Testifying at the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

I'd like to thank Chairwoman Cantwell for the opportunity to discuss how the Small Business Administration's Microloan Program helped Chancee Lundy and I grow Nspiregreen LLC.  Access to capital is a critical factor in the success and failure of businesses, especially women and minority-owned. The Washington Area Community Investment Fund has been a great lender/investor/mentor through the process of moving from start up to growth phase.

Bridging the gap

Washington Post columnist, Courtland Milloy penned an article entitled "Bicyclist bullies try to rule the road in DC". Naturally the article sparked debate and discussion. Rather than debate Mr. Milloy, I invited him to ride with me to see DC on two wheels.

As a transportation professional, I believe that for transportation systems to work efficiently, effectively, and most importantly safely, all users of all modes need to follow the law. The District is going through a period of growth and transition. We are getting new residents, however, we are not getting many new roads or ability to expand existing roads. This means we have to use what we have and figure out ways to move more people by mode other than non-motor vehicles.

Below are some of the articles where I was quoted or mentioned.

July 9, 2014, Washington City Paper - DC's Entitled "Bike Terrorists" 
Excerpt: On Monday, I joined Veronica Davis, a self-described "Jill of all trades" whose many roles include transportation planner and co-founder of the organizing and advocacy group Black Women Bike, for a bicycle trip through Ward 7. Davis commutes between her office downtown and her home in Fairfax Village, a quiet residential community by the Maryland border, by bike most days, and it's not an easy trip. She took me along to show me some of the challenges faced by bikers who live east of the Anacostia River.
July 10, 2014, WTOP - Bicyclists Ride in Response to Washington Post
Excerpt: "I'm going to reach out to him and invite him on a bike ride," says the founder of Black Women Bike: DC, Veronica O. Davis. 
Davis says it's all about perspective. 
"You name the time. You name the location. And I will meet you and we will ride around D.C. so you can see the city from my perspective," Davis says in a challenge to Milloy. "So you can understand what it's like when you're face to face with the grill of a car." 
July 11, 2014, Washington City Paper - Courtland Milloy Sticks by His Bike Column, Says it's a "Public Service"
Excerpt: Milloy also wants to go on a bike ride with Veronica Davis, co-founder of the organizing and advocacy group Black Women Bike. He'll even fix his tire and grease his chain before the ride, he says. 
"There are some really skilled riders on the road and Veronica's group is one of them. A lot of the really big bike commuters are really good, but there are a lot more that don't know what they are doing out there," Milloy says.

Honored to be elected At-Large Committeewoman

It's an honor to be elected by the people of the District of Columbia as one of the At-Large Committeewomen for the DC Democratic State Committee. Thank you to all who voted, supported, volunteered, donated, prayed, campaigned, tweeted, Facebooked, etc. Words can't say how much I appreciate your love and support.

A big thank you to the wonderful men and women on my slate, The Rent Is Too Darn High. Big shout out to Gregory A. Cendana for being the glue that held us together. It's been great getting to know each and every one of you all through the campaigning process. Sekou Biddle, Warren Brown, Angela Farrell, Steve Lanning, and I need you!!!

This is just the beginning!

Nspiregreen Owners Named "Small Business Women of the Year"

Today ChanceƩ Lundy and I received the "Small Businesswomen of the Year" award from the Congress Heights Community Training & Development Corporation's Great Streets Business Leadership Council. I'm humbled to receive this award. The best part is being honored with a great business partner and an even better friend.

Here is a great write from East of the River Newspaper on the award and our journey as business owners.
On Jan. 20 Veronica O. Davis and ChanceĆ© Lundy, owners and proprietors of Nspiregreen LLC, received the Small Businesswomen of the Year Award from the Great Streets Business Leadership Council. While the organization's board of directors makes the final selection, the community nominates their favorite business owners. “We were very surprised and excited when we got letter announcing our award,” said Lundy. “One of the most humbling things about this award is that it’s granted by a community-based organization, and we do a lot of community work through our projects,” Davis said. “For us, it's a testament to our work.”
 To see the full article, click here.

Putting my rants to good use

Today I was sworn in as a member of the Mayor's Business Regulatory Reform Task Force. From the Task Force website,
The task force is charged with identifying existing laws and regulations that otherwise might impede the progress of a business. Additionally, it will also make necessary recommendations, including proposed legislation to eliminate any inconsistent regulations administered by DCRA. It will also monitor and track current and future proposals to reform regulations and identify their potential impact on a business.

In October 2011, I testified at the Committee on Small and Local Business Development. One of the recommendations I will be pushing for while on the Mayor's Task Force is:

Recommendation 2 - Create a Robust Business System Currently businesses register in separate online systems for several agencies. For example, as a consulting business we are registered in DCRA, OTR, DDOT (DBE), OCP, and DSLBD. As a business it would be great if on the user side there was one system to log into to be able to access all the agencies that we communicate with. The system could allow uploading of documents and a messaging system to directly communicate with a specialist about a specific issues. On the agency side, they would be allowed to edit, delete or modify information applicable to their agency’s functions only. For example, only DCRA could make changes in the business license section. However, they would be allowed to see applicable information from other agencies. For example, DCRA could see that a business has clean hands with OTR. By housing everything in one place, it eliminates opportunities for fraud, streamlines information, and reduces the paper exercise for businesses.