Summer is officially here. With schools out and the pools open, take some time to enjoy our parks, recreation centers, and the many free neighborhood events that will be taking place. But we also know summer can be hard for our families who struggle to put food on the table. With school out, our food pantries will face extra demand and could use your generosity. I'll try to highlight ways we can take care of each other below. Let's make it a great summer in Ward 6 for everyone. Speaking of which, everyone is welcome to walk with me in the best Fourth of July parade in America next Wednesday, July 4, at 10am on Barracks Row.
Summer Food and Meals Finder: When schools are out for the summer, many kids lose access to regular, healthy meals. Thankfully, there are a number of resources for families, including free meals for kids under 18 and many farmer's markets that participate in the District's Produce Plus Program that helps families afford fresh veggies and fruits. The DC Summer Food Finder (http://www.dcsummerfoods.org/) is a great resource. Please note for our Southwest residents -- King Greenleaf Rec Center serves free meals for all age groups, but it doesn't show up under the free summer meals program tab for children specifically.
Pools and Spray Parks are Open: Pools are now open daily. I pushed DPR to open an hour earlier at 11 am so parents with younger children could enjoy the pool before afternoon naptime. DC pools are free to all residents with an ID. Information on guest passes here.
Affordable housing project breaks ground in Mt. Vernon Triangle: Liberty Place Apartments, located in Mt. Vernon Triangle, broke ground on Friday, June 22. When completed in early 2020, the building will offer 71 affordable apartments, the vast majority of which will be offered at 50 percent of the area median income. Fourteen of those units are set aside for people recovering from homelessness, seven of which are specifically for veterans. The site will offer similar amenities to many of the buildings in MVT, including expansive rooftop views, meeting rooms, and nice amenities in each apartment. The plans call for eight studio units, 56 one-bedroom units, and seven two-bedroom units, all located in one of the most walkable and transit-friendly neighborhoods in the city.
Beautifying Lansburgh Park: I joined volunteers from Deloitte and Playworks DC to clean up and beautify Lansburgh Park in Southwest last month. I've included $900,000 in the budget to update the park, but until that work starts, the fresh paint, newly-drawn lines for games, and trimmed trees give new life to the park. Thanks to all the volunteers for taking time out, and be sure to swing by the park to see some of the beautiful art for yourself.
MPD annual Beat the Streets kicks off at Greenleaf: Last week outside the King Greenleaf Rec Center in Southwest, the Metropolitan Police Department kicked off their annual Beat the Streets block parties in each police district in the city. The events bring together neighbors with police officers and representatives from many city agencies and nonprofits, hoping to maintain and build strong relationships during the summer months. While this was the only Beat the Streets event in Ward 6, the Fifth District event on July 18 is just across the border at 10 N St., NE if you want to check it out and learn what resources are available.
'A Historic Day for Surrogacy': On June 15, the first District residents took advantage of our new surrogacy law to begin the journey to becoming parents. I was proud to author this legislation, changing DC's surrogacy law from one that still criminalized a medical option many couples rely on to a progressive law that protects parents and surrogates and ensures best practices for healthy outcomes for all. Read more about the historic day here and here's the Post's coverage from last year when the bill became law.
Public hearing on my bill to lower DC's voting age to 16: The room was full 45 minutes before a public hearing on my "Youth Vote Amendment Act" even began on Wednesday, June 27. I introduced this bill because at the age of 16 your relationship with the government changes considerably and I think you deserve to have a voice if I can use your tax dollars and pass laws that affect you. During the hearing, panel after panel of young people made it clear they are engaged and want a voice in decisions around schools, public safety, food policy, and housing. NBC National News met with students to discuss the bill. As we consider how we can encourage greater voter turnout, keep in mind that in jurisdictions where the voting age is 16 for local elections (DC would be the first to lower the age for all elections), 16- and 17-year-olds vote at twice the rate of adults. Here's the Post's coverage from the hearing - don't mind the lead photo, I'm very sure this is a good idea.
The Circulator has officially returned to Southwest: As of Sunday, June 24, the DC Circulator returned to Southwest! Since taking office, I've been pushing to see the Circulator return. Here's a summary of the changes to two routes and here's a handy map.
DCPS Adopt-a-School Program: Are you looking to help improve your neighborhood school, but don't know where to start? In 2015, DCPS launched the adopt-a-school program to facilitate more community support for specific schools. Applications for next year are now being accepted.
I just joined Instagram: I finally caved and joined Instagram - follow me @CMCharlesAllen. I will be sharing the account with staff to ensure we post regularly. But I'm looking forward to it -- dogs and food, that's the secret to success, right?
NoMa construction closes M Street one more weekend: If you live in NoMa, you probably noticed M Street was closed last weekend between First Street, NE and Delaware St., NE for planned construction. We have one more weekend of the same closure.
Beware of DC Water Scams: There have been reports of people posing as employees for DC Water calling or knocking on doors and seeking to gain entry into a home to check water quality. This is not how DC Water or any other utilities operate -- it is rare that a utility will seek access to your home. If you receive such a visit or have any questions, call DC Water at 202-354-3600. More info here from DCist.
Walk with me in the Barracks Row Fourth of July Parade: Join me next week on July 4 and walk in the best Fourth of July parade in America right in our backyard on Barracks Row! We'll provide flags and beads and everything else - I just need you and your neighbors to walk with me as we kick off our Independence Day celebration on Barracks Row. RSVP here!
Ward 6 Week 2018 - August 6-10: Last year, Ward 6 Week was the biggest its ever been. We went kayaking and boating, watched a movie outdoors, did some biking, visited the National Building Museum, and more. We're busy planning another fun week as an opportunity to bring together neighbors and explore all that our community has to offer during the week of August 6-10. More info to come shortly!
I'll be at these Upcoming Events:
Neighborhood Outdoor Movie Screenings
Capitol Riverfront FRESHFARM - Sundays, 9am - 1pm, May - October, 200 M St., SE