(Updated at 12:38 p.m.) Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau is speaking out against an online room rental service after an apparent sting operation revealed an “illegal short-term rental hotel” in Columbia Heights.
Someone was illegally listing a rent-controlled apartment in Columbia Heights on Airbnb, Nadeau said today in a press release.
A recent undercover investigation conducted by several local advocacy groups revealed that the apartment was being run as an “unlicensed hotel” instead of being used to house people or families in need.
“We need to strike a balance between people who are trying to earn a little extra money by renting out a spare bedroom, and people who are using short-term rental platforms to support a commercial enterprise and undermining our efforts to preserve affordable housing,” Nadeau said in a statement. “This investigation shows that we need better rules and better enforcement so that these kinds of abuses are curtailed. In order to protect and expand affordable housing in the District, we need to do a lot more to police this growing problem.”
In response, Airbnb said it helps people in D.C. get “extra income that helps to cover their mortgage, pay down debt, repair their homes and make ends meet.”
The rental service added that it “collected and remitted over $12 million in tax revenue to the District of Columbia” since 2015.
“The vast majority of our D.C. hosts have a single listing on the platform and use home sharing to support their families and everyday expenses,” said William D. Burns, the company’s public policy director in D.C., in a statement. “The District has always been a leader in the innovation economy and any new rules introduced and adopted by the City around home sharing should be fair, progressive, and protect the economic benefits of all residents.”
Read highlights from the investigation in the full press release from Nadeau’s office:
(Updated at 5:07 p.m.) Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau is calling for an investigation into an incident that led to an arrest of a teen at the Columbia Heights Metro station Tuesday.
A video shared by the District’s Black Lives Matter group this week shows Metro Transit Police Department officers tripping an 18-year-old in handcuffs at the station. As reported by DCist and The Washington Post, officers arrested the young woman after she refused to throw away a lollipop and a bag of chips at the Metro stop, where consuming food is prohibited.
The video shows three Metro cops ordering a teen, who is handcuffed, to sit down. When she refuses, one of the officers trips her, knocking her to the ground.
The young woman was arrested for unlawful entry and taken to a D.C. Police station. Police later decided not to pursue charges, a Metro spokesman told the Post.
In a letter to Metro General Manager Paul Wiedefeld today, Nadeau said the video “indicates an excessive use of force for a violation of consuming food in a metro station.”
“I am extremely concerned that WMATA police officers took the measures they did in detaining this young woman,” Nadeau wrote. “Please conduct an investigation into the conduct of these officers. Please also describe to me what training WMTA police undergo for de-escalation tactics.”
According to Metro spokesman Dan Stessel, Metro police review use of force “whenever there is a public concern raised.”
“In addition, Metro GM Wiedefeld specifically asked MTPD Chief Pavlik to initiate such a review in this case,” Stessel continued.
Councilmember Brianne Nadeau of Ward 1 is set to discuss the District’s marijuana laws over half-price chicken wings at a bar near the U Street corridor tomorrow night.
Nadeau is slated to speak at Duffy’s (2106 Vermont Ave. NW) about the cannabis statutes as well as her support for private pot clubs and her views on other D.C. issues, according to a Meetup event post.
The councilmember sits on the Marijuana Private Club Task Force, which the D.C. Council created earlier this year to study the possibility of licensing places where people can legally consume weed. The panel currently is working on a report with recommendations.
Although growing and using cannabis on private property is legal in the District under D.C. law, federal law still prohibits pot possession and consumption.
Tom Fazzini, a spokesman for Nadeau, said the councilmember will highlight how the District’s conflict with the federal government over marijuana policy is one reason why the push for D.C. statehood is important.
“Congress has made it clear it doesn’t respect the will of D.C. voters when it comes to cannabis,” Fazzini said in an email.
Seating for the discussion is limited, according to an email from Duffy’s. Locals interested in attending it are encouraged to RSVP online.
The talk is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Wednesday. But Duffy’s half-off wing special runs all night.
(Correction: This article originally stated that a crime meeting would take place Friday, June 24. The meeting will actually take place on Friday, July 22. We’ve corrected the article.) Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau is speaking out about several recent violent crimes in Columbia Heights.
The Councilmember penned a statement to her constituents yesterday addressing several violent crimes in the area, including the shooting death of a man on 14th Street and a separate shooting nearby that injured two men later that day. Nadeau also addressed the recent incident where a police officer was assaulted at the Columbia Heights Metro.
“I know many Ward 1 residents are concerned about these incidents, whether you live, work, visit or commute through Columbia Heights,” Nadeau wrote. “As a resident of Columbia Heights on 14th Street myself, I understand how upsetting this is.”
Nadeau continued: “Much of what we’ve seen in recent years in DC is basic disagreements that turn deadly because of guns,” she said. “Something as minor as one person accidentally bumping into the other gets violent. One of them has a gun. The other ends up dead. These are the things that keep me up at night.”
Nadeau will meet with locals next Monday from 6-8 p.m. at Calabash Tea and Tonic (1847 7th St. NW) and Friday, July 22, from 8-10 a.m. at Tynan Coffee (1400 Irving St. NW) to discuss crime or other concerns.
Read Nadeau’s full statement below:
— Dyana Forester (@DaOrganizer) March 21, 2016
Dozens of community members flocked to the Duke Ellington School of the Arts this morning to sing, chant and wave signs across from members of the infamous Westboro Baptist Church.
Westboro parishioners gathered in front of the school at 2501 11th St. NW earlier this morning to tell students “to fear God and keep His commandments.”
But dozens of counter-protestors — including D.C. councilmembers Brianne Nadeau and David Grosso — showed up in opposition of the notoriously anti-gay church. At one point, protestors broke out into “Amazing Grace” to drown out Westboro’s brand of “truth.”
Councilmember Brianne Nadeau of Ward 1 is getting married, Borderstan learned today.
Her longtime boyfriend, Jayson Harpster, popped the question in Big Sur, Calif., at a spot overlooking the Pacific Ocean this weekend.
Nadeau, 35, and Harpster, 30, will marry in a private ceremony. A date and location for the wedding haven’t been announced.
Locals taking advantage of the $1-per-day-parking at the DC USA retail development are getting more time to move their cars before the deal ends, Councilmember Brianne Nadeau of Ward 1 announced today.
The special parking arrangement for Columbia Heights residents went into effect Friday morning, when the District’s snow emergency started. The deal was set to end at 8:30 p.m. today, two hours after the emergency is scheduled to conclude. But now locals with cars at DC USA won’t have to begin paying the complex’s standard parking fees until after 10 p.m. tomorrow.
Nadeau noted in an email to residents:
The DC USA retail development will have $1-per-day parking available to locals during the snow emergency that starts this morning.
From 9:30 a.m. until two hours after the emergency ends, Columbia Heights residents can take advantage of the deal. The garage has 1,000 parking spaces.
During the emergency, locals can’t leave their cars on Georgia Avenue, 16th Street and U Street, as well as sections of Park Road, Kenyon Street, Irving Street, Columbia Road, Harvard Street, Florida Avenue and 9th Street. If they do, they could get fined and towed.
Victims of catcalls and other street harassment in the District are slated to have the opportunity tomorrow to tell the D.C. Council what they’ve endured in their neighborhoods.
Councilmember Brianne Nadeau of Ward 1 is looking for locals who can share their street harassment stories publicly in the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW) at 10 a.m. on Thursday. D.C. residents interested in participating in the Council hearing should call or email Judiciary Committee director Kate Mitchell as soon as possible.
Many locals have faced street harassment, including “vulgar remarks, heckling, insults, innuendo, stalking, leering, fondling, indecent exposure, and other forms of public humiliation, often focused on the individual’s perceived gender, gender identity, race or ethnicity, or disability,” Nadeau wrote on her website.
“In a first for the D.C. Council, a hearing this week will focus on street harassment in the District and provide an opportunity for residents to share their stories and discuss possible solutions,” she wrote. “I have worked hard to advocate for this hearing and I invite residents to testify.”
The hearing will stream live online.
Photo via Flickr/Ted Eytan
Locals who live near the 14th Street corridor are set to have a chance tonight to ask police and some of their elected representatives about crime in the area.
Councilmember Brianne Nadeau of Ward 1 is scheduled to host a public safety meeting from 7 to 8 p.m. in the Reeves Municipal Center at 2000 14th St. NW, according to a Facebook post. Nadeau, as well as local cops and ANC commissioners, are expected to participate.
The discussion will focus on crime near where 14th Street intersects with V and W streets. Last month, 29-year-old Delany Christopher Epps of Northeast D.C. was shot and killed in the area.
Photo via Facebook/Brianne Nadeau
Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau introduced a bill today that would designate the alley between Irving Street NW and Columbia Road NW and between and 11th Street NW and Sherman Avenue NW as Theodore “Ted” Williams Alley.
According to a statement released today by Nadeau’s office, Williams, who lived in Pleasant Plains before his death in the 1960s, was the first African-American to work for the CDC and worked to promote integrated basketball and softball leagues in the District. He and his family were also prominent community leaders in Pleasant Plains.
Naming the alley would also allow developers to move forward with a proposal to turn an unused building that borders the alley into a three-lot, two-story building with condos, and art and office space. Development company Seven Five Three Development has sought to develop the building, which does not border a street, for several years. The alley needs to have an official name for the company to build a multi-unit building inside the block.
Seven Five Three has agreed to provide alley lighting and additional traffic signs as part of its development plans, the press release reads.
“Mr. Williams is remembered fondly by the Pleasant Plains community for both his personal accomplishments and his work to knit the community together,” Nadeau said in the release. “At the same time, this bill will help move a project forward that will add lighting and other amenities to the alley and surrounding property.”
Photo via Google Maps
Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 1 D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau and other local politicians cut ribbons at 14 Shaw- and U Street-area businesses during a “ribbon cutting roundup” organized by Shaw Main Streets earlier today.
Duffy’s Irish Pub (2106 Vermont Ave. NW) and U Scoot (1949 Vermont Ave. NW) were two of the businesses honored with a ceremony.
“We’ve been open since June, but it feels like it’s official now that they’ve come here and cut a ribbon,” U Scoot owner Andre Esser said.
Bowser was scheduled to cut ribbons during the openings, but had to cancel many appearances — including ones at U Scoot and Duffy’s — at the last minute.
Duffy’s general manager and former owner Andy Duffy laid out dozens wings in anticipation of Bowser’s arrival, but when he cut the large red ribbon, he was joined only by Nadeau, new Duffy’s owner Casey Callister and Shaw Main Streets Executive Director Alexander Padro.
As attendees left the pub with to-go boxes packed with wings, Duffy and Callister said they were just happy to be recognized, even if the mayor herself couldn’t make it.
“We’re very grateful to have that kind of support,” added Callister. “I think it shows that we care about businesses here in D.C. and our politicians care.”
Blocks away at U Scoot, Esser echoed the positivity. “It was a success,” he said. “[The mayor] wasn’t here, but it was still nice.”
Photo of Mayor Bowser via Twitter/MayorBowser
The walk will last from 6 to 7:30 p.m. and begins at the CVS parking lot at the intersection of 7th Street and Florida Avenue NW.
During the walk, residents will also have the chance to chat and address safety concerns with employees from the Metro Police Department, Department of Behavioral Health and Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.
This is one of several public safety walks that Nadeau has organized across Ward 1.
Photo via Facebook.com/BrianneKNadeau
D.C. Councilmember Brianne Nadeau today introduced a bill that would ax commissioners who miss meetings for three months in a row.
The bill, called the Advisory Neighborhood Commission Absenteeism Penalty Amendment Act of 2015, was co-introduced by councilmembers Anita Bonds and Elissa Silverman and aims to “make it easier for ANCs to reliably have the quorum required to conduct official business.”
“Like several of my colleagues, I was an ANC Commissioner,” said Nadeau, who served on ANC 1B from 2006 to 2010, from the podium. “I found, as many commissioners can relate to, it can be difficult to enforce attendance among a group of volunteer leaders.”
As written in the bill, any commissioner who fails to attend official public meetings for three months will “be considered resigned from the position.”
“District residents and business leaders should not be penalized for poor attendance of their representatives,” Nadeau added from the dais.
Nadeau said that the legislation was requested in a resolution from Columbia Heights and Park View ANC 1A, and that it “mirrors similar language already in the procedures governing ANC 1B.”
Final bill will make it easier for ANCs to do business. Commissioners can’t miss more than 3 meetings in a row. Bill requested by @ANC1A.
— Brianne K. Nadeau (@BrianneKNadeau) September 22, 2015
As former ANC, I appreciate their hard work as volunteers. This bill will ensure they have quorum to do imp’t community business.
— Brianne K. Nadeau (@BrianneKNadeau) September 22, 2015
— Brianne K. Nadeau (@BrianneKNadeau) September 22, 2015
Photo courtesy of Brianne Nadeau
D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau at an event on Saturday meant to drum up support for a planned mixed-use development near the 9:30 Club.
Developers MRP Realty, Ellis Development and JBG Companies are set to begin construction on the building soon, provided that the D.C. Council gives its approval during a vote tomorrow. If constructed, the building would bring 106 affordable housing units, retail space and a new Whole Foods to a long-debated parcel of land just north of the U Street corridor at 965 Florida Avenue NW.
Dozens of local residents and several ANC 1B and 2F commissioners flocked to the empty lot before noon for free coffee, breakfast sandwiches from Whole Foods and tunes from local band Brass Connection.
Nadeau took the microphone to voice support for the forthcoming development.
“It’s taken a while to get this through the council,” Nadeau said. “You don’t have to write to me and say to vote for it because I’m going to vote for it.”
“This mayor has been fighting for this parcel since she got into office,” Nadeau added. “She took a good deal and she made it better. Because of her, this site is going to have more affordable housing than it did in the original plan.”
Nadeau said that squabbling among councilmembers was to blame for the delay in approval.
“The reason this deal hasn’t moved forward as quickly as we’ve wanted it to is not because of your mayor, it’s not because of your councilmember, it’s because of some other dissent on that council,” Nadeau said.
Mayor Bowser focused on the forthcoming development’s affordable housing units in her speech.
“Because we work very hard, we’re able to make sure that this project will not only include Whole Foods, but it will have 106 units of affordable housing,” Bowser said. “I look forward to not only breaking ground, but also cutting the ribbon on this very exciting project.”