As we kick off Halloween weekend, the start of leaf collection, and another busy week ahead, I want to share these important updates about our community and city services.
Ward 4 Public Safety Updates
On Thursday, our community experienced another terrifying incident, when sounds of gunfire on the 6400 block of 5th Street NW caused our nearby schools to go into lockdown and kept neighbors inside their homes while MPD set up a perimeter to secure the area. The case is being actively investigated, but here is what we know so far: an armed individual in a nearby alley fired shots in the air and then quickly fled. The lockdowns were lifted once MPD concluded that the individual was no longer in the area and confirmed that no one was physically harmed. When I responded to the scene, I met several Coolidge students who arrived after the lockdown went into effect, so my team and I looked after them until they were able to enter school — while answering questions from rightfully alarmed parents and neighbors. Our children and our communities deserve to be able to live our lives without the fear and trauma that gun violence instills in all of us. MPD is enhancing security around the school and neighborhood, and we have our safe passage program in place to add another layer of safety. Neighbors with information or footage that can help identify the suspect can share it with MPD by calling 202-727-9099 or texting 50411. Thank you to our school staff, officers, neighbors, and everyone who responded to this incident and helped keep others safe.
I have also been in communication with Commander Lavenhouse about the disturbing increase in robberies in Ward 4 and across DC — including a series of robberies in the Petworth and Sixteenth Street Heights that appear to have been connected. In addition to the investigative work that is underway, I have requested an expansion of MPD’s Robbery Suppression Initiative in Ward 4. Robberies are harder cases to close, but they are often committed by repeat perpetrators, so making robbery arrests can prevent multiple future offenses. Earlier today, MPD announced two new arrests for a robbery close to Emery Heights and a gun trafficking case in the Fourth District that will help take large-capacity guns off our streets. Our efforts to curb crime also require a strong focus on prevention — especially our programs that have proven to be effective in bringing stability to people’s lives and diverting them away from violence. On the Council side, we are taking up several crime-related bills in the coming weeks. As we get closer to voting on legislation, I will share more on each bill and what its specific provisions would do. We need every DC agency and federal partner to coordinate closely and execute their mission effectively in order to drive down crime and save lives.
Legislation to Fund Local News
Strong journalism is indispensable for an accountable government and a healthy democracy. On every issue that affects DC residents’ lives — public safety, schools, housing — we need strong reporting to highlight the problems we face and what is being done to address them. But the local journalism that we depend on is being shuttered by declining revenue, painful layoffs, and discontinuations. This week I introduced a bill that would create a first-of-its-kind program to fund local journalism. Critically, it would be solely up to DC residents to determine which news outlets are funded and how much funding they receive. Here is how the bill would work: the bill sets aside 0.1% of DC’s budget to fund a local news grant program. Each DC resident would receive news coupons to allocate to news outlets of their choice. The number of coupons that outlets receive would then determine their share of the funding. By removing government and empowering residents to allocate funding, we can safeguard the freedom of the press while also providing a needed stable source of funding for our local news. I know that the bill raises many valid questions, so I’m looking forward to hearing from community members about your thoughts and ideas. Introducing this bill is meant to kick off a debate about whether we need a program like this and how to design it. Still, we cannot deny that the old local news model is starting to fall apart, and doing nothing will only continue the decline.
Towing Enforcement Sweep at SOS Tires
This week my team and I coordinated an enforcement sweep to remove multiple abandoned vehicles without license plates that were parked illegally on the sidewalk, alleys, and residential streets around Georgia & Arkansas & Farragut NW. Vehicles were blocking alleys, making sidewalks inaccessible, and blocking the path for emergency responders for months on end. Thank you to DPW, DLCP, DC FEMS, DC Health, and MPD for their partnership on this initiative. We brought in several agencies to address not only the the vehicle violations, but also other related issues like rodent abatement, fire code violations, and business licensing. This was one of several follow-up steps from the public safety walk along Georgia Avenue NW. Thank you to neighbors who have been reporting these issues to my office. We will continue to monitor the space for other issues that emerge so they can be addressed.
Leaf Collection Begins on Monday in Sections 4A
Leaf collection begins this Monday, October 30 for our Ward 4 neighbors who live west of Rock Creek Park and for Ward 4 neighbors who live north of Military Road and west of 8th Street (Sections 4A in the leaf collection map). This includes Ward 4 residents in Chevy Chase, Barnaby Woods, Hawthorne, Colonial Village, North Portal, Shepherd Park, The Parks at Walter Reed, Brightwood, and parts of western Takoma, and western Manor Park. Neighbors in these areas are asked to rake their leaves to the curb or tree box by Sunday, October 29. As a reminder, this year DPW is sharing weekly updates on which areas have leaf collection coming up (instead of a full schedule) so it can provide more accurate estimates to residents. Check out DPW’s leaf collection page for more details.
Responding to Ongoing Issues with DC PLUG
DC PLUG is an important project that aims to make our power lines more reliable and our city more reliable by bringing power lines underground. However, the way the project has been managed has been unacceptable. Neighbors are not receiving proper notice, construction has been excessively disruptive, and our schools are being adversely impacted. Last month I wrote to DDOT and Pepco to raise these issues and request improvements. While there have made some minor adjustments, the project continues to be overly burdensome on Ward 4 residents — so I will continue to work with the agencies to address these issues. Ward 4 residents deal with construction all the time, but there are basic ways to keep us informed and mitigate the impact on our community and our schools.
National Prescription Drug Take Back Day
If you have unused or expired prescription drugs, you can turn them in on Saturday, October 28 from 10am-2pm as part of National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Doing so helps prevent misuse, which can lead to addiction, overdose, and even death. There are more than a dozen collection sites across DC, including Fourth District Station (6001 Georgia Ave NW).
Survey on Proposed Redevelopment of Chevy Chase Community Center and Library
ANC 3/4G has launched a survey on the proposed redevelopment of the Chevy Chase Community Center and Library site to construct new facilities and add housing, including at least 30% of the units being affordable to residents at the 30-80% median family income range. The survey is open to all residents, has a deadline of November 5, and will inform ANC 3/4G’s official positions.
Survey on Upshur Rec and Pool Modernization
4C01 Commissioner Casey Swegman and 4C05 Commissioner Brittany Kademian have created a community survey on the upcoming $19 million modernization of Upshur Rec Center and Pool Modernization to inform their engagement with DPR and DGS about the project. Please complete the survey by November 19 on this important project. Also, DGS recently issued the RFP for the project.
Sixteenth Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project
I’m relieved to report that the bridge deck work on the Sixteenth Street Bridge Rehabilitation Project was completed today, which will reopen several traffic lanes and significantly relieve congestion. My staff are also working with the project team to strengthen communication with neighbors and improve pedestrian accommodations on the bridge for the next phase of the project. While we recognize that this an important long-term infrastructure project, we cannot accept conditions that put people’s safety at risk.
Extended Deadline: Proposed Changes of Rock Creek Golf Course
I am thankful that the National Park Service agreed to extend the public comment period for its proposed rehabilitation of Rock Creek Golf Course to Saturday, November 4. The proposed project is an NPS partnership with the nonprofit National Links Trust, which signed a 50-year lease for Rock Creek Golf Course in order to rehabilitate it. The rehabilitation offers potential benefits like reinvigorating the course, upgrading facilities, improving course trails and paths, and addressing issues like drainage, irrigation and deterioration of grass throughout the golf course. The project also proposes a new multi-use trail along Joyce Drive NW to add more pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly ways into the park from 16th Street. However, the project would also have a major environmental impact. Notably, it proposes removing up to 1,262 trees (8 total acres) from our forest canopy. It seeks to mitigate the impact by establishing 13 acres of meadow habitats, removing non-native invasive plants, and replanting nearly 200 trees throughout the course. I encourage all Ward 4 residents to learn more about the project, read the environmental assessment, and weigh in by the November 4 deadline. On that same day, National Links Trust will host a Rock Creek Golf Course Community Day, where neighbors can engage officials about the proposal, see the current state of the course, and enjoy a free, family-friendly day of activities.
Dorothy Height PTO Petworth Farmers Market Bake Sale
On Saturday, October 28 from 9am-1pm the Dorothy Height Elementary Parent Teacher Organization will be selling delicious baked goods and hot apple cider at the Petworth Farmers Market in support of the school and its needs. Check it out at 9th & Upshur NW!
Shepherd Slope Cleanup with the Weed Warriors
On Saturday, October 28 from 9am-11am the Shepherd Park Weed Warriors will be removing invasive vines from the slope of Shepherd soccer field behind Shepherd Park Elementary (7800 14th St NW). Bring gloves and pruners if you have them, but they will have extras if you don’t. No prior experience or plant knowledge is required!
Fort Slocum Community Cleanup in 4B06
On Saturday, October 28 from 9am-11am 4B06 Commissioner Tiffani Johnson will host a community cleanup of Fort Slocum with Sunday as the rain date. Snacks, supplies, and swag will be provided, and students can get volunteer hours. Find the details on this flyer!
Community Care Event at Iglesia Ni Cristo
On Saturday, October 28 starting at 1pm Iglesia Ni Cristo (4115 16th St NW) will host a free community care event with free flu shots, winter clothing, care packages, refreshments, and entertainment. Neighbors can register for the event at this link. If seniors or residents with mobility impairments need a ride, they may call Pastor Keith Otero at 571-775-0192.
Crestwood Halloween Parade
On Saturday, October 28 at 3:30pm join the Crestwood Citizens Association in costume at The Point (18th & Shepherd NW) for the annual Crestwood Halloween Parade. Pets will kick off the parade in their spooktacular glory at 4pm, followed next by children and adults showing off their costumes. Neighbors are encouraged to join the parade or just come to enjoy the games, photo opportunities, scavenger hunt, and socializing with other neighbors.
Sixteenth Street Heights Halloween Block Party
On Saturday, October 28 from 5pm-9pm Sixteenth Street neighbors will host a Halloween Block Party on the 1500 block of Buchanan Street NW (i.e., Boochanan Street) featuring live bands, karaoke, a DJ, moon bounce, costumes, a spooky piñata, food, drinks, and fun!
St. Paul’s Rock Creek Church Halloween Spooktacular
On Saturday, October 28 from 5pm-8pm St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (located at Rock Creek Church Road & Webster NW) will host its annual Halloween Spooktacular event with a haunted house, treats, spooky crafts, cemetery hayrides, and pumpkin decorating! Admission to the event is free.
MPD Fourth District Fall Festival
On Saturday, October 28 from 5pm-8pm MPD Fourth District will host its Fall Festival at 6001 Georgia Ave NW. The festival will include music, food, face painting, candy giveaway, a 360 photo booth, and other family-friendly activities.
Yardfest Fall Festival at Nineteenth Street Baptist Church
On Sunday, October 29 from 12pm-3pm Nineteenth Street Baptist Church (4606 16th Street NW) will host its 2023 Yardfest Fall Festival featuring COVID shots and boosters, flu shots, health activities, line dancing, a Tai Chi demonstration, a hand dancing demonstration, children’s dance activities, and more. Check out the flyer with more info about this free event!
Shepherd Park Halloween Pet Parade & Costume Contest
On Sunday, October 29 from 2pm-4pm the Shepherd Park Citizens Association will host its third annual Spet-tacular Halloween Parade and Costume Contest at the Arts Plaza at The Parks at Walter Reed (next to the dog park). Dress up your furry friends in their most creative costumes and sign up for the pet costume contest with prizes in each weigh category!
Sherman Circle Halloween SPOOKTACULAR
On Sunday, October 29 from 3pm-7pm Petworth Peanuts will be hosting the 2023 Sherman Circle Spooktacular offering free spooky fun that will include music, giveaways, games, and family-friendly activities. “Get your best Halloween costumes ready, boys and ghouls!”
Lamond Halloween Parade Trunk-or-Treat
On Sunday, October 29 from 4:30pm-5:30pm Lamond Community Action Group will host its third annual Halloween Parade starting from Milligan Point (Rittenhouse & Sligo Mill NE). The event will feature parade, trunk-or-treating, a kids and adults costume contest, and senior care packages. Take a look at the flyer for more infomation!
Bones-n-Balance Workshop on Halloween
On Tuesday, October 31 from 11am-12:30pm Nineteenth Street Baptist Church will host a Bones-n-Balance Workshop open to all Ward 4 and DC residents. Come learn about bone health and enjoy snacks and refreshments with your neighbors. Check out the flyer for details.
Trick or Treat on the Chevy Chase Main Street Corridor
On Tuesday, October 31 from 3pm-6pm Chevy Chase Main Street is coordinating trick-or-treating along Connecticut Avenue with participating businesses between Livingston Street and Chevy Chase Circle. This is a great option for Ward 4 residents west of the Park on Halloween Day!
Halloween Food Truck and Street Party in Crestwood
On Tuesday, October 31 from 4pm-9pm neighbors on 17th & Allison NW in Crestwood will be closing down their block for a Halloween Street Party, featuring 7 Starr Wings food truck!
Shepherd Field Halloween Parade
On Tuesday, October 31 starting at 6pm the annual Shepherd Park Halloween Parade will take place inside the perimeter of Shepherd Field. At 6pm there will be a first parade for children in first grade and younger, followed by a second parade for children in second grade and up. And adults can join in on the parade fun, too!
Trick or Treat in Shepherd Park, North Portal, and Colonial Village
On Tuesday, October 31 dozens of homes across Shepherd Park, The Parks, North Portal, and Colonial Village will be welcoming trick-or-treaters with treats! Check out the list of neighborhood homes where people will be giving out treats that is published by the Shepherd Park Citizens Association. To add your home to the list, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fall Family Film Screening at Lincoln Cottage
On Friday, November 3 at 5:30pm President Lincoln’s Cottage will host a Fall Family Film Screening of Lightyear. There will be STEAM activities, family crafts, DJ music, and food vendors starting at 5:30pm and the firm screening will begin at 7pm. President Lincoln’s Cottage is on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home. Security requires visitors to show valid identification at the security gate in order to enter the property. Please RSVP and be prepared to show your ID.
Rock Creek Park Golf Community Day
On Saturday, November 4 from 9am-5pm National Links Trust will be hosting a free, family-friendly Rock Creek Park Golf Community Day. The event will feature guided tours, arts and crafts, a disc golf clinic, free junior and adult golf lessons, invasive plant removal, an expo with local organizations, and more. Food and drinks will also be available for purchase, and all dogs must be leashed. Check out the NLT website for a full lineup of events.
Neighbor Meetup and Cleanup at Sherman Circle
On Saturday, November 4 at 10am join the Friends of Sherman Circle for a meetup and cleanup of Sherman Circle. This newly-formed group will work with the National Park Service to support upkeep of Sherman Circle and will plan and implement improvements so that Sherman Circle can better serve our community. Neighbors are welcome to come out on Saturday, help pick up trash in Sherman Circle, and share thoughts about Sherman Circle improvements. Please contact Kristen Smith for more information at email@example.com.
Ward 4 in the News
Urban Turf: DC’s Armed Forces Retirement Home Scuttles Huge Redevelopment Plans
DCist: Golf Course Project Would Clear-Cut 8 Acres Of Forest In Rock Creek Park
Lost Sock Roasters: Lost Sock to End Kennedy Street Pop Up This Sunday
Axios DC: How Metro service could be reduced without a funding boost
Empower K12: Whittier, Roots PCS, and Friendship Named Bold Performance Schools
WMATA: Doors Opening… Faster! Metro Preparing for Auto Doors
Petworth News: La Coop Coffee Shop Relocating to Kennedy Street
Washington Post: 2023 Fall Dining Guide (featuring The Hitching Post in Ward 4)
Little Food Studio: New Cafe Location on Upshur and Afro-Fusion Dining by Night
PopVille: Al Volo folks buy the old Macombo building in Brightwood Park
Shepherd Park Children’s Academy: New Educational Childcare Center Opens in Ward 4
Petworth News: Enjoy a spooky Halloween theatrical show — Spirits: A Hat Trick
Ward 4 Dispatch: Leaf Collection, School Connect in Riggs Park, and a New Building for Friendship Ideal
If you have been to 5th & Kennedy NW, you might have noticed an old school fire alarm box standing there. The fire alarm box is dedicated to Sergeant John M. Carter, who died in the line of duty responding to a grocery store fire on October 27, 1997. This week, Engine 14 gathered at the intersection and laid a wreath in his honor.
A special thank you this week to Chatsworth residents and Unicorn Lane neighbors for having me over for another great evening of conversation for the third year in a row! I also appreciated having ANC 3/4G02 Commissioner Bruce Sherman and DDOT there as we continue working together to deliver for our constituents.
It is so important for us to keep showing up for our young people week in and week out! This week I had the pleasure of being hosted by our MacFarland 6th graders, who wrote more than 70 letters to me about their ideas to improve our community. They led an amazing student panel and blew me away with their thoughtfulness, brilliance, and joy. Our future is bright!
Have a great Halloween weekend, and see you out there, Ward 4!
Yours in Community,