Happy September and happy First Week of School!
I’m writing ahead of Labor Day Weekend to update you on what’s happening in our community: Raymond Elementary’s modernized building, changes to city services due to the holiday, a simpler and better new sign-up process for Council hearings, updates on public safety in Ward 4, multiple Green Line Stations reopening for Metro service, your last chance to vote on a Ward 4 Commemorative Project, our final weekend of Upshur Pool being open for the season, plenty of neighborhood events, and local news you may have missed.
Celebrating Raymond’s New Home
This first day of school was extra special for our Raymond Elementary School community, which celebrated its beautiful new home in Petworth here in Ward 4! The new Raymond Elementary at 915 Spring Road NW is expanded by 8,000 square feet; features a new gym, rock climbing wall, courtyard, in-house kitchen and redesigned library; preserves the historic facade of the original 100-year-old building; includes sustainable features and LEED Gold certification; and incorporates beautiful interior and exterior art by local artists. This fully modernized building will better serve Raymond’s growing needs and make a great addition to the neighborhood alongside the new Spring Flats development and nearby Raymond Recreation Center. We are grateful to DGS, DCPS, MCN Build, STUDIOS, and all of the agencies and firms that contributed to this project. And we celebrate Principal Hubbard and all of the dedicated teachers, staff, and parents that work every day to support our Ward 4 scholars. Everybody loves Raymond Elementary!
Modified DC Services for Labor Day
In honor of Labor Day, DC services are modified over the holiday weekend. DPW trash and recycling collection will ‘slide’ one day later next week: Monday collection will happen on Tuesday, Tuesday collection on Wednesday, and so on through Saturday. DCPS schools and DCPL libraries will be closed on Monday, while DMV locations will be closed Saturday through Monday. DPR indoor rec centers and indoor aquatic centers will be closed on Monday, while DPR outdoor fields, outdoor pools, and spray parks will be open over Labor Day. Our Ward 4 Council Office will be closed through Labor Day, as well. Check out this detailed update on what to expect for DC services over the holiday weekend. In addition, WMATA will be providing Sunday service levels on Labor Day on both MetroRail and MetroBus.
New Sign-Up Process for Council Hearings
I always encourage Ward 4 residents to speak at Council hearings. DC is remarkable in that any resident can come before the Council and speak at any hearing. But one of the barriers residents faced is needing to track down the hearing sign-up process for the Council Committee hosting the hearing they’re interested in. Each Committee had a unique sign-up process with its own system and deadlines — causing understandable confusion and frustration. Those hurdles are a thing of the past: the DC Council now has a new centralized and improved sign-up platform for all of its hearings. You can simply go to the Council’s list of hearings, select your preferred hearing, and choose either “Register to Testify” or “Submit Testimony” to sign up to speak or send in written comments. Shoutout to Councilmember Zachary Parker for leading the push for a simpler sign-up process and to Chairman Mendelson’s staff for developing the platform. Hope to see you at an upcoming hearing!
WMATA Green Line Stations to Reopen on September 2
The summer-long closures of Greenbelt, College Park, Hyattsville Crossing, and West Hyattsville stations on the Green Line will end with these stations reopening this Saturday, September 2. During the closures, Metro installed over 220,000 feet of fiber-optic cable to improve its radio and signal capabilities. Credit to WMATA for reopening these Green Line Stations three days ahead of schedule and completing the project under budget.
Kids Ride Metro Free Program
The Kids Ride Free program allows students to ride MetroBus, MetroRail, and the DC Circulator for free while traveling within DC. The only requirement is that they live in DC, be between the ages of 5-21, and be enrolled in a public, charter, private, or parochial school in DC. For the 2023-24 School Year, DC students can collect their new Kids Ride Free SmartTrip cards from their school ID administrators at their respective schools, and last year’s Kids Ride Free SmarTrip cards will remain valid through September 30, 2023. Learn more from DDOT.
Arrests Made in Ward 4 Robberies and Carjackings
Late Thursday night, a resident was shot during an armed robbery and carjacking on the 300 block of Oglethorpe Street NW after reportedly trying to disarm the suspect. Thankfully, the individual’s injuries are non-critical, but these crimes cannot be tolerated in our community. If you have any footage or information related to the incident, please share it with MPD by calling 202-727-9099 or texting 50411. Two weeks ago, MPD announced the arrests of two suspects responsible for multiple armed robberies and armed carjackings across Ward 4, including Brightwood, Takoma, Manor Park, Riggs Park, Brightwood Park, and Petworth. The suspects were arrested within a few days or a month of these offenses taking place. Promptly closing cases and arresting the individuals responsible is important for stopping such crimes in our community. At the same time, we need to continue making preventative interventions in the lives of at-risk individuals to place them on a better life path.
Last Chance to Vote on a Ward 4 Commemorative Project
After a one-week deadline extension, you now have until the end of today (Friday, September 1) to cast your vote on which Ward 4 individual, event, or group will be commemorated as part of the Ward 4 Commemorative Project. Nominations include the DC Caribbean Carnival on Georgia Avenue, the Highway Revolts, Neighbors Inc, United Blacks Against Discrimination, the Founding of DC Youth Orchestra, Ms. Vanilla Beane, and Mr. Stephen Whatley. The winner will be commemorated on public space in Ward 4. Visit the DC Office of Planning’s website to learn more about each nomination and to cast your vote today.
Job Openings at Our Ward 4 Council Office
As we begin a new fiscal year, we are adding to our Ward 4 Council team to serve our growing Ward 4 community. Please share these job openings with someone who would be a great fit.
Upshur Pool to Close After Labor Day
All good things come to a (temporary) end. Upshur Pool and the remaining DPR outdoor pools that are still open will close for the season at 6pm this Monday, September 4 (Labor Day). Check out DPR’s web page for a full list of other pools that are open over the holiday weekend, and stay tuned for engagement opportunities for the upcoming Upshur Pool modernization.
Community Movie Night at Emery Heights
On Friday, September 1 at 6pm-8:30pm Emery Heights Community Center (5701 Georgia Ave NW) will host a community movie night indoors in their media room. The movie shown will be chosen by the children present!
Vinyl & Vintage Marketplace at 14th Street Graffiti Museum
On Saturday, September 2 from 10am-3pm 14th Street Graffiti Museum will host an outdoor vinyl and vintage marketplace with hundreds of funk, soul, hip-hop, reggae, and rock LPs available, as well as crafts from local vendors and DJ music. Find it at 14th & Crittenden NW!
Uptown 7th Place Block Party in Ward 4
On Sunday, September 3 from 12pm-5pm 7th Place neighbors will host the 2nd Annual Uptown Block Party on the 6500 block of 7th Place NW! The event will feature food trucks, snacks, games, a piñata, music, dancing, resources, and the company of your neighbors! Check out the flyer for this chance to celebrate our community. The rain date is September 9.
Book Event: The Creation of DC’s Racial Wealth Gap
On Tuesday, September 5 at 7pm Politics and Prose in Union Market (1270 5th St NE) will host a book event featuring Tanya Maria Golash-Boza, the author of Before Gentrification: The Creation of DC’s Racial Wealth Gap. The book details how a century of redlining, disinvestment, and the War on Drugs wreaked devastation and displacement in DC. This is a free event that will also feature Sabriya Williams in conversation with the author.
Art of Noize Opening Reception for “Skin Deep”
On Friday, September 8 at 7pm Art of Noize Gallery in Ward 4 will host an opening reception for their new “Skin Deep” exhibit featuring the work of Candice Tavares and Vanessa Villarreal.
Forest Bathing at Fort Slocum Park
On Saturday, September 9 from 10am-12pm the Rock Creek Conservancy will host a two-hour gentle walk to help residents “slow down and reconnect with yourself, nature, and your community” with Certified Forest Therapy Guide Sarah DeWitt. Forest bathing is the simple practice of taking in the woods through the senses. Register online to attend.
Friends of Shepherd Park Library Book Sale
On Saturday, September 9 from 10am-4pm and Sunday, September 10 from 1pm-4pm the Friends of Juanita E. Thornton Shepherd Park Library will host their next used book sale. Children’s books are 50 cents each, while all other books are only $1. Stop by to pick up new reading material for the fall!
Cover Crop Workshop at Upshur Community Garden
On Saturday, September 9 from 10:30am-1pm Share a Seed will host a day of seed sharing, cover crop training, and fall garden planning at Upshur Community Garden (1325 Upshur Street NW). Learn about the benefits and importance of cover cropping – a foundational sustainable growing practice – to building soil health! RSVP on Eventbrite to attend.
Jazz in The Parks at Walter Reed: Rochelle Rice and Heidi Martin
On Saturday, September 9 from 5pm-8pm The Parks at Walter Reed will host their final Jazz in The Parks performance on the Great Lawn. Bring your own picnic, blanket and refreshments — and enjoy popular local food vendors. RSVP on Eventbrite to attend.
Takoma Park Folk Festival
On Sunday, September 10 from 10:30am-6pm Takoma Park Folk Festival returns to Takoma Park Middle School (7611 Piney Branch Rd). This free festival will feature live folk music, an extensive crafts show and sale, food vendors, community tables, and children’s activities.
Crestwood Annual End of Summer Picnic
On Sunday, September 10 from 5pm-7pm the Crestwood Citizens Association will host its annual End of Summer Picnic at Crestwood Triangle Park (Argyle Terrace & 18th NW). Neighbors are encouraged to bring a favorite dish or beverage to share, as well as a blanket or folding chair, while water, cutlery, condiments, ice, and paper products will be provided.
Check Out Our Ward 4 Farmers Markets
Get your fresh goods, crafts, and dose of community 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
Ward 4 in the News
Washington Informer: DC Residents Embrace March on Washington 60th Anniversary
Washington Post: Overtime Pay Would Cover Millions More Workers Under Proposed Biden Rule
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
DCist: DC OAG Says Financial Elder Abuse Is On The Rise, Encourages Reporting
DCist: Metro Adds Special ‘Kids Ride Free’ Lanes At Key Metro Stations
Washingtonian: Why Street Sense Is One of DC’s Most Important News Outlets
Next Stop… Riggs Park: Proposed Lamond-Riggs Campus Plan Meeting on September 7
PopVille: Capitol Cider House Clears Out in Petworth
Petworth News: Remembering Cesse Ip
Next Stop… Riggs Park: Meet New 4B09 ANC Commissioner Derrick Thompson
Washington Post: DC’s red-flag gun seizures are low. Officials hope to change that.
DCist: DC Students Improving In Literacy And Math, But Are Behind Pre-COVID Levels
Washington Post: Echoing and reflecting their African roots (Featuring Zenith Gallery)
Washington Informer: Ben’s Chili Bowl Turns 65
DC Public Library: Dinosaur Roaring Contest Best Submissions Video!
Ward 4 Dispatch: New School Year, Movie Night, and Events Across Ward 4!
In the spirit of Labor Day, I want to take a moment to recognize 4A02 Commissioner Joan Hoyte, who was recently elected as a Fellow by the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers for her decades of service, dedication, and excellence at the National Labor Relations Board. Thank you for all you do for Ward 4 and for the rights of workers, Commissioner Hoyte!
Last weekend, thousands descended on the National Mall for the 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington to continue our struggle for civil rights, justice, and democracy. I was honored to represent our city and the movement for DC Statehood at the March. I reminded marchers that 700,000 DC residents continue to be denied full representation in Congress and our right to self-determination. Making the District the 51st state remains one of the most urgent civil rights priorities of our time, and we will not stop fighting until we achieve it.
The highlight of the week was welcoming our scholars back to school across Ward 4. There’s nothing quite like the excitement that students and educators feel on their first day. In addition to celebrating Raymond’s new building, I joined City Year volunteers to power greet our Ida B Wells students on their first day of school and then welcomed back Whittier students across the street. Then I made my way over to the Sharpe Building where our Dorothy Height and Truesdell elementary students are co-locating while their schools are modernized. My last stop was Roosevelt High School to celebrate our returning Rough Riders. I hope this is a fun and successful school year for all of our Ward 4 families.
As we rest and gather with loved ones this Labor Day weekend, let’s reflect on the importance of unions and worker movements in our nation and in our city. The rights and protections we have today are the outcome of hard work, organizing, and sacrifices made by those who came before us. I am proud that in DC we have a higher minimum wage than any state, strong unions, paid family leave benefits, paid sick leave, and protection against wage theft. Let’s keep building on our progress and supporting working people in every struggle.
Happy Labor Day, Ward 4!
Yours in Community,