Council member Mary Cheh, of the Washington D.C. City Council, has introduced bill B22-0234, to phase out the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in the nation's capital. Four other council members -- Charles Allen, David Grosso, Kenyan McDuffie, and Anita Bonds -- have signed on as co-sponsors.
The bill has been referred to the council's Committee of the Whole; the next step is for the council's chair, Phil Mendelson, to schedule hearings -- and a Change.org petition urging Mendelson to do just that has gained nearly 800 signatures. (Feel free to add yours!).
The recent political history of this bill begins back in the fall of 2015, when one of the District's Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs), the level of government just below the council, voted 8-1 in favor of such a provision. That was ANC 3D.
Since then, four more ANCs have endorsed the measure. They are ANCs 4C, 2D, 6D, and 5B, with presentations and votes by others ahead. Getting approval meeting by meeting, in different parts of the town, is no small achievement in local-level political engagement.
Why are the local commissions doing so? The text of the resolution approved by ANC 4C, chaired by Zach Teutsch, illustrates the reasoning the others have applied:
Congratulations and thanks to the ANC members who have considered and voted on these measures, and to the QCDC representatives who have carefully and successfully explained the reasons behind this step. Now the action moves back to the council as a whole. Council Chair Mendelson: it's time for hearings!