Press Release: Councilmember Bonds Seeks To Establish The Department on Aging And Community Living

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Contact: Emmanuel Brantley

ebrantley@dccouncil.us

(202) 741-0918

COUNCILMEMBER BONDS SEEKS TO ESTABLISH THE DEPARTMENT ON AGING AND COMMUNITY LIVING     

WASHINGTON, DC – On Tuesday, September 18, the Council of the District of Columbia convened for the twenty-ninth, and first post-recess legislative meeting of Council Period 22. During the meeting, At-Large Councilmember Anita Bonds, Chairperson of the Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization, introduced two pieces of legislation.

The first bill, entitled the District of Columbia Department on Aging and Community Living Amendment Act of 2018, would advance the District of Columbia Office on Aging (DCOA) to the status of “department” to continue advocating for stronger health, educational, and social services for aging residents. As a department, it will also work to combat the abuse, neglect, and exploitation of elders. Today, seniors make up about 1/6 of the District’s population and, as Councilmember Bonds remarked on the dais, “is expected to grow by 17.5% by the year 2030.” “With such numbers and statistics,” she continued, “It is critical that DCOA be given the authority and resources as a Department to handle the comprehensive issues for the growing population of seniors in our city.”

Councilmember Anita Bonds also introduced the Rental Housing Smoke Free Common Area Amendment Act of 2018 to protect multifamily building residents from the health hazards and harmful effects of secondhand smoke. To balance the desire of smokers with the need of nonsmokers to breathe smoke-free air, this legislation prohibits smoking within common areas and entryways or windows by allowing housing providers to designate smoking areas. It also protects tenants who violate these prohibitions from eviction and is consistent with the District’s policy prohibiting smoking in public areas such as playgrounds, schools, or restaurants. Both introduced measures were referred to the Committee on Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization.

During the legislative session, Councilmember Bonds also co-introduced and co-sponsored a myriad of bills to address disparities and gaps in education, economic development and finance, healthcare, youth rehabilitation, and services for low-income residents.

The Council will convene for the thirtieth legislative meeting on Tuesday, October 2 at 10:00 a.m.

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