Self-Proclaimed 'Rat Warrior' Testifies to DC Council for Tougher Rodent Bill - NBC4 Washington

Self-Proclaimed 'Rat Warrior' Testifies to DC Council for Tougher Rodent Bill

"Who you see before you today is a weary, tired, frustrated warrior in our city's war on rats."

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    A Capitol Hill resident who says she's a "rat warrior" is urging the city to enforce strict rules against restaurants that do not clean up the waste rats feed on. News4's Tom Sherwood reports. (Published Wednesday, Dec. 6, 2017)

    A Capitol Hill resident who calls herself a "rat warrior" is pushing for stricter legislation in D.C. that would force restaurants and trash companies to clean up the waste rats feed on -- and hopefully stop what she and other residents call a growing problem.

    "Rats are running all over the place," said Susan Sedgewick.

    Sedgewick said she fights a daily battle with rats in her alley off of 8th Street SE.

    For years, she has kept track of the rats in her neighborhood and carries a clipboard with a page of rat information for each home.

    "What I've been doing is when the rat police come - the rodent people - I will record what they find," Sedgewick said.

    What do they find? One home video from Sedgewick shows rats, rats -- and more rats.

    "It is disgusting," she said.

    Sedgewick and some of her neighbors testified before the D.C. Council on Wednesday for a new law that would force restaurants and other businesses to tightly contain grease and food waste, or face steep fines and government-forced cleanups.

    "Who you see before you today is a weary, tired, frustrated warrior in our city's war on rats," Sedgewick said at the hearing.

    Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen introduced the "Making Rodent Syndicates Flee Restaurants, Interior Settings, Basements, and Yards Amendment Act of 2017."

    "It's a long-named bill I introduced for a long-running problem across the District - rats," Allen said on his website when he introduced the bill in May. "In brief, the bill requires new and existing restaurants to create and follow a pest prevention plan based on their facility and creates a funding mechanism for Department of Health enforcement." 

    "I have seen rats saunter rather casually through our community in Ward 6 so I know this is an issue citywide," Allen said at the hearing Wednesday.