Ward 6 Update: June 28, 2024

Read the Ward 6 newsletter.

As you may have heard, the Council finished its budget season, and the spending plan for the next budget is set. In addition to our final vote on the FY25 budget, this week's Legislative Meeting included tightening up our enforcement laws against illegal pot shops and expanding the hours for bars and restaurants so they can operate while the Summer Olympics happen (and a helpful reminder that you can take any of the 13 24/7 bus routes to get you there and back). I shared a quick recap video from Tuesday’s meeting

Around the Ward, we cut the ribbon for the Westerly, a multi-use development in Southwest, that delivers a lot of affordable homes in a beautiful new building, had a picnic in the park to celebrate the Healthy Homes Law being funded, and continued the year-long celebration of Eastern Market’s 150th anniversary

Finally, mark your calendar for our annual Ward 6 Week, happening July 27 through August 2. If you aren't familiar, this is a week when we explore some of the fun and unique spaces in Ward 6 while enjoying the summer slowdown. We’re planning a week full of fun events across our neighborhoods. Stay tuned for more details!


Quick Links: Public Safety | Dangerous Drivers | Washington Gas | WMATA FaresBetter Bus Network | Metrorail Survey | Anti-Home Rule Riders | Fourth of July ParadeERAP Applications | Meals for Kids | After-School Programs | Tuition SupportParent Advisory Council | Great Graffiti Wipe Out | Anacostia River RestorationNeighborhood CleanupsWeatherization Assistance | DDOT Improvements | Heat Safety | Free Entertainment | Folger Shakespeare LibraryBars & Restaurants | 11th Street Bridge Park Preview

Public Safety

Last newsletter, I wrote about what the budget contained specifically for our public safety efforts. It includes an anticipated increase in sworn officer hiring (and preserves the police cadet program at 150 slots per year), incentives to improve hiring and retention at our 911 call center, additional resources for juvenile prosecutions, and restored funding to support victims and help break cycles of violence. 

On Monday, the Mayor and MPD unveiled five new drones that will aid in specific instances with air support, similar to MPD's helicopter. The drone program is part of an increased effort to use technologies to solve crimes and to safely provide real-time information on incidents. An airborne drone or helicopter, for instance, can be a lot safer in situations where a car chase is underway. Here's the press release on the announcement, which includes some interesting data on the helicopter's involvement in calls for service.

I'll note that the Department of Public Works (DPW), the agency responsible for booting, towing, and removing vehicles from our roads, recently (finally!) launched a pilot program where vehicles with recent and repeated dangerous driving infractions are prioritized for booting and towing. Since the pilot program started, DPW has towed hundreds of cars. This is exactly what we should be doing and I've been pushing and asking for this at the Council. It's also part of the STEER Act I led through the Council. Booting and towing is another tool we have to hold people accountable when they speed dangerously through our neighborhoods and refuse to change their behavior. It cannot only get them to pay their tickets, but it also brings focus to how dangerous their driving behaviors are. Our automated traffic camera program only works if people feel like they must pay the fine. But, as you've probably noticed, there's a number of people (especially Virginia and Maryland drivers) who opt not to pay. Without taking the opportunity to boot and tow, we aren't going to see dangerous drivers change their behavior. You might recall a portion of the STEER Act created a new point system focused on speeding violations within a six-month window, with more coverage from DC News Now.

Ward 6 Public Safety Updates

Stanton Park Crash Emphasizes Need for Accountability

Recently, a driver ran off the road and through Stanton Park on a Saturday morning, crashing into a cherry tree near the playground. Fortunately, no one was hurt, and the driver was arrested and charged with a DUI, among other charges. This incident is scary and unacceptable, and it could’ve been much worse. That exact tree is one where I've had my kids take their cherry blossom photos each spring, and I know many people are rattled and angry that this could happen. This incident is a stark reminder of the importance of holding reckless drivers accountable, which is one reason I introduced the recently passed STEER Act

Learn more in my recent video.

Washington Gas Told to Refocus on Safety in a Win for Ratepayers

The Public Service Commission rejected Canadian-owned Washington Gas’s $672 million PIPES 3 proposal, which would dig up and replace nearly every gas line in the District, regardless of repair needs, passing hundreds of millions of dollars onto ratepayers. Notably, utilities like Washington Gas take a fixed percentage of profit from all infrastructure projects. Instead – in a much more sensible approach – the Commission directed Washington Gas to come up with a plan focsed on targeted urgent leaks and align with our climate goals.  The focus should be on safety, not securing a windfall over the coming decades when District law is actively moving away from the use of fossil fuels.

I led the Council in submitting a letter opposing the project with my colleagues earlier this year. I think the PSC landed in a reasonable place with this one.

WMATA Fares Increase this Sunday

As you'll remember, WMATA had previously proposed steep reductions in services months ago. I'm pleased DC, along with Virginia and Maryland, were able to help fund the agency to continue service. Additionally, in April the Metro Board announced a 12.5% fare increase, keeping in line with inflation. Starting Sunday, June 30, customers will see the fare increase, with Metrobus fares going from $2 to $2.25. Metrorail will range from $2.25 to $6.75. Metrorail's late-night and weekend service will range from $2.25 to $2.50, depending on the distance traveled. Reduced fare programs will continue to be 50% off regular fairs. Monthly unlimited passes will range from $72 to $216.

Last Call for Feedback on WMATA Buses

Last week, we hosted a town hall on the proposed WMATA bus routes in Ward 6. These are big changes and I’m grateful we got to dig into the nitty gritty of every Ward 6 route — particularly routes in Southwest and the lack of any bus service around Lincoln Park. I'll be fighting to make changes to WMATA's proposals to better serve our communities. Thank you to everyone who joined us to discuss. My team and I are taking all feedback and we'll add it to a letter that we'll send to WMATA. If you want to review the routes and changes, explore the Ward 6 Better Bus Town Hall presentation on our website, and a video of the meeting. I’ll post my final letter on the website, as well.

Still have more to say about buses? WMATA is accepting feedback on the 2025 Better Bus Network through Monday, July 15.

WMATA Also Wants Your Input on Metrorail

Metro is exploring new ways to improve riders’ experience on Metrorail, and to assist, you can fill out a brief survey. Your insights can help shape improvements for all of our region’s Metrorail.

Anti-Home Rule Riders Highlight Need for Statehood

The House Appropriations Committee’s recent markup of the FY 2025 DC appropriations bill included several anti-home rule riders – including allowing concealed carry permits from any state, prohibiting mask and vaccine mandates, and prohibiting DC from spending our own funds to implement the rule relating to the California Vehicle Emission Standards. This is another example of people elected by residents far outside of DC spending needless time trying to take control of our city. Yet again, we’re reminded that until the nearly 700,000 residents of DC have full statehood and autonomy, the District will be seen and treated as a colony.

Let's Walk in the Barracks Row Fourth of July Parade!

Join me and my team in the 21st annual Capitol Hill Community Fourth of July Parade! It's the biggest little Fourth of July parade in the nation! We'll meet at 9:30 a.m. Thursday, July 4, under the freeway on the south end of Barracks Row. The parade kicks off at 10 a.m. Let us know you'll join us, and I look forward to seeing you there on Thursday, July 4!

And if you're out celebrating that evening, remember there's fare-free travel on Metrorail, Metrobus, and MetroAccess after 5 p.m. that day.

Ward 6 Bars & Restaurants Are Racking Up Recognition

The Washington Post recently asked more than 1,400 residents to vote on their favorite dive bars in the DMV. No surprise here: readers love Ward 6 locations, including the Pug (1234 H St. NE), the Tune Inn (331 ½ Pennsylvania Ave. SE), and Trusty’s Full-Serve (1420 Pennsylvania Ave. SE).

The RAMMY awards are the annual best-of awards for our restaurants across DC and Ward 6 is looking to bring home some hardware! Businesses that are 2024 finalists include the Duck & the Peach (300 7th St. SE), Hiraya (1250 H Street NE), Irregardless (502 H Street NE), Pascual (732 Maryland Ave. NE), Red Bear Brewing Co. (209 M St. NE), and Stellina Pizzeria (508 K St. NW). The awards are July 21, but you can go ahead and show these nominees some love now.

Meanwhile, Food & Wine named Daru (1451 Maryland Ave. NE) a best new restaurant in the U.S.

And get a slice of this pie: Did you know the 8th best pie shop in the U.S. is right here in our city? In Ward 6, in fact: Combining savory and sweet with live music, Pie Shop (1339 H St. NE) lands on USA Today's top-10 pie shops list.

Cheers to our community!

ERAP Applications Open on Monday

Starting Monday, July 1, the DC Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP) will accept applications until 4,000 are received. If you need support, call the ERAP hotline at 202-507-6666.

Summer Meals for DC Kids

Throughout the summer, DC kids 18 and younger can get free meals and snacks at more than 100 DC Youth Meals sites across all eight wards – with 12 locations in Ward 6. The DC Youth Meals Program runs from June 26 to August 25.

DCPS Parents: Don't Miss Deadline to Register for an After-School Program

I know summer has just begun, but you may as well take something off your back-to-school to-do list by registering for DC Public Schools’ after-school programs for the 2024-25 school year. The after-school schedule, from the end of the school day until 6 p.m., provides academic support, free supper or a snack, and other activities led by DCPS staff or partner organizations.

Participation in high-quality after-school programming has been proven to improve school attendance, academic achievement, and attitudes toward learning. Students attending two and a half hours of after-school programs each day gain the equivalent of nearly two months of learning time, a phenomenal opportunity for all DC families.

Applications Open for Tuition Support

Applications for DC Futures, DC Tuition Assistance Grant, and the Mayor’s Scholars Undergraduate Program are open for DC residents pursuing higher education. The deadline to apply is Sept. 6. 

Join the Parent Advisory Council

My School DC is recruiting parents and guardians – particularly in Wards 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, and 8 – to apply for its Parent Advisory Council. Members provide input on policies, serve as community ambassadors, and advise the Common Lottery Board. If you're interested, apply by June 30.

The Great Graffiti Wipe Out Heads to Ward 6

Starting Monday, July 1, the Department of Public Work’s graffiti abatement team will power wash and paint walls to remove graffiti and illegal posters and stickers from public spaces in Ward 6. The Great Graffiti Wipe Out is DPW’s graffiti removal work throughout the District this summer. If you see graffiti in your neighborhood, call 311 to report it.

Anacostia River Corridor Restoration Plan

DC’s Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) has announced that the Anacostia River Corridor Restoration Plan (ARCRP) is open for public comment through July 31. ARCRP is a two-year restoration planning project for the Anacostia River corridor within the District, identifying and prioritizing specific strategies for restoring fish and wildlife habitat, improving water quality, adapting to climate change, and increasing equitable public access to the river area. Participate in the final phase of public engagement.

Need Help Cleaning Up Your Neighborhood?

DPW’s Helping Hand Program supports Saturday neighborhood clean-up projects by providing toolkits and collecting bagged trash. All you have to do is call 311 for the tools and organize a few neighbors.

DOEE Hosts Weatherization Assistance Info Session

The Department of Energy & Environment (DOEE) will host a virtual session on the Weatherization Assistance Program, which helps low-income residents reduce energy bills by making their homes more energy-efficient. Join the session to learn more.

DDOT Improvements in Ward 6

DDOT has several construction projects happening to improve areas throughout Ward 6 through Friday, July 5, including sidewalk repairs in these areas:

  • K Street SE from 11th Street SE to 12th Street SE
  • M Street SW between 4th Street SW and 6th Street SW
  • Maine Avenue SW between 6th Street SW and 7th Street SW

Want all the updates on a regular basis? DDOT has a weekly newsletter dedicated to its upcoming and current construction projects. Sign up online.

Stay Safe in the Heat

I hope everyone stayed safe and cool enough in our recent heat wave. As a reminder, the District Government implements the Heat Emergency Plan, activating cooling centers, when the temperature or heat index is 95 degrees or higher. When it’s hot:

  • Stay indoors: Find places in the shade or with air conditioning to seek relief from the heat.
  • Check on your neighbors: Young children, older adults, and those with disabilities or other access and functional needs are the most vulnerable people in our community.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid liquids that contain alcohol, caffeine, or large amounts of sugar.
  • Wear lightweight, loose-fitting, light-colored clothing and use sunscreen.
  • Do not leave children, pets, or service animals in vehicles, as they can reach dangerous temperatures within 10 minutes.
  • Keep animals indoors, walk them early in the morning, and give them plenty of water.

Additionally, outdoor pools are operating on the summer schedule: Randall Pool is open Thursday through Tuesday. Spray parks operate 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily: If you see a spray park that needs attention, contact 311.

Head Outside for Free Summer Entertainment

Summer nights mean free concerts and movies in DC. Here are a few in Ward 6:

  • Tunes in the Triangle: 6 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesdays through August at Milian Park, 499 Massachusetts Ave. NW. The July 3 concert is with the Breakaways. 
  • Movies on the Pitch: 7:30 p.m. on Thursdays at Audi Field, 100 Potomac Ave SW. The last screening for the season is Wonka on July 18.
  • Live, on the Hill: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Fridays through September at Eastern Market Metro Plaza Park, 701 Pennsylvania Ave. SE. The June 28 concert is with Too Much Talent Band.
  • Congressional Cinematery: 8:30 p.m. on selected Friday evenings through September at the Congressional Cemetery, 1801 E St. SE. The July 5 screening is The Sixth Sense.

Take a Look at the 11th Street Bridge Park

Want to see what the 11th Street Bridge Park could look like in the future? Through October, the US Botanic Garden is showcasing the design with a display in front of its conservatory.

Folger Reopens to Welcome Everyone

After four years of dramatic renovations, the world's largest Shakespeare collection has a new home in Ward 6's Folger Shakespeare Library. We cut the ribbon last week on the new space, aimed at welcoming all visitors, whether they're Shakespeare experts, architecture appreciators, or people who are just curious. This is a great destination for anyone visiting DC, and it's a welcomed asset for the Capitol Hill neighborhood.


See you around the neighborhood,

Charles Allen

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