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Happy Thanksgiving, Ward 4 Community!

Dear Neighbors,

Before we make our way to turkey trots, football games, and homes of family and friends, I wanted to share how thankful I am for our community.

The most common characteristic of Ward 4 residents is that they’re always finding ways to help others. Looking out for their neighbor and volunteering to help their community. Getting involved with their congregation, their child’s school, or their local Main Street association. Planting flowers at local parks, cleaning up their block, or helping sustain Rock Creek Park as an urban oasis. Planning community events and bringing the arts and music to our neighborhoods. Devoting countless hours to serve neighbors as an ANC Commissioner or community leader. Tirelessly advocating and organizing for just, compassionate policies that leave no one behind. Delivering mutual aid, coordinating food and coat drives, and giving what they can to support causes greater than themselves. I’m deeply grateful that the spirit of service and solidarity is so strong in Ward 4.

Another steadfast trait of Ward 4 is that there’s always plenty happening here (even on Thanksgiving Day). Whether you’re spending today cheering on our Roosevelt Rough Riders in the Turkey Bowl, running in the Crestwood Turkey Trot, breaking bread with your neighbors and CEASE FIRE, getting an early glimpse of DC Holiday Lights Uptown and Riggs Park and Manor Park, or enjoying any other Ward 4, DC, or family tradition – I hope it’s a fun and meaningful Thanksgiving for you and the people you love.

One hyperlocal reason to be grateful this year: we have more than a dozen newly-installed speed bumps in Ward 4 to help keep our families safe. Yesterday I shared this short video highlighting these new speed bumps, the advocacy of ANC Commissioners and neighbors to get them, and explaining how neighbors can request their speed bumps and other traffic safety improvements on their streets and intersections. For too long, even basic upgrades like installing speed humps were hard to come by. I’m hopeful and determined to ensure that recent progress means neighbors won’t have to wait nearly as long for safer streets in our communities.

I also know that the holidays are a time when thefts typically increase, so I will share some quick safety tips. Please try to get packages delivered to Amazon lockers or set up a system with neighbors you trust to pick up each other’s packages. Or add instructions in your order to have the delivery worker knock on your door when a package is delivered or place it somewhere that is not visible from the street. Be sure to not leave any valuables in your car, and never leave your car unattended with the keys in the ignition. I also want to encourage everyone to cook safely today. Thanksgiving is the day of the year with the most home cooking fires, more than three times the daily average. So please avoid leaving food that’s being cooked unattended and use a timer so you don’t lose track of time. In addition, be sure to test each smoke alarm in your home to confirm they’re working – it could save a life.

My team and I have been fortunate to be able to celebrate Thanksgiving throughout Ward 4 over the past 10 days. We got the chance to volunteer with Food & Friends to prepare nutritional meals for neighbors with illnesses. Then we got to celebrate Thanksgiving with our seniors and veterans at Hattie Holmes and Abrams Hall, bringing delicious Thanksgiving meals and community spirit. And over this past weekend we got to distribute and deliver nearly 150 turkeys to Ward 4 families who needed them. And these efforts are just a small fraction of the many ways our community is coming together to give back. Our office is closed today and Friday but we will be back on Monday, always grateful to be serving you on the DC Council.

I’m also excited about the opportunity for us to support our community during Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday. We’re lucky to have many amazing, resilient businesses that are a huge part of what makes our community so special. And we also have nonprofits and community groups in Ward 4 that for two years now have been stepping up to support our neighbors impacted by the pandemic in the face of great challenges. I hope you’ll join me in saving some of our Black Friday dollars to spend on Small Business Saturday and Giving Tuesday right here in Ward 4.

And to our Jewish community, we share wishes for a bright and meaningful Hanukkah. May you experience eight happy nights of light and perseverance. Chag urim sameach.

Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving, Ward 4!

Yours in Community,
—Janeese