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Today, I want to tell you about someone who you may not have heard of, but someone who had a tremendous positive impact on Ward 5 and the District of Columbia. Oramenta Newsome (pictured above on the left) was the Executive Director of LISC DC, a non-profit that invests in communities by building bridges between the community, the private sector, and the government.

Oramenta performed this important work with diligence and empathy. Under her leadership, LISC DC contributed significantly to the revitalization of Edgewood Commons (ribbon cutting pictured above) and the renovation of Dahlgreen Courts apartments. She led LISC DC to work in Ivy City, promoting the arts and creative placemaking, and she supported the work of the Rhode Island Avenue Main Street organization, including helping bring fresh food options to the community by supporting Good Food Market.

Oramenta was understated in her persona, but bold in her vision and brilliant in her execution. She was always conscious of the people who were not represented in a given room or conversation, and speaking up on their behalf.

Even if you did not know her name, it is likely you were impacted by her work here in D.C. I extend my deepest sympathies to those who knew Oramenta, and invite you all to read more about her life and legacy on the LISC DC website, or read her obituary in the Washington Post

In Service,
In this issue of the Ward 5 Report:

As we all know, the former D.C.P.S. Schools Chancellor resigned earlier this week. You are invited to read Councilmember McDuffie's statement, issued prior to the Chancellor's resignation, on our website.

Legislative Update

This month, the Council began its annual series of Performance Oversight Hearings to review the operations of each agency in the District government for the previous year. Along with agency leadership, the public is invited to give testimony and provide comments.

Ward 5 residents are strongly encouraged to testify and let your priorities be heard. With Councilmembers and agency leadership present in person, this is truly one of the best opportunities for residents to speak directly to the performance of the District government agencies.

Below is a schedule of selected Performance Oversight Hearings, listed by agency. A full list of agency hearing dates, as well as more detailed information on the hearings below, can be found on the D.C. Council website.

Kenyan in the Community

D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles Town Hall Meeting - Feb 24

The D.C. Department of Motor Vehicles will host its Quarterly Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 27 at 6:30 p.m. at the Rhode Island Service Center. Director Lucinda Babers will share the agency’s Strategic Plan and Initiatives. Residents will have the opportunity to ask questions, share concerns and provide feedback to help us better serve our customers. This forum is open to the public.

The Rhode Island Service Center is located at 2350 Washington Place, NE in Rhode Island Row. It is easily accessible by public transportation. There is also street and garage parking.

RSVPs are appreciated to

Marion Barry Summer Youth Empolymen Program Deadline Approaching - Feb 24

Applications are now being accepted for youth and employers who want to participate in the 2018 Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP).  District youth ages 14 to 24 and employers interested in hosting youth should apply online for MBSYEP 2018 at by February 24, 2018. The program will provide six weeks of meaningful employment and work-readiness training.  MBSYEP 2018 will begin on Monday, June 25, 2018, and will end on Friday, August 3, 2018.

MBSYEP is a locally-funded initiative that provides young people in DC with six weeks of enriching and constructive summer work experience through subsidized placements in the private and public sectors. The program partners with hundreds of DC employers who are uniquely positioned to provide relevant training and guidance to DC’s youth in order to help them develop the positive work habits and job skills necessary to secure future employment.

Rhode Island Ave and Brookland MetroRail Stations to Close July - September

Earlier this month, WMATA announced that the Rhode Island Ave and Brookland MetroRail stations will close from Saturday, July 21 until the day after Labor Day, Tuesday, September 4.

Rhode Island Avenue Station was closed during SafeTrack 2016 when concrete fell from the aerial structure. We are told metro engineers stabilized the structure and advanced as much remediation work as possible at that time. This 45-day project will allow crews to complete structural repairs at Rhode Island Avenue, Metro's oldest outdoor station, including addressing deteriorating platform conditions that affect the ADA-accessibility of the station. During this time Rhode Island Ave and Brookland stations will be closed and shuttle buses will provide service between Fort Totten, Brookland, Rhode Island Ave, and NoMa-Gallaudet stations. Red Line trains will operate in two segments: between Shady Grove & NoMa-Gallaudet and between Fort Totten & Glenmont.

Councilmember McDuffie is working to engage Metro leadership to ensure that Ward 5 residents who rely on Metro are not overly inconvenienced and that Metro has a plan to not only mitigate the impact of the station closures but also communicate the mitigation plan to the impacted communities well in advance of the shutdown.
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