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Budgets, Buses, and Bears

Dear Ward 5 neighbors, 

We are in trying times. I think of the refrain Roberta Flack sang on her timeless album, First Take: “Then maybe folks wouldn’t have to suffer / If there was more love for your brother / But these are tryin’ times.”

Earlier this week, a George Washington University (GWU) student encampment protest about the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza was forcefully cleared by the Metropolitan Police Department hours before Mayor Bowser was due to testify before Congress. The reports about this encampment clearing are disturbing, and I have been in touch with MPD leadership, GWU, the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area, and Council colleagues to gather the facts. 

Against this backdrop, the Council continues its work on the Fiscal Year 2025 budget through committee mark-ups this week. I am proud of the work my colleagues and I have done to meet a difficult financial moment with bold investments on behalf of District residents. On today’s episode of The Ward 5 Wave, I sit down for a chat with At-Large Councilmember Robert White to talk about the Committee on Housing’s budget markup and some of the investments we were able to secure. 

And, in case you missed it, a black bear was spotted roaming Brookland (much like June 2023).