This week the Council finalized DC’s budget, so I’m excited to share this detailed breakdown of what’s in it and how it will impact our community. I’m really proud of everything we included for Ward 4, as well as the citywide investments in a just recovery and a more equitable DC.
Yesterday our community came together for a job fair on Kennedy Street to meet an important community need for more resources by bringing jobs and opportunity to the Kennedy Street corridor. I was really moved to see so many of our local employers, DC agencies, and residents come out to make the event a success. And it’s only the beginning of our collective work to holistically meet the needs on Kennedy Street and across Ward 4.
And next week August 16-20 our office will be closed so I can give my team a much-need mental health break after seven relentless months of hard work. That means there won’t be a newsletter from me next week, but I’m looking forward to writing to you again on August 27. My Chief of Staff Lenace (email@example.com) will be available to respond to any urgent issues, and I’ll be spending the week visiting Ward 4 schools to ensure they’re ready for the new school year!
DC Budget Breakdown
Going in, I knew this would be an incredibly important budget season. More than anything else, this budget will decide whether we will have a just recovery in DC. COVID has caused huge hardship and suffering in our communities. We have neighbors who lost loved ones, lost their jobs, lost their homes, or lost hope. This budget was about giving them the support they need so they can bounce back and overcome really difficult circumstances. This budget also defines what kind of city we will be after the pandemic. DC was already a city full of vast inequities and brokenness even before we had COVID. We already had displacement, homelessness, food insecurity, residents experiencing poverty, disparate student outcomes, and many other issues. We can’t go back to that. We needed this budget to lay the groundwork for transformative change that lifts up all of our people.
Another reason this budget was so important to me is that I wanted to do justice to all of the incredible engagement from Ward 4 residents. Early on this year I put out a call for Ward 4 to show up in this budget process and make an impact – and Ward 4 truly showed up. You came to our budget forum, testified at budget hearings, organized, advocated, and shared your budget priorities with me, the rest of the Council, and the Mayor. It was really important to me to match your passion and dedication and deliver for Ward 4 and DC as a whole.
If you don’t have time to read through the full budget breakdown, I captured the quick highlights in this flyer, which is also copied into this email. But I know many of you appreciate the extra details and context on how our tax dollars are spent, so here you go.
Ward 4 Budget Investments
$450K to fully staff and open the pool at Roosevelt High School to our community. As I mentioned last week, DC spent $2.1 million to build a new public entrance for the Roosevelt pool, but there was no funding in the Mayor’s proposed budget to staff the pool so it could open up to the public as intended. With the pools at Takoma and Turkey Thicket closed for months for repairs, Ward 4 was left without a year-round pool. Thanks to our community’s advocacy and Chairman Mendelson’s partnership to get it done, Roosevelt pool now has the funding to open to the community in the Fall.
$1.7 million in traffic safety upgrades for Georgia Avenue. Georgia Avenue is one of the most dangerous streets in our city, and where we tragically lost 4-year-old Zyaire Joshua earlier this year. We need a complete overhaul of Georgia Avenue so it keeps cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers safe – and better meets the needs of our community. It’s not a highway – it’s an urban street with restaurants, stores, bars, and residential housing. This funding gets that process started by funding traffic safety improvements that were identified in past studies but never implemented. Thank you to Councilmember Cheh for making this a budget priority in our Committee on Transportation.
$200K to create a Petworth Main Street Association and $36K to Takoma Main Street. Main Street Associations play a key role in providing grants, technical assistance, and promotion to local businesses, helping sustain existing businesses and draw news ones to the neighborhood. This is especially important as businesses navigate the effects of the pandemic and the rising costs in our city. Petworth is home to many new and longtime Black-owned, woman-owned, and immigrant-owned businesses that will benefit from the support of a Petworth Main Street. Meanwhile, Takoma Main Street has been valiantly serving businesses in both Takoma, DC and Takoma Park, MD while not receiving support from the District. The $36k will allow them to provide additional support to businesses in the DC-side of Takoma and build on their important work. Shoutout to Councilmember McDuffie for working with me to make this happen.
Accelerated Modernization for Truesdell, Whittier, and LaSalle-Backus. I’m grateful that this budget speeds up the schedule for renovations at three Ward 4 elementary schools by one year. Truesdell will now be modernized by the summer of 2025, Whittier will be modernized by summer of 2027, and LaSalle-Backus will be modernized by the summer of 2029. While I am thrilled that the Mayor and the Council were able to move up these projects up from their previously scheduled completion dates, I’m still working to get them fixed sooner. It’s unacceptable to send children to schools with roof leaks and that lack ADA compliance. I’ll keep working with DCPS to speed things up even more.
$1 million to redesign and upgrade Petworth Library. Petworth Library was fully modernized in 2011. Since then, the community has grown substantially – particularly our teen population. This investment in Fiscal Year 2023 will provide a “functional refresh” to Petworth Library, which currently lacks sufficient separation between our adult library patrons and teenage users. We met with the director of Petworth Library earlier this year and this was an important need they requested. Thank you to Chairman Mendelson for working with me to ensure this is possible. Speaking of libraries, this budget also invests $3.3 million to increase operating hours and enhance the collections budget for DC Public Library. And starting September 12, Petworth Library will start opening on Sundays from 1pm-5pm!
Preserve funding for a grocery store at The Parks at Walter Reed. I know there’s a lot of excitement about a new grocery store at Walter Reed. I was proud to work with Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie to include an amendment to the budget that extended the deadline for the Supermarket Tax Incentives program to include the Parks at Walter Reed. This incentive will help ensure that the planned Whole Foods at The Parks at Walter Reed is completed on time, since it will serve as an anchor tenant to this important new development project.
An additional $4 million to modernize Upshur Pool, Fields, and Playground. We all love the pool, fields, courts, and playground at Upshur, but it’s clear they’re in need of some improvements. I’m grateful that this budget sets aside an additional $4 million to modernize Upshur by 2024. Our community deserves well functioning, top-notch facilities.
Funding to complete the Metropolitan Branch Trail to Takoma. This will provide a safe connection for cyclists and pedestrians from Northeast DC all the way to Union Station – an important commuting and recreational connection for Ward 4 residents. I also hope to work on more protected bike lane improvements in future budgets.
Homes and Hearts Amendment
One of the most transformative aspects of this budget is the Homes and Hearts Amendment, which makes bold investments in housing, child care, and a monthly basic income with a moderate marginal income tax increase on individuals making more than $250,000 a year.
Homes and Hearts will provide housing 2,400 to residents who are either experiencing homelessness or in desperate need of housing. DC can and should end chronic homelessness. We’ve made progress as a city reducing chronic homelessness among families, but the numbers of single adults experiencing homelessness has remained steady and even increased in recent years. And the situation could get a lot worse once the federal government stops providing emergency housing and once the eviction moratorium is phased out. As I’ve said before, the solution to homelessness is housing – and it takes funding to provide housing to people. What we do with this amendment is fund existing housing programs that are already in place and are effective. These are programs like Permanent Supportive Housing, which provides housing with wrap-around supportive services so people can get back on the feet. We also fund other housing voucher programs like Targeted Affordable Housing for unhoused families that require less support services, Local Rent Supplement Program rental subsidies for low-income families, and targeted housing vouchers to groups we know are particularly vulnerable to housing instability: LGBTQ residents, returning citizens, seniors, and domestic violence survivors. This amendment recognizes that housing is a human right and provides housing on a consistent basis to thousands of residents so we can end chronic homelessness.
Homes and Hearts funds high-quality child care by raising the wages of early childhood educators. The fundamental paradox in child care is that child care is incredibly expensive, but the workers who provide child care (overwhelmingly women of color) barely make the minimum wage. We also know that child care is essential for many parents to be able to work, and that it is also deeply important to children’s education continuum. Because of how formative this time period is, we know that what we invest in early childhood education can make a big difference in student outcomes later in life. So what we’re doing is investing $54 million to raise wages for child care workers, help stabilize the industry, and make child care more affordable for DC families in the long run. This will make DC the first place in the country to pay infant and toddler early childhood educators wages worthy of their skills and importance.
Homes and Hearts establishes a monthly basic income for DC working families. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) is one of the effective federal anti-poverty programs we have. DC currently has a local match of the federal EITC at 40%, meaning for a family that receives $1000 in EITC benefits from the federal government DC sends an additional $400 in local funds. Through our amendment, DC will initially boost our local EITC match from 40% to 70% and then gradually raise it to a 100% match by 2026. We also make this benefit monthly instead of yearly, putting money in the pockets of working families for the here and now. What this means in practice is that the average eligible family will receive anywhere from $300-$500 through this program every month to help them cover their bills, buy groceries, spend more on their children, afford housing in the District, and meet their other needs. Read more about this program in the DCist.
Investing in Our Students and Our Schools
A full-time certified librarian at every DCPS school. Through an amendment I introduced and the Council passed during our second budget vote, every DCPS school will have a full-time certified librarian to help close the literacy gap and provide other essential support for students as they return to in-person instruction.
$28 million for school-based mental health services. At a time of great need for mental health services, there is significant funding in the budget so every public school in the District can have at least one mental health professional to support students.
A 3.6% increase to the Uniform Per Student Funding Formula (UPSFF). A budget boost for our schools so each student is getting more funding to help them thrive. We’re also placing a greater emphasis on specific grade-levels and students with different needs, meaning our schools will be able to afford the resources to facilitate students’ academic recovery, especially the students who need the most support.
$18.5 million in Out of School Time Grants. This funding will support the extra-curricular after-school programs that students love and that parents depend on. School communities have repeatedly asked for additional funding to support these programs.
Affordable Housing and Housing Services
$400 million in the Housing Production Trust Fund. This is an unprecedented investment in the Housing Production Trust Fund, which has typically received about $100 million in previous years. The Trust Fund is used to create and preserve affordable housing, such as the Petworth Station Apartments renovation we celebrated in a ribbon-cutting a few weeks back. This year the Trust Fund is paired with significant projected-based LRSP housing vouchers to ensure that the housing that’s created meets DC’s affordability goals.
$14 million in Emergency Rental Assistance (ERAP). When we received the Mayor’s proposed budget, there was a $5.5 million in cut to emergency rental assistance, which we know is going to be critical in the coming months as the eviction moratorium is phased out. DC residents can also benefit from federal rental aid, but STAY DC and ERAP serve partly different purposes and have different eligibility criteria. The Council restored funding for a total of $14 million in Emergency Rental Assistance.
$50 million to repair and improve public housing units in DC. Public housing provides affordable housing to thousands of DC’s most vulnerable families, but so much of our public housing stock is in bad shape and in need of major repairs. This funding is not enough for the vast need to renovate DC’s public housing stock, but it’s an increase on what was originally proposed and will help bring more housing safety and dignity to residents in public housing.
$11.7 million to overhaul DCRA into two smaller, more effective agencies. From the building collapse on Kennedy Street to the tragic fire we had in 2019, we have all seen the importance of DCRA’s mission. There are great, dedicated employees at DCRA, but the agency is too large and bureaucratic to be effective. This budget funds legislation to split DCRA into two more nimble agencies so it can better address blighted properties, protect homeowners and tenants, help stop illegal construction, and make it easier for DC residents get the services they need. Related: read the latest story from Cesse Ip in Petworth News about the vacant and blighted properties that are hurting Kennedy Street.
Supporting Workers and Working Families
$41 million in cash assistance to excluded workers. Undocumented immigrants, returning citizens, and cash economy workers have disproportionately felt the sting of job loss, reduced earnings, and sickness during the pandemic, but they haven’t been able to receive support because they are excluded from our social safety net programs like unemployment assistance and (in most cases) stimulus checks. This budget invests $41 million so DC’s excluded workers can receive direct cash assistance to help them make it through the crisis.
$500 payments to residents whose unemployment benefits were extremely delayed. The most heartbreaking emails I receive are from residents desperately trying to get their unemployment benefits after waiting for weeks or even months. Some are still waiting. Thanks to the leadership of Councilmember Silverman, 10,000 DC residents who waited the longest (at least 60 days) to receive their first unemployment benefits will receive an additional $500 payment to reimburse them for the long delay and the costs they had to incur as a result.
Expand Paid Medical Leave from 2 weeks to 6 weeks for private-sector DC workers. DC’s Universal Paid Family Leave Program launched last year and is already providing much needed time off for new parents and those caring for ill family members. But the benefit for someone who is themself recovering from serious illness is currently only 2 weeks of paid medical leave. In this budget the Council expands that to 6 weeks, while also establishing 2 weeks of prenatal leave for prenatal medical care. If you work in the District for a business or nonprofit, this almost certainly applies to you!
$32 Million to create a Baby Bonds program to invest in kids from birth. This was a great idea from Councilmember McDuffie to reduce the vast wealth gap between white residents and Black and Brown residents. Baby Bonds will invest up to $600 a year into trust funds for DC residents under the age of 18 — money they will then be able to use to pay for college, start a business, or buy a house. This applies to families under 300% of the federal poverty line, which translates to $80,000 a year in household income for a family of four.
$72 Million for cost-of-living raises (COLA) for DC government workers. When the pandemic started and DC was in a dire financial position, DC government workers gave up their raises, many of which were guaranteed in their union contracts. Now that the District is in a better place financially, we’re spending $72 million to provide Cost of Living raises (COLA) to DC government workers (union and non-union employees).
Traffic Safety and Community Safety
Funding to fully implement the Vision Zero Act. Our Committee on Transportation and the Environment, chaired by Councilmember Cheh, dedicated traffic enforcement revenue to fully fund the Vision Zero Enhancement Omnibus Amendment Act. This will bring sweeping traffic safety improvements across the city, including better sidewalks and bike lanes, more stop signs, lower speed limits, added safety measures for dangerous intersections, and a lot more.
$63 million to create 50 priority bus lanes citywide. The idea here is to encourage more residents to use public transit more by making buses faster, more reliable, and a smoother commuting experience. This is good for the environment, it’s good for traffic congestion, it’s good for traffic safety, and it’s good for our budgets too. Look to the priority bus lanes being created on 16th Street for an example of what this will look like in Ward 4.
$10 million at ONSE for community-based violence interruption. This more than doubles DC’s prior investments in these programs. I’m relieved that this budget makes unprecedented investments in keeping our communities safe in a proactive, evidence-based, holistic way.
Doubling the DC OAG’s Cure the Streets and Restorative Justice programs. Over $4 million will go towards expanding of Office of the DC Attorney General’s Cure the Streets program into five new sites – and a major expansion of the DC OAG’s Restorative Justice Program, which uses mediation instead of incarceration to address conflict.
$4.5 million to expand the Pathways Program. The Pathways Program is a successful transitional employment program in the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement for people who have been caught up in the criminal justice system. By providing jobs and dedicated support we boost the likelihood that at-risk community members will thrive.
$23 million in legal and victim services grants. Through the Access to Justice program, low-income DC residents can access pro-bono and legal services. This helps survivors of sexual abuse, stalking, and intrafamily offenses, tenants at risk of eviction, re-entry services for returning citizens, and many others.
$11 Million in cash assistance, coaching, and peer navigators for returning citizens. These investments will help DC’s returning citizens rehabilitate and settle back into regular life during a period when they’re particularly vulnerable.
Overall, these evidence-based, community-centered programs are targeted specifically to people we know are at most risk and need our focus and resources. These programs will go a long way in preventing further gun violence and helping people heal and reintegrate into our communities. I’ll also be working with DC agencies to ensure that Ward 4 gets additional support from these new and expanded programs because I know we need it.
Kennedy Street Job Fair
Yesterday we gathered more than 15 DC-based employers and agencies on Kennedy Street to host a job fair for our community and help meet an important need for jobs and opportunities. We have talented young people across Ward 4, many of whom are still waiting for the chance to prove themselves and put their skills to use. In the days leading up to Thursday, my team canvassed the Kennedy Street corridor and invited residents to join us at the job fair. We also reached out to schools and service providers to get the word out to residents who need employment. I’m so grateful to the dozens of residents who braved the heat and came up at the Job Fair to apply for jobs and engage with our vendors. Many connections were made and I know our vendors and our office will be following up with folks in the coming days.
I also want to extend a big thank you to the many businesses, non-profits, and DC agencies that came to support our community yesterday. You help show what is possible when we come together to lift each other up. DOES even brought out its Workforce on Wheels bus, which is equipped with computers, internet, and resources so residents can apply for jobs directly on the spot! I owe a special thank you to Mr. Horton, who generously provided us his parking lot at 600 Kennedy Street NW to host the event and made sure we had everything we needed. I’m also grateful to Councilmembers Robert White and Christina Henderson (who also live in Ward 4) for joining, and to Commissioner Renee Bowser who always shows up for Kennedy Street.
Check out more of the photos from the event. I hope you can join us next time if you weren’t able to come yesterday. This is just the start of how we’re bringing resources to Kennedy Street and all of our communities in Ward 4!
Petworth Summer Saturdays Continue in August! On Saturday, August 14 from 5pm-7pm Petworth Summer Saturdays will host its sixth free concert of the series with the groove-oriented, modern jazz Abram Mamet Trio. The trip is based in Petworth! Petworth Summer Saturday shows take place on the 800 block of Upshur Street in front of Willow Fashion, and they’re a great way to enjoy your Saturday evening alongside neighbors – with great music and excellent food and drink options nearby. Here’s the full lineup of shows for August!
311 Live with Erin and Evan in Takoma. On Saturday, August 14 at 9am Commissioner Erin Palmer, Commissioner Evan Yeats, and the Office of Unified Communications will walk through the Takoma community and teach residents how to submit 311 requests for city services. Meet them at the intersection of Georgia Avenue & Van Buren Street, NW at 9am to get started! RSVP on Facebook.
Watch the new Space Jam movie at Takoma Community Center! On Saturday, August 14 at dusk DPR will host an outdoor viewing of Space Jam: A New Legacy at Takoma Community Center (300 Van Buren St NW). Movies start at dusk and are being shown across the District all summer long through DC’s Roving Leaders Program. Find more info here.
Second Community Meeting on Crestwood Triangle Park. On Wednesday, August 18 from 6:30pm-8:00pm DPR and DGS will host a second community meeting to discuss the survey results and design ideas for the Crestwood Triangle Park. Your attendance and feedback are greatly appreciated.
Jazz, Film Screening, and Community Fun at The Parks at Walter Reed! On Saturday, August 21 the Parks at Walter Reed are hosting a jazz concert with Finding Rhythm Collective performing for children at 5:30pm on the Great Lawn, followed by Butcher Brown performing at 6pm for the whole family. Then once it’s dark there will be a screening of Get On Up, which depicts James Brown’s rise to stardom and stars Chadwick Boseman. The screening is part of a summer film series done in partnership with the Home Rule Music & Film Preservation Foundation as well as HR Records owner Charvis Campbell. Anxo Cider, 3 Stars Brewing, and Kennedy Street ice cream shop Everyday Sundae will all be on site. Find the details and information on other upcoming events in Petworth News!
End of Summer Party at Tifereth Israel! On Sunday, August 22 from 2pm-4pm Tifereth Israel (7701 16th St NW) will host its outdoor end of summer party with ice cream and plenty of fun activities! Come for the chance to meet new people and learn more about Tifereth Israel, which has kindly opened up this event to non-members. RSVP here to join!
10-Year Anniversary of the Closing of Walter Reed. On Saturday, August 28 from 1pm-6pm there will be a social gathering celebrating the legacy of WRAMC’s 102 years of flagship medical treatment, training, and service. It will take place at Legendary Takoma Station Tavern (6914 4th St. NW) as indoor-outdoor event where masks are required. For more information, please call: 202-369-5644.
14th Annual Six Months Moratorium To Stop The Killings Cookout and Amateur Boxing Match. On Saturday, August 28 from 12pm-8pm at Upshur Recreation Center (4300 Arkansas Ave NW) Cease Fire…Don’t Smoke The Brothers & Sisters and DPR are co-hosting a cookout and amateur boxing match to bring our community together and promote an end to gun violence. Come out for the music, free food, boxing, health checks, and much more.
16th Street Neighborhood Association Summer Block Party! On Saturday, September 4 from 12pm-4pm the 16th Street Neighborhood Association is hosting its annual summer bash at the 1500 Block of Allison St NW. The rain date is Sunday, September 5 at the same time. There will be food, games, music, special kids events, and more… Hamburgers, hot dogs, veggie options, ice cream, and beverages will be provided. Bring a dish to share!
Save the Dates: Main Street Park(ing) Day and Art All Night! On Friday, September 17 from 9am-4pm Uptown Main Street will host Main Street Park(ing) Day on Kennedy Street. Then a week later on Friday, September 24 from 5pm-11:30pm Uptown Main Street will host Art All Night 2021! This free arts festival will include live music, documentary screenings, visual arts and more! Volunteer for either event by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. More details to come!
Save the Date: Chevy Chase Day. On Saturday, September 18 from 1pm-4pm the Chevy Chase Citizens Association is bringing back Chevy Chase Day on Connecticut Avenue at the Commons. Plan to come for the music, puppet show, juggler, magician, balloon art, outdoor yoga, sidewalk chalk art, the free ice cream giveaway, and so much more!
Save the Date: Tour de Roosevelt! On Sunday, September 19 at 10am at the main entrance of Roosevelt High School (4301 13th St NW) Roosevelt High School its annual community bike ride! The event is free and open to all riders regardless of age skill level. The ride will follow Roosevelt’s in boundary geographic feeder map. Please RSVP at this link. Remember to wear orange and blue, wear a helmet, and bring water and a snack.
Save the Date: The Parks Main Street Art All Night. On Friday evening, September 24 the Parks Main Street will host Art All Night, a free arts festival that showcases performances from musical, visual, and movement artists. If you’re interested in performing or vending at the festival, fill out this form!
Save the Date: Celebrate Petworth! On Saturday, September 25 between 11am-5pm Celebrate Petworth makes its grand return. This is a free neighborhood festival organized by and for the residents of Petworth—celebrating the creativity, diversity, culture, and people of Petworth and its surrounding neighborhoods. It takes place on the 800 block of Upshur Street NW and features a Kids Zone with music, a Fire Engine, a soda explosion experiment, chalking, and a Balloon Bounce Community Art Project!
Save the Date: Open Streets Returns to Georgia Avenue. On Saturday, October 2 from 10am-3pm Open Streets will return to Georgia Avenue in Wards 1 and 4. During that time period, a miles-long stretch of Georgia Avenue will close to cars and will instead host an urban festival of activities ranging from food, drinks, fitness classes, obstacle courses, children’s games, live music, and other educational and entertainment programming.
Save the Date: Down in the Reeds Festival. On Saturday, October 9 from 11am-7pm Down in the Reeds Festival is back in Ward 4 hosted by The Parks at Walter Reed! It’s a free all-day festival celebrating the power of music to heal across communities and cultures. Check out the website for ways to plug in and follow them on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram for updates as the festival takes shape.
Ward 4 Weekly Farmer’s Markets. We have:
- Tuesdays at 11am-2pm: FRESHFARM Produce Stand at The Parks at 6922 Georgia Ave NW
- Saturdays at 9am-1pm: Petworth Community Market at Upshur St & 9th Street
- Saturdays at 9am-1pm: FRESHFARM Uptown Market at 5500 Colorado Ave NW
- Sundays at 10am-2pm: FRESHFARM Farmers Market at the Parks at 6922 Georgia Ave NW
Get Your “Slow Down To Save Lives” Speed Limit Yard Signs. DDOT is offering new, customizable speed limit signs for your yard or neighborhood. They can be picked up during regular business hours at 250 M St SE and 1100 4th St SW. The Vision Zero team will also be at the Columbia Heights Farmers Market on Saturday, August 14 at 1pm and the Cleveland Park Farmers Market on Saturday, August 21 at 1pm handing them out.
Pediatric Immunizations and Vaccines for DC Students. If your child still needs to catch up on their required immunizations, you can sign them up for an appointment at this link. Students who are at least 12 years old can also receive the COVID vaccine at the same time. Roosevelt High School is one of the schools where you can book an appointment on Mondays and Thursdays between 12:30pm-4:30pm.
Emery Heights Back to School Backpack Giveaway. On Thursday, August 19 at 10am DPR will be giving out backpacks to kids between 5-16 years old at Emery Heights Recreation Center (5701 Georgia Ave NW). Make sure you reserve a backpack for your child if they need one on DPR’s website before going. Supplies are limited!
New Kids Ride Free SmarTrip Cards! DC students between the ages of 5-21 who are enrolled in an elementary or secondary public, public charter, private, or parochial school located within the District are eligible for the new Kids Ride Free SmarTrip cards. New cards will be sent directly to all DC Public Schools and DC public charter schools for distribution, allowing families to pick up cards directly from their child’s school. Current cards (blue) remain valid until September 30, 2021. Find more information here.
Last week I was fortunate enough to make it over to the Citi Open tennis tournament here in our ward and watch the action up close! Every time I attend the Citi Open I can’t help but reflect on Arthur Ashe’s courage. It was his refusal to play in non-integrated neighborhoods that led the creation of the Citi Open tournament in DC. Ashe only agreed to play in the tournament as long as “Black faces can come out and watch tennis.” Learn more about Arthur Ashe and the fascinating story behind the creation of Citi Open in this piece in The Undefeated.
Have a wonderful weekend, Ward 4!
Yours in Community,