Skip to content Skip to footer

What’s in the FY24 Budget?

View the entire newsletter easily by clicking here

Ward 5 Weekly Newsletter
May 19, 2023

Quick Links
Want just the highlights? Don't miss:
Dear Ward 5 neighbors, 

On Tuesday this week, the Council took its first of two votes on the FY24 budget, bringing us one step closer to deciding how we will allocate DC's nearly $20 billion budget. Our city is in a very strong financial position. Ward 5, specifically, receives funding for an array of much needed projects in this budget—from nearly $11 million for the North Capitol deck over, to $24.7 million for a new Langdon Community Center, to public safety investments, traffic safety investments, and more. 

In the FY24 Budget Overview section below, I get into more detail about the bold investments this budget makes. Take a look! Our next and final vote is May 30. 

I do think this budget could have gone further. On Tuesday, I sought to move amendments to the budget that would have allowed us to fully fund Give SNAP a Raise, No Senior Hungry, additional funds for ERAP, the District Child Tax Credit, and more—all benefiting Ward 5 residents and Washingtonians across our city. Unfortunately, these amendments did not have the support needed to move forward. However, I remain committed to working with my colleagues to explore opportunities for advancing these and other transformative policies. Who is the District's comeback for? I believe it should be for everyday Washingtonians.

Councilmember Parker's statement before the Council's
first vote on the FY24 Budget. 
This newsletter also shares important updates in the Ward 5 Updates section including Mayor Bowser's announcement of an Interim Chief of Police, a town hall with Congresswoman Norton about the District's relationship with the National Park Service (NPS), and, of course, programs and events to check out. Keep reading for more!
FY24 Budget Highlights
Ward 5 Budget Wins

Ward 5 won big in this year's budget! Read below about the many investments we were able to secure for our community. 

Targeted Investments in Community Safety
As a member of the Housing and Health Committees, I'm proud to have advanced and secured two investments that will provide targeted support in our Edgewood and Trinidad communities.

  • $200K in FY24 for improvements to enhance security and cameras at Edgewood Terrace in response to repeated reports of car break-ins and theft.
  • $200K in FY24 for a Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health Targeted Outreach Pilot targeted on the 1100-1300 blocks of Mount Olivet Road NE in Trinidad to combat rising opiod death rates. 

Progress on Traffic Safety
As a member of the Transportation and Environment Committee, I have worked closely with the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) to elevate Ward 5 residents' concerns. I am proud to have secured significant investments in this year's budget that will improve street safety and advance environmental justice in Ward 5. 

  • $1 million in FY24 for road safety improvements to slow down dangerous drivers on South Dakota Avenue.

  • Fully funded the Arboretum Bridge and Trail, which can proceed to construction in the next two years.

  • Received a commitment from the DOEE to install a federally funded air quality monitor in FY24 in the Ward to provide ongoing data about dangerous particulates in our communities. 
Business and Economic Development Enhancements:
Through my team's community outreach, we've received a range of feedback from small business partners on how we can improve business development in the Ward. One seemingly small but significant investment I advocated for and that I'm proud that we were able to secure was expanding the New York Avenue Great Streets program to include parts of the Trinidad community. New businesses like Calypso Ice Cream and Coffee were excluded from government growth opportunities, but that is now changed. 

Protected Future Capital Funding for Ward 5 Safety Projects:
In this budget, we fund big design projects through our capital funding, and I'm proud to have the following major investments that will help advance our community. 

  • $11 million to continue developing concepts for the redesign of North Capitol Street in FY25

  • $27 million to overhaul the New York Avenue corridor, including the construction of the New York Avenue trail in FYs 26 and 28

  • $27 million to overhaul the Bladensburg Avenue corridor in FYs 28 and 29
  • $50 million in FY27 and 28 to create a new metro entrance at the NoMa Metro Station to improve access to Florida Avenue NE and our Union Market community. 

Investments in Ward 5 Schools, Libraries, Recreation Centers and Programs
As a member of the Facilities and Family Services Committee, I work closely with the Department of General Services (DGS), and I'm well aware of the ongoing maintence and facility-upkeep issues at many Ward 5 schools, parks, and recreation centers. I am proud to have secured small capital investments in a number of Ward 5 schools while protecting funding for our community landmarks.

  • $181,721 to repair or partially replace the roof of Burroughs Elementary School

  • $125,000 to improve the cafeteria bathroom at Langdon Elementary School 

  • $100,000 to repair or partially replace the roof of McKinley Tech 

  • $50,000 to improve, refresh, or refurbish playground equipment at Burroughs Elementary School

  • $50,000 to replace a control module at Noyes Elementary School 

  • Funding for FoodPrints, which serves Burroughs and Langley Elementary Schools 

  • $15 million in FY24 to complete the new community center at Crummell School

  • $24.7 million in FY24 to complete the Langdon Community Center redevelopment 

  • $24.7 million in FY 24 and 25 for a new DCPL Branch Library in Edgewood/Eckington 

  • $19 million in FY 24 and 25 for the modernization of Harry Thomas Recreation Center 
Despite our tough budget year, we were able to secure significant investments for Ward 5 that will improve residents' quality of life. Even still, there are many more investments we will look to secure in future years, including school modernizations, recreation center modernizations, capital investments, and more. Thanks to every resident that provided feedback and advocated for these investments. 
Ivy City neighbors and Fix Crummell School Now! advocates (including Councilmember Parker) stand in front of the Crummell School renovation site. The Council's FY Budget includes $15 million in additional funding for the renovation.
Citywide Budget Wins
I am proud of all the Council did to restore funding to many critical citywide areas as we've worked on the budget these past few months. As we approach our second and final vote on May 30, I want to express deep gratitude to the many, many neighbors who shared their priorities with us and advocated for a powerful and effective budget. Your voices were, and remain, vital. Thank you. We have much to look forward to!

Public Safety
As our city grapples with rising violence, the Council fully funded MPD's budget asks for officers, recruitment, and retention incentives. We also funded hire for use civilians to free up officers for patrols and investigations while maintaining violence interrupters, and we restored $10.5 million in funding for crime survivors that the Mayor proposed cutting.

We also fully restored the Access to Justice Initiative (ATJ) at $31.6 million, which the Mayor proposed cutting by $18.6 million from its FY23 level. ATJ helps low- and moderate-income residents access the civil justice system and works to achieve greater equity in access to justice. More than half the funding ATJ receives is directed to housing interventions, and more than 33,000 residents utilized ATJ services in 2022. 

The Council restored services for survivors of domestic violence by adding $7.5 million to the proposed budget. It provides an additional $3 million enhancement to help providers weather inflationary pressures, for a total FY24 increase of $10.5 million. 

School Safety
The Council unanimously approved my amendment to create a School Safety Commission, taken from the School Safety Enhancement Act I introduced earlier this year. The Deputy Mayor for Education will lead for the next year. The Commission is tasked with soliciting feedback from educational and public safety stakeholders to propose how non-police personnel can help improve school safety and will deliver a report early next year ahead of our next budget vote. 

An average of 16,300 renters are still not caught up on rent payments. The monthly rate of eviction filings in the District rose by 42% as compared to the 2022 monthly rate, while scheduled evictions increased by 250% between January 2022 and January 2023. That's why I'm proud the Council restored the nearly $35 million the Mayor proposed cutting from the Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP). Restoring these funds is essential to preventing displacement and housing insecurity, and I am proud my colleagues and I worked together to make it happen.

The Mayor’s proposed FY24 budget eliminated funding for Project Reconnect. Project Reconnect is a cost-effective shelter diversion and rapid-exit program for adults experiencing homelessness. The Council restored the $1.2 million budget for Project Reconnect in FY24, the same level of funding the program received in the FY23 budget. 

The Mayor’s proposed FY24 budget did not provide funding for any new permanent support housing (PSH) vouchers. The Council added 150 PSH vouchers for individuals ($4.5 million) and 80 PSH vouchers for families ($3.48 million), as well as 16 FTEs (full-time employees) to get those vouchers out the door. 

Economic Development 
To support our retail corridors this year, the Council’s FY24 budget invests $3.2 million and 1 FTE for retail support grants issued by the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, $1.3 million in additional funds to bolster the District’s Main Streets program, $1.2 million for downtown safe commercial corridor grants, and $1.0 million for business interruption grants. 


The Council's FY24 budget proposal funds 24-hour bus service on 13 of the most used routes throughout all 8 wards of the District with $12 million ($11.2 million recurring and $800,000 one-time) to WMATA. This includes the 80, 90, 92, B2, and H4 here in Ward 5. The expanded service could begin as early as December 2023 and is expected to serve approximately 44,000 customer trips in the first year. These routes are some of the District’s busiest and serve areas of the District with high concentrations of businesses with late operating hours, such as restaurants and bars, and areas with less access to rail.

$16.5 million is also being sent to DDOT in the Council's proposal, to restore 3 Circulator bus routes – Eastern Market–L’Enfant Plaza, Dupont Circle–Georgetown–Rosslyn, and Woodley Park–Adams Morgan–McPherson Square Metro – that were eliminated in the Mayor’s proposed budget. 
Additional funding provided in the budget we voted on Tuesday includes:
  • $1.9 million in one-time funds to OSSE for a grant to a not-for-profit organization that currently partners with DCPS to integrate farming, cooking, and nutrition education curriculum into core academics 
  • $8.8 million to the OCFO to restore the funding to implement the Child Wealth Building Act of 2021 to facilitate the growth of generational wealth. This “Baby Bonds” program will provide all eligible children born in D.C. after October 1, 2021 with a government-funded investment account with an annual investment of up to $1,000 until the child is 18 years old 
  • $57.3 million to DDOT in FY 2024 – FY2026 for capital costs associated with the Safe Streets for Students Amendment Act of 2022, which will improve street safety around DC schools
  • $5.0 million to DDOT for a redesign of the K Street Transitway. While the Council supports a reimagined K Street, there are concerns that the current vision for the project has not fully accounted for post-pandemic travel trends and was developed in isolation from a comprehensive vision of the District’s downtown. To ensure that the design meets the needs of District residents and visitors, the Council maintained $5 million for the redesign of the project.
Ward 5 Updates
Tomorrow: WMATA Better Bus Live! Experience Workshop
at Turkey Thicket
Tomorrow, May 20, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., join WMATA at Turkey Thicket (1100 Michigan Ave NE) for a Workshop Event to explore the Draft Visionary Network for an improved Bus Network ("Better Bus"). Learn more about the network and share your feedback with WMATA representatives. More details here
Public Safety Update
Yesterday, I was with MPD and Assistant Chief Kane at the scene of a homicide in Edgewood (300 block of Franklin St NE) involving an unidentified adult male victim. This violence is senseless and tragic. If you have any information, audio or video recordings, please share it with MPD by texting 50411 or calling 202-727-9099.

I know this part of Edgewood has raised concerns for some time now. My team is collaborating with community partners and District agencies for ways we can effectively address the numerous issues, all of which contribute to issues of safety. 

Mayor Bowser announced an appointment for Interim Chief of Police following Chief Contee's recent announcement of departure: Ashan M. Benedict – Interim Chief of Police – Metropolitan Police Department (MPD).
  • "Ashan M. Benedict is appointed Interim Chief of Police at the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). Chief Benedict joined MPD as Executive Assistant Chief of Police in early 2021, responsible for managing the day-to-day operations of the department. Prior to joining MPD, Chief Benedict served in several leadership roles at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), most recently serving as the Special Agent in Charge in the Washington, DC Field Division. He began his ATF career in 1998 as a special agent assigned to ATF’s High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (HIDTA) Task Force in Washington, DC. As a street agent, he investigated violent drug trafficking organizations, armed robberies of commercial businesses, armed carjackings, gang-related racketeering murders and firearms trafficking offenses. Chief Benedict was involved in ATF’s response and investigation of several notable events and incidents, including the September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the Pentagon; the Beltway Sniper investigation; ATF’s response and support to New Orleans, LA after Hurricane Katrina; the Washington, DC Navy Yard active shooter; the San Bernardino, CA, mass shooting terrorist attack in December 2015 and the mass mailing of pipe bombs in New York City in October 2018." 

    "Please join us in congratulating Chief Benedict as he takes on this leadership role within the Administration. We also thank outgoing Chief Contee for his decades of dedicated service to the District and proving excellence is transferrable."  

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 today reiterating my expectation that NPS will fully survey Fort Totten and other parks for any harmful elements. 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
Congratulations to
Dunbar HS Girls Track Team,
McKinley Tech Boys Track Team,
and Luke C. Moore Basketball Team!
We're celebrating some big Ward 5 wins this week!
Congratulations to the Dunbar HS Girls Track Team for winning the 2023 HS Girls Outdoor Track and Field Championships! 

Congratulations to the McKinley Tech HS Boys Track Team for winning the 2023 HS Boys Outdoor Track and Field Championships!

Congratulations to the Luke C. Moore Basketball Team for winning the 2023 Opportunity League basketball Championships!

Let's have a round of applause for these Ward 5 DCPS teams 🏾🏾🏾
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
  • Installation of Residential Permit Parking Signs - Read and comment here
  • Riggs Rd NE Protected Bike Lanes - Read and comment here
Lamond-Riggs/Lillian J. Huff Library Closed Tomorrow
The Lamond-Riggs/Lillian J. Huff Library will be closed tomorrow, May 20. The concrete benches planned for the outdoor space at the library will be installed. Because a crane will be needed and the entrance will be blocked, they have decided to close the library for the day to ensure everyone’s safety. They do not anticipate the installation of the benches will take more than one day so we expect the library to re-open on Sunday, May 21.
Florida Ave NE/NW Bus Priority Project Kickoff Public Meeting on May 25

On Thursday, May 25 from 6:00 to 7:30 p.m., the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) will host a public meeting to introduce the Florida Avenue NW/NE Bus Priority Project. This meeting is being held to introduce the project to the community and “kickoff” the outreach process. This includes bringing in Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANCs), residents, and other stakeholder input from the combined ANCs of 1B, 2G, 5E, and 5F to solicit more cohesive feedback along the entire project corridor. This project will propose multi-modal improvements for the Florida Avenue corridor from 9th Street NW to 1st NE in order to enhance transit service and reliability and improve the overall traffic safety in the area. For more information about this project please visit here or contact the project manager Matthew Hendrickson at or 202-673-6813. Meeting information and join link can be accessed here.

Walk With Me in the 2023 Capital Pride Parade!
Walk with Ward 5 neighbors and me in the 2023 Capital Pride Parade on Saturday, June 10. Learn more information about the parade here, and sign up to walk with us here. See you there!
Select DPR Spray Parks Opened May 15
Don't forget: select spray parks opened for summer on May 15. From 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. you can cool off at the following Ward 5 spray parks: 
  • Edgewood Spray Park (301 Franklin St NE)
  • Turkey Thicket Spray Park (1100 Michigan Ave NE)
The rest of DPR's spray parks will open for summer next Saturday, May 27. For a full list of spray parks opening across the District, click here.
ANC and Civic Association Meetings

This week, my team attended the Fort Lincoln Civic Association Community Walk, Bloomingdale Civic Association, ANC 5E, Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association, Hanover Area Civic Association, ANC 5B, ANC 5C, and Fort Lincoln Civic Association meetings. Here's a brief recap: 

  • Fort Lincoln Civic Association Community Walk (May 15 at 6:00 p.m.): ANC Commissioner Anthony Dale (5C01) along with our office, MPD, and members of the Cannon Village Condos community within Fort Lincoln walked the neighborhood. Neighbors shared concerns regarding heightened security and partnership between the Homeowners Association, the Property Management Team, and Private Security. 

  • Bloomingdale Civic Association (May 15 at 7:00 p.m.): We discussed the Council's budget vote which was occurring the next day, including how the money for North Capitol will be used to follow through on the feasibility study. I support the deck-over and want to hear from all communities along North Cap about what the best path forward is after we get the results of the study. There was also conversation about Bloomingdale Day, abating rats with dogs and potential dangers to the dogs, and street safety along North Cap.   

  • ANC 5E (May 16 at 7:00 p.m.): I shared about the budget vote and responded to Commissioner requests to expedite a pilot for rat proof trash cans, street safety investments, and NY Ave Rec renovations (which were passed as part of the financial plan in the budget). 

  • Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (May 16 at 7:00 p.m.): We joined members of the Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association for a discussion on Public Safety along with MPD Sergeant Keith Byrd of Sector 2 which encompasses the Brookland Neighborhood. MPD gave the community a brief on recent crime events and trends taking place in the area. Our office gave our actions steps for solutions moving forward.

  • Hanover Area Civic Association (May 17 at 6:30 p.m.): We reviewed the previous safety walk with MPD 3D and the Citizens Advisory Council which revealed that long-time businesses along North Cap have been successful at building trust and respect with the community and thus haven’t had as many issues with crime. There’s interest in expanding Safe Passage for Dunbar west of New Jersey Ave NW and bringing back Roving Leaders to the area. S.O.M.E. (So Others May Eat) is opening up a community resource hub on North Cap for the whole community to use, including a library, notary, computer hub, theater, and grocery.  

  • ANC 5B (May 17 at 7:00 p.m.): Commissioners passed a resolution to ask the Council to not let Automated Traffic Enforcement revenue to go to the general fund. There was a community member who also wants to start an anti-racist policy working group.  

  • ANC 5C (May 17 at 7:00 p.m.): DC Water shared with residents about the Lead-Free DC program and how residents can learn more about pipe work within ANC 5C. DC Plug also shared information regarding DDOT and Pepco’s initiative to move service lines underground. FEMS provided and update on the relocation process of Engine 26. The site at Queens Chapel Rd/20th St NE and Evarts St NE is no longer being considered for the relocation of Engine 26.

  • Fort Lincoln Civic Association (May 18 at 6:30 p.m.): Commissioner Dale (ANC 5C01) shared concerns about inconsistent responses from DPR and DPW about the status and future of the Theodore R. Hagans Center. Neighbors have been frustrated with these issues as well. Residents also shared concerns about the upkeep of Fort Lincoln Park. 

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, May 22
    • 6:00 p.m.
      • SMD 5C01 Quarterly Social
      • Joint SMD 5A01/5A07 Meeting
    • 7:00 p.m.
      • Edgewood Civic Association
  • Tuesday, May 23
    • 7:00 p.m.
      • ANC 5F
  • Wednesday, May 24
    • 7:00 p.m.
      • Joint SMD 5B06/5C07 Meeting
  • Thursday, May 25
    • 6:45 p.m.
      • ANC 5A
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.
Legislative Meeting Recap
Beyond voting on the FY24 Budget, here are some highlights of activities at the Council's Committee of the Whole and Legislative Meetings this past week: 
  • Under the Home Rule Act, contracts over $1 million must be submitted to Council for approval. The Council voted to approve 2 contracts and several purchase orders for DCPS. However, they also expressed deep concern that DCPS has 36 retroactive contacts totaling $269 million dating back to fiscal year 2021 that the Council needs to approve. Without approval of these, vendors could missed payroll and students would lose important services. Next week, the Committee on Public Works and Operations will hold a hearing on bill B25-0069, District of Columbia Public Schools Procurement Authority Amendment Act of 2023, which proposes to take away DCPS’ independent authority for procurement and entering into contracts. This means DCPS would need to go through the Office of Contracting and Procurement. You can sign up to testify at the hearing on May 25 at 10:00 a.m. here.
  • The Council also approved the Sense of the Council on the Restoration of Cuban American Relations Resolution of 2023. It states that Council supports the United States ending the economic blockade of Cuba and remove it from the State Sponsors of Terrorism list and urges President Bident to take action.  
  • The Council also approved appointing the following District agency Directors:  
    • Timothy Spriggs for the Department of Public Works 
    • Colleen Green for the Department of Housing and Community Development 
    • Lindsey Appiah as the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice 
    • Heather McGaffin for the Office of Unified Communications 

Additional Hearings Next Week: 

  • The Committee on Transportation and the Environment is holding a Roundtable on Traffic Enforcement in the District, May 23 at 10:30 a.m. The Committee recognizes that in the long-term the best and most equitable way to improve the safety of our roads is to build safer roads, but enforcement of traffic rules will always remain an important part of our Vision Zero policy. Our current enforcement regime needs improvements, and therefore, the Committee convenes this roundtable to explore how to improve traffic enforcement to reverse current road safety trends and get back on track to achieve our Vision Zero goals. Rather than conduct a hearing or roundtable on a single solution, the Committee hopes to hear a broad range of input and proposals that can inform future legislative and policy reforms. Members of the public who were not invited to testify at the hearing are encouraged to submit written statements that will be made part of the official record. Copies of written statements should be emailed to the Committee at Please indicate that you are submitting testimony for this hearing in the subject line of the e-mail. The record will close at the end of the business day on Tuesday, June 6, 2023.

  • The Committee on Facilities and Families Services is holding a hearing on the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor report called “Multiple Failures Found in Roosevelt High School HVAC System," May 25 at 12:00 p.m. It will also examine the role of Consolidated Maintenance Contractors in school maintenance. We’ve heard from neighbors that several DCPS schools are in disrepair, and many have closed on school days for repairs. Sign up to testify here
Update on DC Policing Reform Law

After the murders of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd in 2020, DC Council swiftly took action in June 2020 to pass emergency legislation: 

  • Banning DC police from using neck restraints and chokeholds; 
  • Requiring the Mayor to release body-worn camera recordings and name of officers who commit officer-involved deaths or use of serious force within 72 hours; 
  • Expand Police Complaints Board to include DC residents from each Ward; 
  • Grant authority to the Executive Director of the Office of Police Complaints to investigate abuse and misuse of police powers including looking into officers that fail to intervene in or report use of force they observe of another officer including excessive force and misconduct;
  • Requiring MPD officers to complete continuing education on: racism and white supremacy, limiting use of force, de-escalation tactics, obtaining consent for police searches, the duty to report and how to report suspected misconduct of another law enforcement officer; 
  • And more. 

This week the DC Office of the Attorney General issued an opinion stating this law became final because the 60-day congressional review period ended on April 20, 2023. That means if Congress wanted to take action to disapprove this law, they should’ve done so before that date. You can read the full text of the bill here. According to the OAG's official opinion, while the House of Representatives passed a resolution disapproving the Act on April 19, the period for passing a joint disapproval resolution lapsed without any action by the Senate. Under the Home Rule Act, any disapproval resolution that the Senate might pass at this time would have no legal effect on the validity of the Act in the District.

Mental Health Awareness Month

What is 988, and when should you use it? 
I’ve been seeing these signs around metro stations and wondering what this phone number is. 988 is a 24/7 hotline anyone can dial if they’re having, or know someone who is having, a mental health, substance abuse, or suicidal crisis. People that staff this line are trained crisis counselors and can help with both immediate needs and ongoing care. One of its goals is to divert mental health crisis calls from 911 to 988 to have a mental health specialist instead of law enforcement respond to the crisis.  

The Department of Behavioral Health (DBH) also operates a 24-hour mental health hotline, 1-888-793-4357, which can be used for people feeling anxious or depressed or want to talk about their health before it reaches a mental crisis. 

Programs for the People
Free Paint Drop-off and Giveaway Event

PaintCare is a Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) program that establishes used paint collections through retail drop-off locations, one-day paint drop-off events, door to door pick-up services for households with at least 5 gallons of paint, and large volume pick-up services for anyone with more than 100 gallons of paint. Please visit PaintCare’s website or call (855) 724-6809 to find the nearest paint drop-off location to you or to schedule a pick-up.

Upcoming free paint drop-off event for households & businesses:

  • Saturday, May 20, 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., RFK Festival Grounds Lot 8  - Register here

Produce Plus Enrollment Now Open

Produce Plus is a farmers market incentive program where participants can get $40 a month to spend at participating farmers markets.  Even if you participated in Produce Plus in 2022, you still need to submit an enrollment form to participate in 2023. There are three ways to enroll:

  • Fill out the online form & use “codeDOL23” when enrolling 

  • Call the Produce Plus hotline at (202) 888-4834, 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday – Friday to speak to a representative 

  • Sign up at a Produce Plus location (details to be announced) 

What happens after you complete the form? 

  • After completing your application, FRESHFARM will let you know if you are in the program for June or if you are placed on a waitlist. 

  • Unfortunately, there are a limited number of spots available, but FRESHFARM plans to add more participants starting in August after the initial wave of enrollment. 

  • If approved for the program, you will receive your Produce Plus FRESHFARM confirmation within 3 business days via your stated communication preference: phone, email, or text. 

Important Dates 

  • May 8: Enrollment opens to the public. 

  • May 31: First round of public enrollment closes. 

  • June 1: Produce Plus program starts at participating farmers markets across DC and will run until November 30

Questions? Please email or call (202) 888-4834 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., Monday – Friday to speak to a representative.

Job Readiness Training Program
Capitol Bridge, a Department of Employment Services (DOES) grantee, is launching a job readiness course for District residents 22-54 years of age. Earn $16.10/hour for this full-time training course conducted in-person, and receive resume coaching, interview preparation, customer service training, and more. If interested, call 202-935-5738 or email
New Requests for Applications - Grants with the
DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities
The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities released new Requests for Applications for three grant programs on Monday, May 8.
Art Bank Program - Deadline 9:00 p.m. ET, June 30, 2023
The Commission on the Arts and Humanities (CAH) requests applications from qualified artists and District nonprofit art galleries or organizations for its Fiscal Year 2024 Art Bank Program.
Arts and Humanities Fellowship Program - Deadline 10:00 p.m. ET, June 13, 2023
CAH recognizes the impact of individual artists and humanities practitioners within the District and supports the vitality that those individuals bring to the local community. This grant opportunity encourages progress in the arts and humanities by sustaining, highlighting, and elevating the accomplishments of individual District-based artists and humanities practitioners.
Projects, Events, or Festivals - Deadline 10:00 p.m. ET, June 13, 2023
This grant opportunity program goals are to:
  • Provide access to high-quality arts and humanities experiences for all District of Columbia residents.
  • Improve quality of life by supporting vibrant community projects within the arts and humanities.
  • Strengthen the creative economy through investments in local individuals and organizations.
Find more info about these granting opportunities at:
Team Zachary in the Community
Ward 5
Social Community Clean-up
May 20 - 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

@ Quincy Lane NE
The clean-ups are getting outrageous. Armies of volunteers. Legions of fun. Sparkling sidewalks. Custom tee-shirts! Meet at the community courtyard garden on Quincy Lane NE on May 20 for an Eckington Parks & Arts and Eckington Civic Association-led clean-up! Meet new neighbors and join the cleaning crew! If you become a regular, they will give you one of their fetching lime green tee-shirts. Lost Generation is offering free drink tickets for anyone who cleans with neighbors for at least an hour. Or clean on your own time whenever it's convenient. EP&A provides the gloves, grabbers, and bags. Keep Eckington beautiful!
Community Conservation with Casey Trees
May 20 - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
@ Langdon Park Forest Patch (2901 20th St NE)

Join Casey Trees as they continue their work at Langdon Park to conserve the forest patch and care for young trees! Help turn a turf area into urban forest by spreading mulch at a newly designated “No Mow Area” and clip back invasive vines along the forest edge. Casey Trees will provide all the necessary tools and supplies to remove invasives and care for trees. Participants will receive a short, hands-on training on site. After learning the tools and techniques, participants will split up into groups and begin working throughout the park. Open to the general public, you do not need any prior experience to join us and on-site training will be provided. However, please register in advance. All volunteers must pre-register and sign a completed volunteer waiver form BEFORE participating in the Tree Care event.
Flower Power 2023 Neighborhood Beautification Day
May 20 - 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 3:00 - 6:00 p.m.
@ 52 O St NW

Join for the Bates Area Civic Association's 2023 Neighborhood Beautification Day and Spring Party. In the morning, help with tree box beautification and trash pick-up, starting at 1st and P St NW. Email to volunteer to help organize. In the afternoon, attend the neighborhood potluck party at 71 P St NW. Email to RSVP and nominate your favorite yard in the neighborhood for recognition. Thank you to Bates Area ANCs for their sponsorship.
Truxton Circle:
52 O St Studios - Spring Open Studios
May 20 - 12:00 - 4:00 p.m.
@ 52 O St NW

Join for this thrice-yearly Open Studios, where 52 O St Studios artists and businesses open their doors to the public. This is a rare opportunity to meet artists in their studios, where you can see newly finished pieces and works in progress. In addition to fine artists, 52 O Street Studios is also home to numerous galleries, photographers, designers, and other creative businesses. Don't miss this chance to connect with the artists and creatives of DC's largest studio building! Learn more here.
Bloomingdale 20th Annual Community Day
May 20 - 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
@ Crispus Attucks Park (23 U St NW)

Hosted each May, Bloomingdale Community Day is an opportunity for the neighborhood to gather to celebrate our neighborhood and give back to the park. Join neighbors for food, musical acts, local vendors, children’s face painting, and the annual dog show! Learn more and sign up to volunteer or be a sponsor here.
Edgewood Chess Challenge Series
May 20 - 9:00 a.m.
@ Edgewood Recreation CEnter (300 Evarts St NE)

Join DPR for a two-part chess championship with a seeding event on Saturday, May 20, and the final championship on Saturday, June 10. Learn more and register here.
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
Anacostia River Festival
May 20 - 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
@ Anacostia Park (Anacostia Dr & Good Hope Rd SE)

Join this free family event that includes canoe rides, fishing workshops, live music, food, artisans, vendors, and more! Learn more here
Congress Heights:
Senior Fest
May 31 - 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
@ Gateway DC Pavilion (2700 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave SE)

The Senior Fest is an annual FREE event celebrating DC's seniors. Senior Fest 2023: Believe the HYPE is on Wednesday, May 31 at the Gateway Pavilion. Participants will enjoy socializing with each other as they experience live entertainment, music, health exhibits, board games and guest speakers. Lunch will be provided. Learn more here.
RFK Stadium:
Annual Truck Touch Festival
June 3 - 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
@ RFK Stadium Lot 8 (2400 E Capitol St SE)

The DC Citywide Annual “Truck Touch” will be held Saturday, June 3, 2023, from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at RFK Stadium, Lot 8. The event will feature a variety of free activities for kids and adults. A host of DC government agencies will present and demonstrate nearly 30 vehicles used to clean and repair streets, change traffic lights, collect refuse, clear snow, provide emergency services, administer mobile health care, and more. Coordinated annually by the DC Department of Public Works (DPW), kids are encouraged to climb into trucks and adults invited to test drive various equipment. The DC Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) will also provide a bevy of activities for kids and adults including tennis, basketball, and fitness activities. Free boxed lunches will be provided to kids up to age 18 as part of the DC Free Summer Meals Program. Learn more and register here.
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. Location to be confirmed. These events are a great opportunity to meet and chat with the me, get connected with my office's staff, and meet your neighbors. Stay tuned!
One highlight of my week was continuing the tradition of Mother's Day Brunch with Fort Lincoln seniors at 3400 Banneker Drive NE. Where would we be without the moms and mother figures that raised us, guided us, and poured into our lives? Many thanks to Ms. Doris Foreman who helps us plan this event each year, to Melissa Ebong for helping with decorations, and to Commissioner Dale (5C01) for providing chicken and fish. I don't know any better than Ward 5!

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
Copyright © *|CURRENT_YEAR|* *|LIST:COMPANY|*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.