Public Health and Safety

"Every resident, in every neighborhood, deserves a safe place to live, work, play, and learn." -- Kent Boese

Safe communities are essential for Washingtonians and businesses alike to succeed. To achieve this the District needs infrastructure that is in good repair, well-staffed and funded social service agencies, and a community based strategy to strengthen relationships between residents, business owners, and the police officers in our neighborhoods.

 

"Because there is no safe level of lead in our drinking water. I am advocating for the District of Columbia to halt the practice of partial lead line replacement, and commit to the total replacement of lead water service lines throughout the city."

Healthy and safe communities start at home. Every neighborhood needs streets and sidewalks that are in good repair, street lights that work, and public spaces where neighbors can gather. Following are a few of Kent’s efforts to ensure that that the District’s built environment is a safe environment.

  • Advocated for total replacement of all District lead service water lines to eliminate lead from the city’s water supply, once and for all (read resolution here);
  • Recommended that DDOT adopt the American Medical Association’s recommendation for LED streetlights to be 3,000 Kelvin or less (read resolution here);
  • Has successfully directed DDOT to repair/replace broken sidewalks throughout Ward 1;
  • Is an advocate for expanding bike lanes and protected bike lane networks throughout the District (see advocacy for Park Place, NW).
  • Requested a study from DDOT to improve safety for all forms of transportation around the triangle park at Park Place and Rock Creek Church Rd., NW (see resolution letter here)
  • Supported the 14th Street Express Bus Route (read resolution here)

 

"Homelessness and mental illness not only impact the safety of those in need of assistance, but often impacts MPD’s ability to effectively focus on broader issues of violence and crime."

Today, many police officers in the District spend much of their time on calls to service that include social service issues. When not calling the police, neighbors concerned with homelessness often contact the Department of Behavioral Health or a similar organization. Yet our social service agencies are frequently underfunded and understaffed. It is essential to provide them with the resources they need to take the lead on social service issues in partnership with MPD that brings the right approach to the right challenge.

 

"I am committed to working with MPD to reunite Ward 1 under a single Police District to improve communication, accountability, and service for all Ward 1 residents."

Like many residents Kent monitors and engages MPD on local list serves and at Police Service Area meetings. But to achieve the highest level of public safety possible he believes that we need to have a police force connected to our neighborhoods, that works in collaboration with social services agencies, and that has the resources necessary to meet the needs of a growing city.

  • In 2011 the areas of Ward 1 north of Park Road/Monroe Street along with Mount Pleasant were transferred from the Third to the Fourth Police District. Kent opposed the MPD redistricting and will focus on restoring all of Ward 1 to a single Police District. The current Police District boundaries split neighborhoods and make it difficult for the community to have a comprehensive understanding of crime in their community and build collaborate relationships with MPD. Restoring the entire Ward  back to a single Police District will improve communication, accountability, and service to all residents of Ward 1.​ 
  • In 2015 Washington’s plain clothes police officers were centralized. Kent strongly opposed this decision and will advocate for the return of dedicated Ward-based plain clothes policing. Ward 1’s most serious public safety issues rely on information gathering so that the right actions and services can be involved for superior outcomes. While many residents work well with local police officers and city services, no amount of community activism and reporting can substitute for on-the-ground community policing.