Ward 6 Council member Charles Allen wants locally made products to be a part of a District-wide branding campaign named “Made in DC.”

On Tuesday, April 19, the D.C. Council unanimously passed the Made in DC Program Establishment Act.

“The Made in DC program is a smart investment in our local businesses and building a stronger marketplace for District-made products,” Allen said.

The bill will promote locally created, manufactured and assembled products through brand certification via the Department of Small and Local Business Development.

Council Chair Phil Mendelson and Council member Vincent Orange, chair of the Council’s Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs, co-introduced the legislation.  

DSLBD will develop a logo, brand, and marketing campaign.

Once approved, local producers may use this logo in their own marketing, as well as be promoted by the city via DSLBD’s “Made in DC” program.

“I’m proud to help promote the District’s growing creator economy with a program to communicate the importance of buying local and having pride in D.C. made products,” Allen said.

He also had success with his bill Tree Canopy Protection Amendment Act, which passed the council unanimously.

The bill seeks to save the District’s older, larger trees from unnecessary removal by increasing fees for removal permits and generating additional revenue for the city’s Tree Fund.

The scope would be expanded to allow tree plantings on District-owned property such as parks and schools.

“Trees are so important to our quality of life. This bill is a crucial step toward protecting our larger, older trees and expanding our replanting efforts,” Allen said.

Council member Mary Cheh, chair of the Council’s Committee on Transportation and the Environment, co-introduced the legislation.  

“If we’re going to meet our goal of increasing the District’s tree canopy to 40 percent by 2032, we have to do more now,” Allen said. “This bill ensures the Urban Forestry Administration can help reduce the number of large trees lost to development and increase replanting.”

At the Council’s legislative meeting on Tuesday, April 19, he introduced the End Taxation Without Representation Amendment Act of 2016.

If passed, this bill would update the District’s standard motor vehicle license plates.

In 2000, the District added the phrase “Taxation Without Representation” to DC license plates as a way to raise awareness about the disenfranchisement of residents.

Allen said while this phrase is recognizable it lacks a call to action.

“The residents of the District of Columbia fulfill all obligations of citizenship, yet Congress continually denies us the accompanying rights and privileges,” he said.

Under this bill, the standard license plate would be updated to read “End Taxation Without Representation” and reflect a rallying cry for equality.

The bill also would require a new commemorative red and white motor vehicle tag that includes the phrase “We Demand Statehood.”

Residents who choose to order a We Demand Statehood tag would pay a one-time application fee of $51 and then an annual display fee of $26 thereafter.

These fees would be deposited into the New Columbia Statehood Fund and used to promote statehood and voting rights for residents.

Council members Alexander, Bonds, Cheh, Grosso, May, McDuffie, Nadeau, Silverman and Todd joined Allen in co-introducing the legislation.

Allen asserts the council, the mayor, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, the Statehood Delegation and countless citizen advocates continue to actively engage in the fight for true representation in Congress. The act represents another step in that fight.

“Yesterday was the deadline for filing federal taxes, and District residents have once again fulfilled this obligation as American citizens, paying our fair share toward shared national priorities,” Allen said.

“But because of where we call home, Congress denies us one of the most fundamental rights of Americans – the right to congressional representation.”

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