The ANC met last night for its May session. GM unfortunately had to leave before the real meat of the meeting, but here are the items he caught:
An officer presented the monthly update on crime. The most noteworthy piece of news he presented was that several suspects have been arrested in the alarming robbery of the Georgetown Visitation students from several weeks ago. They are minors, aged 16 to 17, but the US Attorney is now considering whether to charge them as adults.
New Face Old Faces
The Commission gave out two ceremonial commendations to Leslie Maysak and Kendyl Clausen. Leslie is stepping down from her position as the executive director of the ANC. Kendyl, a graduating GU student, is moving to New Haven to attend Yale Law School.
The new face is Peter Sacco, who is taking over Leslie’s position as executive director. Apparently Peter is an ANC member himself and serves as an executive director for several other ANCs. Guy loves ANCs!
After finally opening up the H St. streetcar, the city is moving ahead with long held plans to bring the streetcar all the way to Georgetown. This is a critical step to make the initial investment into the system worthwhile. But it has to be designed well to provide a worthwhile service.
So to that end, DDOT is holding a meeting at the Carnegie Library downtown on May 17th from 6:00 to 8:00 to discuss some developments to their planning. The DDOT rep at the ANC meeting last night teased a couple improvements that are now part of the plans. The first is an increase of dedicated lanes. Some sort of dedicated corridor was always part of the plans for this line, but the rep suggested an increase to the previous plans.
Second, the rep mentioned that the planners have decided that propulsion technologies have advanced enough that the use of overhead wires can be greatly diminished. She wouldn’t clarify by how much, but stated that they have the aim to reduce the visual obstruction throughout the line. This probably means some sort of a battery technology with spots where the batteries can charge up quickly, like at stop lights. We’ll see…
The meeting was graced with the presence of Councilmember Elissa Silverman, At Large. She spoke at length about her efforts to combat campaign finance abuses and the rapid decline of affordable housing. She also spoke about her proposal to provide paid medical leave for all DC workers and residents. She made a point about telling residents to bug Chairman Phil Mendelson to get him to circulate the marked up bill, because it’s stalled until he does.
She also stated that she supports the Mayor’s proposal to raise the minimum wage to $15, but wanted more consideration as to whether and how it should apply to tipped workers. While all employees are entitled to the minimum wage (currently $10.50) tipped employees can be paid as little as $2.77 an hour. If the tips don’t make up the difference up to the minimum wage, the employer is supposed to pay the difference. But many non-waiters (i.e. busboys, dish washers, etc.) don’t feel comfortable enough to ask their employers for that difference and, as a result, suffer wage theft.
Personally GM thinks the tipped employee exception is archaic and exists simply to shift risk (and taxes) from the restaurant to their employees. Get rid of tipping and pay everyone the minimum wage.