Dear Ward 5 neighbors,
How are the kids? This is a question I ask myself constantly in my efforts to serve District residents and build a healthy Ward 5. How are the kids doing in school? How are our young people fairing amidst the city’s current public safety crisis? Do our children have access to good food, places to play, and resources to grow?
How our children are doing is one of the clearest ways to measure how our city is doing, and how it may fare in the future.
By all accounts, DC’s young people need us to be doing more. This is why I have prioritized introducing major pieces of legislation that will robustly support them, alongside holding District agencies like DC Public Schools accountable through oversight.
Earlier this year, I introduced the District Child Tax Credit Amendment Act of 2023 as one of my first major steps towards supporting DC children and families. The pandemic-era federal child tax credit expansion slashed child poverty nationwide. However, after this expansion expired, child poverty more than doubled over the next year. Since then, several states have instituted their own child tax credit, lifting millions of families out of poverty. It’s time the District does the same. This week, we learned that a hearing has finally been scheduled for the bill on January 24, 2024. Make your voice heard in support of this critical legislation by signing up to testify here.
I also want to wish a Happy Hanukkah to all Ward 5 neighbors and District residents who began their celebrations yesterday evening. In this time of crisis—at home and abroad—we need Hanukkah’s reminder that only light can drive out darkness and sustain us through hard seasons. Chag Sameach!
This edition of the Ward 5 Weekly newsletter includes important public safety updates, a link to RSVP for next week’s Ward 5 Holiday Party, a traffic advisory for the intersection of South Dakota Ave and Rhode Island Ave NE, information on DPR’s release of their long-awaited Ready2Play 20-year Master Plan, updates on the progress of leaf collection, WMATA updates including new 24/7 bus service, the re-opening of applications for the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) on January 1, and lots of holiday markets and parties across Ward 5 over the next few weeks, including tomorrow’s Ward 5 Family Biking Holiday Ride and Party. Keep reading for more!