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In just a few weeks, many students will return to school and resume in-person learning. As the father of two girls, I am both excited for DC children to get back in the classroom, where they learn best, and remain concerned about rising case rates from the Delta variant. We must all remain vigilant as recent data show concerning trends in increased community spread.  Earlier this week, the Executive announced a vaccine requirement for all District government employees, including DCPS school staff. I hope this mandate will increase our vaccination rates and help keep residents safe. For those with continuing questions about the vaccine itself, I encourage you to reach out to your primary care physician or DC Health.

Just this week, District government launched a number of new vaccine incentive programs for residents 12-17 years old. Although 63.8% of all District youths are fully vaccinated, only 23% of Ward 5 residents aged 12-17 have gotten both their shots, and the numbers are even lower for Ward 7 (12%) and Ward 8 (9%). The fact is, we must get more residents vaccinated to make the return to school as safe as possible. These new incentive programs will help bridge the vaccine gap between and I encourage every eligible resident to take the shot and keep their loved ones safe. 

In service,

In this issue of the Ward 5 Report:

COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement Update

On Tuesday, the Mayor issued a vaccine requirement for all District employees, contractors, interns, and grantees. Notably, this requirement applies to DCPS staff such as teachers and administrators, but does not include charter school staff who aren't DC government employees. Current government employees have until September 19th to get fully vaccinated. Additionally, all new hires appointed to job vacancies posted on or after August 14th must be fully vaccinated. Employees who aren't fully vaccinated will be required to conduct weekly COVID-19 testing. 

On August 7th, the District government began to offer vaccine incentives for residents 12-17 years old. District youths who get vaccinated at Brookland Middle School in Ward 5, Sousa Middle School, or Johnson Middle School will get a $51 VISA gift card, and the first 400 youths will be able to get a pair of AirPods. 

There are also pop-up vaccination clinics at faith-based institutions in the District. On August 31st, the New Samaritan Baptist church on 1100 Florida Ave NE will host a clinic from 10 AM to 4 PM. Full schedule down below.

For homebound residents who want to get vaccinated, call 1-855-363-0333 and DC Health will bring the vaccine to you. 

You can find a full list of places to get vaccinated at

Legislative Update

On Tuesday, the Council passed the Budget Support Act, the final component of the FY22 budget. This budget contains transformative programs championed by Councilmember McDuffie such as his District baby bonds program, the Commercial Acquisition Fund, funding for guaranteed basic income pilot programs, and a new UDC-AWS degree in cloud-based computing service to boost workforce development. The budget also funds unprecedented financial relief for workers & small businesses impacted by the pandemic as well as public safety programs created from Councilmember McDuffie's NEAR Act, such as violence interrupters and behavioral health services. 

The Commercial Acquisition Fund (CAF) is a new program created by Councilmember McDuffie in the FY22 budget. The CAF provides down-payment assistance to help entrepreneurs purchase their operating space. This measure is part of the Councilmember's comprehensive plan to address structural barriers to access capital for socially disadvantaged entrepreneurs, unlock wealth-building opportunities, reduce commercial gentrification and increase employment rates in communities of color. See more information below.

Back to School Guidelines

District government recently announced that all children 2 years and older will be required to wear a mask during in-person education at schools. There are also a number of pediatric immunization requirements for incoming students as well as some updated guidances for schools based on DC Health and CDC guidelines. See more info below:

Eviction Moratorium & Utilities Changes

The DC Council recently passed emergency legislation that phases out the eviction moratorium while maintaining numerous protections for tenants. Landlords cannot file evictions for tenants behind on their rent unless the landlord has already completed a STAY DC rental application on behalf of the tenant.

Councilmember McDuffie added an amendment to the eviction moratorium emergency bill that ensures residents struggling with bills get extended protection from having their utilities being shut off. You can find more information on the timeline of eviction and utility protections below.

If you have back rent or have difficulty paying utility bills (including wifi), visit to start an application to get financial relief. Our team is available to assist residents with the application process. If you need support, please fill out the help request form for our office here

Kenyan in The News

A Black community in Northeast D.C. is surrounded by industrial pollution. The city plans to add more (Washington Post)

New Fund Positions 'Socially Disadvantaged' Business Owners to Purchase Property in D.C. (City Paper)

D.C. Council Passes $17.5 Billion Budget (Washington Informer)

D.C. Council Passes 2022 Budget; Curbs Boweser's Request for More Police (Washington Post)

The Most Debate Items From the FInal 2022 Budget Vote (City Paper

Kenyan in the Community

Last week, Northeast DC was under a Boil Water Advisory for five days. During that time, Councilmember McDuffie and our team delivered water to senior buildings until the advisory had been lifted. 

Join Team McDuffie at Chuck Brown Day

Join Team McDuffie for the 7th annual Chuck Brown Day on August 21st at 2901 20th St! Join for a celebration of Go-Go music and DC culture. 

CM McDuffie joins DC Dems Podcast

Last week, Councilmember McDuffie joined DC Democratic Party Chair Charles Wilson to discuss the landmark baby bonds bill included in the FY22 budget, public safety, and how the Councilmember became a Democrat. 

You can watch the full podcast here or listen to it wherever you get your podcasts here.

Join Team McDuffie for a Back to School Giveaway

Team McDuffie will be at the Brentwood Recreation Center this Saturday from 11 AM to 3 PM for the Roving Leader back-to-school giveaway in honor of Ricardo Duren. The goal is to match last year's giveaway by providing 300 bookbags. Stop by to enjoy food, games and the return to school!

Small Business Spotlight

Last week, Councilmember McDuffie stopped by the new Niko's Gelato stand on 1508 Okie St NE to congratulate Chelsea and Drew on their new business! 
Make sure to support Ward 5 restaurants during restaurant week!
The Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development has two funding opportunities for grants. 

The purpose of the FY21 Food Access Fund Grant is to increase equitable access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. The FAF Grant will support qualified businesses with capital for tenant improvements related to the expansion of operations into a new location in an area identified as having low food access (as set forth in the Act), with priority given to locations in Ward 7 or Ward 8. The program will accept applications until August 18th.

The purpose of the Great Streets Initiative and the Legacy Small Business Recovery Grant is to transform certain designated emerging commercial corridors into thriving, walkable, shoppable and inviting neighborhood experiences. The Great Streets Initiative does this by supporting existing businesses, attracting new businesses, increasing the District’s tax base, and creating new job opportunities for District residents. The application deadline for this grant is Wednesday, August 18th at 4:00 pm.
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