S. Carter.  The list was narrowed down from 6 to 4 based on information submitted in the Requests For Proposals (RFP) issued in September and based on the comments and suggestions of an Advisory Committee, of which Councilmember Brazil is a member.  “I am excited that we have narrowed the field of developers; I look forward to future interviews with the finalists and the District picking a team this summer.  This is going to be an exciting project for the District, and I’d like to see it get started as soon as possible,” said Brazil. 
             
            Gold Star of the Week: The Avalon Theatre Project.   The curtain will soon go up again at the Avalon Theatre on Connecticut Avenue. Closed over 2 years ago after the bankruptcy of the Loews Theatre chain, the Avalon Theatre Project (an offshoot of the Friends of the Avalon) have worked tirelessly since then to raise money, public support, and commercial backing to bring the theater back to life.  The first big event for the newly restored theater will be FilmFest DC, which is being held from April 24 to May 3.   For more information on the theater, go to www.theavalon.org.
            Bonehead of the Week: Former MPD officer who obtained District funds to purchase a hot tub, and had it installed in his home.  The officer has pleaded guilty to charges and is no longer employed by the police department.
             
             
             
             
            Shana Heilbron
            Director of Communications & Community Affairs
            Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
            1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 404
            Washington, DC 20004
            www.haroldbrazil.com
             
             
          • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
            The brazil bulletin Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember Chair, Committee on
            Message 5 of 18 , May 6, 2003


              T

              he brazil bulletin
              Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember

              Chair, Committee on Economic Development

              For the week ending May 2, 2003

              Council Adopts Brazil Approach to Balancing Budget Without Raising Taxes

              The Council is proposing adopting a balanced budget for Fiscal Year 2004, which mirrors Brazil’s proposal recommended on April 28, 2003.  Brazil challenged Council colleagues to eliminate all proposed tax increases by reducing the District’s outside contracts by at least 5%, by striking a portion of the enhancements to the budget that have been proposed by the Mayor and the Council, and by directing the $13 million in tax increment financing-related savings to tax reductions.  “I am pleased to see my colleagues adopting the key elements of my proposal. I’m glad efforts to convince other Councilmembers to make this difficult, but necessary decision have paid off.  This is the wisest course for the financial stability of the District,” stated Brazil.  The Council’s proposal includes the major elements of Brazil’s earlier plan.  (Attached is a copy of the “Dear Colleague” letter sent by Councilmember Brazil)

              Eastern Market Day

              On Sunday, May 4, 2003 Councilmember Brazil joined over 15,000 people gathered at Eastern Market to celebrate the 40th Annual Friendship House Market Day Festival (better known as “Eastern Market Day”).  Councilmember Brazil and members of his staff hosted a table for festival attendees to ask questions and get updated on current issues facing the D.C. Council. Also, Brazil talked with many people about the future of economic development in Washington, D.C.  “Market Day is a great way to get out into the community and talk with people from all over the city.  Even though this event is hosted on Capitol Hill, it is an opportunity to discuss city-wide issues,” said Brazil. 

              Brazil Attends Gala in Support of the University of the District of Columbia

              Councilmember Brazil attended the university’s gala to support the University’s continued success.  UDC is today the nation’s only Congressionally mandated urban land grant institution and was designated in 1999 as one of the United States’ Historically Black Colleges and Universities.  “UDC continues to provide generations of Washingtonians access to higher education in proportions exceeding that of other universities.  I am proud to be a supporter of higher education and equal opportunity,” said Brazil.

              Honoring of Our Law Enforcement Officers

              There will be 376 new names added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C., this year, including 149 who died in the line of duty in 2002.  Also, flags on all government buildings will fly at half-staff on May 15, commemorating Peace Officers Memorial Day.  In 1994 President Clinton signed a law requiring the flag to be lowered on this day as a tribute to the more than 16,000 law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty.  The only other regularly scheduled day that the flags fly at half-staff is Memorial Day.  “Law enforcement remains one of the most dangerous occupations in America, and those who serve and make the ultimate sacrifice are truly deserving of this commemoration.  Everyday, men and women in law enforcement work to protect the lives and freedom of others, and they deserve the highest regard for their work,” said Councilmember Brazil.

              Brazil Attends Closing of DC Filmfest

              Councilmember Brazil took part in the 17th Annual Washington, DC International Film Festival.  DC Filmfest is a celebration of some of the best cinema in the world. Films were represented from across the globe, and included an enormous breadth of interests, backgrounds, and passions.  “The film was thought-provoking, and intense.  I look forward to another successful DC Filmfest next year,” said Brazil.  The festival brings people downtown and into the neighborhoods which helps contribute to our local businesses and restaurants, bettering the District economy.

              MAXACCESS/DC PROBIZ Kicks Off Conference

              MAXACCESS DC/ PROBIZ kicked off its 2003 procurement conference at the brand new Washington Convention Center.  The conference brought together District purchasing officials and procurement officers representing approximately 20 local governments, school boards, agencies, private contractors, and prime contractors from throughout the Metropolitan Washington area to provide information about business lines and upcoming contracting opportunities.  “This program is extremely beneficial for our local, small, and disadvantaged business here in the District.  MAXACCESS DC/ PROBIZ provides access to the key programs and resources, that might not always be readily available to small businesses, that are vital for business life here in Washington.  This is another effort in which we are working to ‘Keep the Momentum Going’,” said Brazil.  The event showcased exhibits, seminars, press conferences, live procurement sessions, and spot purchasing.

              Gold Star of the Week: Mary Virginia Merrick.  She’s the first person from the District of Columbia even to be nominated for sainthood by the Catholic Church.

              Shana Heilbron
              Director of Communications & Community Affairs
              Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
              1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 404
              Washington, DC 20004
              www.haroldbrazil.com

               

               
            • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
              In This Week s Issue: Council Passes Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Request Act of 2003 Brazil Supports Opening Klingle Road Woodridge Civic Association Members Talk
              Message 6 of 18 , May 12, 2003
                 In This Week's Issue:
                Council Passes Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Request Act of 2003
                Brazil Supports Opening Klingle Road
                Woodridge Civic Association Members Talk Politics With Brazil
                Brazil Attends Groundbreaking for Greater Washington Urban League
                Seven New Main Street Programs Announced
                “Team Baseball” Offers Presentation to Council
                Gold Star of the Week
                Bonehead of the Week
                 

                 The brazil bulletin

                Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember

                Chair, Committee on Economic Development

                For the week ending May 9, 2003

                To View Online log on to http://www.haroldbrazil.com/newsletter_may_9.htm

                Council Passes Fiscal Year 2004 Budget Request Act of 2003

                Councilmember Brazil and members of the Council approved the Fiscal Year 2004 budget on Tuesday.  The Fiscal Year 2004 budget increased local spending 4.6% over the Fiscal Year 2003 budget.  Brazil noted, however, “We were able to do this without increasing or adding new taxes in this year’s budget expenditures of almost $4 billion.  I’ve very pleased with this result.”  The Council approved several amendments offered by Brazil to the Budget Request and Budget Support Acts, including an increase in the budget of the Office of Cable Television and the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC).  The increased funding for NCRC will help fund projects along the Southwest Waterfront and Georgia Avenue as well as at the Skyland shopping center.  Brazil also worked with other Councilmembers to allocate funds for the redevelopment of the Old Naval Hospital.  The budget approved by the Council includes authorization for 3800 police officers, an increase of 175 officers, who will be placed on street patrol, over $20 million for the Housing Production Trust Fund, and an increase in $1.5 million for the D.C. Libraries. “Although we passed the budget without letting spending go out of control, we must stay on guard against the understandable human nature to spend more, lest it again cloud our fiscal judgment.  It’s going to take a continuous resolve on the part of the Council and the Mayor.  But, for the time being, to my Council colleagues and to the Mayor, I say ‘a job well done’,” said Brazil.

                Brazil Supports Opening Klingle Road

                After considering all the studies, expert opinions, and weighing neighborhood concerns regarding Klingle Road, Brazil concluded that it was in the best interest of the District for Klingle Road to be restored and re-opened for two-way vehicular traffic.  Brazil stated, “This decision was not an easy one.  While the concerns of citizens who live near the road are important I came to the decision that the public safety concerns are too strong to ignore. Re-opening Klingle Road, by restoring a key route across Rock Creek Park, will alleviate congestion that exists on Connecticut Avenue, N.W., so that emergency vehicles will not be slowed in their response. “  A change in the way the District must be prepared to respond to situations was a determining fact. “Especially in the wake of September 11th, and recent terrorism alerts, we must make sure that we are taking prudent steps to protect our citizens and their families,” stated Brazil.  Brazil noted that the following emergency service organizations have supported the reopening of Klingle Road: The Fraternal Order of Police, Firefighters Association, and Secret Service, to name a few.

                Woodridge Civic Association Members Talk Politics With Brazil

                Councilmember Brazil stopped by the Woodridge Civic Association in Ward 5 to talk with residents and neighbors about their concerns.  “I am here to be of help in solving your neighborhood problems, and also share with you in the successes,” Brazil told the crowd.  Brazil will work with the Association on halfway house and prostitution issues in the area, a major concern of residents. 

                 Brazil Attends Groundbreaking for Greater Washington Urban League

                The rain did not stop the Greater Washington Urban League from breaking ground on what will be its new headquarters at 2901 14th Street, N.W. in Columbia Heights.  The Greater Washington Urban League is a non-profit social services and civil rights organization that has provided services to more than 60,000 persons in the Washington Metropolitan area.  The Urban League is moving into the former Hines Funeral Home site, which has been vacant for more than 20 years.  The project will bring 50 new permanent jobs and 260 construction jobs into the Columbia Heights community.  The project was facilitated by the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, which owned the property.  “It’s great to see such a beautiful building being revitalized and returned to the community,” said Brazil.  “I look forward to the building completion in 2004 and its contribution to “Keeping the Momentum Going.”

                Seven New Main Street Programs Announced

                Seven new neighborhoods have been designated to take advantage of the DC Main Street program.  The neighborhoods include: Mount Pleasant, Adams Morgan, Dupont Circle, Shaw, Shepherd Park/Takoma DC, Brookland, and Anacostia.  These neighborhood business districts are organized by local volunteers and community development professionals and will now receive financial and technical assistance to support efforts for revitalization in their neighborhoods.  “I hope these new designees will find the same success in their revitalization as we are currently seeing on Barracks Row and U Street,” said Brazil.  “The Main Street program is a great opportunity for a public-private partnership that greatly improves the District as a whole.”

                “Team Baseball” Offers Presentation to Council

                Deputy Mayor Eric Price and Sports and Entertainment Commission CEO Bobby Goldwater briefed members of Council on a proposed financing package that was provided to Major League Baseball (“MLB”) in Phoenix. Brazil attended the meeting and traveled with the D.C. “team” to Phoenix in late March in an attempt to bring the Montreal Expos to Washington, D.C.  Topics of discussion included a detailed look into the ‘powerful D.C. market,’ the plan for interim play at Robert F. Kennedy Stadium (“RFK”), the plan for a new ballpark, D.C.’s commitment to making baseball happen, and the process by which the District will “get it done.”  The presentation showed that the District is the only Top 10 market in the country that does not have a major league baseball team.  Also, in a recent survey of D.C. residents, 88% of respondents said they would support bringing a baseball team to D.C.  “It is clear to me that we have an interest and the market for a team,” stated Brazil.    Goldwater noted that $15 million would be necessary for a renovation project at RFK, and work could begin as early as July of 2003 if MLB makes a commitment to D.C.  In building a new ballpark, the District is looking at sites that will provide an economic boost for the District.  “Baseball will give the District a chance to generate revenue while serving as an economic catalyst in different parts of the city,” said Brazil.  In order to pay for the stadium, the Mayor’s proposal of $338 million (which includes RFK renovations) will come from a number of sources, including a 10% sales tax rate on tickets and merchandise at the ballpark, assessing a “Ballpark Fee” on D.C. businesses grossing over $3 million, and establishing a player income tax on home and visiting players.  “I‘m pleased that we are not using any existing resources to fund the ballpark.  This appears to be a solid plan and I hope MLB chooses D.C.,” added Brazil.

                Gold Star of the Week: The D.C. City Council for its efforts to approve the $5.6 billion FY 2004 budget plan, and holding the growth in local spending to 4.6% with no tax increases!

                Bonehead of the Week: A Palo Alto (California) city council proposal banning offensive body language (such as frowning or sticking out your tongue) was recently defeated in a unanimous vote. [Would a “no tongues, no frowning” measure pass the D.C. Council…?]

                Shana Heilbron
                Director of Communications & Community Affairs
                Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
                1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 404
                Washington, DC 20004
                www.haroldbrazil.com

                 

                 
              • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
                In This Week s Issue... Opening Ceremony at the City Museum Groundbreaking on
                Message 7 of 18 , May 19, 2003
                  In This Week's Issue...
                  Opening Ceremony at the City Museum
                  Groundbreaking on Columbia Heights Educational Center
                  Brazil Meets with Residents of the Fourth District
                  Groundbreaking at Tivoli Square
                  Memorial Day Concert at the Capitol
                  Gold Star of the Week

                   The brazil bulletin

                  Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember

                  Chair, Committee on Economic Development

                  For the week ending May 16, 2003

                  Opening Ceremony at the City Museum

                  Councilmember Brazil offered words of appreciation and support for the new City Museum of Washington, D.C. at the ribbon cutting on May 15, 2003.   “I have always supported having a local museum in Washington, D.C. that sheds light on the greatness of our city.  I take great pride in its opening today,” stated Brazil.  The Museum, which is located at 801 K Street, N.W., directly across from the magnificent new Washington Convention Center, is dedicated to teaching visitors the history of Washington, D.C.  The 60,000 square foot Museum includes permanent and changing exhibit galleries, in addition to a multimedia introductory show, an education center, an archeology lab, a research library and reading room, and a visitor’s center maintained by the Chamber of Commerce.   “This has really been a group effort; the collaboration of the government, the community, and the historical society has been a real success; the City Museum recognizes the accomplishments and energy of Washington, D.C.’s past, present and future.  At the Museum one can see all of the District’s past successes and should rededicate all of us  to ‘Keeping the Momentum Going,’” added Brazil.

                  Groundbreaking on Columbia Heights Educational Center

                  Councilmember Brazil joined Board of Education President, Peggy Cooper Cafritz, and D.C. Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Paul Vance, along with staff and students from Bell Multicultural Senior High School and Lincoln Middle Schools in a groundbreaking ceremony for the long-awaited Columbia Heights Educational Center.  The new complex is part of the school system’s long-range plan to modernize the schools in the District.  “This has really become a community effort.  The project began with parents and neighbors in Columbia Heights but has gained support from various others in the community.  It is my hope that this school is only the ‘tip-of-the-iceberg’ for the D.C. public schools,” stated Brazil.

                  Brazil Meets with Residents of the Fourth District

                  Councilmember Brazil was on hand for the May meeting of the 4th District Citizens Advisory Council.   Brazil offered his economic development presentation to the group and also took time to discuss  issues of local concern.   Residents were very interested in discussing future strategies for providing more affordable housing for D.C. residents as well as working on programs that emphasize more jobs for local residents.  “I received  good feedback,” said Brazil.  “I am happy to see that the concerns in the community are the same priority issues I have my Committee on Economic Development focusing upon.”

                  Groundbreaking at Tivoli Square

                  Columbia Heights has been a busy community lately.  The recent groundbreakings at the Greater Washington Urban League (at 14th and Harvard, N.W.) and the Columbia Heights Education Center (at 16th and Irving, N.W.) are only the beginning; on May 13, 2003 the Tivoli Square site broke ground as well.  Tivoli Square is a $37 million mixed-use project featuring the adaptive re-use and restoration of the National Landmark Tivoli Theatre.  The project has residential, cultural, and commercial components, including a 53,000 sq. ft. grocery store, retail, and townhouses at market and affordable levels.  The theatre, run by GALA Hispanic Theatre, will accommodate 250 seats.  “The Tivoli Square project will serve as a catalyst for continued development,” said Brazil.  The project began in 1999 and balances historic preservation, the arts, and economic development.   “This is a great example of the effort we are making to bring development out into our communities.  It’s important to ‘spread the wealth’ around the city, and not just downtown,” added Brazil.

                  Memorial Day Concert at the Capitol

                  Ossie Davis will host the 2003 National Memorial Concert Day.  The Concert will take place on May 25, 2003, from 8-9:30pm on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. Joining Ossie Davis will be the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and color guards from each of the armed forces. Also appearing are distinguished actor Charles During, a much-decorated veteran of World War II; space pioneer, American hero and former United States Senator John Glenn; Golden Globe winning and Emmy nominated actor Dylan McDermott; theater legend and recording star Michael Crawford; Emmy award-winning actress Gena Rowlands; "America's Mom" Marion Ross, and many others.  For an entire list of those attending, go to http://www.pbs.org/memorialdayconcert/concert/.  

                  Gold Star of the Week: Congratulations to the 2003 recipients of the CHAMPS Community Achievement Awards, Tommy Wells and Bruce and Becky Alan Dye. 

                  Shana Heilbron
                  Director of Communications & Community Affairs
                  Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
                  1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 404
                  Washington, DC 20004
                  www.haroldbrazil.com

                   

                   
                • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
                  In This Week s Issue... Brazil Attends International Council of Shopping Centers Conference Brazil to Co-Chair Special Committee to Develop Comprehensive
                  Message 8 of 18 , May 27, 2003
                    In This Week's Issue...
                    Brazil Attends International Council of Shopping Centers Conference
                    Brazil to Co-Chair Special Committee to Develop Comprehensive Housing Strategy
                    Upcoming Hearings for the Committee on Economic Development
                    Upcoming Summer Celebrations and Parades around the District
                    Gold Star of the Week

                     The brazil bulletin

                    Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember

                    For the week ending May 23, 2003

                    To View Online Go To http://www.haroldbrazil.com/newsletter_may23.htm

                     

                    Brazil Attends International Council of Shopping Centers Conference

                    Councilmember Brazil joined local developers, tourism advocates, and city officials in Las Vegas to take part in the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) spring convention.  Brazil attended the Convention to promote the District as a prime location for new businesses.  “This event is a key way to bring economic development to the District.  At the convention a few years ago, we were able to encourage “big box” retailers like Home Depot and Target to make a move to the District.  It is my goal to attract even more retailers this year,” said Brazil.  Founded in 1957, the ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. It has 39,000 members in the U.S., Canada, and more than 70 other countries, including shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, lenders, retailers, as well as academics and public officials.

                    Brazil to Co-Chair Special Committee to Develop Comprehensive Housing Strategy

                    The Council approved the creation of a special committee to guide the development of a comprehensive housing strategy for the District.  Councilmember Brazil co-introduced the legislation to establish the new Special Committee.  The goal is to develop legislation, which will establish a broad policy addressing the wide range of housing assets and needs in the District.  The legislation will likely form a Task Force.  “DC is a hot real estate market now, and rising home prices have created purchasing problems for many looking to buy in the District, particularly moderate-income and lower-income households” said Brazil.  “The goal of the Task Force is to address this problem and to make sure that housing assets support the economic development of the District.” The Task Force will assess the quality and availability of housing for residents at all income levels in the District, and develop public policy recommendations.

                    Upcoming Hearings for the Committee on Economic Development

                    Brazil will chair the upcoming public hearing on the proposed “Consolidated Plan for the District of Columbia, Fiscal Year 2004 Action Plan.”  The Consolidated Plan is developed by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and serves as the District’s application for funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (including funding from the Community Development Block Grant program; the HOME Investment Partnership program; the Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS program; and the Emergency Shelter Grant program).  The Consolidated Plan also sets forth the District’s plan for providing affordable housing and fostering commercial development and general economic revitalization in low- and moderate-income communities. “These funds are vital to the District’s efforts to revitalize all areas of our city. I look forward to hearing how DHCD plans to use the funds to benefits the District’s communities," Brazil stated.

                    Brazil will also hold a public hearing to discuss Bill 15-130, the “Government Employer-Assisted Housing Program Teacher, Police Officer, Firefighter, and Emergency Medical Technician Incentive Amendment Act of 2003”.  The bill amends legislation regarding the District government’s employer-assisted housing program to make emergency medical technicians eligible for the program and amends the regulations governing the program. The purpose is to amend the housing assistance program to promote the attraction of District Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs).  The bill amends the Government Employer-Assisted Housing Act of 1992 and the regulations governing the District’s Employer-Assisted Housing Program to allow newly hired EMTs to be eligible for participation in the program.  The program provides Government of the District of Columbia employees with an increased opportunity to become first-time homeowners in Washington, D.C. Through the program the Department of Housing and Community Development provides eligible applicants with matching down payment funds and deferred loans. "It is important for the District to attract qualified EMT workers because of the importance of their occupation to the public safety of our residents.  The addition of EMT workers to the housing program will help in attracting EMT workers to the District by providing them with needed housing assistance," stated Brazil.

                    Upcoming Summer Celebrations and Parades around the District

                    May 31, 2003 - Ebenezer United Methodist Church.  Beginning at 10 AM, the church is sponsoring a community “yard sale” and will have food, games, and entertainment for all ages.  The Church is located at 4th and D Streets, SE.

                    May 29– June 8, 2003 – Shakespeare Free for All.  The Shakespeare Theatre continues its annual tradition of free, open-air performances with Hamlet at the Carter Barron Amphitheatre in Rock Creek Park.  Visit www.shakespearedc.org for more information.

                    June 1-8, 2003 – 2003 Capital Pride Week.  The fourth-largest gay pride event in the U.S. focuses on diversity, cultural achievement, civil rights issues, and entertainment by and for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals, families, and friends.  www.capitalpride.org.

                    June 21-22, 2003 – National  Capital Barbecue Battle.  Enjoy the sights and smells of this annual event where top BBQ-ers compete for a chance to represent the Mid-Atlantic at the Barbecue World Championship.  Cooking demonstrations, free food samples, interactive cooking displays, and children’s activities are all part of the fun.  www.barbecuebattle.com.

                    Gold Star of the Week: Winners of the Second annual Dragon Boat Festival, the West Potomac Zulu Warriors.  The event was sponsored by the Chinese Women's League of Washington, and included more than 30 teams.   Dragon boat racing, which is more than 2,400 years old, is popular throughout Asia, and its popularity is growing in the United States.

                    Shana Heilbron
                    Director of Communications & Community Affairs
                    Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
                    1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 404
                    Washington, DC 20004
                    www.haroldbrazil.com

                     

                     
                  • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
                    In This Week s Issue... Brazil Holds Committee on Economic Development Hearings, Meeting Councilmember Brazil Participates in Unifest Parade Mt. Pleasant
                    Message 9 of 18 , Jun 2, 2003

                      In This Week's Issue...
                      Brazil Holds Committee on Economic Development Hearings, Meeting
                      Councilmember Brazil Participates in Unifest Parade
                      Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Festival
                      Gold Star of the Week

                       The brazil bulletin

                      Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember

                      Chair, Committee on Economic Development

                      For the week ending May 30, 2003

                      Brazil Holds Committee on Economic Development Hearings, Meeting

                      The Committee on Economic Development held hearings on three matters, including proposed revenue bond financing for Capital City Public Charter School, the Consolidated Plan for the District, and the “Government Employer-Assisted Housing Program Teacher, Police Officer, Firefighter, and Emergency Medical Technician Incentive Amendment Act of 2003”.  The Committee also held a meeting to vote on proposed revenue bond project financing for the Washington International School (WIS).

                      The Committee unanimously approved the WIS Revenue Bond Project.  The school was founded in 1966 and focuses on meeting the needs of international students in the Washington, D.C. area.  Currently WIS has over 800 students on two campuses – one in Cleveland Park and one in Georgetown.  The proceeds of the bond issuance will be used to refinance the construction of a new primary school located at 3601 Reservoir Road, N.W. and the construction of an arts and athletics center at 3100 Macomb Street, N.W.

                      The Capital City Public Charter School is a public elementary school with approximately 150 children in grades pre-K through grade 6.  Capital City is requesting that the District issue up to $4,890,000 in tax-exempt revenue bonds to finance the renovation of a building located at 3047 15th Street, N.W. and to purchase new equipment and furnishings for the building.  The funds will transform this 12,000 square foot, now-vacant structure into a state-of-the-art educational facility for District children. 

                      The Consolidated Plan serves as the District’ application to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for four federal grant programs: the Community Development Block Grant, HOME Investment Partnerships, Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS, and Emergency Shelter Grant programs.  The plan describes the District’s priorities for the development of housing, community facilities, and economic opportunities for low and moderate-income residents of the District.  The total amount of money available to the District from HUD under these four entitlement programs is likely to be approximately $39 million.  The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will administer the vast majority of these funds.  Brazil stated, “Under Director Stanley Jackson, DHCD is doing a great job in serving our lower-income communities.  This is much-need money, and I look forward to DHCD continuing to successfully utilizing these HUD dollars,” said Brazil.

                      The “Government Employer-Assisted Housing Program Teacher, Police Officer, Firefighter, and Emergency Medical Technician Incentive Amendment Act of 2003” would amend current District law to allow emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to be eligible for participation in the District’s Employer-Assisted Housing Program.  (Currently, the program is open to teachers, fire fighters, and police officers.)  “It is important for the District to attract qualified EMT workers because of the of their crucial role in ensuring the health and safety of our residents.  This legislation will help attract EMTs to the District by providing them with needed housing assistance,” said Brazil.

                      Councilmember Brazil Participates in Unifest Parade

                      Brazil and members of his staff took part in the 2003 Unifest Parade in Ward 8 over the weekend.  Unifest was founded by Union Temple Baptist Church in 1982 as the “Chitlin Strut, Chicken Stroll, Down Home Cultural Festival and Parade,” and this unique event highlights the culture, diversity and rich history of African-Americans and the Anacostia neighborhood in a spirited two-day celebration. This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Unifest.  “This event is so much fun, not only because it is one of best parades of the early summer season, but it brings the community together to promote diversity and history in the nation’s capital,” stated Brazil.  Joining Brazil in the parade were a number of marching bands, Caribbean steel bands, stilt walkers, dancers, floats, clubs, community groups, religious schools, scout troops, and business leaders.

                      Mt. Pleasant Neighborhood Festival

                      Friends and neighbors gathered to enjoy an array of activities and festivities in this year's Annual Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Festival.  The festival, which closed a portion of Mt. Pleasant Street, N.W. (which has recently received funding through the Main Streets Program) showcased a variety of food vendors, artists, and issue-related booths for various types of information.  “The Mt. Pleasant Festival is an opportunity for this very diverse and growing neighborhood to showcase its historic quality, while also promoting its future as a vibrant community of all ages, races, and nationalities,” said Brazil.

                      Gold Star of the Week: Banneker Senior High School.  Banneker was ranked 49th in the nation in terms of public school performance in the latest issue of Newsweek magazine.  Newsweek ranked the nation’s public schools according to a ratio called the Challenge Index: the number of Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests taken by all students divided by the number of graduating seniors.

                       

                      Shana Heilbron
                      Director of Communications & Community Affairs
                      Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
                      1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 404
                      Washington, DC 20004
                      www.haroldbrazil.com

                       

                       
                    • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
                      In this week s issue... Council Vote on Master Business Registration Could Come Back to Haunt Us
                      Message 10 of 18 , Jun 9, 2003
                        In this week's issue...
                        Council Vote on Master Business Registration Could Come Back to Haunt Us
                        Brazil Attends DC Women’s Economic Summit and 2003 Women’s Leadership Luncheon Hosted By the Chamber of Commerce
                        Baseball Rally To Be Held Downtown
                        Brazil Meets With Fort Dupont Civic Association
                        Gold Star of the Week

                         The brazil bulletin

                        Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember

                        Chair, Committee on Economic Development

                        For the week ending June 6, 2003

                        Council Vote on Master Business Registration Could Come Back to Haunt Us

                        Seven of the Council’s 13 members voted on Tuesday to repeal the District’s Master Business License (MBL) program, a program designed to streamline the District’s system for registering and licensing businesses and update the Districts 100-year old licensing law.  In repealing the MBL program, the Council rejected a compromise proposal spearheaded by Councilmembers Brazil and Ambrose; their proposal was the result of months of work with the business community and had garnered support from the Chamber of Commerce and Board of Trade, the Realtors Association, Hotel Association, and DCBIA.  ”The District will be moving backward when it comes to regulating businesses. By repealing the MBL system, we will return to a  licensing system created in 1908, which is completely outdated and which created headaches and aggravation and inconvenience for many local business owners.”  The Brazil-Ambrose plan, the “Master Business Registration Perfection Act of 2003,” would have fixed those problems in the current MBL legislation.   Brazil added, though, that he is not ready to give up the fight for an efficient and effective method of business registration.  “It is my hope that as we move forward, and re-examine the ‘repeal perspective,’ my colleagues will see the need for a system like the MBL, and not the antiquated law of 1908. The best interests of our citizens and businesses will result from a one-stop process that fits with how business is done today,” added Brazil.  Brazil also said, “If the repeal goes through, businesses should demand a refund - $6 million in fees have been collected.  It would be unconscionable for the government to keep money under false pretenses.”

                        Brazil Attends DC Women’s Economic Summit and 2003 Women’s Leadership Luncheon Hosted By the Chamber of Commerce

                        Councilmember Brazil joined Barbara Lang, President and Chief Executive Officer of the DC Chamber of Commerce, and other local leaders to salute the many notable women in the District of Columbia who are setting a high standard for doing business in D.C.  The purpose of the Summit was to develop a leadership and advocacy initiative that will attract, educate, and motivate  women leaders to move forward a policy agenda that reflects women’s economic contributions and potential.  “I think this is a great step forward for the city,” said Brazil.  “I am a staunch supporter of the work being done to enhance the role of women in all business fields, and it is important that women’s contributions to the District’s business community be recognized.  This event highlights those achievements, and provides invaluable networking opportunities and hopefully will inspire others to similar successes. ”  Congratulations to all of those women who received awards at the luncheon.

                        Baseball Rally To Be Held Downtown

                        Fans and supporters of bringing Major League Baseball to the District will hold a rally in Downtown Washington, D.C. on Monday, June 9, 2003.  The event will begin around 5:00 P.M. at 8th and D Streets, N.W., near the Navy Memorial.  The rally is being promoted as a “block party” to celebrate the excitement and interest of District residents for Major League Baseball’s return to the District. “The  excitement about bringing baseball back to the District is at an all-time high,” said Brazil.  “There has been talk for years about returning a team to the nation’s capital, and we are finally reaching a point where that may become a reality.”  The District is currently a lead candidate for the relocation of the Montreal Expos.  On June 12, the Council will hold a hearing on legislation to help finance a stadium for the team.  The proposed legislation will earmark stadium-related sales and admission tax revenue, as well as collect taxes on the gross receipts of large District businesses to finance bonds on a new stadium.  The hearing on Thursday will begin at 10:00 a.m., in the Council Chamber (Room 500) of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.  “For Washington to be a really great city we want professional baseball, as well as other sports and cultural venues that offer entertainment to residents and visitors,” said Brazil.

                        Brazil Meets With Fort Dupont Civic Association

                        Councilmember Brazil met with the members of Ward 7’s Fort Dupont Civic Association to discuss current and future development projects around the District.  Brazil stated:  “As Chairperson of the Committee on Economic Development one of my main goals is to extend the development and revitalization of the District to all  of  our neighborhoods.”  Community members were very interested in the development that is occurring, but did point out a concern for the lack of public parking available in the downtown corridor.  Brazil noted that a task force has been created to examine parking possibilities, and one short-term solution it to convert the site of the old convention center into a parking lot, on a temporary basis until the redevelopment of the site.  “During the period of re-development of the old convention center, we hope to offer a vast amount of public parking to residents who are looking to shop at the downtown stores or eat in the downtown restaurants,” said Brazil.

                        Gold Star of the Week: Jamil Ludd is a recent graduate from Gonzaga College High School, and D.C. resident.  Jamil, who began attending Gonzaga after his freshman year, received financial assistance from the Capital Partners for Education, and now, 3 years later, is headed to Tufts University in Boston with a financial package that covers all but a small percentage of the tuition.  Jamil was the first Muslim president of his class at Gonzaga, and the first African American president in 25 years.  Congratulations, Jamil!

                         

                        Shana Heilbron
                        Director of Communications & Community Affairs
                        Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
                        1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
                        Suite 404
                        Washington, DC 20004
                        www.haroldbrazil.com

                         

                        Shana Heilbron
                        Director of Communications & Community Affairs
                        Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
                        1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
                        Suite 404
                        Washington, DC 20004
                        www.haroldbrazil.com

                         

                         
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