In this Ward 5 Report: New legislation resulting from the Ward 5 Public Safety Meeting; Age-Friendly DC Consultations; and Councilmember McDuffie on The Journey.
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Councilmember McDuffie marking the first day of service for the new G9 bus route in front of the Woodridge library joined by Rhode Island Avenue Main Street Executive Director Kyle Todd, WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld, Councilmember and WMATA Board Chair Jack Evans, and DC DDOT Director Leif Dormsjo.

Pictured above is the ceremony marking the first day of service for the new G9 MetroExtra Bus Route on Rhode Island Avenue. It was a celebratory day for sure, but it was also the culmination of a lot of hard work to get the bus route funded and implemented. As the Council turns to 'budget season,' it gives us an excellent example of how the District budget directly affects residents.

Next Tuesday, April 4, Mayor Bowser will release her proposed budget and the Council will begin a series of budget oversight hearings to analyze and allocate funding for each agency in the District government. The hearings, which take place throughout April and into early May, are the best venues for residents to convey their spending priorities to the Council. Last year when the Mayor released her budget, there was no funding for the G9 in the budget -- that is where budget oversight hearings at the Council come in. With the support of community groups organizing and neighbors signing up to testify in support of funding the new bus route, I was able to secure the $1.04 million dollars that was needed to start the bus line.

So I encourage you to take a moment and think about your priorities for the District government and consider testifying at an upcoming Council budget hearing. I know that daytime hearings conflict with a lot of work schedules, but even if you cannot testify in person, you can submit written testimony.

You can download a PDF of all the budget hearings or view them in a list on my website. Hope to see you at the Wilson Building soon.

In Service,


Legislative Update

For those who were able to attend the Ward 5 Public Safety Meeting earlier this month with the Mayor and Police Chief, you heard from Ms. Verna Clayborne. She lives near the intersection of Rhode Island Ave, Brentwood Road, and 13th Street NE and she identified a gap in District law regarding nuisance commercial properties. Hearing Ms. Clayborne's suggestion, Councilmember McDuffie introduced legislation to close that gap last week.

Drug-Related Nuisance Abatement Amendment Act of 2017
This legislation expands current law to permit civil actions against problem tenants who are complicit in allowing drug, firearm, and prostitution-related activity in their home or place of business. Current law allows action against owners of commercial property, but not their tenants.

Under current law, the United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, the Attorney General for the District of Columbia, and community-based organizations may file an action against a commercial property owner to enjoin, abate, or prevent a drug, firearm, and prostitution-related nuisance. However, many times the property owner is cooperative but the tenant is not, and provisions in leasing documents may prevent the owner from taking action. This bill corrects that problem by allowing enforcement against a commercial tenant and also authorizes the Superior Court to impose civil penalties of up to $10,000 against owners and tenants who violate this law. [DC Council Bill B22-0189]

Ceremonial Resolution to Honor Sandy Hassan

Recently, Councilmember McDuffie honored Sandy Hassan, a Woodridge resident and quilting artist, with a Ceremonial Resolution passed by the Council of the District of Columbia. Ms. Hassan is a 46-year resident of D.C. and a renowned quilter who has her work displayed at the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. View more photos here.

Kenyan in the Community

Last week, Councilmember McDuffie joined new DC Public Schools Chancellor Antwan Wilson at Luke C. Moore Senior High School in Brookland for a community engagement forum.

Age-Friendly DC Community Consultations

Let your voice be heard! Tell Age-Friendly DC what needs to be addressed and prioritized to make DC a more livable city for all ages. Join friends and neighbors at a series of Community Consultations that will be held across the city to talk in small groups about policies and priorities for the next Age-Friendly DC Strategic Plan.

Volunteer facilitators will lead discussions covering 12 overarching topic areas: Outdoor Spaces and Buildings; Transportation; Housing; Social Participation; Respect and Social Inclusion; Civic Participation and Employment; Communication and Information; Community Support and Health Services; Emergency Preparedness and Resilience; Elder Abuse, Neglect, Fraud, and Other Legal Issues; Food Security; Caregiving. All attendees will have an opportunity to share their thoughts on each of the 12 topic areas in small group discussions so that every voice is heard.

The Two Scheduled Consultations in Ward 5:

Date: Monday, April 10, 2017
Time: 12:30-2:30pm
Location: Woodridge Neighborhood Library, 1801 Hamlin St NE

Date: Friday, April 14, 2017
Time: 9:30-11:30am
Location: Lamond-Riggs Neighborhood Library, 5401 South Dakota Ave NE

The two meetings above are just the ones in Ward 5, check the link for consultations going on across the District.

Your Input Needed - Pepco Wants to Increase Rates

Join the Public Service Commission of the District of Columbia (DCPSC) at a Community Hearing about Pepco’s request to increase distribution rates (Formal Case 1139).

Date: Wednesday, April 12, 2017
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: 1325 G Street, NW

To testify at the community hearing, please submit your name and organization (if any) to the Office of the Commission Secretary by 5 p.m., April 7, 2017 by calling (202) 626-5150 or by sending an email to Walk-ins also welcome.

If an organization or an individual is unable to offer comments at the community hearing, written statements may be dropped off to the DCPSC at or submitted through the DCPSC website. Comments can be submitted until April 25, 2017.

New York Ave and Florida Ave "Circle" Meeting

The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) invites you to a public meeting to discuss concept designs for the intersection of Florida Avenue and New York Avenue, NE, Virtual Circle. The project will examine safety improvements, operational enhancements, connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists, streetscape, and how to improve vehicular circulation at the intersection at Virtual Circle. Design concepts developed by DDOT will be presented to further refine the options considered, and complete this phase of the project. [Link]

Date: Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Time: 6:30 pm to 8 pm
Location: 1200 First Street, NE, Lobby Level

DC Comprehensive Plan Needs Your Input

Over the past year, the DC Office of Planning has led an array of activities to engage residents in [PLAN]DC, a citywide initiative to amend the District’s Comprehensive Plan. Recently, the DC Office of Planning (OP), and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) launched an “Open Call” period, through May 26, 2017, and give all stakeholders an opportunity to formally propose Comprehensive Plan amendments.

The Comprehensive Plan is the 20-year plan the District government uses to guide future development within Washington, D.C.  It contains the maps and policies that influence the neighborhoods where people live, work, shop, and play, as well as the investments the city makes in its services and infrastructure.  Most importantly it is the primary tool that helps the District to manage change in a way that embraces progress while protecting the qualities that make DC a special place.
Stakeholders interested in making an amendment proposal can find a host of useful materials on the [PLAN]DC website, including:
  • an Amendment Submission Form;
  • a “Roadmap” of planning references;
  • a set of Frequently Asked Questions;
  • an Engagement Calendar; and
  • an Evaluation Framework, which OP will use to screen amendment proposals
During the Open Call period, OP will hold a series of 16 technical assistance workshops (called Office Hours) in locations across the city, where participants will be able to ask questions and receive support in preparing proposed amendments.  As spring unfolds, OP will also post additional support materials on the website and host additional events continuing and deepening the dialogue around the District’s development.

The engagement session taking place in Ward 5 is Thursday, April 6 from 4-7pm at Filter Coffee at 716 Monroe Street NE (Monroe Street Market in near Brookland Metro). (View a PDF of all of the Office of Planning's Office Hours here).

Rhode Island Avenue Porchfest

Local porches and stoops are transformed into stages for an afternoon of music, dance, and poetry that brings together neighbors, business owners, and artists in a free, casual,  and fun display of creative expression! [Link]

Date: Saturday, April 15, 2017
Time: 2 pm to 6 pm
Location: Various locations on and around Rhode Island Avenue NE

Kenyan On The Journey with Dr. Wayne Frederick

On March 19 Councilmember McDuffie joined Howard University President Dr. Wayne Frederick on his radio program, The Journey. Dr. Frederick talks with Councilmember McDuffie, a Howard alum, about his lifelong commitment to his neighborhood, his experiences as a servant-leader in politics, and his work on the front lines in support of a community in transition. Listen online here.
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