14 Feb 2024


Hill Buzz

Happy Valentine’s Day! Hope you get into something sweet or savory today, and that you get to spend time with people you love. What’s been going on?

Crocuses! Lovely photo by @districtinbloom on Instagram

Last week, the Secure DC bill has been advanced by the DC council after a lengthy hearing. 12 out of 13 members of the DC Council passed the bill, with only Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White voting “present.” DCist has details on which amendments made it. One of the advocacy groups involved in making sure the bill … Was WIN DC:

Another bill in recent news is the STEER Amendment Act and its main aim is to hold reckless drivers responsible. You can read about it in Councilmember Charles Allen’s page and on this explainer from The Washington Post.

In case you missed it, the Metropolitan Police Department has a new system to communicate with victims of crime in the District. Introduced back in November of 2023, the SPIDR (Specialized Police Intelligence and Data Resource) system allows victims to receive automated updates on their case via text message or email. You can learn more here.

The movement to recall Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen has spurred many things:

  1. This incredible, thorough piece from Politico, by Michael Schaffer, focusing on the people who have taken up the recall and raised its profile. One jaw-dropping takeaway quote? “Fulkerson, who handles the recall campaign’s finances while Mercado organizes field strategy, said she always voted in D.C., but never paid too much attention because “I never thought my vote actually matters” given the capital’s lack of statehood.” Can you imagine not paying attention to local elections because you think they don’t matter, only to egotistically lead an effort at great expense because suddenly you feel your dissent matters? Nice.
  2. This piece by Washington City Paper’s Loose Lips, Alex Koma, who did what we were all trying to do but took it a step farther: He did a lot of background research on the folks spurring the recall. He found that the recall is being funded by Republicans in a nearly 2-to-1 margin.
  3. Some very interesting conversations over on Twitter. We’re still there, though it’s a dying barge. We’re giving BlueSky more of a chance these days, because we’re hoping that’s where the future is. It’s sleepy, though.
  4. This interesting but at times puzzling piece on a site called WION, written for a world audience, maybe.
  5. Incidentally, yes, we are aware that Republicans exist and are free to do things like recalling someone who ran unchallenged in the last election. But as a publication with more of a liberal bent and as free citizens ourselves, we are also free to critique things we feel are a waste of taxpayer money. This effort, as well as the push to make DC look ridiculous with the Revised Criminal Code Act, only serve to make the District of Columbia look like a place that does not deserve to govern itself. It defeats any push for statehood and endangers Home Rule.

Queer bar As You Are started a GoFundMe because they are having a hard time keeping the lights on. Due to a combination of business not quite yet being back to pre-pandemic levels, back rent and taxes, the strain of opening during the pandemic, and so on, AYA needed help with funds to obtain their Clean Hands certification. Metro Weekly reports that they’ve been able to meet and exceed their goal. Congratulations and here’s to many years of business to come, and more mozzarella sticks for me!

The Washington Examiner takes a long look at DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb and some of the policies that don’t sit well with his critics, especially in the wake of the roundtable that took place at the Hill Center a couple weeks ago.

Is the 11th Street Bridge Park going to be even more amazing than we think it will be? Yeah, probably. Hurry up and build it already! Axios

In throughly unsurprising news, thieves are targeting expensive cars in parking garages around Navy Yard. DC News Now

Sticky Fingers, which up until last year was Fare Well, is saying goodbye to H Street Yes, crime is cited as a reason–– mostly because of the lack of patrons coming through. Washington Business Journal

And Pascual is opening in the former Kenny’s BBQ spot. And hey, Washingtonian, it’s ON the Hill.

The Washington Post will make you aww with all these short love letters to DC. Very sweet.

Councilmember Charles Allen sends a periodic Ward update, which you can read here. He summarizes the recent crime roundtable and tackles some misinformation regarding prosecutions. Additionally, you can find other useful, not crime-related, information within.

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