Over the last week, you’ve likely heard the news about lead in the drinking water at twelve DCPS schools. As a Councilmember, and also as a father, I have found this news totally infuriating. There is no safe level of lead and we all should feel a sense of urgency about getting to the bottom of how this happened and why parents weren’t notified immediately. At hearings last week, and again this week, I have talked with Chancellor Henderson, other DCPS leadership, and DGS Director Chris Weaver about the testing and notification process and I’m not satisfied that the city has done everything we should to make sure parents can have full confidence in the safety of the water in our schools. DGS has committed to retesting every water source at every school and DCPS has committed to notifying parents when above-limit results are found. I also believe testing should be offered for the children at the impacted schools to give parents greater confidence in their child’s safety.
I have been working with my Council colleagues Mary Cheh and David Grosso, and I’m looking forward to the joint hearing their Committees will hold in June with the whole range of city agencies involved in lead testing, remediation, parent notification, and student health. I don’t think our current testing protocols are thorough enough or far enough reaching. We may need to look at expanding testing to our DPR Recreation Centers and fields, our libraries, and also ensure charter schools have trusted testing protocols. Parents deserve full confidence that the water their children drink is safe and if it’s not, that the appropriate actions are taken immediately to notify them and fix the problem.
For parents and neighbors looking for more information on testing results and other resources, please click here and here.
7th DC Career Fair A Big Success
Last week, I co-hosted our 7th Career Fair at Arena Stage in Southwest. I partnered with my friends Councilmember Elissa Silverman and Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney Snowden. Without question, this was the best Career Fair we’ve hosted yet. Over 700 DC job seekers came prepared to talk with nearly 50 employers. Our goal was to have people ready to be hired and to have employers ready to offer. Hundreds of connections were made, and the Career Fair started off in the best way possible. Thomas Penny, General Manager of the Marriott Marquis, helped us start the day by presenting a full-time job offer to a very deserving DC resident! And the matches and job offers continued all day!
DC United Demolition Begins
On Monday of this week, I joined Mayor Bowser, Chairman Mendelson, Southwest neighbors, and pretty much the entire DC United team to mark the official start to the demolition for the new stadium on Buzzard Point. This marks the beginning of the infrastructure and horizontal part of the development that the city is providing. Once that work is complete, the construction of the stadium will be done by the team and everyone’s goal is to have the new home for DC United open for the 2018 season. It’s not every day I get to drive and operate and excavator, and I won’t lie, it was a whole of fun to help knock down a building and make way for DC United.
Ward 6 Budget Town Hall
Last week, nearly 50 neighbors joined me on H Street NE to dig in deep on the city’s proposed budget for next year. It was a great conversation about priorities and problems, and I was very happy to help answer so many questions. It’s also very helpful for me to hear your priorities as we head into committee votes next week on the Mayor’s proposed budget. Did you miss the Town Hall? Fear not, we’ve posted all the power point slides from the discussion! Here’s the link: http://www.charlesallenward6.com/fy17_townhall.
Small Business Week in DC
Next week, the District will be celebrating Small Business Week. There are a host of events taking place, but on Monday, the Department of Small and Local Business Development will have two pop-up events in Ward 6 to create opportunities for entrepreneurs and local businesses to get more resources. And on Tuesday, I’ll join Mayor Bowser and DSLBD to celebrate and kick off my “Made In DC” legislation that was recently passed by the Council! You can join me too at Lab 1270 at Union Market - 1270 5th St NE at 5:30pm. Find out more and the full schedule of events: http://dslbd.dc.gov/SmallBusinessWeek.
- Are you ready for one of DC’s best festivals on the Anacostia River? Kingman Island Bluegrass Festival, Saturday, 4/30: http://www.kingmanislandbluegrass.com/.
- The Hill Center will host the annual “Volunteer Capitol Hill” event. How do you give back to your community? Find out how on Saturday, 4/30. Over 35 volunteer organizations will be participating: http://hillcenterdc.org/.
- Amidon-Bowen ES hosts a community day and yard sale fundraiser, Saturday, 4/30, 400 I Street, SW, 10am – 2pm.
- JO Wilson ES hosts Market Day, Saturday, 4/30, 660 K Street, NE, 10am – 3pm. Games, arts, face painting, train rides for the kids!
- Miner ES hosts a PTO Community Yard Sale, Saturday, 4/30, 601 15th Street NE, 9am – 12noon. Plus, DPW will be on site to dispose of hazardous waste!
- Friends of Watha T. Daniel/Shaw Library are holding their quarterly Book Sale, Saturday, 4/30, 1630 7th Street, NW, 10am - 2pm.