Legislative meetings and hearings resume next week, and we have a packed fall schedule! In this newsletter, I preview some of our most important upcoming Council hearings, update you on the new playground at Barnard Elementary, highlight the first community meeting for Upshur Rec Center and Pool modernization, share important public safety information, highlight new leadership at MPD Fourth District and the Ward 4 Mini-Commission on Aging, and share Ward 4 news, city services, and local events in our community.
New Playground at Barnard Elementary
Thursday was a particularly happy day at Barnard Elementary, since the school celebrated a brand new playground constructed over the summer. The project also delivered a new bike figure-8 track, new water fountains, and a US map mural for the school. Thank you to DGS for working hard over the summer to get this work done and to DCPS for their coordination and support. Later this fall, Barnard will also be receiving important traffic safety improvements around its small Decatur Street parking lot through funding we secured in the DC budget. Every time I visit Barnard Elementary, I am struck by the joy and positivity that everyone brings to the school. Thank you to all our Barnard school leaders, educators, staff, families, and the Barnard PTA for their year-round advocacy and support for our Barnard Bears!
Council Hearings: MPD, 911, Traffic Safety, and Child Neglect
The DC Council is officially back in session next week with a regular legislative meeting planned for Tuesday, September 19. I want to alert neighbors about several important hearings taking place in the coming days in case you are able to testify or send in written comments.
- Wednesday, September 27: A public roundtable to consider the nomination of Pamela A. Smith to be MPD Chief. This is also a great opportunity for residents to discuss what they want to see from MPD in their work to improve public safety in the District.
- Thursday, September 28: A bill hearing in our Facilities and Family Services Committee to consider two legislative proposals to extend the timeframe for CFSA to complete abuse and neglect investigations and to repeal the religious exception in DC’s definition of child neglect.
- Wednesday, October 4: A joint hearing on four bills that aim to confront dangerous driving in our communities by targeting cars with fake tags, suspending licenses for drivers who act negligently, and ensuring traffic enforcement cameras are placed on our most dangerous traffic corridors. I wrote more about these bills in my July 21 newsletter.
- Thursday, October 5: An oversight roundtable on the 911 Call Center in the DC Office of Unified Communications and the serious issues it faces with staffing, dispatch errors, dropped or missed calls, and inconsistent adherence to agency protocol.
Signing up to speak at a hearing or submitting written testimony is simpler through the Council’s new one-stop shop online platform. Go to the page, select any hearing, and then click “Register to Testify” or “Submit Testimony” on the top right corner to make your voice heard.
First Meeting on Upshur Modernization
One of the most important Ward 4 investments we are making in the DC budget is the full modernization of Upshur Rec Center and Upshur Pool. As always, my hope is that community can help shape the project with their input. The first opportunity to share your hopes for the $19 million modernization will be this Monday, September 18 at 6pm in a walk-and-talk community meeting with DPR and DGS at Upshur Rec Center (4300 Arkansas Ave NW). Upshur Rec Center and Upshur Pool are two of our most frequently used facilities citywide, and both need to be renovated and expanded. If you live in the area, join us on Monday to meet the project team, learn about the modernization, and share your input on how the new Upshur park and pool can better serve our communities. And if you can’t make it, rest assured that there will be more engagement opportunities to come.
Responding to Recent Ward 4 Robberies
This week there was an alarming string of robberies in Ward 4, some of which targeted students during after-school hours. Detectives believe these cases are connected and are investigating to identify and apprehend those responsible. In response to these incidents, MPD has expanded patrols around schools. Some of these incidents appear to be happening during officer shift changes, so officer overtime has been authorized to prevent any gaps in coverage in these areas. Metro Transit PD has also been called on to help patrol Georgia Avenue and Petworth Metro, and DC’s Safe Passage program provides an additional layer of safety through their presence (in green vests) on many corridors where our students walk to and from school. We will keep coordinating with our agency partners and school communities to improve safety.
Georgia Avenue Bus Priority Open Houses
DDOT is planning a series of open house events to share potential concept design alternatives for the Georgia Avenue NW Bus Priority Project. Open houses in Ward 4 will include Petworth Library on September 25, Emery Heights Community Center on October 3, and Shepherd Park Juanita Thornton Library on October 4. Stop by these events anytime from 4:30pm-7pm to review potential design concepts and weigh in on the project.
WMATA Expands MetroRail Service
WMATA recently implemented yet another increase in MetroRail service, including on the Green Line and Red Line that have stations in Ward 4. The specific level of service depends on the time of day and station you’re in, but customers are seeing more train frequency systemwide during peak hours. Learn more from WMATA’s announcement.
DME School Boundary Study Town Halls
The Office of the Deputy Mayor of Education is hosting two School Boundary and Student Assignment Study virtual town halls on Tuesday, September 26 at 12pm and Wednesday, September 27 at 6pm. “Participants will review the landscape of DCPS boundaries and student assignment analysis, provide feedback on policy tools, and be introduced to the online web tool.” Check out the flyer in English and Spanish, and register online.
DC Public Library Survey on Library Use
DC Public Library has a new survey out so it can better understand how residents’ library use has changed in the last three years and how it can better meet the needs of our communities. Completing the survey takes about 10 minutes, and the deadline to do so is September 25.
Select Pools and Spray Parks Open Through September 21
DPR is keeping open two outdoor pools and 18 spray parks through September 21 to keep families cool during these hot September days. Hearst Pool (3701 37th St NW) and Oxon Run Pool (501 Mississippi Ave SE) will remain open six days a week per their summer operating schedule. And our Ward 4 spray parks at Petworth Rec Center, Lafayette-Pointer Park, and Takoma Rec Center will remain open daily from 11am-5pm through September 21, too. You can find all the details in DPR’s announcement.
Homecoming at Lincoln’s Cottage
On Saturday, September 16 from 9am-3pm Lincoln Cottage will host its annual free Homecoming event with an early 5k run, yoga, a 100-foot Tot Dash, family activities, arts and crafts, story time, pony rides, a petting zoo, food truck vendors, and cottage tours.
Lincoln-Thomas Day at Fort Stevens in Brightwood
On Saturday, September 16 from 11am-2pm the Military Road School Preservation Trust will host the 99th Anniversary of Lincoln-Thomas Day at Fort Stevens (13th and Quackenbos). The event commemorates President Lincoln, who came under fire at Fort Stevens, and Mrs. Elizabeth Proctor Thomas, a free Black woman in Brightwood who owned part of the land where the federal government built Fort Stevens during the Civil War. The event will include remarks by Dr. Richard Bell, music, and a wreath-laying ceremony.
Annual Lebanese Festival in Shepherd Park
On Saturday, September 16 from 12pm-10pm Our Lady of Lebanon Church will host its Annual Lebanese Festival at 7142 Alaska Avenue NW in Shepherd Park. Come enjoy delectable Lebanese food, enchanting music, lively dances, and immersive cultural activities.
Used Book Sale at Petworth Neighborhood Library
On Saturday, September 16 from 10:30am-3pm the Friends of Petworth Library will be hosting a used book sale at Petworth Library in the Downstairs Large Meeting Room.
Takoma Park Farmers Market Annual Pie Contest
On Sunday, September 17 from 11am-2pm the Takoma Park Farmers Market will host its great Annual Pie Contest at 6931 Laurel Ave in Takoma Park. Enter your best pie using any seasonal ingredient found at the market — sweet or savory! Pies will be judged by celebrity judges, prizes will be awarded, and all pies will be sliced at the end and offered to the public.
Colorado Avenue Community Clean Up
On Sunday, September 17 starting at 12pm the Carter Barron East Neighborhood Association will host a clean up of the 5200-5400 blocks of Colorado Avenue NW. Neighbors will meet by Gold Coast Cafe, and the cleanup will be followed by lunch at Moreland’s Tavern.
Meet-and-Greet New 4D Commander and Captains
On Monday, September 18 at 6:30pm the MPD Fourth District Citizens Advisory Council (4D CAC) will host a Meet-and-Greet and Community Welcome event for new Fourth District Commander Nikki Lavenhouse and Fourth District’s new Sector leaders: Captain Subrena Rivers in Sector One, Captain James Chatmon in Sector Two, and Captain Jeffrey Wade in Sector Three. Review the Fourth District roster and map to find the Captain that oversees your neighborhood and their contact information. The event will take place at the field adjacent to Fourth District Station (6001 Georgia Ave NW), and it is hosted in partnership with MPD and the Fourth District Community Outreach team.
Ward 4 CARE Day in Lamond
On Wednesday, September 20 from 4pm-7pm I will be hosting our Ward 4 CARE Community Day for our Lamond community — starting from Lamond Rec Center (20 Tuckerman St NE). This will be a day of sharing resources, bringing DC agencies to our neighborhoods, providing constituent services, talking about resident needs, and bringing our community closer together. Please RSVP if you are able to join us, and look out for us as we do outreach block-by-block.
DC Senior Games Swim Meet at Takoma Pool
On Saturday, September 23 from 8am-1pm the annual DC Senior Games Swim Meet will take place at the Takoma Aquatic Center (300 Van Buren St NW)! Register by September 20. There are 16 swimming races available for seniors to participate in.
Celebrate Petworth Festival!
On Saturday, September 23 from 11am-5pm Celebrate Petworth Festival will be happening on the 800 block of Upshur Street NW! It will be a day full of live music, delicious food, games, local history, children’s activities, a dog show, local vendors, and much more! Check out the festival website for more information on this incredible community celebration.
Chevy Chase DC Day!
On Saturday, September 23 from 1pm-4pm Chevy Chase Community Association and Chevy Chase Main Street area teaming up to host Chevy Chase DC Day on the grounds of the Chevy Chase Library and the Community Center. Come and bring your family for a day with live music, art and crafts, face painting, balloon twisting, kids masquerade mask-making, a ballet performance, a police car and firetruck, a juggler, bounce house, free yoga classes, local business specials, and free ice cream and cupcakes. Check out the full list of activities.
Weed Warriors Event at Shepherd Field
On Sunday, September 24 from 2pm-4pm the Shepherd Park Weed Warriors will be celebrating Public Lands Day by hosting their third annual Weed Wrangle at Shepherd Field. Join in as they remove invasive plants and plant native ones on the slope of Shepherd field.
Check Out Our Ward 4 Farmers Markets
Get your fresh goods, crafts, and neighborly vibes at our Ward 4 Farmers Markets:
- Uptown Farmers Market at 5501 Colorado Ave NW on Saturdays from 9am-1pm
- Chevy Chase Farmers Market at Lafayette ES on Saturdays from 9am-1pm
- Petworth Community Market at 9th & Upshur NW on Saturdays from 9am-1pm
- Takoma Park Farmers Market at 6931 Laurel Ave on Sundays from 10am-2pm
- Whittier Farm Stand at 6201 5th St NW on Tuesdays from 3pm-5pm
Ward 4 in the News
DCist: Addressing Gun, Traffic Violence: What We’re Watching at the Council This Fall
Washington Business Journal: Historic Hospital Building at Walter Reed for Sale
Channel 4: Loretta Neumann Shares How Son of a Slave Explores Husband’s Legacy
Washington Informer: Even with DGS Intervention, HVAC Issues Persist at Whittier
WMATA: Take This Survey on Potentially Renaming MetroBus Routes
Pepco: Pepco Energizes First Capital Grid Project Substation in Takoma Park, MD
Broad Branch Market: Beloved Chevy Chase Shop Celebrated Its 15th Birthday
Rock Creek Conservancy: 2023 Rock Creek Weed Wrangle to Remove Invasive Plants
Next Stop… Riggs Park: Save the Date: The Parks Main Street Art All Night September 30
Petworth News: Join Neighbors for Pre-Festival Family Fun Before Celebrate Petworth
Washingtonian: Why Is There a New Pay Phone on a Quiet Street in Chevy Chase?
Next Stop… Riggs Park: “That Sunday Sound” at Hellbender – September Lineup
Briya PCS: Briya Moves into Remodeled Building on Shepherd Street in Petworth
DCist: After Delays, DC Finally Launches Citywide Curbside Composting Pilot
Petworth News: So what happened to Petworth Social Bar & Grill anyway?
Washington Informer: DC Residents Embrace March on Washington 60th Anniversary
PopVille: Soleluna to Bring its French Pastries and Ecuadorian Coffee to Petworth
Petworth News: Sign up for the Dog Show or Volunteer at Celebrate Petworth Festival
Ward 4 Dispatch: DC Programs We Should All Know (Part 1)
This week I was honored to swear-in a new set of leaders for the Ward 4 Mini-Commission on Aging, which advocates for the best interests of senior citizens in Ward 4. Please join me in congratulating new Chairperson Jocelynn Johnson, Vice Chairperson Gail Williams, Recording Secretary Charlene Thompson, Corresponding Secretary Angie Whitehurst, Treasurer Janice Jefferson, Chaplain Roxanna Bilal, and At-Large Members Veronica Ingram and Samuel McCoy. Thanks to each of you for stepping up to serve our community!
To all our Jewish community members celebrating Rosh Hashanah this weekend, we share wishes for a sweet new year filled with peace, justice, joy, and good health. Shanah Tovah!
This week was special because we held two Ward 4 CARE events, meaning we were able to reach and support twice as many neighbors in Riggs Park, South Manor Park, and Takoma. Thank to all the neighbors who came by, ANC 4B Chair Alison Brooks and Commissioner Michael Cohen, the great Lamond Riggs Citizens Association, and all of our agency partners for joining us in the neighborhood! Special shoutout to DPW’s representative Ms. Clarissa Edwards, who has joined us at every CARE Day event and who serves Ward 4 with great care and dedication. Congratulations on your well-deserved promotion, Ms. Edwards!
Have an amazing weekend, neighbors!
Yours in Community,