I love Thanksgiving around Ward 6. I've joined neighbors in Southwest to hand out turkeys, watched as our small and local businesses gear up for the holidays, and enjoyed seeing every neighborhood in the Ward find ways to come together to help each other out and enjoy what makes this a special place to call home.
And before we all dive into the kitchen to start preparing the big meal (or hitting the road to do so), I thought I'd send out a short newsletter update. The Council is quickly approaching the end of this council period, so the final month is going to be very busy legislatively. And there's plenty happening in the ward, so lots of updates below.
Before we jump in, I've been getting a lot of questions this week about trash and recycling collection around the Thanksgiving holiday. DPW has shared that if your regular trash or recycling day is Thursday (11/24) or Friday (11/25), the collection will slide to this Saturday (11/26). So keep an eye on crews making the rounds on Saturday, and don't set your cans out or let them overflow on Thursday or Friday. Okay, with that, let's jump in.
Quick Links: Shop Local | Capitol Hill Tree Lighting | 2022 Brickie Awards | Public Safety Update | New Climate-Focused Bills | Leaf Collection Delays | DPW Zero Waste | Community Office Hours | Free Weatherization Tools | Safeway Feast of Sharing | Color the Curb Applications | My School DC Lottery | Constituent Services Spotlight
As your inbox starts getting stuffed with Black Friday deals before you've had a chance to finish your first serving of turkey and stuffing, don't forget about our local businesses on Small Business Saturday. I'll be touring around Ward 6 this afternoon to highlight some of the great businesses in our ward that deserve your time and dollars this weekend, and sharing details of my stops on Instagram. Lots of our local businesses have great deals going to help you find a good deal and the perfect gift, all from your neighborhood spot that hires local and gives back right here where you live. It's a win-win!
Related: Check out the $5 gift card promo for shopping small on Saturday from our friends at Eastern Market Main Street!
And after you've shopped until you've dropped at all our great local businesses, join me and the Capitol Hill BID at Eastern Market Metro Park this Saturday, November 26 at 5:30 pm as we turn on the lights for our 20-foot holiday tree and officially kick-off the holiday season. All the details are here.
The Brickies are back! After a two-year run as a virtual-only event, I’m excited that the 16th Annual Ward 6 Brickie Awards will be back *in person* for the first time since 2019. If you haven’t been before, this is Ward 6’s annual get-together, with free food and drink from some of our favorite local restaurants and businesses. And we take time to give some neighbors literal bricks as a way of saying thanks for their contributions to what makes the Ward 6 such a great place. Join me to celebrate the Ward 6 neighbors, organizations, groups, and businesses that go above and beyond to make Ward 6 a great place to call home. We'll be awarding Brickies in the following categories: Neighbor Award, Community Organization Award, Business Award, Civic Pride Award, and Public Service Award. Make sure to submit your nominations and RSVP if you haven't already! I'm thrilled we'll be able to safely get back together in person to celebrate our Ward 6 community and neighbors. Hope to see you there.
In the past two weeks, I’ve met with several different groups of neighbors around the Ward and brought together community leaders, MPD, and others as we work to find public safety solutions for each specific neighborhood. Everyone has the same goal and concern: responding to public safety concerns and making our neighborhood safer for everyone. Each meeting can be different. Sometimes it is helpful to have MPD take time to walk through recent incidents, as well as their progress in an investigation and outline adjustments to recognize patterns. Other times, we have other agencies or community groups outline their efforts to respond to the community. But all of it is geared to focus on improving safety for everyone.
One update I’m happy to report is that MPD has agreed to my request and committed to installing a camera at 15th and Independence Ave SE, something neighbors have been asking for after a series of dangerous incidents.
I’m also glad to share MPD successfully made arrests in a few open carjacking cases, including one on the 200 block of A Street, NE, a carjacking earlier this month at 13th and I St, NE, and unauthorized use of vehicles (the charge for driving a car you don’t own) across the Ward.
It takes a both / and approach to making long-term gains in public safety. We need accountability even as we make investments to reach people who are most at-risk. These aren't things that take effect years down the road, but they are urgent and focused immediate steps. When harm happens, we need to make sure folks face swift and certain consequences. But we also need to be reaching the next kid at-risk right now. As Chair of the Committee on the Judiciary and Public Safety, this has been my approach and one I’m seeing the executive branch embrace in a serious way more recently.
Related: Building Blocks DC Grant Cycle Now Open: The grant cycle is now open from Building Blocks DC to apply for funding. If you are a community-based organization, and your work helps reduce gun violence and increase public safety, this funding is meant for you. These are $5,000 grants aimed at the many groups already doing important work on the ground to help reach young people, and intervene in neighborhood disputes. Apply today.
Last week I introduced two bills aimed at ensuring DC is ready for the coming transition to a more electric, and greener, future. And both bills are focused on ensuring these benefits reach households of all income levels, not just those who can afford solar panels and a new electric vehicle right now.
First, I introduced the Healthy Housing and Electrification Amendment Act will help low- and moderate-income households make the switch from gas stoves and heating to electric, cleaning up the toxins in the air inside many DC homes right now and helping the District as a whole transition off of fossil fuels in the home. For households earning somewhere around 80% or less of the area median income, this transition would be free because the bill lines up with federal incentives to help in the Inflation Reduction Act passed earlier this year. It also includes a fee for permitting to install new gas appliances. I've laid out an ambitious target to reach 30,000 homes. DCist has a great story on the bill's goals.
Second, I introduced the Comprehensive Electric Vehicle Infrastructure Access, Readiness, and Sustainability Amendment Act to require the District to install at least 7,500 charging outlets for electric vehicles by 2030. As we make the transition away from gas-powered vehicles, the District needs to not just be ready. My bill lays out a road map (some pun intended) to make sure these public charging stations are installed across the District for drivers in every neighborhood and at times that make sense -- like whenever we're already doing major streetscape projects. This bill would get DC’s EV infrastructure on the way to a time when people can trust they will find a charging station just as easily as they could a gas station. That’s how ambitious we need to be right now.
I expressed my skepticism in previous newsletters about DPW leaf collection being on schedule, and with good reason – they're already behind schedule this year. DPW has a map where they are reporting out the blocks they've completed, and I've found it so far to be more or less accurate.
The frustration over this is completely understandable, I don’t think DPW should be sending out schedules they cannot stick to. Based on what I’ve seen, I'd estimate they're about a week or two behind schedule to get to your blocks from what they had initially indicated. I will share updates as I get them, but please feel free to reach out to me or my team with questions or concerns in the meantime, and be sure to check the map to see if they've reported already being on your block.
DPW is accepting public comments for a final time until December 30 in response to the Zero Waste DC Plan’s draft framework. The draft was influenced by the over 500 public comments received during the fall public comment period and 18 engagement sessions. Don’t miss your chance to view and provide comments on proposed actions before the final Zero Waste DC Plan is released in Spring 2023. This plan outline the actions that the city must take to achieve Zero Waste at all levels, from education and outreach, incentivizing waste reduction, reuse, and recycling, to rethinking the built-environment to provide more equitable access and increase waste diversion potential. It will impact individuals, household, businesses, and neighborhoods - make sure to provide your input before December 30!
Thanks to everyone who joined me at Radici last Friday for community office hours. If you weren’t able to make it, we’ll be holding another one at Red Bear Brewing in NoMa on Friday December 2 from 4-5:30pm. This is time we set aside regularly and around various community site to help make sure Ward 6 constituents can connect with me on whatever they want. There’s no agenda or set schedule. You can RSVP on my website. Hope to see you there!
Just another reminder about an item in my last newsletter – you can receive free winter weatherization tools from the DC Public Service Commission at eight public libraries on select days, while supplies last. Check here for dates and locations.
For anyone, especially our seniors, who could use a good Thanksgiving meal and some fellowship, a reminder that tomorrow, Wednesday November 23 is Safeway’s Thanksgiving Feast of Sharing at the Convention Center. The event in partnership with Events DC is back in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic. Instead of the usual sit-down dinner, this years’ feast will be a grab-and-go meal box with a Thanksgiving lunch, as well as a gift bag of winter clothes and other items. There will also be live music, special guests, and a COVID and flu vaccine clinic. Doors open at 10am for seniors and 11am for general admission.
The Color the Curb program is a project from DDOT, the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, and DCPS. It supports artists to design a work of art at select intersections located near public elementary schools where curb extensions have been installed to improve safety near the selected schools. The works of art elevates the importance of road and pedestrian safety by highlighting the extended curbs with colorful works of art by local artists. Ward 6’s Miner Elementary has been chosen as a location this year. If you’re an artist interested in painting a work of art near Miner, learn more and apply here! The deadline for applications is Friday December 2.
The application period for the My School DC Lottery begins on December 12. The application is to enter a lottery in order to attend certain DC Public Schools and public charters. All participating schools accept only the My School DC application and each student can apply to up to 12 schools. This resource is helpful for parents in the run-up to what can feel a little stressful for parents. So if you're gearing up for your application, use these tools to help be informed on the entire process.
Constituent Services Spotlight: DC Water Work on A Street NE Between 5th and 6th Streets Ticket Issue Resolved
I want to shout out my constituent services team for their work helping our Ward 6 residents resolve an issue related to improper ticketing because of a DC Water project. Residents parked on A Street NE between 5th and 6th Streets received $50 parking tickets immediately following “Emergency No-Parking” signs going up on these blocks.
In conjunction with DC Water, we were able to determine that the issue was that a DPW Parking Officer had not requested verification of the signs, which would have indicated they went into effect after the 72-hour activation window, but began enforcing them immediately after the signs went up. All tickets issued have since been voided and the residents affected were contact by DC Water. Thanks to my team for helping get this issue resolved! Each month, my team fields more than a hundred requests for assistance. If you have an issue or concern my team can help with, please contact the constituent services team member for your neighborhood.
That's all from me today - I'll keep it short so you can get to your turkey, stuffing, and pie preparations. I hope you have a restful and safe Thanksgiving holiday and have a chance to support our local District and Ward 6 businesses this weekend! Stay tuned for more Ward 6 holiday fun as we head into December.
See you around the neighborhood,