Hope you've been able to enjoy fall in Ward 6. It's Friday, and before you check out for the weekend and tune in for some fun Halloween activities, I wanted to get the latest information to you on many fronts. We've got news on vaccines for children, Halloween activities this weekend, and more.
With the projected rainfall today, tonight, and a bit tomorrow, be sure you check that your drains are clear.
Spooky Quick Links: Vaccines for Kids | Halloween in The 6 | Public Safety | Redistricting Hearing | Leaf Collection | Free Bikeshare | DDOT Director | CHAW Lease | Navy Yard Profile | Monthly Basic Income | Free Trees | COVID Resources | Outdoor Office Hours
Details Announced for Vaccines for Kids 5-11
Just announced today are details for planned vaccine distribution once the CDC approves the Pfizer product for children ages 5-11. At this point, the FDA has approved the vaccine (under emergency use authorization), which comes in a different dosage than the adult version, and DC Health anticipates approval by the CDC as soon as next Tuesday. Once that approval is given, the product will be shipped out, meaning vaccines won't be available immediately. DC is set to receive around 24,600 vaccine doses initially.
More than 60 locations in the District have been set as providers for administration of the vaccine to children ages 5-11 once it is approved, and can be found on Vaccines.gov once they are offering the product. Vaccines will initially be available at select community pharmacies such as CVS, Giant, Grubb’s, Safeway, Walgreens and Walmart, as well as health clinics throughout the community. Children’s National Hospital has already announced that in addition to offering the COVID-19 vaccine to their pediatric patients at their eight primary care locations, they will also be offering the vaccine via their Mobile Unit throughout the community. You can also check directly with your pediatric provider.
The Department of Health has also announced several "pop-up" clinics around the city in November. To date, there are three locations scheduled in Ward 6 and there will be more announced soon. DOH has said they will announce further details soon, but expects these will be treated as first-come, first-serve (i.e., no registration website). I will share more details about the hours and specifics as they are announced by DC Health:
- Kennedy Recreation Center: 1401 7th St., NW, on November 10.
- Payne Elementary School: 1445 C St., SE, on November 13.
- KIPP Leadership Academy: 421 P St., NW, on November 16.
I am concerned that this does not cover all our neighborhood and have already asked DOH to add additional site, in particular in Southwest where there are no pop-up clinics currently scheduled. While certainly helpful, these three sites don't meet all the needs or spread out the accessibility across Ward 6. DC Health has committed to me more sites are in the works and that they will focus on greater neighborhood distribution.
Halloween happens in Ward 6
Halloween is always a special time (is it a full season at this point?) in Ward 6, and even as we continue to exercise caution around the spread of COVID-19, there's a lot happening around the ward. Here's a quick, and almost certainly incomplete, rundown of activities:
Sunday is the Official Day to Trick or Treat: Right now, the weather forecast looks great. Be sure to be safe and it's advised even outdoors, that the kids should wear a mask.
Hill-O-Ween! Hill-O-Ween is back! Well, the rain might dampen some of the spirit, but the organizers say it is on rain or shine! Hill-O-Ween will happen at Eastern Market from 5:30-7:30 pm. Check out their website and sign up for email updates.
James Creek Haunted Alley: On Saturday, join Ward 6 Mutual Aid and neighbors at James Creek for a haunted alley walkthrough from 5-7 pm. More information here.
Mt. Vernon Triangle Fall Fun Day: Saturday from 10 am to 12 pm, Milian Park (5th and Mass, NW). Includes a mini monsters parade and dog costume parade and contest. More here.
Lincoln Park Pet Costume Contest: Howl-to-the-Chief's annual pet costume contest returns in Lincoln Park. Details here.
Public Safety Update
Recognizing public safety remains a concern for many Ward 6 neighbors, I wanted to continue to share some updates on the important steps to make our community safer now and ensure we’re laying the groundwork for greater safety in the coming years. While it can seem overwhelming given the size and scope of our criminal justice system, it can be useful to think about our efforts in two buckets: holding people accountable (after a crime is committed), and preventing crimes from being committed in the first place.
In the first bucket, that’s where MPD, federal law enforcement partners, federal prosecutors, public defenders, and more all work. In the second bucket, that’s where we invest in violence interruption work, support for victims of crime, rehabilitation while incarcerated, support for returning citizens to reduce the number of repeat offenders we have, and targeted deterrence through things like public space improvements in known hot spots, job training + family support focused directly on high-risk individuals, and more.
In the middle of both buckets are our laws, which focus both on accountability (stronger gun laws and penalties), supporting survivors and victims of crime navigating the system, and reducing the number of repeat offenders, which makes us safer ultimately when we are able to pull people away from the cycle of violence. This is why you hear me talk about this challenge as needing "both/ and” solutions involving both accountability and preventing crime with public health focused interventions and programs. If you have specific questions about what we're working on, please don't hesitate to ask.
Last year, I created and funded a Gun Violence Prevention Director, set in the City Administrator’s office, to spearhead much of our focused deterrence efforts. I’ve written about her unique position nationwide before, but this Kaiser Health News profile does a nice job highlighting some of her work, which is just getting started, but often goes unseen in our daily conversations around crime.
A few ward-specific updates:
- An arrest has been made in two carjacking attempts near H Street that occurred earlier this week.
- MPD has announced suspects in a few different homicides, including a March 13, 2021 homicide on the 600 block of O St., NW. Sharing for awareness.
- Arrest made in a burglary in Shaw.
Related: Years ago I helped create the Private Security Camera Rebate Program, which helps offset the cost of installing security cameras on your property in exchange for providing any footage to MPD that can assist in an investigation. It's been very successful in solving everything from package theft to more serious crimes. If you weren't aware, learn more here.
Redistricting Hearing in Ward 6
The District's review of the 2020 Census data and required redistricting of the Ward lines continues. The Council's special committee on redistricting, chaired by Councilmember Elissa Silverman, met two weeks ago for its first hearing and has begun individual ward-level hearings for residents to share their recommendations. Make no mistake, this is incredibly hard. The math is very straight-forward that Ward 6 will have to become smaller, but it's unclear where and what that will look like. On November 3, 10am, this special committee will host the hearing specifically for Ward 6. You can sign up to testify via Zoom, or email your comments and recommendations to [email protected] or by visiting https://www.elissasilverman.com/redistricting. Following the hearings, the special committee (which I'm not a member of) will vote on a proposed new Ward-level map in mid-November.
Leaf Collection Begins Monday
Its fall and it's time to collect those leaves - leaf collection begins on November 1. As usual, don't bag your leaves - rake them to the curb or in your tree box as the collection window gets close. Collection is done by vacuum. You can find more info and schedules here -- note that every neighborhood should be visited twice between Nov 1 and Jan 15. And keep in mind, these schedules always fall behind based on weather and other issues. Feel free to connect with my office if your street has been overlooked.
Free Capital Bikeshare Membership for DC Residents
As the ongoing safety inspections for WMATA Metrorail cars are set to continue through mid-November, I wanted to make sure you were aware of one way to help get around the city: free 30-day Capital Bikeshare memberships.
Public Hearing on the Next Director for DDOT
This week, the Council held an all0-day public hearing to consider the nomination of Everett Lott as the next Director of the District's Department of Transportation. I know safe streets and road and sidewalk conditions are a major concern across Ward 6, so I'm sharing my opening remarks here so you have a sense of what I'm looking for from the next Director. We cannot have business as usual as we keep losing DC kids to dangerous driving and bad road design.
CHAW Lease Renewal Advances
Almost everyone in Ward 6 has a CHAW story. The legendary community art center has played a formative role in so many of our lives and been a big part of making Ward 6 a great place to live. I've been working with my colleagues at the Council to get the Capitol Hill Arts Workshop a new and longer lease in their building. Last week, the Council's Committee on Business and Economic Development advanced legislation unanimously to do just that. It now advances to the Council for two votes before granting permission for CHAW and DC government to engage in a new 20-year lease.
Spotlight on Navy Yard
For neighbors in Navy Yard and Capitol Riverfront, check out this quick read profile in Axios DC.
Monthly Basic Income Expands Locally
Earlier this summer, the I helped lead the Council to create a monthly basic income for tens of thousands of low-income working families and adults, part of an effort that also funded thousands of vouchers for homes for our homeless neighbors and a major investment in our child care sector with a small increase on taxes for high-income earners. Just this week, Montgomery County has announced a similar pilot, which approaches the policy a little differently - it'll be great to be able to compare the impact from each and learn what works best. While the two programs take different approaches, the end result is one that has a lot of promise for our residents and region: more money in the monthly budget to help families make ends meet. More in DCist.
Free Trees. Yes, Really!
On this rainy Friday, just a quick plug for the District's excellent Riversmart program, which covers most of the cost to make installations that prevent water runoff into our rivers when it rains heavily. That includes free trees that are delivered and planted by the good folks at Casey Trees.
Reminder: COVID-19 Resources for DC Residents
Get Vaccinated: For DC residents 12 and older, it's free and very easy to get vaccinated right away near your home.
Track Data and Metrics: The District has made a lot of helpful information available to all residents to evaluate risk by understanding the impact of COVID-19. Check out the data here.
Are you a community group or organization wanting to hold a vaccine clinic? Check out DC's Vaccine Exchange program, which helps local groups, ranging from nonprofits to community groups to faith-based organizations pull together vaccine clinics. This is a great resource to support the excellent work many groups are already doing on the ground.
Wear a Mask in Public Indoor Settings: Vaccines are the most important tool, but so is being smart about minimizing spread -- wear a mask when you are around others indoors (and for prolonged periods outdoors). The District continues to have an indoor mask requirement. Please wear your mask when around others or in public spaces indoors. Don't give employees at businesses a hard time -- just wear the mask. And get vaccinated if you haven't yet. It's safe and really effective at preventing serious hospitalization and death and slowing the transmission to others.
Self-Testing in Ward 6: If we're going to beat this virus, testing will be a critical part of our fight. After DOH initially rolled out only a single self-test site for all of Ward 6, I asked DC Health to expand the number of self-test sites in the Ward and am happy to share they have expanded to five sites (covering all four quadrants of our Ward) offering simple COVID-19 test kits you can use at home. The locations are:
- Arthur Capper Community Center (1000 5th St SE)
- Rosedale Recreation Center (1701 Gales St NE)
- Southwest Library (900 Wesley Pl SW)
- Watha T. Daniel Library (1630 7th St NW)
- DC Health (899 N Capitol St NE)
Testing Sites are still operating: Find daily updates about where and when here.
Fall Outdoor Office Hours
Just plugging the two outdoor office hours on the calendar at the moment for Ward 6 neighbors. These are opportunities for you to talk with me and my team directly about any issue, big or small, on your block, in your neighborhood or in the ward. And we ask that everyone wear a mask to ensure we can offer both a welcoming and comfortable environment for everyone.
See you around the neighborhood,