Dear Ward 5 neighbors,
This week has been a poignant reminder to me of why I ran for office in Ward 5: to improve the material conditions of neighbors. Regardless of zip code or background, residents deserve a healthy and vibrant shared quality of life. My vision is clear and my commitments have remained steadfast: that we must address the crushing weight of poverty, our inequitable educational system, and the converging health crises of mental illness and opioid overdoses if we wish to build the healthy communities we all deserve.
From moments with community members this week—visiting Petit Scholars and grieving the horrific event involving teachers and little ones, joining advocates to discuss the importance of the District Child Tax Credit, attending a vigil for A’nee Roberson, to hearings in the Wilson building where I engaged in oversight around the opioid crisis and housing—I was reminded of the power of our community.
We are strongest when we come together. While tempting, we cannot give in to fear. What I’ve seen this week, from events on Saturday all the way to meetings today, is that the ways neighbors come together is where our power lies. I refuse to accept the condition of our communities plagued with violence and suffering. My commitment is to continue working alongside you to keep building the Ward 5 we deserve. And there is a lot of work to do.
Whether you look at the major pieces of legislation I’ve introduced, or the questions I ask in oversight hearings, or the gatherings I convene with community members, my laser-focus is on addressing poverty. When we look at our communities, we see that poverty affects everything: education, health, employment, becoming justice-involved, and more. This specific attention to poverty is how we can begin to tackle every other major issue we see in our city, and I am committed to serving Ward 5 neighbors by alleviating the compounding burdens it imposes.
In this edition of the Ward 5 Weekly newsletter, you’ll find an update on the Petit Scholars event that occurred Monday, a recap of my office’s Ward 5 Monthly Public Safety Call this past Wednesday, lots of Halloween events to look forward to at DPR facilities, next week’s Community Chat with the Councilmember at the Arboretum Community Center, an upcoming community meeting for the Langdon Community Center Redevelopment, information on leaf collection which begins in Section A of Ward 5 on October 30, and lots more.