Sandra Moscoso Testimony – DC Water Performance Oversight Hearing – February 26, 2019

Sandra Moscoso Testimony

Committee on Transportation & the Environment Performance Oversight Hearing:

DC Water

February 26 at 10:00AM JAWB

Good morning, Chairperson Cheh and Councilmembers. I am Sandra Moscoso, Secretary of the Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization, the education council for Ward 6. I am also the parent of a 7th grader at Capitol Hill Montessori at Logan and 10th grader at School Without Walls.

First of all, I would like to thank DC Water for being a fantastic longtime partner in our flagship community events. For at least 13 years, Capitol Hill public, charter, and private schools have been coming together to celebrate Walk to School Day in October and since 2012, Bike to School Day in May. These events signal our community’s commitment to collaborating to strengthen Ward 6 schools. They also bring attention to the importance of getting students to and from school safely. To give you a sense of the events, we partner with our community foundation, D.C. Councilmembers, the Mayor and local government agencies, environment and transportation focused non-profits and businesses, national partners like the National Transportation Safety Board, the National Center for Safe Routes to School, the National Park Service, and we’ve even had my personal hero Congressman and civil rights leader John Lewis join us.

Since 2013, we have counted DC Water as a trusted partner for our events, bringing the message of conservation ethic and personal health with their reusable water bottles, filling station, and best of all, free hugs from Wendy the Water Drop. We appreciate the support for our schools, and we appreciate the reminder to the hundreds of families who celebrate with us to drink tap water and reduce consumption of plastic.

My son rows with the Capital Rowing Club Juniors team out of the Anacostia Community Boathouse. Last Saturday morning I cheered him on in an ergathon to raise funds for rowing scholarships to make the sport inclusive and more DC-area students have the chance to experience rowing and to make their own memories on the water.  In the Spring and Fall, my son and his team mates spend 5 days a week on the Anacostia River. The river plays a central role in our daily lives and you can imagine our families do a lot of thinking about the quality of the water. I applaud DC Water for initiatives like the tunnel to keep trash and toxins out of the river.

My family’s Martin Luther King Day tradition for the past 5 years has been to brave frostbite and participate in Anacostia River cleanup efforts with the Anacostia Riverkeeper and the Student Conservation Association. There’s nothing like collecting 4.5 tons of trash (bottles, metals, frozen diapers!) to help open your eyes to how we overwhelm the river.

My family has benefited from education programs like the Anacostia Riverkeeper’s tours and much like DC Water programs influence behavior, the Anacostia Riverkeeper’s education programs have influenced my family to reduce waste, and go beyond our blue recycling bin to drop off plastic film at recycling centers and food scraps at our farmer’s market. I hope DC water will make the most of the new Anacostia River headquarters and use it to showcase much needed green infrastructure like living shorelines. I am also probably the last person in DC to learn about the Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge and the equity issues around it. I hope DC Water will prioritize working with the federal government to fix these and incentivize property owners to install green infrastructure to continue to reduce stormwater runoff in the Anacostia’s drainage.

With your support, we can hopefully look forward to more Walk to School Day hugs, and future MLK Days which do not feature frozen diapers.

Thank you for your time today.

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