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Rent, Pride, and Bears, oh my!

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Ward 5 Weekly Newsletter
June 9, 2023

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Dear Ward 5 neighbors, 

It's been an eventful week! From passing caps on rent increases at the Council's Legislative Meeting on Tuesday, to community public safety walks and committee hearings, to a black bear in Brookland, this newsletter brings you lots of updates.

I'm excited for tomorrow's Capital Pride Parade! If you haven't yet, there's still time to sign up to walk with my office in the parade. While there was some concern about whether the parade would happen as planned due to air quality alerts Wednesday and Thursday, the air is clearing up and we look forward to a beautiful time tomorrow. I also encourage you to check out goDCgo's guide to getting around during Capital Pride festivities.

Other updates in this newsletter include several DDOT public meetings (for North Capitol, New York Ave, and Bladensburg Rd improvement projects), news from Metro on better headways and a reduced fare program, and plenty of events to keep you engaged in the community.
Week in Review

It was great to see so many neighbors at Open Streets on 12th St NE on Sunday! The weather was beautiful, and there was a little something for everyone.

On Monday morning, my team conducted a Public Safety Community Walk in Truxton Circle with community partners, ANC Commissioners, and friends from Mundo Verde PCS.

My office also welcomed our summer Legislative Intern, Alex O'Sullivan. Formerly, Alex was a student representative on the District's State Board of Education. Now a student at Yale, he’ll be researching and leading on some important issues in our office, including the District’s examination of school boundaries.

Monday evening, I joined my Ward 4 colleague, Councilmember Janeese Lewis-George, at the Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association meeting as we swore in their new Executive Board, gave a college scholarship to a community member, and the association celebrated 75 years of community organizing and service. I am grateful to work alongside these invested neighbors!
Tuesday, the Council held the Council breakfast, Committee of the Whole, and Legislative meetings. The highlight of these meetings was securing rent caps for District residents in rent-controlled properties, but we also took action on a number of other items including DCPS contracts and access to fertility treatments. You can read a full recap in Kendra's Corner below.

I am glad the Council took action to prevent displacement and evictions by capping rent increases. We voted unanimously to cap rent increases at rent-controlled properties at 6% for this year and 12% over two years. While I'm glad we were able to reduce the devastating 8.9% the law currently allows, and secure 4% for seniors and residents with disabilities, I believe there is still more work to do.
That evening, I held a meeting of the Ward 5 Senior Advisory Committee. We discussed FY24 Budget wins, FY25 Budget planning, public safety updates, and the Mayor's proposed Safer, Stronger legislation. It was a lively and productive conversation, and I am humbled by the ways these seniors pour in to their community.
On Wednesday morning, DC began issuing air quality alerts as smoke from Canadian wildfires made its way into the region. The day was full with a hearing on Out-of-School-Time programming with the Committee of the Whole. I stepped out of the hearing briefly to swear in the new commissioner for ANC 5D01, Hector Arbuckle. Ward 5 is now fully represented in all Advisory Neighborhood Commissions!

was a busy day with multiple hearings. I shared my office's Ward 5 Bus Network Task Force's recommendations with WMATA representatives at the Committee on Transportation and the Environment's public roundtable on the Better Bus Network Plan. I also listened and asked questions at the Committee on Business and Economic Development's hearing on multiple bills including the Dram Shop Clarification Amendment Act of 2023 and The Workers and Restaurants Are Priorities Act of 2023

Last night, I joined the Howard University community in bidding farewell to President Wayne A. I. Frederick and several of the University’s trustees. It was an inspirational night celebrating this storied institution.
Today, I attended the funeral of Alfred DeGreat Dudley, Sr., a pillar of the Ward 5 community. Mr. Dudley developed Dudley Products and Dudley Beauty Corp, LLC. Many of you knew him through Dudley Beauty College on Rhode Island Ave. I am proud to introduce a resolution honoring his legacy, and grateful to remember his well-lived life alongside family and friends today.
This afternoon, my team participated in a career fair at Digital Pioneers Academy. We also conducted a Community Public Safety Walk this afternoon with neighbors and community partners near the New York Avenue playground
Ward 5 Updates
Public Safety Updates
This morning (June 9), a black bear wandered into the Brookland community. It climbed into a tree in the 1300 block of Franklin St NE, where MPD, Humane Rescue Alliance, Zoo police, and other agencies responded. The bear (named "Franklin" and "Smokey" by neighbors) was safely contained and has been returned to Maryland where it was released. 
This week, my team conducted community public safety walks in Truxton Circle and around the New York Ave playground with MPD, ANC Commissioners, community partners, and neighbors to assess concerns and develop strategies for curbing crime in these communities. 
As I shared last week, I am glad that Councilmember Brooke Pinto has scheduled a hearing on the Mayor's newly introduced legislation at the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety before Council's summer recess. It is important we consider all proposals as we work to effectively address the city's upward crime trends. The hearing is scheduled for June 27. Access more information about the hearing, including how to testify and watch, here.
Fort Totten Transfer Station Re-Opened June 6
In case you missed it: the Fort Totten Transfer Station re-opened on Tuesday, June 6 after more than a year of construction for a cleaner, safer design for residential drop-offs. Just in time to take all that you’re discarding from spring cleaning! The Transfer Station also has free compost for residents. You can drop off bulk items, trash, and most recycling (items you would discard in the blue bins for sidewalk pickup). For other items such as electronics, hazardous household waste, and paper shredding, you'll need to take items on select days to RFK Lot 3, or to one of eCycle DC's collection events.
Providence Redevelopment Update
My team attended the meeting with the State Health Planning and Development Agency (SHPDA) yesterday (June 8) about the Providence Urgent Care and Diagnostic Imaging Center closures, occuring amidst the "Providence Reimagined" development. Here is some of what was shared: 
  • Providence UCC lost over $2.6 million since 2019 with direct cost $6.5 million.
  • Diagnostic Imaging lost $1 million since 2021 with direct cost $2.7 million.
  • Ascension has taken efforts to reduce the financial burden:
    • No management fee for shared support services provided by corporate offices (H/R benefits, marketing, food services, environmental, regulatory compliance).
    • No mark up on fees paid for various services.
    • Forgave $55 million of intercompany debt on June 18.
  • Explored growth in other services, market demand and financial analysis in designing non-acute campus and contacted other health systems about their interest in operating in the Urgent Care.
I'll be meeting with EYA LLC (the developer) soon and will continue to elevate neighbors' priorities around this project. Feel free to share your thoughts with us anytime:
This Week: Town Hall with the National Park Service
The Office of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton’s invites you to participate in a Town Hall Meeting with the National Park Service. I remain concerned about the lack of urgency from NPS to address concerns about potential harmful devices still remaining in Fort Totten Park. I sent the following communication three weeks ago reiterating my expectation that NPS will fully survey Fort Totten and other parks for any harmful elements. I am still waiting on a response. Please join Congresswoman Norton and my office for this town hall to share your concerns. 

Note: If you cannot attend this event, you may still submit your comments by filling out the registration form. The recording will also be shared with those who register.
Who: All DC Residents
What: Congresswoman Norton’s Town Hall Meeting with the National Park Service 
When: Wednesday, June 14, 2023, 6:00 - 7:30 p.m.
Where: Zoom Link   
Register: Here
DC Tax Revision Commission Town Hall
Taxes are crucial to our city’s ability to thrive. Our DC taxes pay for schools, roads, parks, healthcare, libraries, public safety and so much more. The District deserves a tax system that is resilient, equitable, economically competitive and reasonably easy to deal with. Does our current system live up to those standards? The DC Tax Revision Commission needs to hear from you!

The DC Tax Revision Commission is inviting members of the public to an additional Virtual Town Hall to discuss the District’s tax system. The Town Hall will be Thursday, June 15, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Registration is available at

DDOT Open House - Bladensburg Road
Multimodal Access Study - June 17

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host an open house to share the preferred alternative for Bladensburg Road NE between Benning Road and Eastern Avenue. DDOT invites residents who live, work, and commute on Bladensburg Road to drop by our open house to review concept plans and provide feedback. The open house will happen on Saturday, June 17, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Trinidad Recreation Center in the Multipurpose Room (1310 Childress Street NE). Learn more here.  

Extended: Feedback on WMATA's Better Bus Draft
WMATA is extending the deadline for public comments on the Draft Visionary Network to June 18! Now is the time to weigh in on changes to the bus network. My office's Bus Network Task Force made some recommendations to help guide Ward 5 residents' input. Weigh in soon!
Metrorail Updates: Improved Headways
and Reduced Fares Program
Beginning Monday, Red Line trains will operate every 6 minutes until 9:30 p.m. on weekdays, an improvement from every 8 minutes during off-peak daytime hours. On weekends, Red Line trains will continue operating every 8 minutes all day, and every 10 minutes after 9:30 p.m. seven days a week. Read the full press release from WMATA for other headway improvements coming later this month.

Customers will also benefit from reduced fares beginning June 20 when Metro launches Metro Lift, an income-qualified reduced fare program that will provide residents enrolled the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP) a 50% discount for any trip on Metrorail and Metrobus. More information is available here
DDOT Public Meeting - North Capitol St Corridor Feasibility Study - June 22 and 24

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is conducting a high-level feasibility study of the North Capitol Street Corridor, which has been identified as a high crash corridor in the District’s moveDC plan. The study is a preliminary assessment of the existing transportation network, and study results will help inform the scope of future project phases starting in 2024 and will guide development concepts and preliminary corridor designs. The corridor is also identified as a Transit and Freight Priority corridor and is a connector for the Northeast and Northwest parts of the city. 

The purpose of this meeting is to present existing conditions on the corridor, gain community feedback on major issues, and present draft short-term improvements at high crash intersections. This is a chance for community members to share their feedback on ongoing issues, challenges, and opportunities for the study. DDOT staff will also be available to answer questions.

The meeting will be held in-person at SeVerna on K (43 K St NW) on June 24. A virtual option will also be available on June 22.

  • Virtual Option: June 22, 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. - Webex link
  • In-person Option: June 24, 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. - SeVerna on K (43 K St NW)
New Hours at the Library! Starting June 26

On June 26, DC Public Library is shifting open hours at neighborhood library locations across the District to enhance accessibility. The hours at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library and at co-located library locations will not change.

Neighborhood Libraries (in Ward 5: Lamond-Riggs/Lillian J. Huff Neighborhood Library and Woodridge Neighborhood Library):

  • Monday - Wednesday | 9:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. 
  • Thursday | Noon - 8:00 p.m. 
  • Friday - Saturday - 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday | 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Co-Located Libraries | Deanwood, Northwest One, Rosedale

  • Monday - Wednesday | 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday | Noon - 8:00 p.m. 
  • Friday - Saturday | 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday | 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library

  • Monday - Thursday | 9:30 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.
  • Friday - Saturday | 9:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.
  • Sunday | 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
This shift in hours is based on a careful evaluation of how you and your neighbors like to use the library. By opening their doors an hour earlier each day, DCPL has the opportunity to better serve those who co-work at the library, our seniors, older students and caregivers with young children. 
DDOT Public Meeting
New York Ave Streetscape and Trail Project - June 28

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is developing concept designs for the New York Avenue Streetscape and Trail Project that will promote multimodal transportation safety and create cohesive, community-friendly spaces along the project area. The corridor is a major east-west route through Ivy City and connects the Arboretum and Union Market communities in Ward 5 and Ward 6. New York Avenue NE is a major transportation route, a neighborhood, and an important industrial and commercial hub in the District. The project area extends along New York Avenue NE from the NoMa Metro Station to Bladensburg Road NE and includes a mix of residential units, businesses, places of worship, and new developments. Currently, the project area has few options for non-vehicular traffic and lacks adequate and consistent infrastructure to accommodate pedestrians and cyclists. 

The purpose of this meeting is to gain input on the updated concept designs and associated streetscape improvements. These comments will be incorporated into developing the final concept prior to moving into further design work. Attend the virtual meeting on June 28 from 6:30 - 8:00 p.m. here.

Support a Ward 5 School
Help win a year's worth of snack prizes for Washington Yu Ying! A student at Yu Ying has been nominated for Sun-Maid's Imagination Board for children 6-12 years old. She was chosen from a national search of more than 10,000 children. Her name is Paolina, and if chosen, she will have the opportunity to have a hand in Sun-Maid's future snack innovations as well as the brand's imaginative initiatives while supporting her school through the aforementioned prize and more. Vote for "Paolina, DC" and support a Ward 5 school here.
Notices of Intent - Modifying Traffic/Parking Requirements
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is required to give written notice of their intent to modify traffic and/or parking requirements to the Council and affected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANCs) to allow for a public comment period on the modifications. The following Notices of Intent (NOIs) for Ward 5 are open for comment: 
  • Multimodal Improvement of Mt Olivet Rd NE - Read and comment here
    • This is an important traffic safety improvement from DDOT. The history of crashes along the corridor shows several major injuries and fatal crashes involving pedestrians, cyclists, drivers, and passengers. The change from a four-lane undivided roadway to a three-lane cross-section, otherwise known as a "road diet," will improve safety and reduce crashes by decreasing the number of conflicts along the road.
  • Installation of All-Way Stop at 19th St and M St NE - Read and comment here
Ward 5 Mutual Aid - Looking for Volunteers
Ward 5 Mutual Aid is looking for neighbors to work together in supportive community. To learn more about what mutual aid is, check out this video. To reach out, please email 
Join the MySchoolDC Parent Advisory Council

My School DC is the common application and public school lottery for DC Public Schools (DCPS) and participating public charter schools (PK3 – grade 12). The Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is an advisory board to My School DC. PAC members provide guidance and feedback on the My School DC application process, including design of the application and targeted engagement strategies; serve as ambassadors of information to their respective communities; and advise the Common Lottery Board – My School DC’s governing body – on major policy decisions. My School DC seeks diverse, citywide representation for the PAC to include (at minimum) one representative from each ward. For the 2024-25 lottery school year cycle, My School DC is actively seeking a representative(s) from Wards 1, 4, 5, and 7. Applications are due by June 30, 2023.

ANC and Civic Association Meetings

This week, my team attended the Stronghold Civic Association, Bates Area Civic Association, Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association, Woodridge Civic Association, and North Michigan Park Civic Association meetings. Here's a brief recap: 

  • Stronghold Civic Association (June 5 at 7:00 p.m.): The SCA approved the plan for a fish fry July 29 from 12:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. My team went over the FY24 budget. Community members shared concerns about losing parking in the alternative to the Deck Over and had voted on the proposal last year. We talked about continuing to regularly take pictures of homes to be able to file claims against developers if there is damage from the McMillan development. 
  • Bates Area Civic Association (June 5 at 7:00 p.m.): The BACA looked at reviewing their by-laws in August. My team shared updates about the FY24 budget vote and asked the community to think about how they would improve the livability of North Capitol. Commissioner Robinson-Paul wanted some of the deck over money used for a splash pad to keep kids cool in the summer months.

  • Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association (June 5 at 7:00 p.m.): Along with my Ward 4 colleague, Councilmember Janeese Lewis-George, I joined the Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association (LRCA) to swear in their new Executive Board. At this meeting, neighbors celebrated the outgoing leadership and the association's 75 years of community organizing and service. My Constituent Services Coordinator Carlos McKnight and I were acknowledged for our collaboration with the LRCA and dedication to the residents of Ward 5. 
  • Woodridge Civic Association (June 6 at 7:00 p.m.): The Woodridge Civic Association held their first in-person in 3 years at Woodridge Neighborhood Library. My staff joined and participated in discussions about the association's plans and goals for the upcoming months.  
  • North Michigan Park Civic Association (June 7 at 7:00 p.m.): My team joined the North Michigan Park Civic Association for their first in-person meeting since the start of COVID at the North Michigan Park Recreation Center. At this meeting, members of EYA LLC shared with residents the new proposal for the redevelopment of the Providence Hospital Campus. The Civic Association also awarded two of their neighbors—college students—with scholarships. Members of Faith United Church shared their vision for renovations of their property as well
Next week's ANC and Civic Association Meetings:  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,
Kendra Wiley is our office's Legislative Director. In this section of the newsletter, she provides updates on the Councilmember's legislative activities and educational pieces about the legislative process.
Recap of the Council's June 6 Committee of the Whole
and Legislative Meetings

On Tuesday at the Committee of the Whole Meeting, the Council voted: 

  • To approve nominees to the Homeland Security Commission and Board of Massage Therapy; 
  • To approve special license plates for the Washington Wizards, the longest standing sports team in the District, and Pride plates.
    • Revenues from the LGBTQIA+ Pride plates will go to the Office of Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Affairs to support programs promoting the welfare of the LGBTQIA+ community. 
  • To approve sending the Expanding Access to Fertility Treatment Amendment Act of 2023 to the Legislative Meeting, where it received its first of two required passing votes from the Council. This legislation requires private insurers, Medicaid, and the Healthcare Alliance to cover diagnosis and treatment of infertility.
    • The Department of Health Care Finance has to do a report on funding and covering services and the costs for DC Medicaid to cover these treatments and services. 
    • Starting January 1, 2025, private insurers must cover some medically necessary fertility medications, infertility treatments such as in vitro fertilization (IVF), standard fertility preservation services commonly known as freezing eggs (3 retrievals), and unlimited embryo transfers from egg freezing that occurs before January 1, 2025 including to a third-party such as a surrogate. 
At the Legislative Meeting, the Council acted on rent control, business adjustments in anticipation of the Women's World Cup later this summer, and DCPS contracts. Here's a brief recap:
  • Rent increases for rent controlled apartments went up last month (May 1) to 8.9% (the current Consumer Price Index plus 2%), which is the highest rent increase in decades. The Council passed an emergency bill with the following caps for rent-controlled apartments:
    • New rent increases that start July 1 and after are capped at 6%.
    • Over 2 years rent cannot be raised more than 12%.
    • For seniors and people with disabilities, new rent increases are capped at 4% for 2023 and 8% over 2 years.
  • The 2023 Women’s World Cup Tournament will be July 20 to August 20 in New Zealand and Australia. So that soccer fans can watch the tournament in DC despite time zone differences, the Council voted for establishments to be open 24/7 and sell alcohol 22 hours a day.
  • The Council approved 7 DCPS contracts that were past due to be approved. The matter of the 36 outstanding DCPS contracts that went without Council approval for several months has been referred to the Office of the Inspector General.  

Upcoming Hearings Next Week: 

  • Tuesday, June 13 at 3:30 p.m. - Public Oversight Hearing on Early Childhood Educator Equitable Compensation (Committee of the Whole). Link here.
  • Wednesday, June 14 at 10:30 a.m. - Hearing on 3 bills including the Pay Range Act, Fair Wage Amendment Act, and Pay Scale and Benefits Disclosure Amendment Act (Committee on Executive Administration & Labor).
    • Sign up to testify by either emailing the Committee at or by calling (202) 724-8198, at least two business days before the hearing and provide your name, address, telephone number, email address, organizational affiliation and title. 
  • Thursday, June 15 at 9:30 a.m. - Hearing on the Reparations Foundation Fund and Task Force Establishment Act (Committee on Business and Economic Development).
    • Sign up to testify in person or virtually or to submit written testimony by Monday June 12 at 5:00 p.m. by filling out this form.
  • Friday, June 16 at 11:00 a.m. - Public roundtable on the matter of Mistreatment of Workers at District of Columbia Subsidized Developments and Worker Protections (Committee on Executive Administration & Labor). The purpose of this roundtable is to discuss recent instances of worker mistreatment in the District of Columbia, especially in city-subsidized developments. Moreover, the stated purpose of this roundtable is to understand existing employee rights and explore ways to bolster employment protections for workers in their endeavor to unionize within the District of Columbia.
    • Sign up to testify by either emailing the Committee at or telephone the Committee at (202) 724-8198, at least two business days before the hearing and provide your name, address, telephone number, email address, organizational affiliation and title. 
Racial Equity - Part I

June is the month of Juneteenth, a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans. Deriving its name from combining "June" and "nineteenth," it is celebrated on the anniversary of an order issued by Major General Gordon Granger on June 19, 1865, proclaiming freedom for enslaved people in Texas who had not yet been freed following the Emancipation Proclamation. During this month, I'll be sharing some of the work around racial equity in the District.

What is the Council Office of Racial Equity (CORE)?

The Council Office of Racial Equity (CORE) works to answer the question, “If Council passes this bill, how will it impact Black, Indigenous, and other residents of color?" Race and zip code are some of the strongest predictors of access to: quality education, food, healthcare, good paying jobs, clean air, and many other factors that affect people’s well-being and quality of life.
CORE is a team located within Council that provides training, tools, and processes for Councilmembers, staff, and the community. It helps us identify and disrupt biases and inequities in making DC laws. Most permanent bills that move through the Council’s legislative process receive a Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA) before the full Council votes on the bills.

What is a Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA)?
According to District law, “racial equity” means “the elimination of racial disparities such that race no longer predicts opportunities, outcomes, or the distribution of resources for residents of the District, particularly for persons of color and Black residents.”

The way CORE determines if a Council law or proposal will make progress toward racial equity, or exacerbate racial inequity, is by conducting a Racial Equity Impact Assessment (REIA). Racial inequities are not naturally occurring—rather they are the result of intentional and unintentional decision-making, often by the government. A REIA is an analysis of how a proposed bill will affect different racial and ethnic groups in DC, and a conscious effort to not continue the disparities and inequities actively created and perpetuated since the founding of our nation.

A REIA researches and answers to questions such as:

  • What events and decisions led to the racial inequities we see today?
  • What are other jurisdictions doing? What have other jurisdictions learned about this policy area and this policy change?
  • What have residents been saying about this topic?

For example, the Racial Equity Impact Assessment for the Expanding Access to Fertility Treatment Amendment Act of 2023 says that from a racial equity perspective, the bill will likely improve access to fertility treatments for Black, Indigenous, Latine, and other residents of color with health insurance, though it won’t help those who don’t have access to or can’t afford health insurance. All REIAs are available to the public here.

Programs for the People
Free Weekly Veggie Giveaway

The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) hosts three weekly free veggie giveaways of local, fresh organic produce including kale, collards, lettuce, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, squash, herbs, flowers, and MORE! They occur May 9 through November 30 (weather permitting). In Ward 5, the weekly giveaway is at the Edgewood Rooftop Farm (at the Edgewood Recreation Center - 301 Franklin St NE) every Tuesday from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Free Fitness Classes in Ward 5

Local gym, Bourne2Fly, is providing free fitness classes every Monday at 6:00 p.m. at their location (3408 18th St NE), sponsored by FITDC. These functional fitness classes started in May and will continue through July and provide DC residents a high quality fitness experience, connecting their mind, body, and community. Spaces are limited and registration is required on Eventbrite

Let's Get Grant Ready Info Session for Great Streets

The Get Grants Ready Session will discuss common errors and reasons for rejection to help applicants prepare for the next round of Great Streets, Locally Made Manufacturing, and Neighborhood Prosperity Fund grants applications. Join the info session on Tuesday, June 20, 2023 at 10:00 AM at 1015 Half Street, SE, Suite 675. Learn more and RSVP here.

Hiring Fair - Leaf Collection Season
Summer is the time to prepare for leaf collection season! Participate in one of the many recruitment events to explore a temporary position with the Department of Public Works. Remember, DPW is a Second Chance Employer. Register now on Eventbrite.
Know Your Power - A Civic Engagement Art Contest

Pepco, the DC Public Library Foundation and DC Public Library are calling on youth between the ages of 13 - 19 to use their creative voice to make a difference. 

Between May 22 and August 15, youth can submit an original work of writing, photography, film, visual art, or music that expresses their feelings on a social issue that matters to them. They’re looking for pieces that are not only well-crafted but have a strong voice and perspective on a subject pertaining to civic engagement.

Winners will be selected in the categories of Visual Art, Writing, Music, and Film & Photography. Entries will be judged by representatives from Pepco and D.C. Public Library's Teen Council. Prizes include:

  • Prize for Writing: Laptop
  • Prize for Film & Photography: Canon EOS 4000D
  • Prize for Visual Art: Wacom CTL4100 Intuos Graphics Drawing Tablet
  • Prize for Music: Fender Electric Guitar
Learn more and submit your original work here!
2023 Student Air Quality - Art & Comic Contest
The Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) in partnership with the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) invites 9th - 12th graders attending a public high school or public charter high school in the District to submit 2-D artwork that celebrates and portrays a clean air future in the District. Themes that students may choose to focus on for their artwork include: Air Quality & Transportation, Air Quality & Climate Change, Asthma & Your Health, Community Science, and Wildfires & Smoke. Contest winners will be selected for Best Comic ($200), Best Artwork ($200), Second Place ($125), Third Place ($75), and 8 honorable mentions. The deadline for submissions is July 31. Learn more and submit artwork at on the contest website!
Team Zachary in the Community
Ward 5
Psyce Podcast Recording
June 10 - 2:00 p.m.
@ STABLE Arts (336 Randolph Pl NE)

Join our neighbors at STABLE Arts to celebrate Pride this weekend at The New Eagle Creek Saloon. Their gallery will be activated on Saturday and Sunday with programs that highlight Black Queer Histories in DC and beyond. On Saturday, join Psyce Podcast co-hosts Muse + Steph for a raucous, yet informative afternoon as we celebrate Black Music Month at the New Eagle Creek Saloon. For their first live recording, the podcasters highlight and celebrate Black Queer Music Icons. RSVP here.
Fierceness Served! The ENIKAlley Coffeehouse
June 11 - 2:00 p.m.
@ STABLE Arts (336 Randolph Pl NE)

Join our neighbors at STABLE Arts to celebrate Pride this weekend at The New Eagle Creek Saloon. Their gallery will be activated on Saturday and Sunday with programs that highlight Black Queer Histories in DC and beyond. On Sunday, Fierceness Served! The ENIKAlley Coffeehouse focuses on the history of The Coffeehouse, which was home to a vibrant community of Black LGBT artists and activists in Washington, DC during the 1980s. RSVP here.
"We Live in Music" - Black Dance Panel
June 11 - 2:00 p.m.
@ Woodridge Neighborhood Library (1801 Hamlin St NE)

Woodridge Neighborhood Library will celebrate Black Music Month with an exciting Black Dance Panel, "We Live In Music." This professional panel of dancers will give unique presentations that will move the crowd and they will discuss why music is the lifeforce of dance.
Discover Summer Kick-off
June 17 - 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
@ Woodridge Neighborhood Library (1801 Hamlin St NE)

Get ready for a summer of reading fun at the library! Learn how to participate in DC Public Library's summer reading program. Join neighbors for games for adults, teens, and kids, along with music, library gifts, and prizes.
Social Community Clean-up
June 17 - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
@ Yang Market (138 U St NE)

Summer brings sunshine, farmer's markets cream wrappers, soda cans, and whole new varieties of trash!  So come join the Eckington Parks & Arts cleaning crew. Meet new neighbors and help make the neighborhood beautiful. If you become a regular, you'll get one of the fetching lime green tee-shirts. And Lost Generation is offering free drink tickets for anyone who cleans for at least an hour. Or clean on your own time whenever it's convenient. Gloves, grabbers, and bags provided. 
Fort Totten:
SMD 5A06 Community Yard Sale
June 24 - 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
@ Entire SMD 5A06 Area 

Join neighbors for a community yard sale in SMD 5A06 (Fort Totten area), hosted by Commissioner Kweku Toure'! For more information, contact Commissioner Toure' at 
North Michigan Park:
Community Yard Sale
June 24 (rain date July 1) - 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
@ Grounds of Faith United Church (South Dakota Ave and Decatur St NE)

Join neighbors for a community yard sale in North Michigan Park! If you'd like to have a table, there are small fees associated. For more information, contact: Susan Letherer 202-441-2076 or Lula King 202-635-7777 and 301-559-8403.
Around DC
Fort Circle Park:
Land Conservation Day with Casey Trees
June 25 - 1:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
@ Hellbender Brewing (5788 2nd St NE)

Hellbender Beer Hall and outside patio will be open for the duration of the event, as well as a BBQ food truck (Beef Space BBQ), raffles, partner tables, and several games. Other activities are scheduled thus:

1:00pm - Tree Tour of Hellbender Hill (first tour)

2:00pm - Treevia in the Beer Hall

3:00pm - Live Music Starts (Half Pint Harry)

4:00pm - Tree Tour of Hellbender Hill (second tour)

6:00pm - Live Music Ends

Casey Trees’ land conservation program aims to restore fragmented patches of urban forest, enhance urban ecosystems and public health, and protect green space for trees to grow and neighbors to connect with nature. We work with local landowners to steward natural areas and improve the conditions of those sites. This is a public event - you do not need a ticket. However, registering for a free ticket helps us predict attendance, and donating in the event checkout directly supports Casey Trees' efforts to restore, enhance, and protect DC's tree canopy.

Across the city:
Capital Pride Alliance - Pride Month Events
June - All month long

Visit the Capital Pride Alliance's website for a variety of Pride Month celebrations and events, all Pride Month long. 
News You Can Use
Most-clicked links from last week's newsletter (not just news!)—
Meet with the Councilmember - Office Hours
My next office hours event will be on Saturday, June 24 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the playground at Turkey Thicket. These events are a great opportunity to meet and chat with the me, get connected with my office's staff, and meet your neighbors. I hope to see you at the park!
One highlight of my week was swearing in a new commissioner for ANC 5D01 (Union Market area), Hector Arbuckle. With this swearing in, there are now no ANC vacancies in Ward 5. This is a huge win for representation in the Ward. Welcome and congratulations, Commissioner!

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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