This evening Ward 6 DC Councilmember Charles Allen will announce the winners of the Ninth Annual Ward 6 Brickie Awards. Begun eight years ago by then-Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells as the Livable Walkable Awards, the awards became dubbed “The Brickies” by the local newspaper Hill Rag. The awards are an annual celebration of the people, places, and organizations that make the Ward 6 community great.
“Hosting the Brickie Awards is a tradition I'm excited to continue,” said Councilmember Allen. “I am honored to recognize the following winners of the 2015 Ward 6 Brickies.”
2015 Neighbor Award | Rachelle Nigro | Commissioner, ANC 6E04
Rachelle Nigro is currently serving her third term as the 6E04 Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in the Mount Vernon Square and Shaw neighborhoods. First elected in 2011, Nigro has been a tireless advocate for her constituents and a community leader who regularly organizes neighborhood events, from safety walks to holiday caroling. A native Washingtonian, Nigro serves on a number of Boards of Directors of community organizations and has been a volunteer at the Smithsonian Institution for the last twenty-four years.
Allen stated, “Commissioner Nigro’s energy is boundless. She walks her neighborhood block by block, where no issue is too small or too large to tackle. Her neighbors know and trust her – on public safety, small businesses, parks and public spaces, transportation, and just about any issue they need.”
2015 Community Organization Award | Southwest Neighborhood Assembly | Bruce Levine, President
The Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA) is a community organization formed in the 1960s to advocate on behalf of residents of Southwest DC and to preserve the neighborhood’s diverse history. SWNA publishes a monthly newspaper, The Southwester, with a circulation of 12,000, organizes monthly community meetings, and provides other forums to discuss topics of interest and concern to Southwesters. It has been a leading voice for equitable access to social, educational, and economic opportunities for all residents of Southwest.
Allen noted, “SWNA may have just celebrated its fiftieth anniversary, but the organization gets stronger every day. Whether advocating for fair housing, preserving neighborhood history, or helping chart the course of the Southwest Waterfront’s future, SWNA and its neighborhood leaders are a group I can count on.”
2015 Business Award | Hill’s Kitchen | Leah Daniels, owner
Hill’s Kitchen is an independent gourmet kitchenware store that opened in May 2008 adjacent to the Eastern Market Metro station. The philosophy of Hill’s Kitchen is to offer everything for the cook in a lively, homelike store atmosphere with knowledgeable staff and extraordinary service. Every product is carefully selected and characterized by excellent design and the highest available quality. Store proprietor Leah Daniels has lived in the area for her entire life. Hill’s Kitchen is proud to be part of the Capitol Hill community in Ward 6.
Allen said, “Hill’s Kitchen is so much more than just a great neighborhood store. Leah Daniels has created a true community space where you may go in to buy a new spatula, but you leave with the latest neighborhood news. Leah has also provided leadership to our local business community – whether navigating a sometimes byzantine DCRA to collaborating with MPD on public safety concerns.”
Public Service Award | Rachel Skerritt | Principal, Eastern High School
Rachel Skerritt has served as the proud principal of Eastern Senior High School, the Pride of Capitol Hill, since 2011. Eastern is the only comprehensive high school in DC Public Schools to offer the International Baccalaureate World Diploma. Prior to her role at Eastern, she served as a teacher, principal, and then Chief of Staff for Boston Public Schools. Skerritt, who also calls Ward 6 home, recently completed a Principal Ambassador Fellowship with the US Department of Education. She holds degrees from University of Pennsylvania, University of Massachusetts, and Georgetown University.
Allen commented, “Principal Skerritt is the type of educator and leader every school wants. She has led the transformation of Eastern Senior High School, graduating its Legacy Class last spring. The energy she brings to the school to create award-winning programs, to inspire young learners, and grow the confidence in public education is motivating a generation of school leaders and communities.”
Civic Pride Award | DC Public Library | Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Executive Director
The DC Public Library is a vibrant center of activity for residents and visitors across the city and throughout Ward 6. DCPL is recognized as a force in the community for engaging the mind, expanding opportunities, and elevating the quality of life. With six branches across Ward 6, DCPL is central to the civic life of our neighborhoods. From the Northeast and Southeast branches on Capitol Hill, to Rosedale in Hill East, Watha T. Daniel in Shaw, and the Northwest One and Southwest branches, our libraries and their Friends Of organizations grow community, educate us, entertain us, and build citizens.
Allen noted, “The library is no longer just a place to check out a book. DCPL inspires civic pride across our city by creating an environment that invites not just reading, but active learning and community strengthening that builds a thriving city. Whether with an innovative ‘maker space’ with 3-D printing, a stirring Washingtoniana collection to tell our city’s history, or fighting for family literacy with Sing, Talk, and Read, the DC Public Library is part of the best of our city and neighborhoods.”
Tonight’s celebration at the Eastern Market North Hall will be held from 6pm to 8pm and is open and free to the public. Guests will enjoy free food and drink from the event’s sponsors. All are welcome to attend.