City Paper is not for tourists
At-Large Councilmember Michael A. Brown recently celebrated his 100th day in office, and he let reporters today know how he thinks he’s doing.
He’s doing well, thanks for asking. In fact, he “SETS FRESH TONE BY WILLINGNESS TO LISTEN AND LEAD.”
He’s certainly been listening: Brown has made a point to show up at myriad council hearings over the past few months, where he’s sat behind the dais and asked a broad question or two.
Read the full release after the jump.
“FIRST 100 DAYS IN OFFICE: COUNCILMEMBER MICHAEL A. BROWN’S SETS FRESH TONE BY WILLINGNESS TO LISTEN AND LEAD”
“On DC Emancipation Day, Freshman Councilmember Reflects on Achievements and Sets Sights on Agenda of DC Voting Rights/Statehood and Compassionate Public Service”
Washington, DC – After a demanding campaign, Michael A. Brown, DC Councilmember At-Large, triumphed through his first 100 days in city hall. Brown has proven himself to be a quick study with the ability to lead by employing a simple strategy that starts with inclusion and listening.
Elected into office by District voters on the same night as the historic election of President Obama, Councilmember Michael A. Brown has worked to gain the respect of his colleagues and is considered an effective agent of change.
“I am very impressed with the work of Councilmember Brown,” said Vincent C. Gray, Council Chairman. “He has demonstrated strong leadership and exhibited great promise as a new and positive addition to the Council.”
In less than four months, Councilmember Michael Brown has introduced and co-introduced legislation that will meaningfully impact the lives of District residents. He introduced “The Food Stamp Expansion Act of 2009,” as a member of the Committee on Human Services. The bill will increase support systems for residents struggling to feed their families by expanding eligibility and increasing monthly benefits for DC’s food stamp program while bringing new Federal funds into the District to help stimulate the economy. The bill was co-introduced by all members of the Council, an unusual feat for a freshman legislator.
Councilmember Brown also worked with his colleagues to co-introduce approximately two dozen other bills, from helping to relieve tax burdens of District seniors and low income others with Councilmembers Phil Mendelson and Jack Evans; to supporting greater action to curb the District’s spiraling HIV infection rate with Councilmember Marion Barry; to strengthening services and opportunities for our youth by creating a Office of Youth Mentoring with Councilmember Tommy Wells; to providing funding to environmentally-friendly programs to reduce the District’s carbon-foot print. Additionally, in the community, Brown joined the Black Leadership Commission on AIDS of Washington, DC and Vicinity and serves as Chair of its Policy Committee.
During his short term on the Council, Brown has not only demonstrated that he is a team player, but also that he is someone willing to lead when called upon. As a member of the Committee on Housing and Workforce Development, Brown stepped in for Councilmember Marion Barry, who is healing from surgery. Brown chaired several of the Performance Oversight and Budget Hearings for the Committee.
Furthermore, from the dais, Brown also insisted that the staff from Office of Labor Relations and Collective Bargaining meet with local labor leaders to begin to address the longstanding distrust that has hampered successful partnerships and working relationship between labor and management. As a result of his insistence, the two groups have met and plan to continue meeting in order to break down existing barriers.
Although standing committee chairmanships are assigned to senior members of the District’s legislative body, Councilmember Michael Brown, the freshman legislator, was appointed to the critical and timely leadership role as Chairman of the Special Committee on Statehood and Self-Determination in early March. He has been tasked with leading the effort to develop a comprehensive strategy to achieve statehood. As such, within one month of his appointment as Chair of the Special Committee, Brown convened a historic first meeting of voting rights and statehood stakeholders to build consensus around how best to achieve democracy for the District. The meeting included elected officials, Statehood/DC Voting Rights supporters, residents, and activists who openly shared ideas and strategies for winning self-determination for the District of Columbia.
Brown also held the first DC Council Public Oversight Roundtable on the DC House Voting Rights Act of 2009 and the gun amendment, where constitutional law scholars, advocates for victims of gun violence, elected officials, DC statehood/voting rights advocates, and DC residents testified before the DC Council Special Committee on Statehood and Self-Determination. Both the stakeholder meeting and the public oversight hearing were successful and have garnered significant interest and enthusiasm from District residents, Congressional leaders, legal scholars, and the general public. Brown’s leadership approach of inclusion and listening has drawn excitement from residents.
While Brown’s leadership on issues related to human services and DC Voting Rights and Statehood has been his signature achievements during his first 100 days, he has also become a reliable and active participants on his other Committee assignments, which are the Committees on Finance and Revenue, Public Service and Consumer Affairs, Aging and Community Affairs and the Committee of the Whole. He also serves on the WMATA Board of Directors and on the Council of Government.
“I’m constantly reminded that it’s my duty to remain open and accountable to the citizens of the District of Columbia. My commitment to public service runs deep in my family’s tradition, and inspires me to work harder and remain hopeful each day,” said Brown.
As he moves forward to building upon his first 100 days, Councilmember Brown is looking to introduce additional legislation that addresses public safety and the District’s fiscal responsibility in these challenging economic times. Firmly believing in a comprehensive approach to resolving social ills, Brown is committed to researching policies and best practices on the prevention of gun violence. He will also take a closer look at how the District provides tax exemptions to evaluate if there is a more effective process to ensure that city revenues are appropriately and strategically utilized.
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