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April 7 Newsletter

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Ward 5 Weekly Newsletter
April 7, 2023

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Dear Ward 5 neighbors, 

If you had the power to prevent thousands of District residents from eviction and displacement, what would you do? 

Let me tell you what happened over the last few weeks as I sought to cap rent increases on the District's nearly 90,000 rent-controlled properties. 

In early March, letters went out to renters in rent-controlled properties saying that they could see rent hikes as high as 8.9% starting May 1—the highest increase in 40 years. My team went to work drafting emergency legislation that would cap rent increases at 5%. But there's one catch: the Council's rules state that emergency legislation can't have a cost. When we contacted the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to see if the legislation would have a fiscal impact, and if so, would they absorb it, we learned that they were unwilling to make the adjustments needed to allow the emergency legislation through. 

DHCD's refusal to work with the Council on this to prevent catastrophic rent increases is a choice. It's also a choice to cut the ERAP (Emergency Rental Assistance Program) funding and legal support for tenants. All together, this is a recipe for mass displacement. My team and I are continuing to work to exhaust every opportunity we have before May 1. If you agree with me, call the Mayor's office at 202-724-2643, asking her to join the Council in taking action to prevent these catastrophic rent increases on rent-controlled properties.

As you read on, you'll find a recap of a busy week of meetings and budget oversight hearings in the Week in Review section, an exciting announcement about curbside composting, highlights from Tuesday's Legislative Meeting on the Council, and several scholarship opportunities and upcoming hiring fairs. Have feedback for us? Reply to this email! We'd love to hear from you.

Week in Review
On Monday, I joined the Committee on Housing's Budget Oversight Hearing for the Department of Housing and Community Development. As tens of thousands of District households in rent-controlled properties face rent increases, I was eager to ask Acting Director Green questions about why the Council has been blocked from introducing emergency legislation to cap these increases at more reasonable levels. You can watch some of our exchange below. I am still calling on the Mayor and DHCD to work with the Council to avoid evictions and displacement by capping these increases. 
Councilmember Parker asks questions of the Department of Housing and Community Development Acting Director Green at their Budget Oversight Hearing on Monday, April 3, 2023.Show less
Tuesday was a busy day for our office. My team started the morning by visiting Sunbelt Rentals to discuss safety issues on 8th St NE. We communicated the need to keep vehicles off of the right of way and to plan for the installation of the cycle track one-way treatment this summer. You can read more about our visit here
Of course, Tuesday also included a Council breakfast, Committee of the Whole and Legislative Meeting for the Council. We covered a lot of ground and you can get a quick recap of what happened in the meeting in this short video or in Kendra's Corner below.

That evening, we held our first Ward 5 Senior Advisory Committee meeting, centering the voices of seniors on quality-of-life issues, policy, and Council activity. There was a wealth of knowledge in the room and I love working alongside these wonderful Ward 5 neighbors. 
On Wednesday, budget oversight continued with hearings on education agencies with public witnesses, as well as Health and Human Services and DC Healthcare Finance Agency on the Committee on Health, among others. We also got a visit from the LGBTQ+ Budget Coalition, as advocates continue to help the Council think through how to tackle some of the challenges and cuts in the Mayor's proposed FY24 budget. 
Wednesday evening, I headed over to the historic WHUR 96.3FM on Howard University's campus to join Howard Fisher of The Daily Drum for a live show covering everything from public safety to bike lanes to the budget. You can take a listen to the full episode here
Thursday, I participated in budget oversight hearings for the Department of General Services (DGS), Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), and DC Green Bank. At DOEE's hearing in particular, I asked questions making it clear that Ward 5 needs more serious actions towards a cleaner environment. I was given assurances from Richard Jackson (Interim Director at DOEE) and Jean Nelson-Houpert (Interim CFO at DC Green Bank) that DOEE will engage with the community about air quality permits for Fort Myer asphalt plants in Brentwood and Eckington, locate new air quality monitoring in Ward 5, and attend a community meeting regarding air quality issues in Ward 5. 
Today, budget oversight season continued with government witnesses for education agencies and the Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD). Remember, you can view the full budget oversight schedule and sign up to testify here.
Ward 5 Updates
Curbside Composting!
Starting this summer, the Department of Public Works' (DPW's) Office of Waste Diversion will launch the Curbside Composting Pilot Program, which will provide curbside food waste collection from 12,000 single-family households in the District of Columbia for one (1) year. Interested households must sign-up to participate in the Curbside Composting Pilot Program. Up to 1,500 households within each of the city's eight wards will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Sign-ups will open on April 22 at 9:00 a.m.
Newly Announced: Open Streets 2023 in Ward 5
The highest rated Open Streets event of 2022 was on 12th St NE in Ward 5! This year there are only two Open Streets events, and Ward 5 will again be one of those. Mark your calendar for Sunday, June 4 from 9:00 a.m. on 3:00 p.m. on 12th St NE between Franklin St and Michigan Ave.
Noyes Park Closed Starting Monday, April 10
for Resurfacing

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) and DC Department of General Services (DGS) would like to update the community that Noyes Playground will close Monday, April 10 due to surfacing repairs. The park will remain closed, and we will update the community once repairs are done. Thank you for your understanding and patience during this closure.

DC Green Bank Announces $2.6 Million Loan to Develop Sustainable Clean Energy Hub in Ward 5
DC Green Bank and Flywheel Development are proud to announce the closing of a $2.6 million pre-development and site acquisition loan to support the development of a sustainable commercial hub in the Trinidad neighborhood of Ward 5. The site will serve as the headquarters for Flywheel Development as well as space to bolster emerging local sustainability-focused businesses, including other solar contractors and developers. The building will be designed to achieve net-zero on-site energy performance and will exceed the District-mandated stormwater management requirements as well. Read DC Green Bank's full press release here.
Volunteer with the Ward 5 Council Office:
Join the HELP Team
Do you want to help connect our Ward 5 communities and contribute to the work of the Ward 5 Council office? Join the HELP Team! This team will be a volunteer corps that assists with community events, getting important updates and information to our neighbors who are offline, and more. If you're interested, please complete this form. An important message mobilizing volunteers for our first HELP Team event will be going out soon. 
Office of the Attorney General in the Community
Attorney General Brian Schwalb is engaging in a citywide Listening Tour, and will be in Ward 5 on Tuesday, April 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Lamond-Riggs/Lillian J. Huff Neighborhood Library (5401 South Dakota Ave NE). I will be in conversation with him and neighbors about the work of the Office of the Attorney General, community concerns, and ways we can collaborate with the OAG. Because space is limited, community members who plan to attend are asked to RSVP. 
Ward 5 Small Businesses: Great Streets
Ward 5 small business owners: Is your location ineligible for Great Streets? Contact us!
Great Streets is the District’s commercial revitalization initiative, led by the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED), designed to support existing small businesses, attract new businesses, increase the District’s tax base, create new job opportunities for District residents, and transform emerging corridors into thriving and inviting neighborhood centers. Read more about the Great Streets program here.
We know that the boundaries that dictate eligibility for Great Streets grants is a source of frustration because they are haphazard and have to be modified by legislation. We’d love to work with you to ensure your business is eligible this budget cycle if it is on or near the New York Avenue, Rhode Island Avenue, or H Street “Great Street” corridors. Check out this map to see if you are eligible and contact us at or 202-724-8028 if you are not but would like to be.   
ANC and Civic Association Meetings

This week, my team attended the Bates Area Civic Association, Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association, Stronghold Civic Association, Woodridge Citizens Association, and Browne Education Campus Modernization meetings. Here's a brief recap: 

  • Bates Area Civic Association (April 3 at 7:00 p.m.): We heard about the upcoming Flower Power neighborhood cleanup on May 20 and the need for volunteers. The Association is looking for more board members. We also heard from MPD on the focus around a daycare and tobacco store next door to each other. Commissioner Lewis shared about her SMD meeting on April 11 at 7:00 p.m. and rat abatement initiatives from DOH, and updates on Uncaged Mimosa’s ABRA license. My office discussed the issue of trauma-informed violence reduction and constructive consequences for kids who get in trouble. 
  • Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association (April 3 at 7:00 p.m.): I joined residents to share updates on Ward 5 wins in the Mayor’s Proposed FY 24 Budget. I also highlighted the Ward 5 Public Safety Plan.
  • Stronghold Civic Association (April 3 at 7:00 p.m.): Cleanup day will be May 6 from 8:00 a.m. to Noon, flyer forthcoming. I shared the Ward 5 Public Safety Plan, updates on School Safety legislation, and the budget process. We discussed the ongoing process for holding the developers of McMillan accountable for damage to surrounding homes and how to file claims, and Sam Bonar (Constituent Services Coordinator) will be distributing the surveys that failed to be distributed last year to houses that got pre-construction surveys done. 
  • Woodridge Citizens Association (April 4 at 7:00 p.m.): My office shared information regarding the Ward 5 Public Safety Plan along with highlighting Ward 5 budget wins in the Mayor's FY24 Proposed Budget. We highlighted the extended hours at Recreation Centers and the announcement of the beginning of renovations of the Langdon Park Community Center. 
  • Browne SIT - Concept Presentation (April 6 at 4:30 p.m.): The design team gave a layout of proposed design options for the Browne Modernization project. The design team explained existing conditions and the new renovation options. This session was the first of a feedback driven approach where the team presented options for the community to evaluate and to later engage on with questions and suggestions in the next meeting. The next meeting for engagement will be Tuesday April 11 at 4:30 p.m. 

Read below for this week's upcoming ANC and Civic Association Meetings (review this ANC Locator Map to see which meetings apply to you and email us if you'd like more information on how to attend):

  • Monday, April 10
    • 7:00 p.m.
      • ANC 5D
      • Eckington Civic Association
  • Tuesday, April 11
    • 7:00 p.m.
      • Arboretum Neighborhood Association
  • Wednesday, April 12
    • 6:30 p.m.
      • North Woodridge Citizens Association
Have a need, or want to share important information for ANC and Civic Association Meetings? Get in touch with one of our Constituent Services Coordinators:
  • 5A & 5C: Carlos McKnight,
  • 5B & 5D: Oliver Stoute,
  • 5E & 5F: Sam Bonar,
Constituent Testimony

"I reached out to your office needing help, and Constituent Services Coordinator Oliver Stoute is doing a great job assisting me with my issue!"
- Ward 5 resident

Kendra Wiley is our office's Legislative Director. Each week in this section of the newsletter, she provides updates on the Council's legislative activities and educational pieces about the legislative process.
April 4 Legislative Meeting Recap

On Tuesday, April 4, the Council held a Committee of the Whole and  Legislative Meeting. You can watch this quick 2 minute video where Councilmember Parker gives a recap of some of the happenings. A few highlights from the Legislative Meeting are: 

More on Rent Control

In the case of the rent control cap emergency bill, Council put in a request to find out how much it would cost. The agency told us that it would need additional resources to change the rent cap, and that they were unable, or more accurately unwilling to reallocate resources to effectuate this policy. The approved budget for DHCD for FY23 is $99.8 million, including approximately 84 staff. It is hard to believe they are unable to temporarily reassign a staff person to handle processing the paperwork in order to set this rent cap. If not implemented, nearly 90,000 rent-controlled units will suffer and be subjected to a 8.9% rent increase, further constraining housing affordability in our city. 

What is a fiscal impact, and Fiscal Impact Statement (FIS)?

DC Council voting a bill into law is one of many steps in the legislative process. One of the major steps in a bill becoming law is knowing how much it costs and funding it. When a bill needs to be funded, that means it has a fiscal impact. After each bill has a hearing, the bill's fiscal impact statement (FIS) is attached to the Committee report, determining how much the city will have to spend to implement the legislation. It is broken down by years including the current fiscal year and the next 4 years and states costs for adding staff, IT, studies, creating or changing a program, benefits to DC residents, etc. It also calculates proposals to raise or reduce fees, fines, or taxes.

Since the 1980s, there has been a law in place for rent-controlled properties that do annual rent increases, that landlords cannot raise rent more than the Consumer Price Index (CPI) plus 2%. On May 1, 2023 rent-controlled housing rents are allowed to increase up to 8.9%. Councilmember Parker has been exploring ways to cap rent increases to 5% for all residents in rent-controlled buildings and drafted a bill for it. The CPI is produced by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and measures the change in prices over time for goods and services, and it tracks the rate of inflation. As we know, recent inflation has caused a lot of things to go up including groceries, rent, etc.  

Emergency legislation can be passed in a single Legislative Meeting instead of the normal two Legislative Meetings that are required for permanent legislation. For emergency legislation to pass, there can either be no fiscal impact, or, if there is a cost, it must be absorbed by the implementing agency/agencies. At this past Tuesday’s legislative meeting, Councilmember and Housing Committee Chair Robert White tried to introduce legislation to limit the upcoming rent increase to the CPI which is currently 6.04%, but it did not move because it was reported by the implementing agency that the emergency bill would have a cost that could not be absorbed.  

Programs for the People
Haiku Contest at DC Public Library

Celebrate National Poetry Month with DC Public Library! Residents ages 6 and up are invited to submit a haiku to the 2023 Haiku Contest from April 1 - 30.

Write a haiku about one of the following themes:
✎ a DC moment / observed in DC, ✎ something you're grateful for,
✎ seasons, or
✎ something small and wild.

Each participating library will select a winner in the following age categories, Children (6-12), Teen (13-19) and Adult (20+). Prize-winners will take home library swag and have their poem posted in the library and on the DC Public Library's website in May! There is a limit of two entries per person. Learn more about National Poetry Month at DC Public Libraries here.

Bloomingdale Civic Association Scholarship

The Bloomingdale Civic Association (BCA) is currently accepting applications for its 2023 Scholarship Award! Each spring, the BCA awards two scholarships in the amount of $1,500. Scholarships are awarded on a competitive basis to graduating high school seniors currently living in the Bloomingdale neighborhood, or who attend either Dunbar or McKinley Technology High Schools. Learn more and apply here. Applications are due by April 28.

Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association Scholarship
Are you a graduating High School Senior?
Will you be attending college this coming Fall, 2023?
Are you a resident of the Lamond-Riggs community?
Do you attend a DC public school (traditional or charter)? 

If you meet the requirements listed above, then consider applying for this great scholarship opportunity! LRCA will award at least three (3) Academic Excellence Scholarships to eligible high school graduating seniors residing within the LRCA boundaries, who will attend an accredited* college or university. Scholarship awards will range from $500 to $1,000. Applications are due by May 5. Learn more and apply here.

*For a list of accredited colleges and universities, please visit

Youth Climate Summit with
the Office of the People's Counsel

This event is the Office of the People's Counsel's (OPC’s) second in a series of Community Conversations on Climate Change. The event will take place on Saturday, April 29, from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Catholic University’s Edward J. Pryzbyla University Center. The target audience for “Our Planet, Our Future: An OPC Summit to Empower Youth & DC Communities,” will be Gen Z and millennials. However, DC residents of all ages are urged to attend. Learn more and register for the Youth Climate Summit here.

Parents' Tax and Family Law Clinic
Mother's Outreach Network is offering in-person and virtual workshops and one-on-one advice for filing your taxes, as well as custody and child protection register rights in DC. Free-of-charge, they will answer your questions and allow the opportunity for scheduling individualized sessions after each workshop. You can RSVP and learn more here
Team Zachary in the Community
Ward 5
Community Clean-up & Walk
April 8 - 11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
@ Bourne 2 Fly (3408 18th St NE)

Join local business, Bourne 2 Fly, and Ward 5 neighbors for a Community Clean-up & Walk in the Brookland neighborhood. There will also be a DJ and plant re-potting!
Children's Afternoon Movie - The Good Dinosaur
April 10 - 4:00 p.m.

@ Woodridge Neighborhood Library (1801 Hamlin St NE)
Woodridge Library invites children and families to enjoy The Good Dinosaur, a Disney-Pixar animated feature about a kid and a dinosaur who find they have a lot more in common than they think. The movie run-time is 1 hour 33 minutes.
Around DC
Benning Rd:
Know Your Rights: Special Education
April 8 - 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

@ SOME Conway Center (4430 Benning Rd NE)
Learn your rights in the DC Special Education System. Engage one-on-one with special education related DC agencies. Speak with community organizations about available resources and supports. Childcare and translation services provided. Learn more and register here
District Strong: Steering Young People Away From Criminal Behavior
April 10 - 12:00 - 1:00 p.m.

Register for the Zoom Link Here
Violent crime committed by young people is up in the District. Why, and what can the city do about it? Please join this important discussion about how to intervene to steer young people away from criminal behavior on Monday, April 10 from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. Attendees will be joined by three experts in the field: Candice Jones (Public Welfare Foundation), Dr. Jason B. Willis (UDC) and Linda Harllee Harper (DC Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement). Learn more here.
Mt Vernon Square:
Department of Employment Services Hiring Fair
April 12 - 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.

The Division of State Initiatives is hosting an in-person hiring fair on Wednesday, April 12, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Candidates can meet with local employers to network and have on-site interviews. Business attire is a must! Please bring copies of your resume and cover letter or plan to print them on-site. Learn more and register here.
Penn Quarter:
OSSE Hiring Fair
April 19 - 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
@ Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library (901 G St NW)

In partnership with DCHR, OSSE is excited to participate in the "Spring into a New Career" hiring fair. This hiring fair is intended to provide great candidates a chance to learn more about OSSE and their work, as well as provide an opportunity for you to chat with recruiters and hiring managers at our agency. OSSE has several positions available for which you can apply. Before you attend, you must register for the fair.
Jobs Not Guns Recruitment Fair in Ward 4
April 22 - 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
@ Calvin Coolidge High School (6315 5th St NW)

The DC Business Gun Violence Prevention Coalition, in partnership with DC Councilmember Janeese Lewis George (Ward 4), is hosting the “Ward 4 Jobs Not Guns Recruitment Fair “ to provide a vehicle for employers, training programs and support services working with community leaders and residents to address and overcome the barriers that employers and District residents face regarding hiring District residents. Learn more and register here.
WMATA Bus Operator Hiring Info Session:
Join WMATA for their Bus Operator Info Sessions and Open House. The next one upcoming is April 19 at 10:00 a.m. Learn about the Metrobus Driver position from their recruiters and bus operations team. Hear about how you can join the team plus the excellent benefits offered at Metro, including training and career progression opportunities and their $5,000 sign-on bonus. Information sessions are open to the general public but registration is required. Learn more and register here.
Southwest Waterfront & Tidal Basin:
National Cherry Blossom Festival
March 20 - April 16

The National Cherry Blossom Festival runs from March 20 through April 16, and is packed with events including Petalpalooza on April 8, and the Cherry Blossom Parade on April 15. For a full list of events and information, visit the festival's website.
Federal Triangle:
Emancipation Day Celebration, Parade, and Fireworks
April 15 - 2:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
@ Freedom Plaza (Pennsylvania Ave NW between 10th and 14th Streets)

Join for this year's Emancipation Day celebrations with a parade at 2:00 p.m., concert beginning at 3:00 p.m., and fireworks at 8:30 p.m. The DC Compensated Emancipation Act of 1862 ended slavery in Washington, DC, freed 3,100 individuals, reimbursed those who had enslaved these individuals, and offered the newly freed women and men money to emigrate. It is this legislation—and the courage and struggle of those who fought to make it a reality—that we commemorate every April 16 as DC Emancipation Day. Join the celebration this year on Saturday, April 15. Learn more here.
Congress Heights:
WMATA's Better Bus Experience LIVE! Launch Party
April 21 - =3:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
@ THEARC - Black Box (1901 Mississippi Ave SE)

Visit the Better Bus Experience LIVE! Launch Party, check out the draft new bus network, and share your feedback with WMATA. Join this free event with food, fun, and a first-hand look at everything the new bus network has to offer. Learn more here.
LeDroit Park:
Earth Day Everyday
April 22 - 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
@ Common Good City Farm (300 V St NW)

Join Common Good City Farm for their Spring kick-off Earth Day Celebration on Saturday April 22 from 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. Shop their pay-what-you-can farm market, bring children for fun crafts, practice yoga, enjoy prepared foods, and learn how you can take action to protect the environment! Registration is encouraged by not required here.
Meet with the Councilmember - Office Hours
I am continuing office hours, providing the opportunity to hear directly from you about your concerns and visions for our ward. Kindly note that the time you select is not official until you receive a confirmation email from our office. Sign up to meet here
News You Can Use
Most-clicked links from last week's newsletter (not just news!)—
One highlight of my week was joining Harold Fisher of The Daily Drum at WHUR 96.3FM on Howard's campus for an engaging interview on a number of challenges facing the District. I was grateful for the invitation! You can listen to the full episode here.

As always, we invite you to use this form to provide feedback on how we're doing. We'd love to hear from you anytime. 

Yours in service and community, 


Want to reach one of our staff members?
Save this directory to stay in touch with us.

Chief of Staff, Rachelle Roberts -, 202-724-8918
Deputy Chief of Staff, Conor Shaw -, 202-724-8172
Legislative Director, Kendra Wiley -, 202-724-8192
Communications Director, Melissa Littlepage -, 202-724-8028
Constituent Services Coordinator, Carlos McKnight -, 202-478-2456
Constituent Services Coordinator, Oliver Stoute -, 202-724-8107
Constituent Services Coordinator, Sam Bonar -, 202-724-1344
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