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Ward 4 Dispatch: Run for ANC, Our Budget, Festivals, and Caribbean Restaurant Week!

Dear Neighbors,

As I continue to recover from COVID, I feel moved to remind you to get regularly tested, mask up in public indoor spaces, and get your boosters. There’s no fun in being sick or spreading it to others! Instead, take advantage of our great Ward 4 COVID Center. By regularly testing, I found out I had COVID before going into the Wilson Building, where I’d have put others at risk.

I’m continuing to quarantine from home, but I still wanted to take some time to update you on everything that’s happening in our community. I’m excited to share updates on the new ANC and SMD boundaries for Ward 4, the final DC budget, the opening date of the new Lamond Riggs Public Library, and Caribbean Restaurant Week! We also have no less than 10 community events in the next six days, including the Home Rule Festival, the Strawberry Festival, and Petworth Pride at Sherman Circle this weekend! Meanwhile, I’m coordinating with agencies to reschedule the Ward 4 Summer Safety Meeting, but Ward 4 CARE Day in Chevy Chase, Barnaby Woods, and Hawthorne will move forward next week. Catch up on all of this and more in my newsletter this week:

Ward 4 and Legislative News

We Officially Have New ANC and SMD Boundaries for Ward 4

If you’ve been following ANC and SMD redistricting with bated breath, the wait is finally over! On Tuesday the Council finalized new ANC and SMD boundaries for the District. These new boundaries for Ward 4 should look pretty familiar: they’re the same ones recommended by the Ward 4 Redistricting Task Force and also recommended by the Council’s Subcommittee on Redistricting. Ward 4 was the only Ward whose ANC and SMD boundaries were approved by the Council without any additional changes from what the Task Force recommended — speaking to the great work of our Task Force and all the community members who engaged in the process.

Now is the time to start thinking about whether you’re interested in running for ANC! Our ANC Commissioners are dedicated volunteer elected officials, each of whom represents approximately 2,000 residents in their neighborhood and makes incredible contributions to our community. You can consult the new ANC and SMD boundary map to see which SMD you live in. Because of changes driven by Ward 4’s significant population growth over the past 10 years, several SMDs will not have an incumbent Commissioner next year. Prospective candidates should know that nominating petitions will be available from the Board of Elections by July 20. To qualify, prospective candidates must collect at least 25 valid signatures from residents of their SMD and submit them by August 10.

A DC Budget That Delivers for Our Communities

On Tuesday, the Council finalized the DC budget for next fiscal year. As I shared earlier this week, the budget included several key items for our Ward 4 community and the city as a whole. I’m excited that we were able to secure investments that will both ease overcrowding in our DCPS high schools (Roosevelt, Roosevelt STAY, and Coolidge) and clear the path for several of our elementary schools to be modernized on schedule (Truesdell, Whittier, and LaSalle-Backus) by resolving the shortage of swing space in Ward 4. I’m also grateful for major investments in expanding paid family leave to 12 weeks, cash assistance for excluded workers, expanding DC’s earned-income tax credit to immigrants, affordable housing, housing vouchers and support services to end homelessness, significant rental assistance, a 2% property tax increase limit for seniors, dozens of new inspectors to enforce the housing code and blighted properties, streamlining the removal of abandoned cars from our neighborhoods, doubling community response teams for mental health crises, gun violence prevention, additional closed-circuit cameras, more support for crime victims, expanding tech access and mental health services in schools, continuing to raise the wages of child care workers, 100+ new crossing guards, improving traffic safety around schools, a new curbside composting pilot, completing the Metropolitan Branch Trail and Kennedy Street Revitalization Part II, replacing the roof at Riggs-LaSalle Rec Center, upgrading the Petworth Library, modernizing Upshur pool and playground, and renovating Emery Rec Center. For a more complete look at how the DC budget will impact our community, check out the budget recap on my website. I’ll also be providing detailed breakdowns of the budget in my newsletters over the summer!

New Lamond-Riggs/Lillian J. Huff Library to Open on June 27

The wait is almost over! The new Lamond-Riggs/Lillian J. Huff Library at 5401 South Dakota Ave NE will open on Monday, June 27! District residents and library enthusiasts are invited to join the festivities starting at 11am. The new 23,500-square-foot branch contains expanded space for adults, teens, and children. It also features outdoor spaces on each floor with comfortable seating. Meanwhile, the Lamond-Riggs Interim Library at 395 Ingraham St NE will close on Wednesday, June 15 at 8pm. In preparation for the move, due dates for all materials borrowed from the interim library have been extended through mid-July, although they can also be returned to any other library.

June 12-18 is Caribbean-American Restaurant Week

Ward 4 is proud to be the home base of DC’s vibrant Caribbean-American community. All throughout June we are celebrating National Caribbean-American Heritage Month and reflecting on the Caribbean-American community’s rich heritage and profound contributions to Ward 4, DC, and the United States as a whole. I have been advocated for a director to be designated at the newly-established Office of Caribbean Community Affairs, and this week it happened with the appointment of Natalee S. Snider! I’m looking forward to working with the new director.

One way to support our Caribbean-American community is to participate in Caribbean-American Restaurant Week on June 12-18! Visit Ward 4’s many Caribbean restaurants to support the businesses that preserve Caribbean cuisine and history, provide valuable jobs and entrepreneurship, and serve as a hub for community living.

Don’t just visit one Caribbean restaurant; visit several to complete a Ward 4 Caribbean Restaurant Bingo Card! We have bingo cards available for each birthday month. And if you feel inclined, tag my social media account (@CMLewisGeorgeW4) with photos from your visit or takeout meal so we can promote it for more neighbors to see. For a deeper dive on Caribbean cuisine across DC, check out this great resource from NCAFFA, the Caribbean Foodways Alliance.

Andrene’s Caribbean & Soul Food Cafe (Brightwood Park)
308 Kennedy St NW | 202-291-7007 |
Relaxed neighborhood counter-serve spot for soul food and Caribbean dishes.

Crown Bakery (Brightwood Park and Sixteenth Street Heights)
5409 Georgia Ave NW | 202-291-3009 |
Jerk chicken and other Caribbean specialties served in a mellow bistro.

GKIDS Production Yard Style Food (Brightwood)
6208 Georgia Ave NW | 202-722-0702 
Delicious food and a friendly owner at this Jamaican takeout spot.

Hitching Post Restaurant (Petworth)
200 Upshur St NW | 202-726-1511 |
Friendly, upbeat institution with a bar that serves homestyle American-Caribbean dishes and Southern soul food.

M & V DC: Meat, Grocery, and Accessories (Petworth)
4807 Georgia Ave NW | 202-316-7087
New Caribbean market featuring fresh meat, spices, and other food and accessories.

Move and Groove Market (Brightwood Park and Sixteenth Street Heights)
5119 Georgia Ave NW | 202-210-2163 | Open 10am-10pm
Caribbean joint with an expertise in jerk chicken and an accompanying market.

Peaches Kitchen Restaurant (Manor Park)
6214 3rd St NW | 240-531-2502 | 
Cheery sit-down nook featuring Jamaican-American specialties.

Sandovan Restaurant & Lounge (Petworth)
4809 Georgia Ave NW | 202-248-2302
Cozy Caribbean eatery that doles out Jamaican classics in a vibrantly hued setup

Soup Up (Brightwood Park)
709 Kennedy St NW | 202-621-6845 |
Gourmet homemade soups made with your health and happiness in mind.

Spice – A Caribbean Jerk Joint (Petworth)
826 Shepherd St NW | 202-722-1191
Low-key eatery serving traditional Jamaican fare, including some breakfast dishes.

Spicy Delight (Takoma)
308 Carroll St NW | 202-829-9783 | 
Jamaican takeout spot with flavorful dishes like jerk chicken or barbecue ribs.

Sunrise Caribbean Restaurant (Brightwood Park and Sixteenth Street Heights)
5329 Georgia Ave NW | 202-291-2949 | 
Classic Caribbean fare, including vegan entrees, doled out in bright, compact quarters.

Teddy’s Roti Shop (Shepherd Park and Takoma)
7304 Georgia Ave NW | 202-882-6488 |
Family-run go-to offering West Indian rotis with various meat & veggie fillings.

Neighborhood Events

Invasive Plant Removal Restoration at Fort Slocum

On Saturday, June 11 from 10am-12pm the Rock Creek Conservancy, National Park Service, and Rock Creek Fellow Daris Delph will host an invasive plant removal restoration event in Rock Creek Park. Invasive plants are a major threat to our fragile forests, and stopping their spread allows for a thriving native understory. The event is free, but registration is required.

Community Clean Up and Ice Cream Social in Brightwood Park

On Saturday, June 11 from 11am-1pm Networkhair and Networkteens are hosting a community clean up and ice cream social event on the 5300 block and 5400 block of 4th St NW in Brightwood Park. Please contact Ms. Didi Green at with any questions. Community service hours are offered for attendees. 

Home Rule Music Festival at the Parks at Walter Reed

On Saturday, June 11 from 3pm-9:30pm the Parks at Walter Reed will host Home Rule Music Festival, a family-friendly free festival that focuses on the music and culture of DC. They have an amazing day lined up that includes a Record Fair, food trucks and craft beverages, and music with performances by Black Fire artist Plunky & Oneness of JuJu, legendary jazz artists Doug Carn and David Murray, and the TCB Band. The festival will end with a screening of a new documentary short film on Black Fire Records. Enter through 1000 Butternut St NW, and check out the festival website for a full schedule. In case of inclement weather, the rain date is Sunday, June 12.

154th Annual Strawberry Festival at St. Paul’s Rock Creek Church

On Saturday, June 11 from 4pm-8pm St. Paul’s Rock Creek Church (201 Allison St NW) will host the 154th Annual Strawberry Festival with fun activities for the whole family. “St. Paul’s erects tents to cover the food (including, of course, fresh strawberries and strawberry shortcake) and the items offered for sale—baked goods, hand-crafted items, jewelry, plants, and more.” Learn more about the festival and add it to your calendar!

Come out for Pride in the Park at Sherman Circle

On Sunday, June 12 from 10am-12pm Petworth Peanuts are hosting the annual Pride in the Park event at Sherman Circle. The event will include a kids parade at 11am with prizes for the best decorated wagons and bikes, a dedicated table for queer families to connect, face painting, balloon artistry, a free Zumba dance party, games and giveaways, a fire engine from Engine Co 24, and emceeing by local drag performer Tara Hoot. RSVP on Facebook or check out the article in Petworth News.

Ward 4 CARE Day in Chevy Chase, Barnaby Woods, and Hawthorne

On Tuesday, June 14 from 4pm-7pm my team and community volunteers will be bringing Ward 4 CARE Day to Chevy Chase, Barnaby Woods, and Hawthorne starting from Lafayette-Pointer Rec Center (5900 33rd St. NW). RSVP to join as we check in on neighbors, share resources, problem solve with DC agencies, and bring our community closer together.

Friends Of Petworth Library Happy Hour at Midlands

On Tuesday, June 14 from 5pm-8pm the Friends of Petworth Library are hosting a community happy hour at Midlands (3333 Georgia Ave NW). Come out for a drink, support your local community, and learn how to get involved with Friends of the Petworth Library.

Northern Bus Garage Project Summer Community Meeting

On Tuesday, June 14 from 6pm-7:30pm WMATA will host its summer community engagement meeting on the Northern Bus Garage Project. Join Metro to discuss recent project updates and engage with Metro’s project leaders, including a project overview and construction update, a review of environmental progress, and a look ahead through 2022. RSVP here!

Ward 4 Community Health Conversation on Public Health and Safety

On Wednesday, June 15 at 6pm at Georgia Ave & Iowa Ave NW my office is hosting a public health conversation for our Ward 4 community in partnership with HIPS DC and several community groups. Experts will work to unpack the history of opioid use in our communities, including discussions about creating safety, support networks, and safely using NARCAN.

DC Public Library Go Go Unit and Games on Kennedy Street

On Thursday, June 16 from 3pm-6pm the DC Public Library’s Go-Go mobile unit will be on the 600 block of Kennedy Street NW. There will be books, library cards, lawn games, bubbles, chalk, treats, and more all to enjoy! There will also be free bilingual dance classes for children under the age of 6 from 3pm-3:45pm courtesy of Dance Loft. This is all coordinated by Uptown Main Street, which is planning to do this on the third Thursday of every month throughout the summer.

And don’t forget to visit your local Ward 4 Farmers Market on Saturdays from 9am-1pm:  

Community Resources

First Day of Early Voting in the 2022 DC Primary Election

Today marks the start of early voting in DC, which will run from June 10-19 from 8:30am-7:00pm. Ward 4 has four early vote centers: Lafayette Elementary, Shepherd Rec, Raymond Rec, and Emery Heights Community Center. This year the DC Board of Elections mailed all registered voters a ballot with a pre-paid return envelope. There are five ways to vote: returning your ballot quickly by mail (no postage required), returning your ballot to one of DC’s 55 secure drop boxes by Election Day, dropping off your ballot at any early vote center during Election Week (June 10-19 and June 21), or voting in person at any vote center on Election Day (June 21 from 7am-8pm). Find more detailed information on how to participate in the DC Primary Election on my website.

Major Road Closures on Saturday in Several Parts of DC

There are a lot of important events to participate in on Saturday, but if you’re not planning to attend one of these events you might want to steer clear of driving south of U Street to avoid all the road closures and congestion. We will have the Capital Pride parade and block parties around U Street, Logan Circle, and Dupont Circle, the March for Our Lives at the Washington Monument from 12pm-2pm, and the Lawyers Have Heart race around Foggy Bottom and the Georgetown Waterfront. Check out this helpful breakdown and map of road closures from the Washingtonian. Some road closures are also expected for Pride-related events on Sunday.

Free Something in the Water Festival Tickets for DCPS and PCS Graduates

Our DCPS and PCS graduates have something extra to celebrate this year: each of them will receive one free non-transferrable pass to the Something in the Water festival taking place in DC on Juneteenth Weekend. The festival was created by visionary recording artist, producer, songwriter, and entrepreneur Pharrell, who shared this message for our graduates. DCPS students should check their email inbox for a message that will explain how to secure their pass, while PCS students should expect to hear from their school leaders about their pass.

DCPL’s Dinosaur Roaring Contest is Back

DCPL’s Dinosaur Roaring Contest is back and louder than ever! Send DCPL your best scream, shriek, growl, grunt, or howl by June 30 for the chance to win a trophy or a prize. All ages are welcome to submit a video of 10 seconds or less. Please use this form for entries, and learn more about the contest on DCPL’s website. Here is last year’s contest winner for inspiration!

DC Public Library Discover Summer 2022 and Story Time 

DC Public Library has launched their Discover Summer initiative from June 1 through August 31, which is an all-ages celebration of reading and learning that includes great reads, prizes, fun events, and activities that encourage you to explore your neighborhood and the District. Our Ward 4 libraries are also kicking off weekly outdoor story time for the summer! Petworth Library will have Toddler Story Time every Tuesday at 10:30am for children ages 0-5 and Family Story Time every Saturday at 10:30am with a sing along. Story times will move inside the library in the event of inclement weather, and story times are cancelled on July 2 and July 5. Meanwhile, Takoma Library will host Story Time Sessions every Wednesday at 10:30am through July 20 and from August 17 to October 5. Story time will be held in the Meeting Room on the Lower Level, which is most easily accessed through the entrance on 5th Street. And the Lamond-Riggs Library is offering family story time for children from birth to 5 years old every Tuesday through July 19 from 10:30am-11:00am at The Modern at the Art Place (400 Galloway St, NE in the Family Lounge Area).

DC’s Outdoor Pools Open on Weekends, Spray Parks Open 6.5 Days a Week

DC’s outdoor pools, including Upshur Pool, are currently open on weekends only. Then, starting Monday, June 27, all outdoor pools will open six days a week on individual summer schedules. Meanwhile, DC’s spray parks are now open six-and-a-half days a week (stay closed just five daytime hours a week for required maintenance). Ward 4 is fortunate to have spray parks at Fort Stevens Rec Center, Lafayette-Pointer Rec Center, Petworth Rec Center, Riggs-LaSalle Rec Center, and Takoma Community Center. Some important reminders: 

  • Pools have capacity limits, so when a pool reaches capacity staff can only allow visitors to enter as others leave. Try to get there on the earlier side on hot days! 
  • DGS estimated that roof and HVAC repairs at Takoma Aquatic Center will be completed towards the end of July 2022. 
  • Don’t forget the Roosevelt Indoor Pool, which is open on Monday-Friday at 6-8am and 5pm-9pm with the public entrance on Upshur Street. Here is more info.

Playground Repairs at Picnic Grove 24 in Rock Creek Park 

The National Park Service shared that the playground equipment at Picnic Grove 24 (across from the Rock Creek Park Tennis Center) will be closed through the end of June to allow the safe repair of equipment and replace play surfaces. The remainder of the grove (picnic shelter and restrooms) will remain open. Here’s to having the playground in better shape soon!

Local Links

Channel 7 News: DC Public Schools teacher to compete on Jeopardy! 

DCist: Majority Of Council Says They Do Not Support A New Stadium At RFK Site 

Petworth News: Roosevelt HS students gain real world experience at DC Paid Summer Internships 

MPD Sector One Presentation: Updates from the June 2022 Community Meeting 

Ward 4 Dispatch: Pride, Summer Reading, Traffic Safety, and Community Events 

I love talking about how amazing our Ward 4 young scholars are. This past weekend we celebrated pedestrian safety improvements in Rock Creek Park led by Ward 4 resident and Alice Deal Middle School 8th grader Finn Farrell — in collaboration with the National Park Service and the Rock Creek Conservancy. Finn researched, advocated, and fundraised more than $2,000 for new signs like this one on Blagden Ave NW (at the Valley Trail crossing) to improve safety for people across the park! Kudos to Finn and every Ward 4 scholar finding ways to make our community a better place.

Wishing you a happy weekend, Ward 4!

Yours in Community,