Tommy's Blog

October 10, 2012

Events from the Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation and Planning

Councilmember Tommy Wells and the Committee on Libraries, Parks, Recreation, and Planning have several upcoming events that may be of interest to you:

Rosedale Library Opening - October 18, 2012

On Thursday, October 18, 2012 at 11 am, please join Mayor Vincent Gray, Councilmember Tommy Wells, DC Public Library, and the friends and neighbors of Rosedale for the ribbon cutting of the new Rosedale library, located in the Rosedale Community Center and Library at 1700 Gales Street, NE. The new 5,000 square foot library features:

- Separate spaces for adults, teens and children
- 15,000 new books DVDs and other library materials
- 26 computers (including 4 Macs for teens and 4 for children)
- Early literacy station for young children
- Comfortable lounge seating

An Open House/Grand Opening Celebration for the new Rosedale Library will be held on Saturday October 20, 2012 from 11:00 am - 4:00 pm.

Tommy's Traveling Book Club - October 23, 2012

Please join Councilmember Wells on Tuesday, October 23rd, for the next session of "Tommy's Traveling Book Club", a quarterly discussion group coordinated by the Federation of Friends of the DC Public Library. Each event occurs at a different branch library. The October book club will be from 6:30 - 8pm at the Cleveland Park Library (3310 Connecticut Avenue NW).  Councilmember Wells will lead a discussion on "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life" by Barbara Kingsolver. The book chronicles the author's first year living in rural Appalachia, when her family challenged themselves to spend one year eating only food grown in their own community or else learn to live without it. Described as part memoir, part journalistic investigation, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" achieved critical and commercial success. Check out a copy at the DC Public Library:

Public Hearings

Public Hearing, Monday, October 22, 2012, 1pm, Room 500 - PR 19-819, the "Central 14th Street Corridor Small Area Action Plan Approval Resolution of 2012". The proposed resolution would approve a small area action plan for the Central 14th Street corridor in Ward 4; the plan's purpose is to direct economic growth along the corridor. Click here to view the Notice of Public Hearing".

Public Hearing, Thursday October 25, 2012, 11am, Room 412 - Bill 19-883, the "District of Columbia Public Library Hours Expansion Act of 2012". The proposed bill would require specific minimum operating hours in the DC Public Library system, subject to appropriation. Click here to view the "Notice of Public Hearing".

Public Oversight Roundtable, Thursday, October 25, 1:30pm, Room 412 - "Security at the DC Public Library", to discuss library security issues and recent thefts, the Fiscal Year 2013 budget allocation for security systems and other related issues. Click here to view the "Notice of Public Oversight Roundtable"

Public Oversight Roundtable, Tuesday October 31, 2012, 10am, Room 412 - The "Fiscal Year 2013 Department of Parks and Recreation Initiatives: Park Policy and Programs Division and the Park Improvements Capital Project". The roundtable is an opportunity for DPR to describe its progress on these new initiatives, which include significant work on DC parks and playgrounds, and an opportunity for the public to provide feedback and priorities related to these initiatives. Click here to view the revised "Notice of Public Oversight Roundtable" This roundtable was rescheduled from October 30, 2012.

All hearings are open to the public and testimony is encouraged. If you wish to participate in any hearing, please contact Ms. Tawanna Shuford at 202-727-8204 or via email at [email protected].

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October 5, 2012

Public Hearing: Nominees to the DC Public Library Baord of Trustees

On Wednesday, October 3, 2012, Councilmember Wells held a public oversight hearing on "PR 19-782, the "District of Columbia Board of Library Trustees Gregory M. McCarthy Confirmation Resolution of 2012" and PR 19-783, the "District of Columbia Board of Library Trustees Valerie Gisela Mallett Confirmation Resolution of 2012".  Below are copies of testimony as provided by public witnesses and the agency, as well as other related documents from the hearing (click The title to download each file):

Opening Statement

Agenda and Witness List

Nominee Statements
- Gregory McCarthy, Nominee DC Board of Library Trustees
- Valerie Gisela Mallett. Nominee DC Board of Library Trustees
Submitted Statements
- Mimi Mager
- Charles Cholaris
- Riley K. Temple
Archived webcast: Click here to view hearing details.

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Free AARP Driver Safety Classroom Course!

By Patricia Joseph

The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is offering a FREE Driver Safety Classroom course to our military veterans as a show of appreciation for their service and dedication to our country.

The course is available from November 1 - November 30 2012. To take advantage of this special offer and locate a classroom course near you, call 866-238-0294 or visit

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October 2, 2012

Wells Introduces Legislation to Modernize and Improve DC Voter Registration

Today, I am introducing the "Voter Registration Access and Modernization Amendment Act of 2012". This bill would amend the DC Election Code of 1955. When it comes to modernizing access to the ballot box and exercising the right to vote, the District has made great strides in recent years by adding same-day voter registration and early voting centers in each Ward.

voter-registration.jpgHowever, we remain woefully out-of-date, and out-of-style, in how an individual can register to vote and update their voter information with a name change or change of address. States across the country are stepping into the 21st century and creating secure online tools for voter registration.

12 states have added online voter registration in the last few years. Just a few examples of how online voter registration improves voter access include:

- In the first week that online voter registration went live in California, 110,000 people registered to vote.

- Last month, Nevada's online voter registration system averaged nearly 1,000 people per day either registering to vote or updating their voter information. In the last 6 months, a grand total of 15,000 newly registered voters came through online registration.

- In the two months after Maryland started offering online voter registration, over 22,000 individuals registered to vote and updated their voter information.

And how does DC stack up? Last week, on September 25th, around the country bi-partisan organizations supported a National Register to Vote Day. Nearly 300,000 people registered to vote on a single day. In the District, BOE reports that they received only 240 contacts that day - including both new registrations and individuals updating their information - through their hard copy paper application.

The legislation introduced today will not only bring the District's voter registration process into the 21st century, but more importantly, will remove barriers that many voters have in registering or simply updating their address information and provide greater access to the ballot box on Election Day.

To read a copy of the legislation, click here: Wells, Online Voter Registration.pdf

To read a copy of the press release, click here: 2012-10-02, Tommy Wells Introduces Legislation to Modernize DC Voter Registration.pdf

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October 1, 2012

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

Banned Books Week: Celebrating the Freedom to Read

by Anne Phelps

On Sept. 19th, Councilmember Wells offered a ceremonial resolution declaring this week - Sept 30th through Oct. 6th 2012 -- "Banned Books Week" in the District of Columbia. With this effort, the Council joined communities across the county in celebrating the freedom to seek and to express ideas, even those some consider objectionable or offensive.

Banned Books.jpgBanned Books Weeks is an annual event celebrating the freedom to read and celebrating those who stand up to censorship. Throughout the years, many groups - sometimes even elected officials - have sought to prohibit residents from access to a particular book at their public library or in their schools. It is to the credit of librarians, teachers, students, and other members of the public that many books targeted for censorship remain available in those communities.

Take a look out the American Library Association's list of most frequently challenged books and then flex your first amendment rights with a visit the DC Public Library to check out a few selections

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September 28, 2012

Roundtable: Future of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library.

On Thursday, September 20, 2012, Councilmember Wells held a public oversight roundtable discussion on "The future of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library" Below are copies of testimony as provided by public witnesses and the agency, as well as other related documents from the hearing (click The title to download each file):

Opening Statement

Agenda and Witness List

Ageny Presentation of the Martin Luther King Jr, Library

Public Testimony

- Ann Loikow

- Stuart Gosswein, Committee of 100

- Alexander M. Padro Chair, ANC 2C

- Pleasent Mann, Secretary, Friends of the Watha T. Daniel Shaw Library

- Susan Haight, President, Friends of the DC Public Libray

- Dorren Hodges Family Voices of the District of Columbia

- Robin Diener, Director, DC Library Renaissance Project

- Gary Widdicombe, Director od Econimic Development, Downtown DC BID

 Archived webcast: Click here to view hearing details

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