From launching Ward 4 CARE community outreach days to new legislation and updates on city services and neighborhood events – we have a lot of ground to cover this week. Let’s dive in!
Ward 4 News and Legislative Updates
Legislation from the Community: The CLEAN Collections Act
During our community walkthroughs with neighbors, we identified an issue with several multifamily buildings in Ward 4. These buildings are not serviced by DPW, so they rely on private collection companies to pick up their trash. However, many of these multifamily buildings only have a small number of trash and recycling cans (or dumpsters) to store solid waste produced by a large number of residents, causing trash to constistently overflow out of the cans and dumpsters. Moreover, that trash and recycling often lays idle in our streets and alleys for a full week or more. The consequence is that overflowing trash around these residential buildings dirties our streets, draws rats and vermin, leads people to dump trash from home in public trash cans, and has other harmful effects. The residents in buildings where this happens are disproportionately people of color and have lower incomes.
Beyond working with agencies to address these issues on a case-by-case basis, we recognized that this was a persistent issue across Ward 4 that needed a broader fix. My legislative team found that while DC law requires residential buildings to have “adequate” solid waste containers for their residents, that standard is not defined and barely enforced. We also found that DC has no frequency requirement for how often trash is collected at residential buildings. That’s why I introduced the CLEAN Collections Act, which requires residential buildings to provide trash cans, recycling cans, or dumpsters that can hold at least 32 gallons of solid waste per residential unit and requires trash at multifamily buildings to be collected at least twice per week. This bill will make our communities cleaner and healthier by preventing trash from piling up around residential buildings. Thank you to residents and community leaders like 4A04 Commissioner Patience Singleton for partnering with us to craft this legislation.
Laying Out Budget Priorities for DC and Ward 4
Each year, Councilmembers submit a letter to the Mayor laying out their budget requests for the next fiscal year. The Mayor then proposes her budget, which goes to the Council to review via budget oversight hearings and to consider changes. This year my budget request letter to the Mayor laid out several priorities for Ward 4 and DC as a whole. DC is an increasingly prosperous city that’s currently flush with local dollars and federal relief funds. Even so, we have gaping wealth and opportunity gaps in our city and know that DC’s recovery from the pandemic is leaving far too many of our neighbors behind. Frustratingly, we also see some basic government services not working and longtime community needs going unmet. The budget priorities I laid out in my letter aim to:
- Confront DC’s crises in housing, gun violence, road safety, mental health, unemployment and underemployment, small business, education, and child care crises
- Improve government services, including DC’s removal of abandoned cars, traffic safety upgrades, trash collection, lead service line removal, and more
- Make key investments in our Ward 4 community
The Mayor’s proposal will be released this Wednesday, March 16. At that point, I encourage everyone to participate in the Council’s budget oversight hearings to ensure that DC’s $18 billion budget meets our needs.
Ward 4 CARE Days Launch in Shepherd Park, Brightwood Up Next
I’m excited to report back that we successfully launched Ward 4 CARE Days in Shepherd Park yesterday! More than 20 community volunteers and 8 DC agencies knocked on hundreds of doors in Shepherd Park to check in on neighbors, share resources, and make sure folks know how to reach us. CARE teams also submitted 311 requests and worked with DC agency representatives to address neighborhood issues on the spot. If we missed you, check out the handy materials we left on your door. Thank you to everyone who joined us for outreach, to all the neighbors who took time to chat, and to DDOT, DPW, DPR, DCRA, DACL, DBH, DC Health, and the Office of the People’s Counsel for coming to our community to support neighbors. Ward 4, please sign up for your own neighborhood’s Ward 4 CARE Day, or plan your own outreach or volunteer event around the same time. You can join us as early as next week in Brightwood on Thursday, March 17 from 4pm-7pm starting at Fort Stevens Recreation Center (1327 Van Buren St NW). See you there!
City Services and Community Resources
Ward 4 COVID Center Offers Vaccines, Tests, and KN95 Masks for Adults and Kids. Our Ward 4 COVID Center at Peoples Congressional UCC (4704 13th St NW) now offers free vaccines, boosters, PCR tests, rapid tests, and KN95 masks for adults and children. Find a list of all DC COVID Centers and their hours on DC Health’s website.
Tickets for Street Sweeping Restart on Tuesday. As of March 1, DPW has restarted residential street sweeping in our neighborhoods. Although they’re currently just giving out warnings, they’ll start issuing tickets starting Tuesday, March 15.
Biggest DC Government Job Fair Ever. DC government is hosting its largest career fair ever next week (virtually) with 24 participating agencies. Sign up to attend the job fair on Wednesday, March 16 or Thursday, March 17 between 10am-6pm on either day. Check out the job postings by scrolling down on this page and choosing the agency that interests you.
Survey on the Public Pool at Roosevelt High School. Since November, DC residents have been able to enjoy the pool at Roosevelt High School every weekday from 6-8am and 5-9pm. 4C05 Commissioner Audrey Duckett and other community members put together a survey to find out more about how residents are using the pool. Fill out the survey by March 31!
Bridge Fund for Small DC Businesses. DMPED has opened a second round of applications for its $40 million bridge fund for small DC businesses that experienced revenue loss from the pandemic. Find out more about the grant at this link. Second round applications are due on March 18 at 5pm. Let’s spread the word to our Ward 4 businesses!
Homestead Deduction, Senior Citizen and Disability Property Tax Relief. With tax season upon us, I wanted to remind you to submit your application for a homestead, senior citizen, or disability property tax deduction. Residents can apply online or by using a paper form that’s accessible by calling 202-727-4829. If a properly completed and approved application is filed by March 31, the property will receive the Homestead benefit for the entire tax year.
Also, please check out this great guide on how to organize a block party in Petworth News!
Buy Books to Support Our Ward 4 Public Libraries
In the coming weeks, three of our public libraries in Ward 4 will be hosting used book sales to support the libraries and other community activities. It’s a great chance to do good and get some great books for very cheap!
- Friends of the Juanita E. Thornton-Shepherd Park Library: Friday, March 18 from 2pm-5:30pm and Saturday, March 19 from 10am-3pm
- Friends of the Takoma Park Branch Library: Saturday, March 26 from 10am-4pm
- Friends of the Petworth Library: Saturday, April 2 from 10:30am-4pm (with a raffle, puzzle swap, face painting, craft making, storytelling, and a t-shirt and totes sale)
HIGHLAND: Continuity of the Black Family at Art of Noize Gallery
On Saturday, March 12 from 2pm-4pm Art of Noize Gallery in Petworth is hosting an artist talk with Greta Chapin McGill and host Rhonda Henderson to discuss “Highland: Continuity of the Black Family.” Come meet the Artist, and learn about the historic Highland Beach and the stories behind the work. Greta Chapin McGill’s exhibition will run through March 26.
Dance Performance by Ward 4 Residents: Joteria: Our Untold Stories
On Saturday, March 12 at 7:30pm Ward 4 residents Gabriel Mata and Adrian Gaston Garcia will host a dance performance titled Joteria: Our Untold Stories. This performance will be part of the Atlas INTERSECTIONS Festival and will celebrate the experiences of queer Latinx men through a series of scripted and unscripted scenes. Get your tickets here.
Ward 4 Redistricting Meeting to Begin Finalizing Map ANC/SMD Boundaries
After hearing from community members this past Tuesday at its public meeting, the Ward 4 Redistricting Task Force will meet again this Sunday, March 13 at 2pm to begin finalizing proposed map boundaries and drafting the Task Force’s report. RSVP to watch the meeting here and find all the information you need on the Ward 4 Redistricting website.
Rebuild Ward 4 Small Business Summit
On Wednesday, March 16 from 10am-2pm the Beacon Brightwood Business Alliance is teaming up with our office and several DC agencies and community groups to host a Ward 4 Small Business Summit. The summit will feature workshops on non-traditional sources of capital, services from DC agencies, and support from neighborhood associations. Register and find out more information by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 202-829-5732.
Ward 4 CARE Community Outreach Day in Brightwood
On Thursday, March 17 from 4pm-7pm my team and I and community volunteers will be bringing Ward 4 CARE Day to Brightwood starting from Fort Stevens Recreation Center. Join us as we check in on our neighbors, share resources, problem solve with DC agencies, and bring our community closer together. Sign up to join!
Ward 4, Mark Your Calendars:
- Shepherd Park Christian Church is hosting a blood drive on Thursday, March 31 from 11am-5pm. Sign up to give a life-saving donation there on the Red Cross website (only 6 spots remain)!
- Petworth Library is hosting two Improv Comedy Workshops on April 14 and May 12!
- The Parks at Walter Reed will host their grand Spring Celebration on Saturday, April 23 from 10am-12pm with activities for all ages including relay races and an egg hunt.
- Petworth PorchFest returns on Saturday, April 30 from 2pm-6pm (sign up to volunteer, perform or host a band on your porch).
- Crestwood’s second annual plant swap will be help on Sunday, May 1 to share your extra seedlings, thinned non-invasive perennials, or excess house plants and cuttings.
- The Shepherd Park Citizens Association Garden Tour will be back and bigger than ever on Sunday, May 22.
- The Kennedy Street Festival will return this summer (tentatively June 25) and is looking for volunteers! Fill out this form to help bring back this amazing festival.
As we celebrate Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, let’s honor all the amazing women that laid the foundation for where we are now. We are fortunate that Ward 4 is full of kind, brilliant, and resilient women, and I’m thankful to serve on a majority-women DC Council and be part of a majority-women team.
Have a great weekend!
Yours in Community,