Yesterday, the Council gave final approval to the city’s budget for next year. Overall, I think this is a very good budget for the District. It includes an investment in many of the things that you and I both care deeply about – with record investment in affordable housing, homeless services, and more. In addition, there are significant investments in WMATA, public transit, public safety, local schools, neighborhood parks, and small business supports. But what gained a lot of attention during the final vote yesterday was how the Council decided to move forward with a tax relief package for residents and businesses. I heard strongly on all sides, and in the end, I offered a compromise amendment which the Council accepted. I wanted to share more about how I came to my decision on this important issue, and posted much more detail on my Facebook page if you’d like to read more.
Last week was a busy week as well. I addressed the DC Commission on Aging to talk about the importance of aging-in-place and the work I’m doing to support an Age-Friendly City. I also joined Council Education Chair David Grosso for a meeting with parents and school community leaders about the recent work of that committee. The conversation focused on the Chair’s new approach to capital budgets and the recent report on school governance. But there were also great questions and discussion about how we continue improving neighborhood schools in every corner of Ward 6. I wrapped up the week with the Hill East Task Force, talking about the future of the RFK site, DC General, and much, much more.
Summer Is Here! Free Meals & Cooling Centers
With summer in full swing, the city is working hard to take care of residents who are sometimes more vulnerable during this time. Do you know about the DC Free Summer Meals program? For many kids and teens, school is the only place where they can rely on two full meals each day. That’s why we provide free meals in the summer to make sure no child goes to bed hungry. Meal sites are located in every neighborhood across Ward 6 and DC. To locate a site near you, text “FOOD” to 877-877, call 1 (866) 3-HUNGRY, or visit osse.dc.gov/service/dc-free-summer-meals-program. In addition to providing food, the high heat and humidity can also mean many of our seniors or vulnerable residents are at higher risk. That’s why we provide “Cooling Centers” across the city. For a map of all the cooling centers, splash parks, and pools to help beat the heat, click here.
Join Me in the Barracks Row July 4th Parade
It’s time for America’s very best Fourth of July Parade! This Saturday, join your friends, family, and neighbors for that favorite annual tradition of the Barracks Row July 4th Parade. If you haven’t already signed up to march in the parade, I’d love to have you join me! It’s a short walk from 8th and I Streets, SE to the Eastern Market Metro Plaza, but it’s a whole lot of fun and there’s no better way to show off your community pride! We’ll be gathering at the underpass on 8th Street SE at 9:30 am on Saturday, July 4th. Sign up to walk with me here: http://www.charlesallenward6.com/4thofjuly
Charles Allen Selected as NCSL Fellow for Early Learning Initiatives
I was very proud to learn that I’ve been selected to serve as a Fellow this fall with the National Conference of State Legislatures focused on Early Learning Initiatives. I’ll be one of twenty-five state legislators from around the country to meet over the coming months and work together on a variety of efforts to improve early learning strategies. I’m excited to highlight my Books From Birth initiative to a broader audience, and this should be great opportunity to learn from others how they’re tackling early literacy challenges, student achievement gaps, truancy, and much more.
As always, thank you for your support and please let me know if there’s anything I or my staff can do to help you or your neighborhood.