BNCA Meeting Minutes
January 17, 2023
Zoom Virtual Meeting
- Ending balance $5,766.23
- Donations to civic organizations completed in December
- $160 received in November
Moment of Silence for Karon Blake
Public Safety Discussion with Attorney General Brian Schwalb and Ward 5 Councilmember Parker
Attorney General Schwalb outlined his office’s role as serving as the city’s chief law officer, prosecuting juvenile crime, and protecting the rights of DC citizens. He noted that residents need to both be safe and feel safe and, consequently, he is prioritizing community engagement and urged residents to contact his team with questions (email@example.com). Over the long-term, Mr. Schwalb would like to expand DC’s home rule to give the AG’s office more authority over adult prosecutions, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office now manages. AG Schwalb noted that the U.S. Attorney’s Office is handling the Karon Blake case and urged patience during the investigation.
Councilmember Parker highlighted his commitment to public safety and noted the importance of oversight to ensure that the funds spent on public safety are delivering results. Councilmember Parker stressed the importance of improving coordination among the city’s various public safety offices and agencies and improving communication between MPD and the public to address crime and concerns over crime.
Attorney General Schwalb and Councilmember Parker both addressed the pending changes to DC’s criminal code. Councilmember Parker began by highlighting that the Council overrode the Mayor’s veto of the Revised Criminal Code Act. He noted that DC’s current criminal code is over 100 years old and contains outdated laws and punishments. The reviewed code updates laws to address changes in society, while centering equity and ensuring all residents are entitled to trial by jury for both felonies and misdemeanors. Attorney General Schwalb said the U.S. courts and Mayor Bowser expressed concern over whether the courts have the resources to handle the additional caseload involved with expanding jury trials. The code changes apply mostly to adults, but the OAG will work to ensure the changes are funded and to educate DC agencies on code changes.
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