I hope everyone enjoyed celebrating labor justice this past weekend! I have exciting news to share: my Green New Deal for Housing Act has received a hearing date for this fall – mark your calendars for November 17th to testify in support of innovative solutions to our affordable housing crisis. To RSVP to testify please email firstname.lastname@example.org and stay in touch with community activists preparing for the hearing at bit.ly/gndtestimony. I am also excited to announce my first Ward 4 Senior Jubilee and legislation I intend to introduce as the Council returns to legislative session. Read on with my latest dispatch:
Ward 4 News
Ward 4 Senior Jubilee – October 19
Inviting all seniors around our Ward: I will be hosting a Ward 4 Senior Jubilee on Wednesday, October 19, 2022 from 1-3 pm. We will be gathering at the Fort Stevens Recreation Center in Brightwood (1327 Van Buren St NW) – thank you in advance to our DC Department of Parks and Recreation – for an afternoon of live music, dancing, food, a seniors-focused resource fair, games & prizes, fall festivities, and more. After two long years of separation and isolation, I am looking forward to bringing our community together. Please be sure to sign-up here or by calling my office at 202-724-8052 to reserve your spot.
Earlier this week, I was thrilled to be back with our senior community in person at the Ward 4 Mini-Commission on Aging and at the ribbon cutting for the new FitLot senior exercise park at the Lamond Recreation Center. This new healthy aging resource was donated to the District by AARP and we’re very lucky that Ward 4 was chosen as the home for this fitness and activity hub. So grateful to these partners for keeping Ward 4 seniors healthy, active, and engaged. And I look forward to celebrating our vibrant community at the Senior Jubilee October 19th.
Impending Legislation: Tackling Trash Transparency
A few months ago I started hearing about public litter cans being removed from Ward 4 and DC neighborhoods citywide without notice or explanation. My team and I started digging into the matter with the Department of Public Works – the agency responsible for public litter can trash collection and maintenance – and found that DPW SWEEP investigators determined these removed public cans were being “misused” so the decision was made to remove the cans altogether. We found this quite curious! Dumping in public trash cans is a real issue, and one that’s gotten worse since COVID. It draws rodents, creates unsanitary conditions for streets, businesses, and homes, and undermines the beauty of our neighborhoods. But just removing these cans is a counter-productive response that punishes under-resourced communities and ultimately doesn’t help make our streets any cleaner.
So today I’m announcing an upcoming bill that will require DPW to provide a Notice of Intent (“NOI”) to ANCs before removing a public trash can. Additionally, the legislation we’re working on will create a process for ANCs to issue feedback to DPW on their removal plans and, in turn, DPW would need to give “great weight” to ANC feedback before taking any final action on removals. This bill still allows removal when in the community’s best interest, but it should be the community at the table helping make those decisions.
Additionally, we can’t fully address this issue without also addressing the disparity in trash collection in DC. Homeowners are regularly serviced by DC government, while many tenants don’t get regular collection or enough cans in their apartment buildings – leading to dumping in public cans. Last spring I introduced the CLEAN Collections Actto address this disparity. It requires multifamily buildings to provide adequate trash and recycling cans and requires collection to happen twice a week. We still need a bill hearing to be scheduled but in the meantime, I will keep advocating and working with ANCs and DPW to restore the cans we lost in Ward 4 and I hope you will join me in supporting both bills for cleaner, more equitable communities in DC.
Reminder: Apply Now for $10k-$14k Early Childhood Educator Payments
Last summer I co-led the Council in passing the Homes and Hearts budget amendment, which included major pay increases for early childhood educators and applications are now open for those pay supplements, worth $10,000-$14,000 per worker. Visit osse.dc.gov/ecepayequity to learn and get your application in no later than 5pm on September 20.
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.
Takoma Pool Now Open
Enjoy the new-and-improved Takoma Aquatic Center Monday through Friday 6 am – 9 pm, and Saturday-Sunday 10 am – 5pm.
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!
Friends of Petworth Library Back-to-School Used Book Sale
On Saturday, September 10 from 10am-4pm the Friends of Petworth Library are hosting aback-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.
Join me at The Parks at Walter Reed Farmers Market
Weather permitting, this Sunday my team and I will be at the farmers market 10am – 12pm on September 11 for our final farmers market office hours of the summer. Look for the purple table!
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 thefestival 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.
Maternal and Infant Health Summit
Mayor Bowser is hosting the 5th Annual National Maternal and Infant Health Summit on September 15, 8 am-4 pm at the Convention Center. The event is dedicated to connecting District residents with local and national resources and improving perinatal health outcomes and racial health equity.
Join Uptown Man Street to reimagine public space as street parking spots are transformed into parklets with treats and fun for all. Find these parklets all day on Friday, September 16 on the 700 block of Kennedy Street, NW.
Library on the Go-Go
The Third Thursday of September – September 15 from 3-7 pm – Uptown Main Street is bringing back the DCPL mobile library, bilingual dance class with Dance Loft on 14, and Foamboree! Find festivities at 718 Kennedy Street, NW.
Riggs Park/South Manor Park CARE Day
RSVP to join me in knocking doors Thursday, September 15th from 4-7pm to connect with neighbors in Riggs and South Manor Park to share resources, problem solve with DC agencies, and bring our community closer together. Meet up location will be the Riggs-LaSalle Community Center – you’ll also find our agency partners stationed here that evening to bring your neighborhood service needs and concerns to directly.
Parks at Walter Reed Groundbreaking and Tours
RSVP to tour the grounds of the Parks at Walter Reed to tour the latest development progress over happy hour beverages and hors d’oeuvres; there will be live music on the Arts Plaza. Event will be held Thursday, September 15 4:30-6:30 pm at the Arts Plaza, 6810 Cameron Drive NW. Parking is available at The Vale immediately across the street but walking or biking is encouraged.
Crestwood Jazz at the Triangle Event
On Sunday, September 18 from 5pm-7pm the Crestwood Citizens Association will host anoutdoor 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.
North Portal Estates/Colonial Village CARE Day
RSVP to join me in knocking doors Thursday, September 22 from 4-7pm to connect with neighbors in Colonial Village and North Portal Estates to share resources, problem solve with DC agencies, and bring our community closer together. Meet up location will be at the corner of Kalmia Road and E Beach Drive (1735 Kalmia Rd).
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
- 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
New Restaurant Coming to 821 Upshur! (Get ready to get social!)
Last Ward 4 Dispatch: New Boosters, Spray Parks, Traffic, and CARE Days are Back!
It was such an honor to host the national CEO of AARP, Jo Ann Jenkins, in our Lamond Riggs community on Thursday for the much-anticipated ribbon cutting of the FitLot outdoor exercise park which AARP generously gifted to the seniors of the District of Columbia. Year-round programs and exercise classes will be hosted by AARP and the Department of Parks and Recreation. Sign up here!
This is going to be a busy and exciting fall and I look forward to seeing you in the community, and back at the Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW) as the Council prepares to return from recess next week.
Yours in Service,