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Ward 4 Dispatch: New Boosters, Spray Parks, Traffic, and CARE Days Are Back!

Dear Neighbors,

I hope everyone has had a joyful and safe back-to-school week and thank you to our amazing school leaders and educators who made this week so special. It was a joy to be with you all last weekend and on Monday as we returned to classrooms! Aside from being in community with you all, my team has been working hard on constituent services requests, event planning for the fall, and preparing for the Council’s legislative session to restart. Here’s my latest dispatch for what you need to know heading into this weekend:

Ward 4 News

Ward 4 CARE Days Are Back This Month. Join Us!

I’m excited to share that we are picking up with our fall calendar for Ward 4 CARE Community Outreach Days! Please find the revised event schedule on the CARE Day webpage. We’ll be at Riggs Park and South Manor Park on September 15, Colonial Village and North Portal Estates on September 22, October 6 in Petworth, and October 27 in Brightwood Park. As part of the fall launch, we are revamping the format of CARE Days. In addition to door-knocking and community walkthroughs by my team and volunteers, three of our upcoming CARE Days will include resource fairs with agencies like DPW, DDOT, DCRA, and DACL. Agencies will be able to engage residents, share resources, and coordinate neighborhood services from a centralized location. This change will enable us to better serve this initiative’s purpose of identifying and resolving issues on-the-spot while meeting residents where they are. I’m looking forward to being back with neighbors! Thank you to everyone who engaged with CARE Days in the spring and I hope everyone will sign up for our fall outreach! 

And special announcement: Ward 4 seniors, mark your calendars now for an extra special ‘Seniors Care Day and Fun Day’ for Wednesday, October 19. More details to come! 

New Bivalent Boosters and Flu Shots Available Next Week

Starting Wednesday, September 7, DC residents can access the new bivalent COVID booster (also known as the Omicron booster) while also getting their annual flu shot at anyDC COVID Center. Flu shots protect against strains of the flu virus that will circulate this fall and winter, while the bivalent COVID booster provides specific protection against the original COVID virus and the newer, more contagious Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 variants. The annual flu vaccine is recommended for anyone six months and older. The Pfizer bivalent booster is recommended for individuals 12 years of age or older, and the Moderna bivalent booster is recommended for individuals 18 and older, if it has been at least two months since they have completed their primary vaccination series or since they received a booster. Our Ward 4 COVID Center is at Peoples Church at 4704 13th Street NW.

Easing Congestion As Projects Near Completion

Several Ward 4 neighborhoods are facing a temporary but grueling surge in traffic, particularly during the morning rush hour. This is the result of school restarting and more people traveling to the office while several roadway projects are taking place — particularly the closure of Piney Branch Parkway as part of the Rock Creek Multi-Use Trail Rehabilitation project. This project will restore and improve 3.7 miles of the paved multi-use Rock Creek trail that spans four Wards — delivering new and wider trails, major safety improvements, easier access to Rock Creek Park, a new pedestrian bridge, stream bank restoration and storm drain improvements that improve water quality, and tree preservation and landscaping. The most painful phase of this project is the closure of Piney Branch Parkway, which is on track to be complete by the middle of October. Beyond urging the project team to complete this phase of the project as quickly as possible, I’ve taken several steps to ease congestion for our community:

  • Earlier this week, I coordinated with DDOT to place traffic control officers at Beach Drive and Blagden NW, a critical pressure point for congestion in our Ward. The traffic control officers have made a significant impact at easing backups, and they will remain in place during morning hour for the next few weeks.
  • I have worked with NPS to approve converting Beach and Blagden NW to a three-way stop intersection. The three-way stop will be installed soon and will help facilitate smoother turning needs and traffic flow here.
  • I’ve coordinated with DDOT to delay other scheduled roadway projects in our community to prevent further exacerbating congestion. In Ward 4, we welcome projects that improve our streets and safety, but there needs to be more coordination around the timing of these projects to be considerate of neighbor travel needs.

Big thank yous to DDOT and NPS for partnering with me to mitigate the impact, as well as to all our neighbors for their patience, insights, and ideas to improve the situation! As always, I will continue to monitor traffic and traffic safety challenges in our community, with special attention on safety around schools.

Community Resources

Spray Parks to Remain Open All September!

While spray parks were scheduled to close after Labor Day, DPR is helping families beat the heat by keeping spray parks open through the end of September daily from 11am-5pm. Find your local spray park and check out its hours on DPR’s website. It’s important to check because each spray park is closed for a few hours one day a week for regular maintenance.

Upshur Closes for the Season as Takoma Pool Reopens

This Monday, September 5 will be the last day Upshur Pool is open for the season, so be sure to visit our beloved outdoor pool this holiday weekend. Just in time to fill the void, Takoma Pool will finally reopen on Tuesday, September 6 after undergoing roof and HVAC repairs throughout the last year. Takoma’s operation hours will be 6am-9pm on Monday though Friday and 10am-5pm on Saturday and Sunday — one of the few DC pools to operate seven days a week! And don’t forget we also have Roosevelt’s indoor pool open for our community on Monday-Friday at 6am-8am and 5pm-9pm.

Resources for Preventing Evictions and Foreclosures

We know many of our neighbors are still struggling with housing issues. I want to ensure that residents know about the Landlord Tenant Legal Assistance Network, which operates a hotline that connects tenants to an attorney, who can provide a range of free legal information, advice, or representation. The hotline number is 202-780-2575 and accepts calls on Mondays through Fridays from 9am-4pm. Tenants with questions can also submit an online intake form. This hotline program has successfully stopped approximately 70% of evictions sought by landlords from September 2021 to March 2022. For homeowners who are struggling, the Homeowner Assistance Fund provides significant benefits covering missed and future mortgage payments, owed property taxes, utility costs, and more. Homeowners who have an application pending are protected from any foreclosure moving forward.

Grants for DC Social and Racial Justice Organizations

The Diversity City Fund is a grantmaking organization dedicated to transforming systems and sparking social change for racial justice and liberation in DC. They are currently accepting grant applications from local organizations and coalitions for fall grants of $5,000-$15,000. Deadline is September 30th. 

$10,000 Small Business Grants

Beginning October 1, Comcast RISE Investment Fund will be accepting applications for small business grants to support locally-owned businesses owned by people of color and women. 100 DC businesses will win these funds so help spread the word in our Ward 4 community to give a boost to our small and local business community!  

WMATA Warns of Major Blue and Yellow Line Construction This Fall

Metro riders, it’s time to start planning ahead. Metro is asking commuters to prepare for an8-month construction project that will impact the Yellow Line and Blue Line, with free shuttles being provided during this duration. The first phase of the project will shut down rail service entirely south of National Airport. There will be no Yellow Line service during this first phase, but Yellow Line stations north of National Airport will be served by the Blue or Green lines instead. Read WMATA’s full announcement for more information.

Deadline Extended to Share Feedback on Georgia Avenue Bus Project

Due to the level of public interest in the Georgia Ave Bus Priority project and the Labor Day holiday, DDOT is extending the deadline for responding to the survey on the draft design concept to September 11. Share your thoughts by filling out the comment form at the bottom of this website, or by emailing

Neighborhood Events

New Beginnings Community Event at Chevy Chase Farmers Market

On Saturday, September 3 at 9am-11:30am the Chevy Chase Farmers Market at Lafayette Elementary will host a special community event to to celebrate new school beginnings. They will have an ice cream truck parked on Broad Branch Road for purchase, plus each family with kids will receive one free perennial seedling from Evans Home & Garden.

Roosevelt vs Coolidge High School Varsity Football Game
On Saturday, September 3 at 3:30pm-6:30pm the Rough Riders square up against the Colts at Roosevelt High School for our local Ward 4 rivalry match. Come out to watch our two talented, well-coached teams face up as the season starts to heat up!

Outdoor Fitness Park (FitLot) Ribbon Cutting at Lamond Rec Center

On Thursday, September 8 at 1pm AARP DC is hosting a grand opening of the outdoor fitness park located at Lamond Rec Center (20 Tuckerman St NE) with DPR and myself as your Ward 4 Councilmember. The fitness park is open to the public and people of all ages and has FitLot exercise equipment that can be adapted to meet a wide range of fitness levels and abilities. This free event will include food, equipment demonstrations, and giveaways!

Movie Night at Lincoln’s Cottage: ONWARD

On Friday, September 9 at 7pm Lincoln’s Presidential Cottage will host a free film screening of Disney/Pixar’s ONWARD on its lawn. Bring a picnic, a blanket, and a friend — and don’t forget to register in advance. There will also be a screening of Ghost Busters on October 14 and an audience’s choice screening on November 4 (vote here).

Friends of Petworth Library Back-to-School Used Book Sale

On Saturday, September 10 from 10am-4pm the Friends of Petworth Library are hosting a back-to-school used book sale at Petworth Library (4200 Kansas Ave NW) with all books available between 50 cents and $2. Come stock up on gently-used educational materials while supporting our neighborhood library. Totes and t-shirts will also be sold!

Back-to-School Giveaway and Fun Day

St. Gabriel Catholic Church (510 Webster Street NW) and Petworth United Methodist Church Community are hosting a family fun day Saturday, September 10 from 11:30am-3:30pm with free school supplies, moon bounces, food, games and more. Bring the whole family! 

14th Annual Riggs Park and Michigan Park Reunion

On Saturday, September 10 from 12pm-7:30pm the Riggs and Michigan Association will host the 14th Annual Riggs Park and Michigan Park Reunion at Fort Circle Park (South Dakota Ave & Galloway Street NE). Free food will be available from 1pm-4pm, while neighbors can bring their own food and non-alcoholic drinks. Tents are permissible and lawn chairs are highly recommended! Enjoy a day of family fun, games, music, and activities for children.

MetroDC DSA Free Brake Light Repair Event

On Saturday, September 10 from 11am-4pm MetroDC DSA is hosting a free brake light repair clinic outside the Autozone at 519 Rhode Island Ave, NE. They’ll be repairing brake or tail light for free (and can try repairing headlights too) while discussing a public health approach to community and traffic safety. If you plan to come, sign up for your repair in advance.

Doggie Swim Day at Upshur Pool!

On Sunday, September 11 from 11am-4pm Upshur Pool and four other outdoor pools in DC are hosting a Doggie Swim Day! This once-a-year event allows our Ward 4 pups to jump in the pool, enjoy a swim, and play fun aquatics games. Reserve a spot for your dog! Admission is free, but all dogs must have a valid and original DC Health-issued dog license and tag to enter. But don’t worry: dog licenses will be issued on site if you bring the required documents.

2022 Takoma Park Folk Festival

On Sunday, September 11 from 10am-7pm Takoma Park Folk Festival returns with an all-outdoor, in-person festival with multiple music stages and craft vendors. This year’s festival will take place exclusively at Takoma Park Middle School and Lee Jordan Field. Check out the festival website for more information, and enjoy a day of community and music!

Crestwood Annual End of Summer Picnic

On Sunday, September 11 at 4pm-7pm the Crestwood Citizens Association is hosting the annual End of Summer Crestwood Picnic at Triangle Park (Argyle & 18th NW). Seating will be limited, so bring your own picnic blankets, folding chairs, or camping chairs.

Crestwood Jazz at the Triangle Event

On Sunday, September 18 from 5pm-7pm the Crestwood Citizens Association will host an outdoor jazz concert featuring trumpeter Brandon Woody at Triangle Park (Argyle & 18th NW). Seating will be limited, so bring your own picnic blankets, folding chairs, or camping chairs.

And take some time to visit your local Ward 4 Farmers Market:

Local Links

Petworth NewsTimber gets a new owner, slings the same amazing pizza

Washington Post: The DC library in Lamond Riggs has a new name. Meet the woman it honors.

DCistDC Area Schools Up Against COVID, Staffing Challenges On First Day Of School

Celebrate Petworth: Sign up for the Dog Show at the Celebrate Petworth Festival!

Last Ward 4 DispatchBack-to-School Events, ANC Openings, and Ward 4 Summer Saturday!

There’s nothing quite like the excitement of the first day of school! On Monday I got to greet students returning to Barnard, John Lewis, and Truesdell Elementary. Wishing all of our Ward 4 scholars, educators, and parents a fantastic new school year!

Last weekend was a Ward 4 classic! Our community had a full dozen of Ward 4 events to support our students with school supplies, celebrate community, advocate for peace, and bring neighbors together. Just as our community has a strong tradition of coming together to lift up one another, this Labor Day weekend is another opportunity to reflect on the  value of acting for our collective good. Labor has been the backbone of social advancements in our country and as the daughter of a proud union member, I know the value of putting our working families first. Let’s keep this neighborly energy and solidarity all year, Ward 4!

Yours in Solidarity,