Here is my weekly update, covering issues like gun violence, running for ANC, Monkeypox vaccine walk-up clinics, parking issues related to CitiOpen, a new farmers market in Ward 4, other neighborhood events, and local news stories you may have missed.
Ward 4 News
Officer Shooting and Gun Violence in Our Community
Our communities deserve peace and safety, yet we continue to bear the unacceptable toll of gun violence. Today, body-worn camera footage was released of an officer killing 31-year-old Kevin Hargraves-Shird on Saturday, July 30 in Manor Park. The officer had been pursuing a white car that police say was linked to a nearby shooting. I arrived to the scene that day and spoke to family members and neighbors. Then today, I watched the video that was released. I keep thinking about how preventable this shooting was. There was no command from the officer to drop a gun, and the shot was fired within two seconds of the officer getting out of his car as Kevin was seen running away.
Kevin was loved by his family, friends, and community, who are devastated and grieving. They still have many unanswered questions about what happened. I ask our community to pray for them and support them, as well as to come forward with any information or video you may have. Kevin’s life mattered, and his loss demands a full investigation by the US Attorney’s Office. I also join his family in calling for the release of body camera footage from the other responding officers. We need transparency, thorough investigation, and accountability for every act of gun violence for there to be trust and safety in our community.
I was stunned that this shooting happened mere feet away from a celebration with families and young kids. You can see a bounce house and hear their reactions in the video. No child should ever have to witness that. Gun violence doesn’t only claim lives; it also spreads untold trauma in our communities. We need to keep working every day to end this heartbreaking cycle. There were two other shootings in our community this weekend near Georgia Avenue, which resulted in non-life-threatening injuries but could have been deadly. We see the same trends playing out across DC. Even with all that’s being done to prevent gun violence, we need to do more.
After the shooting, Department of Behavior Health clinicians were on site speaking to families and offering trauma support, and mental health support will continue to be needed. We know that gun violence can sometimes incite retaliation, so our violence interruption teams have been mobilized to deescalate conflicts and intervene with residents who are at increased risk. MPD conducted a sweep of the area to remove guns and have increased neighborhood patrols. We have a new Cure the Streets site active in Ward 4, and the Safe Passage program will be expanding to several Ward 4 schools this coming fall. Together, our office, city agencies, ANC Commissioners, and community are working collaboratively to implement the strategies laid out during the Ward 4 Summer Safety Meeting earlier this year.
We know that gun violence will not end overnight, and we feel frustrated and angered by each incident. But we will keep working towards peace and fighting for justice because it will save lives. Our future depends on building communities where there is trust, mutual support, met needs, and care for one another.
Candidates Still Needed to Run for ANC in Ward 4
With just five days left to declare candidacy and submit petition signatures, eight Single Member Districts in Ward 4 still don’t have candidates for ANC Commissioner. ANC Commissioners are nonpartisan, part-time volunteer elected officials who represent the interests of their immediate neighborhood (approximately 2,000 residents) on issues ranging from development, public safety, traffic changes, and much more. Petitions to run for ANC became available on July 20 and must be submitted back to the Board of Elections by August 10 with at least 25 valid signatures from registered voters in your Single Member District (SMD). As your Councilmember, I see first hand the pivotal role that ANCs play in supporting our community and the importance of having inclusive, responsive, and equity-focused Commissioners. Please consider running or encouraging a neighbor who you believe would do a great job. Here are some resources that could be helpful as you consider running: new official ANC and SMD Boundaries to locate your SMD and ANC 2022 Election Information on how to run for ANC. Please let me know if you have any questions!
DC Health Now Offers Limited Monkeypox Walk-Up Vaccinations
In addition to pre-registering for an appointment, eligible DC residents can now receive the Monkeypox vaccine through weekly walk-up clinics, including one in Ward 4 at 7530 Georgia Ave NW. Starting today, residents can walk up to these clinics on Fridays from 12pm-8pm (or until supplies run out) to get their shot. Each site will receive 300 doses per Friday, so supply will be quite limited and wait times may vary. Eligible residents will also need to bring proof of DC residency to access these walk-up clinics. Please read this additional information from DC Health before visiting one of the walk-up sites.
Resolving Parking Tickets Received Due to CitiOpen
As Ward 4 hosts the prestigious CitiOpen Tennis Tournament, parking was restricted in nearby neighborhoods to prevent attendees from flooding nearby streets. While most neighbors received parking passes so they can continue parking on their block, some did not get theirs or did not get enough – and Fourth District Station eventually ran out of additional passes to distribute. The Mayor’s Office has been coordinating neighborhood logistics for the tournament. If you’re a neighbor who inadvertently received a parking ticket due to CitiOpen, add the ticket information to this Google form so the Ward 4 MOCRs can have it removed.
Virtual Hiring Fair for 1000 DC Government Openings
On Thursday, August 11 and Friday, August 12, DC government will host a massive virtual hiring fair to fill nearly a thousand vacancies across 20 different agencies. The jobs are open to everyone, and the District is giving preference to District residents, veterans, and those ages 18-21 who were foster care recipients within the past five years. Registration for the hiring fair starts today and must be completed by August 7.
Scam Alert for Small Businesses and Residents
Please beware of individuals posing as utility company employees (PEPCO, Washington Gas, DC Water, etc) or DC government officials. There are reports of individuals calling or coming into businesses and scamming residents out of thousands of dollars. If someone calls you or comes to your home or your business saying you received a grant or that you owe money on a utility bill, even if its true, get their business card or number. Tell them you’ll contact them at a later date. Then contact the company directly. Do not make any payments over the phone.
Six Days Left to Weigh in on the Future of Upper Beach Drive
The National Park Service has proposed a seasonal and weekend closure of Upper Beach Drive. Under this proposal, Upper Beach Drive would remain closed to vehicular traffic from Memorial Day to Labor Day each year and on weekends year-round, but open to cars on weekdays after Labor Day. The decision is not final yet; there is a new public comment period that will last until August 11. Please visit the NPS website to submit your comments at the bottom of the page to weigh in on this proposal. In addition, you can read NPS’s full environmental assessment for their rationale and an updated traffic impact study from DDOT.
Back-to-School Mobile Pediatric Immunization Clinics in Ward 4
If your child still needs to catch up on their required immunizations before the start of school, bring them to these free clinics that are open to all students and do not require insurance or proof of citizenship. You can pre-register for an appointment at this link, or walk-up if there are still appointments available. Children can also catch up on their shots through their primary medical provider, fast-track vaccination-only clinics, or school-based health centers.
- Tuesday, August 9 at 10am-3pm: Latin PCS (5200 2nd St NW)
- Thursday, August 25 at 10am-3pm: Sela PCS (6015 Chillum Pl NE)
- Wednesday, August 31 at 10am-3pm: DC International School (1400 Main Dr NW)
- Thursday, September 15 at 10am-3pm: Creative Minds PCS (3700 North Capitol NW)
- Saturday, September 24 from 10am-3:30pm: Coolidge and Ida B Wells (6315 5th St NW) with pre-registration required
Summer Saturdays at the Garden at 516 Kennedy Street NW
On Saturday, August 6 at 10am-12pm (and every Saturday through August 13) City Blossoms invites neighbors to join Summer in their Studio Garden at 516 Kennedy Street NW for Summer Saturdays. Bring your family, friend, or just yourself to explore the garden and enjoy a community gathering space with kid-friendly activities. Anyone who lends a hand is welcome to take home some garden goodies as part of the “you help, you harvest” policy.
Hope Garden: Two-Day Farmers Market at Peoples Congregational UCC
On Saturday, August 6 and Sunday, August 7 from 10am-2pm each day, Peoples Congregational UCC (4704 13th St NW) will host a Farmers Market on the church parking lot. They are sharing fresh produce grown by Black farmers with Ward 4 residents, as well as produce grown at Peoples Congregational. All are welcome!
Community Concert by Ward 4 Mutual Aid’s Unhoused Advocacy Team
On Saturday, August 6 from 1pm-3pm Ward 4 Mutual Aid’s Unhoused Advocacy team will host a community concert at 4401 16th St NW (the intersection of 16th & Wester NW). They’ll have live music, food, and community fun, so come out and enjoy the fun!
Movie and Concert on the Lawn: “The Goonies” and the Washington Bach Consort
On Saturday, August 6 at 6:30pm the Parks at Walter Reed will host a special string and vocal quartet by the Washington Bach Consort, followed by an outdoor screening of cult-classic “The Goonies” on the Great Lawn. Bring your own chairs or picnic blankets, grab food or drinks from the vendors, and enjoy this family-friendly lineup. Get all the info and RSVP at this link.
Launching for the Season: Farmers Market at the Parks at Walter Reed
On Sunday, August 7 from 9am-1pm and every Sunday in August and September, the Parks at Walter Reed will host their first Farmers Market for the season. The market is at a new spot on the Arts Plaza at 6810 Cameron Drive NW (by the dog park), and will accept and match WIC, SNAP and SFMNP benefits. Check out the full list of vendors and more info on The Parks website, and bring your bags for shopping!
Georgia Avenue Bus Priority Project Draft Concepts Open House
On Wednesday, August 10 from 5pm-7:30pm DDOT is hosting an open house at Petworth Library (4200 Kansas Ave NW) to share information about the Georgia Avenue Bus Priority Project, show the draft concept, and collect community feedback. Stop by, and remember that masks are required in DC public libraries. There will also be pop-up events at the Georgia Avenue-Petworth Metro Station on Saturday, August 13 (10am-2pm), Tuesday, August 16 (7:30am-10am), and Thursday, August 18 (3pm-5:30pm).
DPR Jazz in the Parks Event at Petworth
On Thursday, August 11 at 6:30pm DPR will host its final Jazz in the Parks event in Ward 4 at Petworth Rec Center (801 Taylor St NW), featuring free live jazz music from local musicians. Keep an eye on the weather: events will be cancelled if there is rain in the forecast.
Special Celebrations and Community Office Hours at Uptown Farmers Market
On Saturday, August 13 from 9am-1pm FRESHFARM will host special celebrations at Uptown Farmers Market (14th & Kennedy NW) to mark the end of National Farmers Market Week! Festivities will include live jazz music, veggie activities and rainbow eye-spy for kids, fresh summer melon samples, Market Bingo with prizes, and Councilmember community office hours with me and my team from 10am-12pm. See you there!
Nineteenth Street Baptist Church School Supply Giveaway
On Saturday, August 13 from 10am-1pm (or while supplies last) the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church (4606 16th St NW) will host a school supply giveaway for community members. Donations can be dropped off at the church through August 8. Thank you to the Usher Board for their efforts organizing this event.
Friends of Emery Present Emery Heights Community Day
On Saturday, August 13 from 12pm-8pm the Friends of Emery will host Emery Heights Community Day at Emery Heights Community Center (5701 Georgia Ave NW). Bring a canopy tent, lawn chairs, and positive attitudes for a day of fun, family, and community with live music and DJs, live wrestling, bounce houses, a video game truck, and food and drinks! RSVP at this link.
DPR Outdoor Movie Nights at Upshur Recreation Center
On Tuesday, August 16 at 7pm DPR Roving Leaders will host their final outdoor movie screening in Ward 4 for the summer at Upshur Recreation Center (4300 Arkansas Ave NW). Please keep in mind that outdoor movie nights are subject to cancellation due to weather.
And take some time to visit your local Ward 4 Farmers Market:
- Uptown Farmers Market at 5501 Colorado Ave NW on Saturdays from 9am-1pm (with Kid Yoga at 11am happening this Saturday, August 6, hosted by Twist and Turns Body Fitness and Uptown Main Street)
- Chevy Chase Farmers Market at Lafayette Elementary 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
- The Parks at Walter Reed Farmers Market at 6310 Cameron Drive NW on Sundays from 9am-1pm
Petworth Ace Hardware Store: Celebrating One Year as an Employee-Owned Store with Special Deals
DOEE: Shepherd Park Weed Warriors Receive District Sustainability Award
Washington Post: Chevy Chase, DC, is a ‘small town within a city’
Petworth News: Friends of Emery are hosting a Community Day on August 13
Washington Post: Despite signage, DC drivers aren’t slowing in school zones, study says
DCist: After A Rocky Relationship With The Public, One DC Government Agency Is Breaking Up
Previous Ward 4 Dispatch: Georgia Ave Bus Project, 1000 DC Jobs, Fun Events, and CitiOpen
ICYMI from Hines: First Retail Tenants at the Parks at Walter Reed Announced (Mezeh, Charmery, nailsaloon, and more)
On a grateful note, I was thrilled to see the return of the Petworth Jazz Project to our community last weekend and have so many neighbors enjoying the event. Thank you to everyone who played a part in planning or came out to support. And if you missed out, worry not: there are two more shows planned for August 27 and September 17.
Have a great weekend!
Yours in Service,