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Ward 4 Dispatch: DC Budget Wins, ERAP Registration, and Summer Public Safety Meeting

Dear Neighbors,

This week, the Council finalized the Fiscal Year 2025 DC budget, officially bringing our budget work for the year to a close! There are many highlights to share, so make sure to take a look at some of the wins the budget contains for Ward 4 and the District as a whole.

As we head into July, an important date to be aware of is July 1st, when Emergency Rental Assistance re-opens for applications. Below, I discuss the specifics of what you’ll need to apply and what to expect from the application process. On Monday, I’ll also be holding my summer public safety strategic meeting with MPD’s Chief Smith and Commander Lavenhouse. I hope you’ll join us to hear directly from MPD about their work to lower crime in Ward 4 and ways to stay engaged in keeping our communities safe.

Finally, Fourth of July is coming up on Thursday, and there are several events in the community to enjoy with friends, family, and neighbors. Check out some of the events below to see what’s happening in Ward 4 and throughout the area to celebrate Independence Day!

DC Budget Wins

On Tuesday, the Council took our final vote on the Budget Support Act. Next year’s DC budget is officially complete!

At the start of the budget process nearly three months ago, we were presented with a plan billed as “shared sacrifice,” that made substantial cuts at the expense of essential city programs. Ultimately, we were not only able to reverse many of these cuts but fund new programs and secure resources for critical Ward 4 projects like approving funding to bring a library facility to Kennedy Street, providing temporary learning space for our Whittier students, and supporting modernizations at schools, parks, and rec centers throughout our community. 

I’m also extremely proud of the work my Facilities and Family Services Committee did to strengthen the agencies under our purview, including the Department of General Services, the Child and Family Services Agency, and the Department on Disability Services. Through extensive oversight and engagement with residents, we approved investments that will keep our facilities in good shape, improve outcomes for at-risk children and families, and reaffirm our commitment to the disability community.

All in all, here are some of the biggest investments coming to Ward 4 and the District:

On a District-wide level, I’m incredibly proud of two tax credit programs that were funded in this budget, the DC Earned Income Tax Credit, and the District Child Tax Credit. Back in 2021, in partnership with Councilmembers Allen and Nadeau, I introduced legislation to expand DC’s EITC into a monthly stipend for qualifying families. This budget takes another important step forward by allowing residents who receive benefits over $1,200 to receive the full percentage of their payments monthly, rather than as a lump sum, meaning fewer residents will risk being disqualified from receiving other benefits like SNAP, TANF, or WIC.

The budget also includes funding for a brand-new District Child Tax Credit, which was introduced by Councilmember Parker in March. Because this credit is fully refundable, even residents without any income will be able to claim up to $420 per child under the age of 6. When a comparable tax credit was implemented on the federal level in 2021, the policy cut child poverty almost in half. On a local level, I’m confident this new Child Tax Credit will be incredibly impactful in lifting up District families. Both the EITC and CTC have demonstrated proven results in reducing homelessness, improving access to childcare, and helping families afford to put food on the table. I’m grateful we are moving forward with a renewed commitment to these crucial policies.

Bringing this budget over the finish line required the combined efforts of many people, and there are countless people without whom this budget wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you to Council staff, especially my legislative staff, our incredible budget office, the Office of the General Counsel, and everybody who weighed in over the last three months. This budget is the product of your hard work.

Better Bus Network Town Hall

Thank you to everyone who joined for WMATA’s Better Bus Network town hall on Thursday. During the meeting, it was abundantly clear that WMATA did not consider a number of impacts to Ward 4 in the drafting of their plan, including drastic changes or cuts being made to the E4, 63, D33, and other routes. Community members raised pressing concerns about service being reduced in areas like Riggs Park, Takoma, and Chevy Chase that must be addressed in the final route network.

WMATA has given the public until July 15th to submit feedback on their new bus route system. Here’s what we need to do over the next two weeks to voice your opinion:

Following yesterday’s town hall, my team and I will be compiling all the feedback shared by community members into a comprehensive submission of comments to express the changes that need to be made. I’m grateful to the many community members who have already submitted their feedback and are encouraging others to do the same. If you are having any challenges navigating the Better Bus Network website and submitting your feedback, reach out to for support.

As we head into the final stretch of the comment period, let’s do all we can to make sure this plan represents the needs of everyone in Ward 4 who rides the bus. 

ERAP Registration on July 1st

Registration for Emergency Rental Assistance is just around the corner, with applications re-opening on Monday, July 1st at 12pm. For DC residents, ERAP is a vital program that helps residents avoid eviction or pay overdue rent. ERAP only opens once every quarter, and it’s incredibly important to have your materials ready to submit right at noon. During the last ERAP application period in April, funds ran out in just a few hours. As a reminder, here’s what you need for a complete application:

  • Proof of DC residency (can be a lease or letter from landlord)
  • Photo ID for all adults in the household (current government-issued ID like a driver’s license or passport)

Additionally, DHS recommends having the following documents available to make your application easier to complete:

  • Proof of Income for last 30 days (paystubs, SSI, SSDI, unemployment benefits, retirement, child support, TANF). If you don’t have income, you can sign a 0 Income Statement.
  • Proof of resources or benefits (bank statement from the last 30 days for all accounts, SNAP).

I also highly encourage everyone applying to attend DHS’s in-person application session at UDC Community College in Lamond-Riggs. DHS will be there to answer questions as applications open, and guide residents through the submission process. Applications can be submitted on DHS’s website

Summer Public Safety Meeting

Next Monday, I will be joining MPD Chief Smith and 4th District Commander Lavenhouse for our Summer Public Safety Strategic Meeting at Brightwood Education Campus. The meeting will be a productive opportunity for residents to ask questions and learn about our whole-of-government response to crime in our neighborhoods. 

During the meeting, I’ll be asking MPD some of the questions I hear most often from residents on public safety, including specific actions MPD is taking to reduce crime in Ward 4 and how neighbors can assist with preventing crime from taking place. We’ll also answer questions about specific budget items directed at improving public safety, including hiring more 911 dispatchers and call-takers, continuing our investments in violence interruption, leadership training, and Safe Passage, and increasing MPD’s CCTV footprint.

I hope you’ll join me on Monday as we discuss the public safety issues that impact everyone in our community. To RSVP to the meeting, click here

Community Resources

WMATA Fare Increases

Starting Sunday, June 30th, WMATA will be implementing a slight fare increase for Metrorail and Metrobus riders in order to keep running their current levels of service. Here’s what to expect from these changes:

  • Metrobus fares will be $2.25. Express bus fares will be $4.80
  • Metrorail fares will range from $2.25 to $6.75 on weekdays depending on distance traveled
  • Metrorail fares during late night (after 9:30pm) and weekend service will range from $2.25 to $2.50 depending on distance traveled
  • MetroAccess fares will be capped at $4.50
  • Reduced fare programs like MetroLift and senior discounts will continue to be 50% off regular fares

To see how your transit will be impacted by these changes, you can refer to WMATA’s Trip Planner tool to calculate your exact fares. 

Takoma Station Back Open

As of today, Takoma Station is back open! Red Line service has resumed between Takoma and Fort Totten, while ongoing work between Takoma and Glenmont will continue until August 31st as a part of Purple Line construction in Maryland. Some of the new upgrades to Takoma Station include better lighting, new signage, and sidewalk repairs, as well as a smoother Metro ride with upgraded tracks.

Fourth of July Trash Collection and Modified DC Services

DPW will pause trash collection on July 4th, and trash collection schedules will slide forward starting on July 5th. That means if your regular collection day takes place on Thursday, your trash will be picked up on Friday. Additionally, several DC services will be closed on July 4th, including DC public libraries. Stay tuned for more information from the Office of the Mayor on the status of all DC services for July 4th.

WMATA Free Fares and Schedule for Fourth of July

WMATA is offering fare-free rides for Metrorail, Metrobus, and Metroaccess after 5pm on Thursday, July 4th! Additionally, parking will be free after 5pm at all Metro-owned garages and lots. Metrobuses will operate on a Sunday schedule, while Metrorail schedules will vary depending on the line. To see the full holiday schedule and fare information, click here

DPW Summer Trash Collection

Starting now through September 6th, DPW will begin trash & recycling collections at 6am to beat the heat! On code red days where a heat emergency has been declared, collections will start at 5:30am.

Special Waste Collection Event at Carter Barron

On Saturday, June 29th from 8am to 2pm, DPW will host its quarterly special waste collection event for household hazardous waste, electronics recycling, and document shredding at the Carter Barron Tennis Center. Learn more about the event here, and to see the list of items that will be accepted and prohibited, click here.

Apply to Be an Election Worker

For DC residents 16 or older, the DC Board of Elections is now accepting applications to be an election worker! This is a great opportunity for Ward 4 high school students, or any DC residents interested in gaining exposure to the election process. Plus, you can earn up to $250! Learn more about the responsibilities of those selected and apply here.

Submitting Feedback on Riggs Road NE Protected Bike Lane

DDOT is soliciting public comment on the design of the Riggs Road NE two-way bike lane. This is the proposed bike lane on eastbound Riggs using part of the existing dedicated right-turn only lane between South Dakota Avenue and 1st Place NE. You can review the full design here and submit comments to by July 23, 2024.

DCPS Afterschool Program Registration

Registration is open for afterschool programs for the 2024-25 school year. These programs provide students with academic support, a free meal or snack, and a variety of enrichment activities provided by DCPS teachers, paraprofessionals, and partner organizations across 10 schools in Ward 4. To learn more and register your student, click here

DPR Summer Programs 

Registration is open for DPR’s summer programs! These programs are geared towards people of all ages, and include programs for yoga, theater, nature photography, aquatics, and so much more. Additionally, reduced rates are available for qualifying families. Check out the full list of programs and register here!

DPR Boost Camps

Registration is still open for the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Summer Boost Camps! Boost Camps are specialty enrichment camps geared toward tweens ages 11-13. Each day is a combination of enrichment and social-emotional learning with additional access to physical activities like swimming, dance, and group fitness. There will also be time for arts and crafts, games, puzzles, and free play. Click here for more details and to register.

Apply for Tuition Support from DC

Applications are open for DC Futures, DC Tuition Assistance Grant (DC TAG), and the Mayor’s Scholars Undergraduate Program. These are three popular tuition support programs for DC residents pursuing higher education. Applications will close on Friday, September 6th. Learn more and apply!

Neighborhood Events

Happy Hour at The Parks

Tonight, June 28th from 5:30 to 7:30pm, stop by The Parks at Walter Reed for dancing and mingling on the new Marketplace Plaza for Happy Hour! The free events will take place once a month on Friday evenings, with this month’s theme being “Prince vs. Michael: A night of Prince and Michael Jackson’s classics and deep cuts.”

Lamond-Riggs Lillian J. Huff Library 2nd Anniversary

The Lamond-Riggs Lillian J. Huff Library is celebrating its second anniversary on Saturday, June 29th, with events starting at 10:30am! Join the celebration, with music, dancing, food, craft activities, and an anniversary celebration starting at 2pm. See more details for the event here.

Shepherd Park Invasive Removal

On Saturday, June 29th from 9 to 11am, join the Shepherd Park Weed Warriors to work on invasive removal at the slope at Shepherd Field. Your help is needed keeping the bindweed, bittersweet, and porcelain berry off of our young native trees and flowers! Bring water and work gloves, and hand tools if you have them. Hats, long pants, and long sleeves are also recommended.

WMATA Metro Fest

On Saturday, June 29th from 10am to 2pm, WMATA will be hosting its inaugural Metro Fest at the Franconia-Springfield Metro Station. The event is open to all ages and will feature family-friendly activities including face painting, a 360-photo booth, and a live DJ. The event will also include tables with information about Metro programs and services. Learn more here

Movie Night with MacFarland

Join the DC Tutoring and Mentoring Initiative and MacFarland PTO for a free Petworth movie night on Tuesday, July 2nd at 8pm, showing The Karate Kid! Free tickets can be accessed here. MacFarland Middle School is looking for 200 volunteers to support their academic needs this summer and in the fall, so bring your friends, have fun, and learn about the volunteer opportunities being offered! Can’t make it or ready to start now? Learn more and sign up to volunteer here!

4th of July Parade in Takoma Park

On Thursday, July 4 from 10am to noon, our neighbors across Eastern Ave in Takoma Park, Maryland will host their annual Independence Day Parade. This year’s theme is “Harmony in Takoma Park.” The parade will include prizes, food from local vendors, and will be followed by an evening street party from 6 to 9pm. See all the details here!

Soldiers Home Independence Day Celebration

On Thursday, July 4th from 4 to 9:30pm, the Friends of the Soldiers Home will host the 12th Annual 4th of July Independence Day Celebration at Soldiers Home at 340 Rock Creek Church Road NW. Families can enjoy food trucks, drinks, music, bounce houses, and a hillside view of the National Mall Fireworks. If you’d like to volunteer at Thursday’s event, sign up here.

Late Night Hype at Emery Heights Community Center

On Friday, July 12th from 7 to 11pm, DPR will host an after-hours Late Night Hype event at Emery Heights Community Center (5701 Georgia Avenue NW) as part of its weekly summer activation. Late Night Hype is a nighttime carnival-style event featuring bounce houses, music, food, video games, and much more! Check out the details on DPR’s website.

Uptown Farmer’s Market

The FRESHFARM Uptown Farmer’s Market is happening every Saturday from 9am to 1pm through November! Stop by for high-quality fruits, vegetables, meats, and breads, and to support local producers. All FRESHFARM markets accept SNAP/EBT, WIC and Senior FMNP checks. Learn more here.

Live Jazz on Kennedy Street

Over the next few months, Home Rule Records will be organizing monthly live jazz performances on the 700 block of Kennedy Street NW, with sponsorship from Uptown Main Street, DSLBD, Realtor Eddie Suarez, and others. Performances will be continuing through September with free live jazz performances each month. The next performance is on July 17th at 7pm with jazz musician Harlan Jones!

Summer in the Parks at Carter Barron

Every Thursday evening in June, Rock Creek Park and Rock Creek Conservancy will be hosting free, family-friendly events at Carter Barron. Come out and join us for music, fun-for-all-ages games, and activities. The next event will be on Thursday, June 27th, from 6 to 8pm. Learn more and register here

For more local events, check out DPR, DC Public Library, and NPS.

Ward 4 in the News

NBC 4: Local breakdancers celebrate the sport’s first Olympics

Petworth News: Petworth blooms, Roosevelt Edition

Petworth News: Join the July 4th Celebration at the Old Soldiers’ Home

Next Stop…Riggs Park: Riggs Park Traffic Control Box Art Project Designs

The Infatuation: The 12 Best Breakfast Spots In DC

DC News Now: Takoma Station reopening ahead of schedule with upgrades

The Washington Post: Metro fares will increase this weekend. Here’s what to know.

This week, The Parks Main Street announced the six winners of the Riggs Park Traffic Control Box Art Project. Congratulations to Austin Morris, Beezy Young, Britnee Scott, Sydney Buffalow, Tarika Campbell, and Trap Bob on their winning submissions! Check out their incredible artwork, coming soon to Riggs Park!

On Thursday morning, I visited Plymouth Congregational Church, where the Life Success Center is running a summer youth program for DC students. It was a joy to hear from students about their interests and speak with them about working in government. Thanks to Executive Director Sheree Battle for organizing this program and for inviting me to join!

Monday marks the beginning of Disability Pride Month, which commemorates the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990. While this bill was a landmark achievement in American history, 34 years later, much work remains to make our communities accessible and equitable, whether in our healthcare system, our public transit, or in the workplace. This month is a call to amplify the voices of our neighbors with disabilities and deepen our commitment to the cause of disability justice.

Wishing you a great weekend, Ward 4!

Yours in Community,