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Recall campaign accuses Dem of ‘legacy of failure’ following sweeping crime bill vote

recall-campaign-accuses-dem-of-‘legacy-of-failure’-following-sweeping-crime-bill-vote
Recall campaign accuses Dem of ‘legacy of failure’ following sweeping crime bill vote

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The Washington, D.C., City Council’s vote to pass a sweeping public safety bill can’t change one member’s “legacy of failure” or restore lives lost in the District’s surging crime crisis, a campaign to recall the Democrat told Fox News.

All but one councilmember on Tuesday voted in favor of the Secure D.C. Omnibus Amendment Act, which includes a swath of measures aimed at curbing surging crime, amid outcries from fed-up business owners and residents. The urgent response comes as two Democrats who voted in favor of the bill, Councilmembers Brianne Nadeau and Charles Allen, face recall efforts over their criminal justice reform positions.

Recall efforts against Democratic councilmembers in Washington, D.C.

An escalating crime surge led to two recall efforts being launched against Democratic councilmembers in Washington, D.C. within a few months of each other. (Getty Images)

“The vote on Secure DC is only necessary due to the reckless, pro-criminal and anti-police policies Councilmember Nadeau has championed over her last decade in office,” the Committee to Recall Brianne Nadeau said in a statement. “Sadly, nothing in this bill can restore the lives and livelihoods that have been lost over these past years of unimaginable crime levels.”

The sweeping legislation contains over 100 measures, including harsher penalties for gun crimes and retail theft, an expanded definition of carjacking and revives drug-free zones. Nadeau boasted that the Secure DC act included her amendment, a study that would evaluate the District’s witness assistance programs and offer recommendations.

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“Giving testimony in a murder case comes with significant risks and costs – a reason that so many people decline to testify, and why we need to support witnesses who come forward,” Nadeau said in a statement. “Information provided by witnesses is highly valuable to law enforcement as they work to solve homicide cases, and we need to close more homicide cases.”

But the recall campaign accused the council and the three-term Democrat of taking action too late. It also criticized an amendment that raised the amount for retail theft to be considered a felony from $500 to $1,000, arguing that the higher threshold would make it harder to hold thieves accountable.

“The District is in the midst of a nationally recognized crime crisis,” the Nadeau recall campaign statement said. “We’ve been repeatedly ignored and dismissed by Brianne Nadeau for years despite our pleas for help.”

Washington, D.C. police officers

The Washington, D.C. Council passed sweeping crime legislation on Tuesday, but a Democrat-led recall campaign against Councilmember Brianne Nadeau accused the fellow Democrat of taking action on the crime crisis too late.  (Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images)

“It is only now that her job is on the line that she is trying to give the appearance of corrective action,” the campaign continued. “A vote at the eleventh hour does not change her legacy of failure and decline in our community.” 

SURGING CRIME, COSTS FORCED 52 BUSINESSES TO SHUTTER IN THIS BLUE CITY LAST YEAR. ANOTHER IS ABOUT TO CLOSE

The nation’s capital ended 2023 with 274 murders — the most in over two decades – while overall violent crime spiked 39% from the year prior, according to Metropolitan Police Department data. Robberies and thefts in the District spiked 67% and 23%, respectively, and motor vehicle thefts almost doubled.

Nadeau did not respond to a request for comment. In February, she said crime concerns are “rational and understandable,” called public safety her “top priority” and pointed to three bills she’s spearheading to address the issue, including legislation aimed at improving the city’s 911 center and police cadet recruitment, The Washington Post reported

HOW RAMPANT CRIME LED ONE DC RESIDENT TO FLEE THE CITY. WATCH:

5 MONTHS. 5 BURGLARIES. ANOTHER RESTAURANT SHUTTERS AS CRIME PUSHES BUSINESSES TO BRINK IN BLUE CITY

The recall campaign has argued that Nadeau’s support of progressive legislation enabled criminals. The councilmember has voted in favor of slashing $15 million from the police budget in 2020 and supported an overhaul to the city’s criminal code in 2022, which would have lowered the maximum penalties for certain offenses like burglaries and carjackings if Congress hadn’t blocked the legislation. 

“The historic rise in crime is not just mere numbers; they represent shattered lives, eroded trust, and a community living in fear,” the recall effort’s chairwoman, Diana Alvarez, said in February. “Brianne Nadeau has fundamentally failed to take any consequential action to reduce crime, and it is time she is held accountable.”

The Lit City Smoke Shop owner previously told Fox News that Nadeau failed to protect residents and business owners. Alvarez said she was pushed to launch the recall campaign after her store was burglarized four times in 2023, leading to costly damage and employee distress. 

Washington, D.C. small business owner

A seven-year small business owner in Washington, D.C. launched a recall effort against her Democratic city councilmember after her smoke shop endured four robberies in 2023.   (Courtesy: Diana Alvarez / Lit City Smoke Shop Security Camera)

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“It’s been very, very challenging,” Alvarez said. “The crime in D.C. has just gotten way out of control, and it’s affecting small businesses like mine.”

“It’s embarrassing,” she continued. “We are the nation’s capital. This should not be happening here.”

The bill is headed to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s desk. 

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