Emancipation Day 2014

Phil and members of Team Mendo waving to crowds during the Emancipation Day Parade.

Phil and members of Team Mendo waving to crowds during the Emancipation Day Parade.

This may becoming a tired refrain, but we are finally certain that Spring has sprung and is (hopefully) here to stay for the time being.  Last week, Phil and members of Team Mendo had the pleasure of marching in the Emancipation Day parade.

Not sure what Emancipation Day is?  It’s gotta be the anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, right?

Close!  Emancipation Day in the District of Columbia celebrates the signing of the Compensated Emancipation Act by President Abraham Lincoln on April 16, 1862, which freed the 3,100 slaves held in the District of Columbia.  These were the first slaves freed by the President, occurring nine months before the national Emancipation Proclamation was signed, freeing slaves in those states rebelling against the Union.

Every April 16, the District of Columbia government celebrates this momentous event with several festivities including discussion panels, concerts, fireworks, and of course, the Emancipation Day Parade down Pennsylvania Avenue!

 

Members of the US Military march down Pennsylvania Avenue during the Emancipation Day Parade.

Members of the US Armed Forces march down Pennsylvania Avenue during the Emancipation Day Parade.

Phil, along with fellow members of the District government, were joined by Congresswoman Norton, members of the US Armed Forces, the Metropolitan Police Department, District residents, and others in their march down Pennsylvania Avenue.

Phil at the end of the Emancipation Day Parade.

Phil at the end of the Emancipation Day Parade.

While it was an unseasonably cold April morning, Phil and the rest of Team Mendo held on strong, marching proud in honor of the 3,100 “First Freed” and had a truly enjoyable Emancipation Day parade.

Phil and members of Team Mendo at the end of the Parade.  Don't let the jackets fool you, this was really taken last week!

Phil and members of Team Mendo at the end of the Parade. Don’t let the jackets and gloves fool you, this was really taken last week!

Want to learn more about Emancipation Day in the District?  Visit the official Emancipation Day website!

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Mendo Minute: Until the COWs Come Home…

This morning's COW meeting.

Yesterday’s COW meeting.

Spring has finally sprung!  The cherry blossoms are blooming, tourists are flocking to the Mall, and it seems we can finally tuck away those winter jackets once and for all.  Along with flowers and tourists, the Mendelson Post has also thawed out after a particularly frigid winter.

Phil, in his role as Chairman of the Council, is Chairman of the Committee of the Whole (COW), which all Councilmembers are a part of.  The Committee meets every month to consider and review legislative initiatives.  Bills can also be introduced and referred to other committees during these meetings.

Additional information about the Committee of the Whole and other committees can be found on the Council’s website.

Stay tuned for more Mendelson Post updates!

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Mendo Alert: Phil’s Tax Town Halls

Council Chairman Phil Mendelson has announced three town hall meetings that will focus on the District’s recent real property tax assessments. The workshops are designed both to educate local residents on the tax assessment process, as well as to help taxpayers understand and take advantage of the appeals process. The average residential increase of the 2015 assessments is 8.33 percent.

Representatives from the District’s Office of Tax and Revenue will join Chairman Mendelson at each of the workshops to answer questions and offer assistance. This is the 10th year that Mendelson has sponsored these tax town hall meetings.

“These meetings are designed to meet residents’ concerns about rising property tax assessments,” said Chairman Mendelson. “It’s important that we educate owners about how assessments are done and inform them of their rights and remedies.”

Residents have until April 1, 2013 to begin the appeals process if they believe the proposed 2013 assessment does not reflect the market value of their property.

Upcoming Tax Workshops

Thursday, March 13th Saturday, March 15th Tuesday, March 18th
Northwest One Library Benning Library Cleveland Park Library
155 L Street, NW 3955 Benning RD, NE 3310 Connecticut Ave, NW
6:30 pm – 8:00 pm 11:00 am – Noon 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm

We hope you can make it!

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Mendo Alert: MLK Jr. Library Renovation

reimagine postcard

Happy Friday, Mendo Post readers!  We’re sharing this Mendo Alert from our friends at the DC Public Library regarding the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library located at 901 G Street, NW.

The DC Public Library has selected three finalists to renovate the impressive Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library and is asking the public to help determine the look and use of the new library!  Starting tomorrow, the renderings of the three designs will be available for viewing at all neighborhood libraries throughout the District with opportunities to vote on a favorite and share your comments.

On Saturday, February 15 at 10:00 AM, the three finalists will present their design ideas at the MLK Jr. Library’s Great Hall.  These presentations will be open to the public—and the public is highly encouraged to attend!  Stop by between 10:00 AM and 1:00 PM to ask questions, present comments, and make suggestions to the design teams.

Can’t make it in person?  You can still participate in the discussion live online!

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library is located at 901 G Street, NW.  Stop by your local library over the next week to take a look at the three designs and make sure to attend the presentations to have your voice heard on the future of the District’s flagship library!  We hope to see you there.

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Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013

Phil speaking before the signing of the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013.  Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum.

Phil speaking before the signing of the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013. Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum.

Happy new year, Mendo Post viewers!

We here at Team Mendo hope your 2014 is off to a great start. I know you have all been anxiously awaiting the first Mendo Post entry of the new year and I’m pleased to announce that we are starting the year off strong with a post dedicated to yesterday’s signing of B20-459, the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013!

Phil giving remarks about the importance of the bill while the Mayor saves some seats.  Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum.

Phil giving remarks about the importance of the bill while the Mayor saves some seats. Photo courtest of Lateef Mangum.

What exactly does this bill do? Well, the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013 raises the District’s minimum wage from its current rate of $8.25 an hour to $11.50 an hour over the course of two years, beginning with the first raise to $9.50 on July 1 of this year and rising one dollar each year after. Starting July 1, 2017, the wage will rise according to changes to the regional Consumer Price Index.

You may be surprised to learn but this bill was actually part of a regional effort with our neighbors in Maryland. Officials in Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties have also passed their own bills raising their respective minimum wages similar to District levels for a regional minimum wage. Surely a great story of interjurisdictional cooperation that is certain to warm the heart!

Phil signing the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013.  Yes, he does get to go first!  Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum.

Phil signing the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013. Yes, he does get to go first! Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum.

Yesterday morning, Phil and the Mayor signed the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013 in front of throngs of supporters from all over the District who helped make this bill a reality.

Mayor Gray signs the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013 while Phil makes sure he crosses his T's and dots his I's.  Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum.

Mayor Gray signs the Minimum Wage Amendment Act of 2013 while Phil makes sure he crosses his T’s and dots his I’s. Photo courtesy of Lateef Mangum.

A higher wage for workers in the region? A great start to 2014, indeed!

Make sure to stay tuned for more updates throughout the year!

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