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Who's The Bonehead?? Did you mean LeadHead?

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  • chadwickr
    Mr. Brazil: I note with hilarity that in your Bulletin recently posted to this group that you gave the Bonehead Award to James A. Buford, former head of the
    Message 1 of 13 , Mar 31, 2004
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      Mr. Brazil:

      I note with hilarity that in your Bulletin recently posted to this
      group that you gave the "Bonehead Award" to James A. Buford, former
      head of the Department of Health, who failed to sound the clarion
      call as it relates to the District's
      problem with lead in the water.

      It should probably be given to you, however, since you have used
      this tidbit for your own political grandstanding.

      What is your position on Jerry Johnson, Head of WASA?

      Is this not the head of the agency that was directly responsible for
      the failure that created the three-year poisoning of the districts
      citizenry and children?

      Why is his administration not held responsible for creating the
      situation?

      Where were you when the agency failed to produce the monthly field
      tests required by the EPA? Where were you and other DC Officials
      when WASA ostensibly falsified water tests for years. Did you
      notice that WASA had not been doing proper testing -- like any city
      water authority does? Had you ever cared?

      Did you push to give Buford the ax in hopes that it would allow the
      public to feast on him and feel satisfied that justice had been done
      for the fact that infants were being given absolutely ZERO chance of
      a good life because they were being poisoned?

      Unless you are a total joke, let us hear from you, in this civil
      electronic audience, what you have to say about the whole WASA
      matter?




      --- In columbia_heights@yahoogroups.com, "Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)"
      <Sheilbron@d...> wrote:
      >
      > THE BRAZIL BULLETIN<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns =
      > "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > 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@d...
      >
      > For the week ending March 26, 2004
      >
      >
      >
      >
      >
      > Brazil's Legislation Clears the Way for Mount Vernon Triangle
      Action Agenda
      >
      > Councilmember Brazil joined with business and community leaders to
      announce
      > the official release of the Mount Vernon Triangle Action Agenda.
      The Agenda
      > was developed by government officials and community stakeholders
      and is
      > designed to accelerate development in the Triangle - located
      between New
      > York Avenue and Massachusetts Avenue and between 7th Street, NW,
      and New
      > Jersey Avenue - to bring life to the many parking lots and empty
      lots that
      > now call it home. The development of the Triangle will generate
      thousands
      > of jobs for District residents and create affordable housing
      opportunities
      > on District-owned land. The projects will also generate millions
      of dollars
      > in tax revenue, helping improve the level of services the District
      > government can provide to our residents. "It is important to
      emphasize that
      > projects like this help achieve my key goals - creating jobs and
      affordable
      > housing, revitalizing our neighborhoods, and improving government
      services;
      > we wouldn't be able to achieve those goals without this type of
      economic
      > development effort," said Brazil. In conjunction with the Agenda,
      Brazil
      > introduced legislation to approve the creation of a community
      improvement
      > district for the Triangle, which will be financed by landowners in
      the area.
      > Brazil said, "I am proud to have been a part of these efforts, and
      I will
      > continue to work to make this important project a success."
      >
      >
      >
      > Brazil Joins Cultural Tourism DC and 14th & U Main Street
      Initiative To
      > Unveil Heritage Window Display
      >
      > Councilmember Brazil joined with Cultural Tourism DC, the 14th and
      U Main
      > Street Initiative, and others at Bohemian Caverns to unveil the
      first phase
      > of the Heritage Window Display program. The program uses U Street
      > storefronts to spotlight the neighborhood's story through historic
      > photographs. "Our city has such a rich history," said
      Brazil. "This
      > program is a great way of sharing our history. I applaud the
      efforts of
      > everyone who is participating." The window displays present U
      Street as the
      > center of African American social, civic, and cultural life during
      the first
      > half of the 20th century. "By taking U Street's history off the
      shelf and
      > bringing it to the street, we can help neighborhood residents and
      visitors
      > experience the vitality that makes this area exciting," said Kathy
      Smith,
      > the executive director the Cultural Tourism DC. Brazil noted that
      the next
      > phase of the project focuses on providing employment and skill-set
      building
      > for young residents in the Shaw neighborhood. For more
      information, log on
      > to www.culturaltourismdc.org.
      >
      >
      >
      > Brazil and Ambrose Secure Additional $1 Million in Capital Funding
      for
      > Eastern Market
      >
      > Councilmember Brazil and Ward 6 Councilmember Sharon Ambrose
      secured an
      > additional $1 million in capital funds for Eastern Market, in
      Southeast
      > Washington, D.C. The funds had been removed from the fiscal year
      2004
      > budget for this important historic preservation and neighborhood
      > revitalization project, and Brazil and Ambrose worked with the
      Mayor to
      > ensure that the funds were restored for the coming fiscal
      year. "These
      > dollars are much needed at Eastern Market. The building is a
      historic
      > treasure, and in order to keep it operational, we need to provide
      the
      > dollars for renovation and improvement," said Brazil. Eastern
      Market is the
      > oldest continuously operating fresh food market in Washington,
      D.C., which
      > was built in 1873. When built, the Market was the heart of Capitol
      Hill's
      > life, and that continues to be true today. Eastern Market draws
      not only
      > Capitol Hill residents but people from all over the metropolitan
      area, who
      > come to shop for farmer's produce, poultry, fresh seafood,
      flowers, baked
      > goods, and much more.
      >
      >
      >
      > Brazil Meets With Gay and Lesbian Business Owners
      >
      > Councilmember Brazil met with gay and lesbian business owners to
      discuss the
      > details of the "District of Columbia Small Businesses Development
      and
      > Assistance Act of 2004" he recently introduced to increase the
      opportunities
      > for small businesses in the District. "Small businesses are so
      important to
      > the District's vitality and ultimate success. They provide the
      variety and
      > local flavor that really creates an identity and sense of place
      for our
      > neighborhoods, and they also provide jobs for thousands of
      residents," said
      > Brazil. "I look forward to working with the gay and lesbian
      community as
      > we work to create more opportunities for our small businesses to
      succeed,"
      > added Brazil. He added that he would also continue to meet with
      other small
      > business groups to explain the benefits of his legislation.
      >
      >
      >
      > Volunteers Needed for National WWII Memorial Dedication
      >
      > District residents are encouraged to assist at events that are
      being planned
      > by the American Battle Monuments Commission during the four-day
      Tribute to a
      > Generation celebration that will run over Memorial Day weekend May
      27-30,
      > 2004. The dedication activities will commemorate the Memorial and
      celebrate
      > the contributions of America's World War II Generation. The formal
      > dedication of the World War II Memorial is set for Saturday
      afternoon, May
      > 29, 2004. If you are interested in volunteering, please visit the
      website
      > at www.wwiimemorial.com <http://www.wwiimemorial.com/> to download
      > volunteer information. All volunteers must be at least 18 years
      of age by
      > April 1, 2004 and be available to attend training sessions that
      have been
      > scheduled.
      >
      >
      >
      > Gold Star of the Week: The Green Team! The primary mission of
      the Green
      > Team is to clean and maintain the public space in the Fourteenth
      and U
      > Street NW commercial corridors (a 26 block corridor from 8th to
      16th Streets
      > on U Street and from Florida Avenue to Thomas Circle on 14th
      Street), while
      > providing information and greetings to visitors and residents.
      >
      >
      >
      > Bonehead of the Week: James A. Buford, former head of the
      Department of
      > Health, who failed to sound the clarion call as it relates to the
      District's
      > problem with lead in the water.
      >
      > Shana Heilbron
      > Communications Director
      > Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
      > 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
      > Suite 404
      > Washington, DC 20004
      > 202-724-8174 (work)
    • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
      THE BRAZIL BULLETIN Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember Chair, Committee on
      Message 2 of 13 , Apr 6, 2004
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        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 2, 2004

                   

         

        Brazil Condemns WASA's Proposed Rate Increase

        Councilmember Brazil testified against the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA)'s proposal to increase the rate WASA charges residents for water. Brazil criticized the proposal, saying that "It is ironic that WASA is proposing to charge even more for water that we aren't supposed to drink-water that jeopardizes our children with lead poisoning," Brazil said in his written testimony. Brazil testified at a public hearing that WASA held on April 1.  He said, "People are afraid to drink the water, they are mad and they feel shortchanged.  Is this proposal some cruel hoax? Or is it just an April Fools joke?" Brazil has taken a leadership position at the Council on the lead crisis.  He has authored legislation to create a $20 million capital fund to assist homeowners with the replace lead pipes on their property. He has been giving away lead testing kits, and urging residents to have their water and blood tested. He has written to members of Congress requesting that the federal government provide financial assistance to help replacement of the 23,000 lead water pipes in the District; Brazil noted that two federal agencies, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers appear to have played key roles in creating this crisis and also that the original lead pipes were installed when the federal government had full control over the District.  Brazil is one of only two councilmembers who called for the resignation of top officials at WASA.  "WASA has put this city at risk-especially our pregnant and nursing mothers, and our children under six," Brazil said. "WASA failed to disclose elevated lead levels when they learned of it, and that prevented District residents from being able to protect themselves.  They could have, at least, filtered their drinking water, or bought bottled water.  WASA officials - in action and secrecy - contributed gross negligence; to put salt in the wound, any consideration of a rate hike is yet another reason the General Manager and Chairman of the Board need to be removed."

         

        The New Convention Center: Happy Anniversary!

        Councilmember Brazil, at a ceremony celebrating the one-year anniversary of the opening of the new convention center, said that "With a year of operation under our belts, it is now clear that our investment is paying off and the Convention Center is the economic catalyst I had envisioned," According to convention center statistics, over the course of the last year, the District hosted 28 conventions and tradeshows, 25 public shows, and 132 other meetings - bringing over 5 million people to the District.  In addition, there have already been confirmations for 42 conventions and tradeshows, 24 public shows, and 104 other meetings for the current year.  "With the level of business that we are doing and the types of events that are now coming to the District, we will certainly see a return of millions of dollars back to the local economy," Brazil added.  In addition, over 3,000 jobs have been created by the Convention Center itself, which employs 230 full time equivalent employees and created over 1,000 construction jobs, its service contractors (which includes food service, security, electrical, telecommunications, etc.) employ 877 people, and local unions employ approximately 730 individuals.  Brazil added, "The tax dollars received by the District means more money for educating our kids, fighting crime in our neighborhoods, financing hospitals and health clinics to provide services to underserved communities, and providing job training for our residents."

         

        Brazil's Amendment Provides for Public Hearing and Council Approval of Creation of Public Education Collaborative

        Councilmember Brazil introduced - and the Council approved - an amendment that requires that the proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Mayor, the Council, and the Board of Education to create an education advisory collaborative be subject to a public hearing and Council approval.  Brazil moved the amendment at a Council meeting that had been called on short notice.  "The Council was being asked to essentially approve the MOU, even though it was subject to change and the public had almost no opportunity to review it.  While I strongly support the urgency in fixing our schools, we need more time to consider this proposal so that parents and students - those affected the most - play a role in this process; the Council must hold a public hearing," said Brazil.  "We need transparency in this process, and we also need to be sure we're not buying a pig in a poke."  The stated purposes of the MOU are to strengthen and ensure the independence of the Superintendent as he/she executes the policies of the Board of Education concerning the operations of the public schools in the District and to bring stability to the governing structure.   Brazil said it was important that the public had an opportunity to review the MOU to make sure those goals are met.  Because of Brazil's amendment, the Council must approve of any MOU and there must be a public hearing.

         

        Brazil Calls For An Audit Into Metro's Financial Statements

        Councilmember Brazil has requested an independent audit into the accounting and financing of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority ("WMATA") to examine why fare increases are being considered for the second year in a row.  Brazil called for the audit at a public hearing held by WMATA on the proposed rate increase.  Brazil was the only member of the D.C. Council to testify before the WMATA Board.   "We need to probe Metro's accounting and financing to see what is being done," said Brazil. "It's difficult to fathom that Metro could be short on money less than a year after an earlier fare increase, especially with increasing ridership. I want to know if the money that went missing at the parking lots may have been something more pervasive within the Metro culture than we have been led to believe. An audit will uncover any discrepancies."  Reports that millions of dollars were missing from Metro parking lots came to light at the end of February, and Brazil believes this mismanagement should not be the responsibility of District residents. "We should not have to pay for multi-million dollar thefts ignored for years by past board members and chairmen.   That inefficiency should be paid by Metro, and not passed onto our citizens. Someone other than the riders needs to be held accountable for the missing funds."  The WMATA Board, - which included one of Brazil's colleagues - voted last year to approve a far increase, and WMATA is back again this year, considering another fare hike.  If the fare increase is approved, Metro riders will end up paying a 20 percent increase to ride the Metrobus and Metrorail in less than two years.

         

        Gold Star of the Week: Freddy Adu, the14-year old soccer sensation, and the newest member of the D.C. United, played in his first professional soccer game over the weekend!  Congratulations, and good luck this season!

         

         

        2nd Gold Star of the Week: Those that performed in the live stage play "THE CRUCIFIXION" at the Scripture Cathedral, 9th & O Sts., N.W., Washington, D.C.

        Shana Heilbron
        Communications Director
        Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
        1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
        Suite 404
        Washington, DC 20004

        202-724-8174 (work)

         

      • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
        THE BRAZIL BULLETIN Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember Chair, Committee on
        Message 3 of 13 , Apr 12, 2004
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          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 9, 2004

                     

           

          Brazil Attends WASA Hearing on Capitol Hill

          Councilmember Harold Brazil has been working closely on the lead issue, introducing legislation to help pay for the replacement of lead pipes on residents' property, distributing water testing kits, seeking federal funds to address this health issue, and calling on the General Accounting Office to investigate the involvement of the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers.   Last week, he was the only member of the City Council to attend the U.S. Senate hearing on the District's lead-contaminated water. "I am relieved that the federal government is getting more involved in this public health crisis," Brazil said. "I hope the hearing gives District parents and all those concerned about the issue some of the answers they seek, and will help ensure that something like this does not happen again." Sen. Michael D. Crapo (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Fisheries, Wildlife and Water, and other Senators grilled top officials at the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the DC Health Department and the Washington Aqueduct about their handling of the issue. Sen. James M. Jeffords (I-Vt.) said he would propose legislation to overhaul the federal Safe Drinking Water Act to provide better notification to residents who have high levels of lead in their water. The standing-room-only oversight hearing was packed with concerned parents, expectant mothers, and other D.C. residents seeking answers.

           

          Councilmember Brazil To Push Forward on Legislation to Create Lead Pipe Replacement Fund

          Councilmember Harold Brazil announced that he would reintroduce legislation to create a program that will pay for the replacement of lead pipes on District residents' properties.  Brazil originally offered the legislation for consideration in March, but the Council postponed its consideration at the April 13th shortened legislative session.  "This is a minor setback, but I will re-introduce the legislation at the next legislative meeting," said Brazil.  "Now that the Mayor has presented his budget to the Council, I am working with my colleagues to identify up to $20 million to help pay for the replacement of the lead pipes and help keep our citizens safe from lead poisoning.  This issue is too important for us to put off."   Currently, WASA only replaces the lead pipes up to the homeowner's property line.  Replacing the lead pipes, which extend beyond the property line is the homeowner's responsibility and is often a financial burden on District residents.  "I'll be working aggressively with the Mayor and my colleagues on the Council to solve this public health crisis by identifying additional resources and to hold WASA accountable," Brazil added. "Lead poisoning does not stop at the street, so we must do everything in our power to protect the lives of families and children everywhere in the District."

           

           

          Brazil Supports Medical Society of DC

          Councilmember Harold Brazil had a member of his staff participate in the 2004 Mini-Internship Program hosted by the Medical Society of the District of Columbia. Special Assistant Michelle Phipps-Evans joined other non-medical personnel to pair up with doctors in different disciplines for a day and a half to learn about the inner workings of the medical profession. "I wholeheartedly support this program, which gives our residents an invaluable opportunity to be on the frontlines with doctors," Brazil said. "This internship keeps the lines of communication open between physicians and community and industry leaders on issues related to health care in the District." Since the program's inception in 1992, dozens of interns have completed the internship, including health plan representatives, DC Councilmembers, reporters, and other community leaders.

           

          SPOTLIGHT: YWCA Girls Sports Expo 2004
          Through sports clinics, interactive workshops, and group discussions with role models who have achieved significant success in sports, girls and young women in the DC area can take part in the 1st Annual YWCA Girls Sports Expo which will be held on Saturday, April 17, 2004, at the Trinity College Center for Women and Girls in Sports.    More than 2,500 girls and their parents will have the opportunity to participate in sports clinics, health- and fitness-related workshops, and career discussions with celebrities and experts in a wide range of sports-related fields.  There will be free clinics staffed by personal trainers and athletes who will provide assistance in a variety of sports areas.  Sporting goods experts will be available to give advice on purchasing and sizing the proper equipment for new players.  There will be exhibitions and performances including gymnastics, "Double Dutch" rope jumping, water polo, volleyball, and cheerleading.  There will also be an opportunity to talk to a nutritionist and learn about proper nutrition to stay in top shape for athletic performance.   Also available to the participants will be female speakers who will share their insights on building successful sports-related careers, without actually being a professional athlete, in such areas as journalism, broadcasting, team management, and coaching.  The event is free to the public, and you can get more information at http://www.ngwsd-dc.org/pages/1/index.htm.

           

          Gold Stars of the Week: The Washington Convention and Tourism Corporation, and all the volunteers involved in making the Cherry Blossom Festival such a great success!

           

            

          Boneheads of the Week: The three inmates who have been indicted on charges that they arranged to be shot while in the D.C. jail so that they could sue the city for failing to protect them.

           

          Shana Heilbron
          Communications Director
          Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
          1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
          Suite 404
          Washington, DC 20004

          202-724-8174 (work)

           

        • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
          THE BRAZIL BULLETIN Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember Chair, Committee on
          Message 4 of 13 , Apr 19, 2004
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            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 16, 2004

                       

             

            Brazil Requests An Audit Of WMATA's Finances

            Councilmember Brazil sent a letter to D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton to ask her to request the General Accounting Office (GAO) to perform an audit into the finances and accounting of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA).  "WMATA's auditor general had reported multi-million dollar thefts in its parking lots and garages and the audit should uncover how this illegal activity occurred (and was allowed to continue for several years)," Brazil wrote in a letter to Norton. WMATA chair Robert J. Smith estimated the thefts to be half a million to a million dollars per year. The agency had documented thefts of nearly $29,500 during a 48-day period.  Brazil requested the audit so it can address whether the thefts may have led to WMATA's recent proposal to increase its fares for the second time in less than a year.  The new fares, if approved, would force District commuters to pay at least another 10 percent increase in fares, adding an additional $75 per year above the $600 many now pay for transportation. The last increase in June 2003 also raised fares by 10 percent, and the increases especially hurt the poor, the elderly and the disabled.  "There is much that we do not know and can only speculate since WMATA will not open its books to the public," Brazil added. "A GAO audit will go a long way toward answering many legitimate questions and help establish credibility with the public." 

             

            Brazil Attends 21st Annual Super Senior Day Awards Ceremony

            Councilmember Brazil addressed senior citizens at the 21st Annual Super Senior Day Awards Ceremony at the Blessed Sacrament School in northwest Washington. The Citizens Advisory Council of IONA Senior Services, a strong advocate for seniors in D.C., recognized 37 seniors for their exemplary contributions to communities throughout the city. Brazil was happy to join them as the guest speaker.  "By volunteering you have shown true commitment to the human spirits of sharing and selflessness," Brazil said before a packed audience. "I deeply appreciate the opportunity to be here to recognize you for all your accomplishments." After speaking, Brazil presented certificates of accomplishment to the honorees.

             

            Brazil Participates in Emancipation Day Parade

            Councilmember Brazil took part in the 2004 Emancipation Day Parade, walking and greeting residents and visitors of the District along Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.  "I think it's wonderful that so many people have joined in the Emancipation Day festivities.  The significance of this day is important to promote, and the support and positive feedback I have received is overwhelming," said Brazil.  On April 16, 1862, President Abraham Lincoln signed the DC Emancipation Act making enslaved Washingtonians the "first freed" - nine months before the Emancipation Proclamation freed the enslaved in the slave states. Four years later Washingtonians began commemorating this momentous event with the first Emancipation Day Parade. It was a long tradition for a range of organizations to participate, including worker clubs; civic, charitable, and mutual aid organizations; political organizations; and social and sporting clubs. The parade ended in 1901 but was reinstated in 2002.

             

            Brazil Speaks At Ribbon Cutting for the Minority Business Development Center

            Councilmember Brazil attended the ribbon cutting for the Minority Business Development Center, located at 64 New York Avenue, N.E., at the Department of Employment Services.  The center will focus on high-growth minority businesses, gaining access to capital and markets, and providing general business consulting services to improve opportunities and economic performance.  It was created as part of a program of the Department of Commerce's Minority Business Development Agency, whose mission is "empowering minority business enterprises for the purpose of wealth creation."  "I am pleased that we are able to welcome the Minority Business Development Center to its new home on New York Avenue.  The work it does for our local and minority businesses is the backbone of our local business economy.  I look forward to continuing our work together," said Brazil.  The MBDA is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce and is the only federal agency created specifically to foster the establishment and growth of minority-owned businesses in America. MBDA is an entrepreneur focused and innovative organization committed to wealth creation in minority communities. The Agency's mission is to actively promote the growth and competitiveness of large, medium and small minority business enterprises.  MBDA actively coordinates and leverages public and private sector resources that facilitate strategic alliances in support of its mission.  Brazil, to loud applause, detailed the provisions of his bill, the Small Business Development Act, that will dovetail with the work of the center and provide further help to minority businesses get more and larger contracts.

             

            Brazil Shares Opening Remarks at D.C. Chamber Event

            Councilmember Brazil offered opening remarks at the D.C. Chamber of Commerce's Workforce Development Town Hall Meeting, which was held to discuss issues facing the hospitality industry's workforce, specifically examining skill development.  "Not only do I want to see District residents working, but I also like to see them owning their own businesses and climbing the ladder of success," said Brazil.  He outlined a number of ways that the District can help its residents succeed and noted that he has been at the forefront of making that assistance available.  Brazil said that what the District must do is three fold: make sure our residents have the appropriate skills to enter the workforce; help small businesses grow and succeed; and make the process of gaining assistance from the District less cumbersome.  "Creating jobs in the District is highly important, but if we do not have residents READY and ABLE to hold those jobs then we have failed.  This is why I support industry-specific training," added Brazil.  "But we also need to bring back appropriate vocational training programs into the public schools.  We need to give our youth a skill set when they head into the workforce."  The meeting was the first in a new series sponsored by the Chamber, and Brazil looks forward to working with everyone involved to get the best results possible for the District and its workers.

             

             

            Gold Star of the Week: Jerry Phillips, of Clear Channel Radio, for being inducted into the Communications Hall of Fame!

             

             

            Boneheads of the Week: Obafemi Orenuga, a former tax auditor for the D.C. government who has been convicted of taking bribes from businesses in order to reduce taxes by tens of thousands of dollars.

            Shana Heilbron
            Communications Director
            Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
            1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
            Suite 404
            Washington, DC 20004

            202-724-8174 (work)

             

          • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
            THE BRAZIL BULLETIN Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember Chair, Committee on
            Message 5 of 13 , Apr 26, 2004
            • 0 Attachment

              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 23, 2004

                         

               

              Councilmember Brazil Votes Against Mayor's Proposal for School Takeover, Says Voice of the People Must Be Heard, Mayor Must Produce Plan for Improvement

              Councilmember Brazil voted against the Mayor's proposal to take over the D.C. Public School System, but said that change is necessary and the status quo is unacceptable.   "The current school system is failing our children," said Brazil.  "It is totally unacceptable that two thirds of District fourth graders scored below the basic skills level and 64% of our fourth graders failed to master basic math skills.   We must turn this around dramatically, and it must happen soon." He continued, "It is not enough to criticize the Mayor's plan; we must find an acceptable alternative." So far, the Mayor is the only official that has come up with a plan. The Council has opted for the status quo, and that is unacceptable. Instead of passing any legislation, the Council should go back to the drawing board and hammer out, with parent and citizen input, how we can improve the school system, so the good teachers can go about the business of educating our youth.  Finally, the Mayor must provide more detail about how he specifically would improve the schools and go out and talk to parents and convince them and the Council that his plan will work and that he has the tenacity to make it work, Brazil added.

               

              Brazil Meets With Civic Leaders in Ward 6 at the Way of the Cross Church

              Councilmember Brazil met with a group of civic leaders in Ward 6 to talk about a number of issues that are on the minds of residents, including job training, affordable housing, the lead in the drinking water, the fare increases proposed by Metro, and Brazil's "Small Business Development Act."  "We have affordable housing coming up all across the city, thousands of jobs are being created for our District residents, and our neighborhoods are taking shape in ways we never would have expected, even a few short years ago," said Brazil.  But there is more that needs to be done.  I'm fighting for full funding of the Housing Production Trust Fund, and working to make sure we are creating jobs that are going to residents of the District." 

               

              Councilmember Brazil Introduces Legislation To Oppose WMATA Fare Increases

              Brazil introduced legislation to put the Council on record against WMATA's proposed fare increase for a second time in less than a year.  "These proposed fare hikes would significantly impact the residents of the District, particularly lower-income residents, minimum-wage earners, seniors, and persons with disabilities," Brazil said.  "WMATA has allowed thefts of millions of dollars each year at its parking lots, has been unable to fix its escalators and elevators, and does not even try to increase its revenue in innovative ways, like more advertising on trains and buses. The fare hike shifts the burden of their mismanagement from themselves to the riders, and we cannot let that happen," he added.

               

              Brazil Attends GLAA Awards Reception

              Councilmember Brazil joined the Gay and Lesbian Activists Alliance of Washington, D.C. (GLAA) at its 33rd anniversary celebration, to honor this year's 'Distinguished Service' awardees.  The GLAA is a local, all-volunteer, non-partisan, non-profit political organization, founded in 1971 to advance the equal rights of gay men and lesbians in Washington, D.C. It is the nation's oldest continuously active gay and lesbian civil rights organization.  For more information on the GLAA, log on to www.glaa.org.

               

              Councilmember Brazil Introduces Strong Legislation to Create Lead Pipe Replacement Fund

              At the recent legislative session, Councilmember Brazil introduced legislation to help District residents pay for replacing lead pipes on their properties. Brazil previously offered legislation on the same topic on April 6, 2004, but the Council postponed its consideration. "The District is facing a public health crisis with lead-contaminated water. This issue is too important for us to put off again," Brazil said.  "This legislation creates standards showing how the payments will be made, and in what amount, and also sets aside a specific amount of money each year for the replacement fund.  All reasonable concerns have been addressed; it is time to put this plan into action."  Currently, the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) is in the process of replacing its lead pipes - but only from the main feeder to the house's property line. Replacing the pipes from the property line to the house itself is the responsibility of the homeowner. But it costs an average of $2,000 to replace this portion of the lead service line, a cost many residents cannot afford. Brazil has been working with the Mayor and the Council to identify $20 million in the capital budget to help pay for removing the lead pipes in homes.

               

              Brazil Offers Plan for Fiscal Year 2005 Budget

              Councilmember Brazil sent a letter to his colleagues urging them to adopt his plan to restore the Housing Production Trust Fund to $40 million (the budget now calls for only $20 million) and eliminate the $100 million in tax and fee increases in the Mayor's proposed fiscal year 2005 budget. We can do this by reducing by 3%, the 9% increases in agency budgets requested by the mayor.  The 3% reduction would be limited to agencies with budgets of $2 million or more.  "We must slow the growth of the District budget and live within our means; the  $100 million of tax and fee increases are not acceptable for our residents and the executive branch's proposed spending increase of 9% is more than we can afford," said Brazil. "Raising taxes to pay for it puts us back on the road toward the slippery slope of insolvency.    This will involve only modest belt tightening."  Brazil emphasized that the increases the Mayor has proposed are not academic - they impact all residents, especially residents with lower incomes.  Among the increases in the budget are a health care tax, a residential parking permit fee increase, an increase in the driver's license fee, parking meter fee increases, and a new electricity surcharge.  "The continual increase in taxes and fees drive residents and businesses out of the District and eats away at our tax base.  Instead of continuing down this path - which we went down just a decade ago - we must show resolve now, trim spending where necessary, and continue to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of our current operations," added Brazil.

               

              Gold Star of the Week:  The Marian Koshland Science Museum.  The new museum, which opened April 23, 2004, on the corner of 6th and E Streets, N.W., explores the links between scientific research and everyday life.  The Koshland Science Museum is the only museum in the District solely dedicated to exploring the science at the core of public policy decisions and the only museum in the world operated by the National Academy of Sciences.  In addition, Banneker High School students served as docents at the opening.  For more information, log on to www.koshland-science-museum.org.

               

              Shana Heilbron
              Communications Director
              Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
              1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
              Suite 404
              Washington, DC 20004

              202-724-8174 (work)

               

            • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
              THE BRAZIL BULLETIN Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember Chair, Committee on
              Message 6 of 13 , May 3, 2004
              • 0 Attachment

                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 30, 2004

                           

                 

                Brazil Holds Hearing on Skyland Shopping Center Eminent Domain Authority

                Councilmember Brazil, chair of the Committee on Economic Development, held a hearing on important legislation the he introduced regarding the development of Skyland Shopping Center. The bill would authorize the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC) to use eminent domain to acquire property for the redevelopment of the Skyland Shopping Center. "I strongly support the leadership position the NCRC will take on this project," Brazil said. "This project has been long-awaited by the community and is of significant importance to the District's continued economic development." Skyland, at the corner of Good Hope Road, Naylor, and Alabama Avenues, S.E., is an underutilized shopping center in Ward 7, and the residents of the communities have been working for years to have it redeveloped for their community and to better serve their needs. However, the redevelopment effort has not been successful largely because the shopping center's ownership is scattered among at least a dozen owners. The NCRC has already begun negotiations on the purchase of the properties; and has found a development partner willing to redevelop the center once the District acquires unified ownership of the property. Brazil's legislation also establishes a standardized process for NCRC's requests for eminent domain authority through each project area plans.

                 

                Brazil Attends Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony in Columbia Heights

                Councilmember Brazil congratulated the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights at its ribbon-cutting ceremony for the renovation of the Chapin Street apartments. The Columbia Heights revitalization includes new affordable housing projects, such as the Chapin Street apartments, and commercial development, which done in conjunction provide the targeted and concentrated neighborhood development that new and old residents of the Columbia Heights community deserve.  "The work that Robert Moore and the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights have been able to do in conjunction with the Department of Housing Community Development and the Housing Finance Agency to develop this project is exactly the type of government non-profit partnerships we need to promote," Brazil said in his remarks. "The fact that this project will enable low and moderate-income residents in Columbia Heights to own a rehabilitated multi-unit housing development is a momentous occasion." Brazil said that the project is in keeping with his goals: to bring economic revitalization to all neighborhoods; to ensure longtime District residents get affordable housing; and that LSDBEs take part in the project, especially those from the surrounding community.

                 

                Brazil Gives Ceremonial Resolution to School

                Councilmember Brazil recognized the alumni of Armstrong High School by presenting a ceremonial resolution, the "Armstrong High School Alumni Association Recognition Resolution of 2004." The resolution was designed to recognize the "impressive history of Armstrong High School in educating African Americans in the District of Columbia and the work that the Armstrong High School Alumni Association has done to keep the legacy of Armstrong High School alive."  "The Council applauds the Armstrong High School Alumni Association for keeping the important history and values taught at the Armstrong High School alive in the District for future generations to learn from," Brazil said. Built in 1902, Armstrong was a 28-room building for 300 students and founded on the educational principles of Booker T. Washington, who advocated industrial, craft, and domestic skills training for African Americans. It was one of two schools for Black students in D.C. The school boasts alumni such as composer Duke Ellington, National Football Hall of Famer Lenny Ford of the Cleveland Browns, Anita Ford Allen, former president of the D.C. Board of Education, Stanley Anderson, former D.C. Councilmember, and Decatur Trotter, former Maryland state senator.

                 

                Brazil Attends Southwest Neighborhood Assembly Community Meeting

                Councilmember Brazil met with residents of the Southwest Neighborhood Assembly to discuss issues in their neighborhood, specifically the development of the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative and the progress that has been made with Fannie Mae at the Waterfront Mall.  "Southwest is a hot market  in terms of new and ongoing development," said Brazil.  "Fannie Mae has decided to relocate some of its headquarters to the area, and we've been working with the NCRC to bring strong and sensible development to the Southwest."  Neighbors at the meeting were excited about the new development opportunities, and expressed their interest in being involved as the process continues.  "It is a priority that the community be involved and have a voice in the process, every step of the way," Brazil added.  "I look forward to working with everyone involved in the process, but especially the community."

                 

                Brazil Celebrates Milestone Anniversary with Lee Memorial Baptist     

                Councilmember Brazil offered congratulatory remarks to Lee Memorial Baptist Church, which celebrated its 10th anniversary and founder's day. The Rev. Dr. Ruth E. Ward, pastor emeritus, created the church in 1994, in response to her 30 years of service with developmentally challenged children in the District of Columbia. "Your dedication Rev. Ward is astounding," Brazil said before a packed church. "Your extraordinary approach to the developmentally disabled is over and beyond what many other caregivers have done; and you have made a lasting impact on the lives of the people you serve." Rev. Ward was a nurse practitioner. She founded the Community Multi-Services Inc. and the Ward & Ward Mental Health Services Inc. to serve the less fortunate; she was a foster parent and has spent over 20 years as an adopted parent for wards of Child and Family Services. The church takes a different approach to Christianity by making the developmentally disabled the central focus of its mission.

                 

                 

                Spotlight of the Week: New PSA Boundaries!  On May 2, 2004, the Metropolitan Police Department implemented a major restructuring of its Police Service Areas (PSAs). The new structure is designed to enhance police services in DC neighborhoods and to increase community involvement in community policing. This is accomplished by aligning the PSAs more closely with DC neighborhoods, improving police coordination with other city services in addressing problems that impact crime, and by giving PSAs the staffing flexibility to fight crime more effectively at the neighborhood level. For more information, log on to http://www.mpdc.dc.gov/info/districts/PSAs_proposed.shtm.

                 

                 

                Shana Heilbron
                Communications Director
                Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
                1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
                Suite 404
                Washington, DC 20004

                202-724-8174 (work)

                 

              • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
                THE BRAZIL BULLETIN Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember Chair, Committee on
                Message 7 of 13 , May 10, 2004
                • 0 Attachment

                  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 May 7, 2004

                             

                   

                  Councilmember Brazil Introduces Legislation to Help D.C. Residents Buy First Homes

                  Councilmember Brazil is introducing legislation that will provide $3,000 to help District residents purchase their first homes. "The cost of a home in the District of Columbia has skyrocketed over the past several years," Brazil said. "One of the main barriers to home ownership is the inability to pay the down payment and closing costs. My legislation will give residents the resources to do that."  Brazil noted that there is a clear need for this initiative because residents have watched the average price of a home in the District of Columbia rise from $290,000 in 2000 to $500,000 in 2004 and the median price rise from $176,000 in 2000 to $348,000 in 2004, according to statistics from the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors.  The federal government's $5,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit expired recently, and even though there is an ongoing effort to reinstate it, there is a need to supplement the federal effort with local dollars to provide the appropriate assistance District residents deserve when purchasing their first homes, according to Brazil.  "I am concerned that too many citizens want to buy a home, and should have the opportunity to own a home, but cannot afford it," Brazil said. "That's why I am leading the effort to help make the American dream a reality for every resident of our nation's capital." Unlike the federal credit, the $3,000 payment Brazil has proposed will only be available to residents who have lived in the District for at least 12 months prior to applying to the program. The funds can be applied to the down payment and closing costs associated with buying a home.

                   

                  Councilmember Brazil Leads Council To Unanimously Approve Legislation for Retail Development at Skyland Shopping Center

                  Councilmember Brazil successfully led his colleagues in unanimously passing the "Skyland Eminent Domain Approval Amendment Act of 2004" on an emergency basis. The legislation authorizes the National Capital Revitalization Corporation (NCRC) to exercise eminent domain to acquire property for the redevelopment of the Skyland Shopping Center. Skyland is an underutilized, blighted retail center in Ward 7, located at the intersection of Good Hope Road, Naylor Road, and Alabama Avenue, S.E.  NCRC has created a redevelopment plan for the site and partnered with a private development team.  The authority to acquire the parcels was needed to go forward with the project.  "I'm pleased we were able to move this through the Council because we can immediately begin to assemble the parcel for the development, which will create jobs and bring new retail to Ward 7," Brazil said. "With this legislation, NCRC will also be in a better position to sign an anchor tenant to the project."  Brazil added, "The residents of the communities near the shopping center have been working for years to have the center redeveloped so that it is an asset to their community, and better serves their needs. We had a number of community leaders submit testimony in favor of the legislation and not one community representative at the hearing testified against the proposal.  This kind of joint effort of the government and the community is so important, and will bring with it great success."

                   

                  Brazil Attends Annual Senior Citizen's Day

                  Councilmember Harold Brazil attended the 40th Annual Senior Day and Health Expo at the DC Armory in southeast. The event attracted thousands of seniors, whom Brazil greeted, chatted and danced with. Brazil joined Mayor Williams and Councilmember Allen in talking about the contributions of seniors in the District. "I am happy to see so many seniors here to celebrate their day," Brazil said. "As the city's oldest residents, they deserve to be recognized for their contributions." Seniors were treated to live music, lunch, exhibits, games, line dancing, health screenings, health and wellness demonstrations, and general information on senior services.

                   

                  Downtown Congestion Task Force Convenes First Meeting

                  Councilmember Brazil joined Mayor Williams and Dan Tangherlini, the director of the D.C. Department of Transportation, to convene the first meeting of a new Downtown Congestion Task Force.  Brazil has advocated for the development of a plan to address parking for shoppers downtown, traffic relief for District residents, and establishing adequate parking for the new convention center so that convention parking does not spill into the nearby neighborhood.  The concept for a parking task force was part of Brazil's Economic Development Action Agenda, which he released in November 2002.  "As the downtown economy continues to grow, many parts of the transportation infrastructure will be stressed. Problems such as traffic congestion and subway under-capacity could adversely impact the economy," said Brazil.  "The lack of short-term parking is already seen as a major impediment to attracting retail to downtown.  And traffic and the lack of parking will discourage individuals and groups from attending restaurants, entertainment venues, and cultural institutions downtown."  The aspects of the task force that Brazil is focusing on is the current state of parking downtown, future parking needs, methods to increase parking availability, and the impacts of limited parking on the downtown economy. 

                   

                  Brazil Attends Breakfast with The Washington, Maryland, Delaware Service Station and Automotive Repair Association    

                  Councilmember Brazil met with the members of the Washington, Maryland, Delaware Service Station and Automotive Repair Association to talk about a number of issues being considered by the Council.  The issue of greatest interest to the group was the District budget.  "I do not want to see new taxes placed on our citizens and businesses.  I have been stating since the Mayor's proposed FY05 budget came to the Council on March 29, 2004, that I am opposed to the $100 million of tax and fee increases," Brazil told the group.  "I firmly believe we must slow the growth of the District budget and live within our means.  Raising taxes to pay for spending increases puts us on the path to insolvency."  Brazil added that one of the main reasons he is against raising taxes and fees is because the ultimate effect of these increases will be dramatic - by driving away businesses and residents through high taxes and fees, the District will not have a tax base to fund services for its residents.  The Council is set to vote on the budget in mid-May.

                   

                  Gold Stars of the Week:  The 2004 D.C. Building Industry Achievement award winners: Douglass Jemal, the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, and Milton Bailey.

                  Shana Heilbron
                  Communications Director
                  Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
                  1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
                  Suite 404
                  Washington, DC 20004

                  202-724-8174 (work)

                   

                • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
                  THE BRAZIL BULLETIN Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember Chair, Committee on
                  Message 8 of 13 , May 17, 2004
                  • 0 Attachment

                    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 May 14, 2004

                               

                     

                    Councilmember Brazil Helps Lead Council To Consensus on Fiscal Year 2005 Budget

                    Councilmember Harold Brazil drew on his years of experience in the District's budget process to help lead the Council and the Mayor toward a consensus on the fiscal year 2005 budget.  After a contentious five-hour meeting on Tuesday, Brazil recognized that the Council was not making progress and requested that Chairman Cropp give the members time to step back, think through additional options, and reconvene later in the week.  He said, "A majority of Councilmembers wanted to reduce the size of the increase in the proposed Fiscal Year 2005 budget; we cannot sustain the rate of growth that the executive proposed.  We went down that road only a few years ago, and it meant near-bankruptcy and an inability to provide critical services like job training and funds for affordable housing to our residents.  But we cannot continue down the divided road we were on today."  He added,  "We must stabilize our finances and enforce fiscal discipline so that we can invest in our neighborhoods and our people.  That means making sure the resources are available to provide affordable housing, quality health care, good city services, opportunities for homeownership, safe and drug free streets, and excellence in education."  Cropp agreed to Brazil's request, and when the Council reconvened on Friday - after several days of further analysis and discussion - the Council approved a 'consensus budget' - a win-win for the District, its citizens, and children.  Brazil stated, "I was happy to play a critical role in bringing the sides together.  As the swing vote, I felt it was important to build a stronger consensus."

                     

                    Brazil Participates in Honoring Jack Valenti with a Key to the City

                    Councilmember Brazil joined with Mayor Anthony Williams in honoring Jack Valenti, who is retiring as president and chief executive officer of the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), in presenting him with a key to the city.  Valenti, who became the president of MPAA in 1966, is regarded as one of the most influential lobbyists in Washington.  Valenti, who has lived in the District for over 40 years was born in Texas, and came to the District to serve under President Lyndon Johnson.  "Jack Valenti is a legend here in Washington," Brazil said, while offering a toast in his honor.  "He is well-deserving of this honor, which the Mayor has bestowed only a handful of times during his administration.   I wish him well on his future endeavors, and hope he continues to remain active in the District."  Moviemakers in the District spend about $50 million annually.

                     

                    Brazil Celebrates Grand Opening of 8th and H Streets, NE Retail Center

                    Councilmember Brazil joined the H Street Community Development Corporation (HSCDC) in announcing the "Grand Opening" of the new Retail Center at 8th and H Streets NE, marking a milestone in the revitalization of the H Street commercial corridor.  The 6,500-square-foot facility includes a Foot Locker store, which opened last November; a Blimpie Subs & Salads Shop, opening this month; a SunTrust ATM facility; and a third retail store to be announced soon.  The HSCDC developed the $2.5-million project in a financing partnership with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) of Washington, D.C., SunTrust Bank, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Atlanta, and the D.C. Department of Housing and Community Development.  Brazil's support was critical to the Council's approval of funding for the project, which will create dozens of new jobs for District residents.  "This development is a great step forward for the H Street neighborhood," said Brazil.  "Not only is it bringing jobs and shops right now, it will be a catalyst to continued investment and development along the H Street corridor."

                     

                    Committee on Economic Development Approves WCCA Nominee Joslyn Williams and the WCCA Advisory Committee Act of 2004

                    Councilmember Brazil, as chairperson of the Committee on Economic Development, held a vote on two important pieces of legislation related to the Washington Convention Center Authority ("WCCA"). First, the Committee approved PR 15-709, the "Washington Convention Center Authority Board of Directors Joslyn N. Williams Confirmation Resolution of 2004."  The legislation confirms the appointment of Joslyn Williams to serve on the 9-member board of directors that governs the WCCA.  Mr. Williams is a new appointee by the Mayor. "I am impressed by Mr. Williams' enthusiasm and the knowledge and expertise he brings with him to the appointment," said Brazil.  "He is a great addition to the Board."  In addition, the committee approved Bill 15-726, the "Washington Convention Center Authority Advisory Committee Act of 2004."  The legislation establishes a 12-member, neighborhood-based committee that will advise the WCCA on issues that affect the communities near the center, such as streetscape projects, transportation and parking issues, and economic development objectives.

                     

                    Join the DC Preservation League For Their Annual Meeting

                    The DC Preservation will hold its annual membership meeting on June 9, at the newly renovated Tivoli Theatre, at 14th Street and Park Road, NW.  (The redevelopment of the Tivoli is a project of the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, which Brazil oversees as chair of the Council's Committee on Economic Development.)  The program begins at 6:30 pm and will include a keynote address by Benjamin Forgey, architecture critic for the Washington Post.  Building tours will be given immediately following the program.  Members: Free, Non-Members: $50 (includes one year membership).  For reservations: info@... or 202.783.5144.

                     

                    Spotlight of the Week: PandaMania!  The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, producers of 2002's hugely successful Party Animals, is presenting PandaMania, 150 creatively designed Panda sculptures placed on display from May through September 2004. The exhibition will conclude with a public auction of the sculptures with proceeds used for art grants and art education programs.  For more information, log on to www.pandamaniadc.org.

                     

                     

                    Gold Stars of the Week: The Capitol Hill Community Achievement Awards winners - Linda Parker Gallagher, Parker Jayne and Woody Price!

                    Shana Heilbron
                    Communications Director
                    Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
                    1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
                    Suite 404
                    Washington, DC 20004

                    202-724-8174 (work)

                     

                  • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
                    THE BRAZIL BULLETIN Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember Chair, Committee on
                    Message 9 of 13 , May 24, 2004
                    • 0 Attachment

                      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 May 21, 2004

                                 

                       

                      Councilmember Brazil Gets Budget Authority for Lead Pipe Replacement Fund; Residents Should Not Have to Foot the Bill for WASA Problems

                      As part of the Fiscal Year 2005 budget, the Council approved a proposal by Councilmember Harold Brazil to set aside $5 million in capital budget authority to be allocated to a Lead Pipe Replacement Fund to help residents pay for the replacement of lead pipes on their properties.  "I'm pleased my colleagues joined me in this effort to protect our residents and the public health.  We are facing a crisis with lead-contaminated water, and we cannot sit back any longer," Brazil said.  Currently, the D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) is in the process of replacing its lead pipes - but only from the main feeder to the house's property line. Replacing the pipes from the property line to the house itself is the responsibility of the homeowner. But it costs an average of $2,000 to replace this portion of the lead service line, a cost many cannot afford.  The Lead Pipe Replacement Fund would pay 50% - 100% of the costs, based on income levels.  Brazil cautioned, however, that more action is needed.  "This budget authorization is the first step; it does not mean the money is in anyone's hands.  The next step is to get a commitment from the Mayor to include $5 million for the fund in the next capital bond issuance or to reprogram funds for this purpose."  Brazil added, "This fund will provide residents with the dollars they need to replace their pipes, and ensure a healthier, safer city."

                       

                      National Children's Museum Announces Plans for New Home

                      Councilmember Brazil was pleased to be a part of the Capital Children's Museum (CCM) announcement that it will build a new National Children's Museum at the center of a major new development at L'Enfant Plaza designed by international architect Cesar Pelli.  CCM's Board of Trustees, of which Brazil is a member, also announced the sale of the museum property at 800 3rd Street N.W. to Abdo Development. The CCM will launch a $100 million national campaign to build the new institution, reaching out to potential contributors in the public and private sectors not only in the Washington community, but also throughout the country.   "The Children's Museum has been a great friend and neighbor in the H Street, N.E. neighborhood, but they've outgrown their current facility.  As a member of the Board of Trustees, I'm extremely excited to move forward with a new home in the downtown/Southwest area," said Brazil.  As the centerpiece of the L'Enfant Plaza revitalization project, which is being developed by The JBG Companies, the National Children's Museum will be housed in a new 140,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility that will deliver a dynamic, interactive learning environment.  The new National Children's Museum plans to open its doors in June 2008 and is projected to attract 500,000 visitors in its first year of operation, eighty percent of that will be from the Washington area.  Tourists are expected to make up the remaining 20 percent.   The current Children's Museum will close its doors on Labor Day 2004. More information about the National Children's Museum can be found at www.nationalchildrensmuseum.org.

                       

                      Brazil Speaks About Economic Development at Columbia Heights ANC Meeting

                      Councilmember Brazil was the key speaker at the monthly meeting of the Columbia Heights ANC.  Brazil began by sharing with the group the astonishing economic development numbers in the District.  "We have so much going on in the District right now: over 600 major development projects, valued at over $27 billion; over 5 million square feet of retail space recently completed or underway; and over 34,000 residential units in the same categories.  We have a booming downtown - the new convention center, new office buildings, new residences, and new attractions, and we're bringing more development and energy to our neighborhoods," said Brazil.  He emphasized that his goal as chair of the Council's economic development committee is to make sure that that the economic development creates benefits for D.C. residents.  Brazil pointed out that much progress has been made to reach that goal, including an effort to fully fund the Housing Production Trust Fund, the passage of the Neighborhood Investment Act, and the continuation of successful programs like DC Main Streets, ReStore DC and the Home Again Initiative.  "Even with these successes, we need to continue working hard to connect the growth in the District to current residents.  When these buildings go up, we need to make sure people in the neighborhood get the jobs and that local and minority businesses are the ones providing supplies for the projects.  I am committed to seeing these things happen," he added.

                       

                      Brazil Submits Testimony Suggesting a Partnership Between WASA and Metro

                      Councilmember Brazil, who has been a leader in demanding District residents get better information on the safety of their drinking water, has suggested that the embattled D.C. Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) work with the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (Metro) to advertise updates on the lead contamination clean up.  Brazil explained his proposal in written testimony to both WASA Board members and to a panel of representatives at a Congressional hearing before the House Government Reform Committee.  "WASA had been told by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) that it did a poor job in its public outreach in failing to communicate a sense of urgency on the lead problems," Brazil wrote. "WASA should advertise to warn residents; to inform them; or to instruct them about solutions." Brazil said WASA could use large-scale posters on Metro buses, kiosks and Metro stations.  Although he did not mention it in his testimony, Brazil said that Metro has complained it needs to raise fares to close a budget shortfall. But with the new advertising dollars from WASA, it could help to offset Metro's shortfall so that it would not have to raise fares. "In this way, the two agencies may be able to help each other," Brazil said. "WASA gives the public full disclosure on the lead issue, and Metro creates an alternative funding stream, so it would not have to depend on District residents to foot the bill for previous mismanagement."

                       

                      Gold Star of the Week: The 40 winners of the 2004 Parkmont Poetry Festival, which honors the writing of poetry by public and private school students across the city.

                      Shana Heilbron
                      Communications Director
                      Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
                      1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
                      Suite 404
                      Washington, DC 20004

                      202-724-8174 (work)

                       

                    • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
                      THE BRAZIL BULLETIN Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember Chair, Committee on
                      Message 10 of 13 , Jun 1, 2004
                      • 0 Attachment

                        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 May 28, 2004

                                   

                         

                        Brazil to Co-Host Ward 8 Economic Development Summit

                        Councilmember Brazil is teaming up with Ward 8 Councilmember, Sandy Allen, to host the Ward 8 Economic Development Summit on Saturday, June 19, 2004 at the Patricia Roberts Harris Educational Center, 4600 Livingston Road, SE, Washington, DC 20032 from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. The purposes of the Summit are to provide an opportunity for residents and businesses located in Ward 8 to review the economic development projects currently under construction or planned in Ward 8 and to "understand the process" of being involved in these development initiates.  The Summit's program will include:  discussions of the community's role in economic development; educational workshops on the various phases of the economic development process; opportunities for residents and businesses to review projects and interact with project representatives; assistance for residents to register for job-training and employment opportunities; and assistance to local businesses to register for contractor training and contracting opportunities.

                         

                        Brazil Convenes Downtown Congestion Task Force Parking Committee Meeting

                        Councilmember Brazil was a co-convener of the Downtown Congestion Task Force Parking Committee's first meeting. The Parking Committee is part of Mayor Williams' new Downtown Congestion Task Force.  Brazil has been a strong advocate on the needs to develop a plan to address parking for retail shoppers and parking for the new convention center and the high volume of downtown traffic.  "I made this issue an action item of my Economic Development Action Agenda and to see this task force come to fruition is highly important to me," said Brazil.  "I firmly believe that as the Downtown economy continues to grow, many aspects of the transportation infrastructure will be stressed. Problems such as traffic congestion and subway under-capacity could have adverse impacts on various aspects of the Downtown economy."  The scarcity of short-term parking is already widely acknowledged as a major impediment to attracting retail to Downtown and parking scarcity for the new convention center may limit the desirability of holding events there and dissuade individuals and groups from attending restaurants, entertainment venues, and cultural institutions Downtown.  Parking for residents in the downtown area is also an area being considered by the task force.  "I believe this task force is important because we need to know the current state of parking downtown, future parking needs, methods to increase parking availability, and the impacts of limited parking on the Downtown economy.  The Task Force's recommendations, will help us move closer to maximizing Downtown's economic potential," Brazil added.

                         

                        Brazil Works to Lure Development to the District

                        Councilmember Brazil took part in the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) annual spring convention.  The ICSC is the global trade association of the shopping center industry. ICSC has 44,000 members in more than 75 countries, and they include shopping center owners, developers, managers, marketing specialists, investors, lenders, retailers, firms providing products and services to the industry and professionals such as academics and public officials. As the global industry trade association, ICSC links with national and regional shopping center councils throughout the world. The principal aim of ICSC is to assist members in the development of their businesses through professional education, conferences and conventions, publications, research and legislative action.  "Our past experiences at ICSC's convention have brought real success to the District; Home Depot, Best Buy and the Container Store are three successful examples of what has come from our meetings and discussions while participating in the convention," said Brazil.  "The District is a much-desired destination for many retailers, and I hope we attract more into our downtown and neighborhoods."

                         

                        Brazil Attends Celebration for Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month

                        Councilmember Brazil joined the Mayor's Office of Asian & Pacific Islander Affairs in celebrating Asian & Pacific American Heritage Month.  The celebration, held at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, featured cultural items from various embassies and organizations, educational workshops on Asian arts and culture, and presentations of Japanese drums, martial arts, Cambodian dancing, and Asian serenade music, among other things.  "The cultural performances and educational opportunities are something for everyone to enjoy and learn from.  It's so important that we continue to celebrate and explore the cultures that make the District unique," said Brazil.  Congress designated the month of May as Asian and Pacific American Heritage month over 20 years ago.

                         

                        Spotlight of the Week: The World War II Memorial.  On April 29, 2004, as a service and tribute to members of the World War II Generation, the National World War II Memorial opened for public viewing, exactly one month prior to the formal Dedication Ceremony taking place May 29, 2004. The World War II Memorial is the first national memorial dedicated to all who served during the Second World War. The memorial, established by the American Battle Monuments Commission, honors all military veterans of the war, the citizens on the home front, the nation at large, and the high moral purpose and idealism that motivated the nation's call to arms. The Second World War is the only 20th-century event commemorated on the Mall's central axis.  Mr. Brazil's father was a Tuskegee Airman; he piloted B-25 bombing missions over Europe during the war.  For more information, log on to http://www.wwiimemorial.com/.

                         

                         

                        Bonehead of the Week: Enrique Watson, the DCPS principal who was dismissed after officials concluded that he purchased two buses with school money and that one of them might have been sold to Panama.

                        Shana Heilbron
                        Communications Director
                        Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
                        1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
                        Suite 404
                        Washington, DC 20004

                        202-724-8174 (work)

                         

                      • Heilbron, Shana (COUNCIL)
                        THE BRAZIL BULLETIN Harold Brazil, At-Large Councilmember Chair, Committee on
                        Message 11 of 13 , Jun 8, 2004
                        • 0 Attachment

                          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 June 4, 2004

                                     

                           

                          Brazil Joins DC Marketing Center for Presentation of "Starting A Business in D.C."

                          Councilmember Brazil joined Michael Stevens, Director of the DC Marketing Center, and others in unveiling a new publication, "Starting a Business in D.C."  (Brazil oversees the Marketing Center through his chairmanship of the Committee on Economic Development.)  The publication is an easy to follow step-by-step guide for anyone looking to start a new business or relocate in the District.  It informs entrepreneurs about all the steps for starting a successful business - from putting together a proper business plan, to working with the District's licensing agencies, to financing a business, - and it also explains the incentives the District and federal government offer businesses. "Through my years of experience on the Council, I know what it is like for businesses to traverse the maze of licensing and permitting in the District. I have worked hard to make it easier for District businesses to succeed and grow in every neighborhood of the District.  This publication is a great addition to the work we have done - it will help local businesses succeed in a very competitive field," said Brazil.    Brazil added, "Efforts like this are so important to meeting our goal of providing quality jobs to our District residents because every time a new business opens it means more job opportunities for our residents."

                           

                          ABC Bill is Amended to Keep 10 p.m. Hours in Place For Liquor Stores

                          On Tuesday, June 1, 2004, the Council voted to reconsider the "Omnibus Alcoholic Beverage Amendment Act of 2004."  In doing so, the Council approved an amendment, by a vote of 12-1, to amend the language to keep the current 10:00 p.m. closing time for liquor stores.  Councilmember Brazil voted for the amendment.     "I am pleased to support this amendment because it meets the commitment that I made to the community that keeps the hours of operation for alcohol sales the same as they are currently."

                           

                          Brazil Committee Approves Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Legislation; Banneker Ballpark Amendment Not Included

                          Councilmember Brazil led the Committee on Economic Development to approve key legislation to improve communities near the Anacostia River- the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation Act of 2004.  The legislation approves the creation of an independent government agency to implement the Anacostia Waterfront Framework Plan.  The Plan includes 100 acres of new waterfront public spaces with a 20-mile Riverwalk and Trail System; over 600,000 square feet of new retail space; more than 4,500 new residences; and over 3 million square feet of new commercial uses.  Brazil said, "This is a key part of the District's continued economic development.  This project will bring thousands of new jobs to District residents, new homes and commercial revitalization to underserved areas of the District.  It will bring billions of dollars in investment; millions of dollars annually in tax dollars; and reconnect, rather than divide, the District along this waterway."  Brazil ensured that the legislation did not include an amendment that would have designated Banneker Overlook as the site of a baseball stadium and inter-modal transportation center. The Southwest community was not happy with the proposed amendment and this legislation was not the appropriate vehicle for such language.  The full Council will soon consider the legislation. 

                           

                          Brazil Holds Confirmation Hearings for Arts Commission and LBOC

                          The Committee on Economic Development held confirmation hearings for two nominees: Monica Wroblewski to the Board of the Commission on the Arts and Humanities and Charles Gaither to the Board of the Local Business Opportunity Commission (LBOC).  "These Board candidates are both superior candidates, with years of expertise and experience in the fields of arts and humanities and in local business," said Brazil.  Since 1968 the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and Humanities has developed and promoted local artists, organizations, and activities as part of its mission to enrich the quality of life of the people of the District.  The LBOC was formed as the successor to the Minority Business Opportunity Commission, which was established by the Minority Contracting Act of 1976.  The responsibilities of the LBOC include: establishing procedures and guidelines for the implementation of local, small, and disadvantaged business enterprise programs, determining whether a business qualifies as a local, small, or disadvantaged business enterprise, and maintaining contacts with the business community to elicit cooperation in economic development efforts.  Brazil said, "Both of these individuals will provide a great service to the District by serving on their respective Boards." 

                           

                          Brazil Meets With ANC2C About Neighborhood Issues

                          Councilmember Brazil met with Shaw residents in ANC2C to discuss the progress the District is making regarding issues that are of importance to them.  "I am pleased that I have been able to focus my efforts on creating more affordable housing for residents and creating greater opportunities for homeownership.  In addition, education issues are a top priority as is combating crime and ensuring the public safety of our residents and visitors," said Brazil.  In addition to those issues, the group had the opportunity to discuss matters specific to the Shaw area, mainly economic development projects and the growth in their neighborhood.

                           

                           

                          Gold Star of the Week: North Michigan Park Civic Association (NMPCA).  Congratulations to this year's scholarship recipients!  Councilmember Brazil has participated in and supports the scholarship program for years, and appreciates all of their efforts.

                          Shana Heilbron
                          Communications Director
                          Office of Councilmember Harold Brazil
                          1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
                          Suite 404
                          Washington, DC 20004

                          202-724-8174 (work)

                           

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