This past week, I had the opportunity to tour the new Ward 4 Short Term Family Housing facility under construction at 5505 5th Street, NW. I am delighted to report that considerable progress has been made on the project, which is being undertaken in partnership between the District’s Department of General Services (DGS) and the Department of Human Services (DHS) and is key to the Mayor’s plan to make homelessness rare, brief, and non-recurring. I am proud that Ward 4 is leading the city in advancing this goal.
This facility, known as “The Kennedy,” is on-track to open in October of this year. When completed, The Kennedy will provide safe, clean, and dignified short-term housing for 45 Ward 4 families. It will offer residents dedicated play and common areas, computer labs, a homework/study lounge, as well as wrap-around social services to foster pathways to the middle class.To view updates on the project, follow DGS on twitter or facebook. The Kennedy is a critical step forward in the effort to close DC General, where conditions are intolerable and I cannot in good conscience allow residents to continue living any longer than absolutely necessary.
Families who are experiencing homelessness in Ward 4 will soon have a beautiful new place to call home as they work to get back on their feet with the support of a community that welcomes them and wants them to thrive. I remain steadfast in my support for this project and look forward to seeing it to completion.
Brandon T. Todd
Councilmember, Ward 4
Guest Letter: DPR Director Keith Anderson
Greetings from the DC Department of Parks and Recreation!
Through Mayor Muriel Bower’s leadership, DPR is where fun happens! Our mission is to promote health and wellness, conserve the natural environment, and provide universal access to parks and recreation services. Through our parks, recreation facilities, and programmatic offerings, DPR encourages residents to Move, Grow, and Be Green and help make our city #FITDC.
DPR has more than 900 acres of green space, 375 parks, 336 courts, 135 athletic fields, 95 playgrounds, 76 recreation facilities, 50 aquatic facilities and features, 34 urban gardens, 12 dog parks, and 5 partner urban farms. Additionally, we provide over 100 unique programs across the city in the categories including: sports, health and fitness, aquatics, early and middle childhood programs, teen programs, senior programs, therapeutic recreation, environmental education, and personal enrichment.
DPR has something for just about everyone, and we’re excited to announce that registration for Fall programs begins today, Wednesday, August 1, 2018. You can visit dpr.dc.gov for more information.
It is still summer, and we continue to provide a plethora of activities and events. DPR has an interactive online events website that puts all the fun at your fingertips. Take some time to view the website here. Feel free to subscribe for updates, and be sure to share it with your friends, family and neighbors too!
As a proud resident of Ward 4 resident, I would be remiss if I didn’t highlight the upcoming Ward 4 events:
DPR is proud to present to the Petworth community with a new futsal soccer and multi-use play-space at the Petworth Recreation Center. Come out and join community members and local youth for the official dedication ceremony on August 6th. The dedication will be followed by a ceremonial first kick and a live scrimmage featuring DC United players who will serve as celebrity referees for the match!
WHAT IS FUTSAL? – Futsal is a derivative of soccer, and is played with two, five-player teams. The sport is played on a basketball-style court, with a smaller, low-bouncing ball. Like soccer, the objective is to score goals!
The 3rd Annual Taste of the World Festival is an international celebration of the diverse culture of the District – displayed through music, dance, traditional food, arts & crafts vendors and other cultural expressions!
DPR also encourages residents city-wide to come out to our other signature events including Chuck Brown Day on August 18th and DPR Rec Day on September 29th.
There is always something to do at DPR. We encourage you to Move, Grow, and Be Green with us!
Keith A. Anderson
DC Department of Parks and Recreation
Did You Know?
Candace Tiana Nelson:
Ward 4 Resident Improving Her Community
Candace Tiana Nelson, a resident of the Brightwood Community in Ward 4 since June 2007, describes herself as a public servant, a problem solver, a policy wonk, and a political junkie. Community activism and advocacy are at the center of her heart, a true passion. Since September 2007, she has been an active member of the Ward 4 Democrats of Washington, DC. She is currently the President. Her 10 years of service to the Ward for Democrats includes two years as co-chair of the Legislative Committee, four years as the organization’s Treasurer, two years as First Vice President, and three years as President. During each meeting she reminds all those who attend of her belief; “We are neighbors first and Democrats second. Our first bond is we all live in this wonderful Ward 4 Community.” She strives to bring informative guest speakers to each meeting from both the Executive and Legislative Branches of the Government of the District of Columbia, community leaders, and leaders from the Democratic Party. The Ward 4 Democrats administer programs of voter registration and education; assist in the election of candidates for President and Vice President of the United States and local offices; and undertake any other activities necessary to achieve the purpose of the Democratic Party of the District of Columbia.
In June, Candace took a mission trip to Lusaka, Zambia, with the Meant to Live Foundation (M2L). She serves on their Advisory Board primarily providing guidance with their efforts to assist those who are experiencing homelessness in DC. She decided to join the organization on a mission trip to start a music program for orphans who attend Coptic Mission Academy, a school M2L has been supporting for several years. “I left Zambia with a determination to change my life’s focus, directing my energy toward all things meaningful and purposeful. Motivated and inspired to look for new ways to serve my community and to continue to grow, strengthening myself spiritually, mentally and physically.”
Professionally, Candace has served in the Government of the District of Columbia for 10 years. She is currently a Special Assistant in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity. She assists the Senior Advisor on special projects connecting residents in the District’s most vulnerable communities to workforce development opportunities and amenities. Prior to working in the Deputy Mayor’s office she served as a Program Manager in Director’s Office at the DC Department of Employment Services (DOES), managing a small team of analysts who were responsible for Service Quality, Performance and Continuous Improvement. Candace worked with all agency programs by developing key performance indicators and directs the development and implementation of the agency dashboard to track all performance related measures. Her team functioned as the agency’s “fix-it” team, helping programs tackle deficiencies by providing problem analysis and intensive support and guidance.
Week In Review
Councilmember Todd Breaks Ground
On Met Branch Trail Expansion,
Paves Way For Ward 4 Completion
Last Saturday, Councilmember Todd joined Mayor Bowser, the District Department of Transportation, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association, and neighbors to celebrate the groundbreaking of the next segment of the Metropolitan Branch Trail (MBT). This leg of the pedestrian and bicycle path will connect Fort Totten and Brookland Metros, providing a safe and convenient off-street route and improving transportation throughout the neighborhood. This part of the trail will be completed in 18 months, and paves the way for the final Ward 4 segment to begin construction in 2019/2020.
To learn more about the MBT, which will be an 8-mile trail that connects Union Station to Silver Spring, Maryland, visit: metbranchtrail.com.
Mark Your Calendar
National Night Out:Tuesday, August 7th
The National Night Out campaign involves citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from 9,500 communities from all 50 states, US territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. National Night Out is designed to: heighten crime and drug prevention awareness; generate support for, and participation in, local anticrime programs; strengthen neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships; and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.
Join Councilmember Todd’s office and members of the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) Fourth District as we celebrate National Night Out on August 7th from 4 to 8 PM at Emery Heights Community Center (5701 Georgia Ave, NW). This year’s activities will focus on youth and young adults. Questions? Contact Derek Staten at (202) 270-1640 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Or join members of the Second District at Georgetown University from 6pm-9pm. Come out and enjoy food, music, moon bounce, game truck, clowns, face painters, information tables, and more! Contact: Kyi Branch, email@example.com.
Ward 4 Day At The National Building Museum:
Tuesday, August 14th, 9 AM – 11AM
Councilmember Todd invites you to join the Ward 4 Council office at the National Building Museum on Tuesday, August 14th, from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM during their “Ward 4 Day,” where Ward 4 residents can enjoy the museum’s new “Fun House” exhibit for FREE. Please be sure to bring an ID, as residency will be verified by zip code. To learn more about the Ward 4 Day and the National Building Museum’s Fun House exhibition, located at 401 F Street, NW, visit nbm.org/fun-house-ward-day-registration/
Ward 4 Night At Shakespeare Theatre Company, Free For All Production of Romeo & Juliet:
Wednesday, August 29th, 7:30 PM
Councilmember Todd and the Shakespeare Theatre Company invite you to the 28th annual “Free For All” production of Romeo & Juliet on Wednesday, August 29th at 7:30 PM, Sidney Harman Hall (610 F Street, NW). To reserve your ticket, please email Dolly Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org by close of business Thursday, August 23rd.
Ticket availability extremely limited, only Ward 4 residents are eligible. On the night of the show, pick up tickets by 7:00 PM for premium seats. All unclaimed tickets will be released at 7:15 PM.
The Safeway Foundation invites you to their 2nd Annual School Spirit campaign pep rally to benefit Powell Elementary School on Wednesday, August 8th at 2:00 PM at the 3830 Georgia Avenue, NW Safeway. Come meet special guests from the DC United soccer team, enjoy music, refreshments, and free gifts, all while benefiting Powell Elementary students!
Rock Creek Conservancy: Downspout Disconnect Program & Volunteer Opportunity
Rock Creek Conservancy is a local environmental non-profit which is dedicated to restoring Rock Creek and its parklands as a natural oasis for all people to appreciate and protect. One major problem that the Rock Creek ecosystem faces is the overgrowth of non-native invasive plants, which outcompete and kill native plant species. To solve this ecological problem and to beautify our favorite parks, the Conservancy depends on volunteers who help them remove invasive plants and plant native ones. This fall, the Conservancy is planning to complete a significant restoration planting near Piney Branch tributary, just a 20-minute walk from the Columbia Heights metro station, which means they need to remove the non-native invasive plants first. Join neighbors on Saturday, August 4th for an invasive plant removal. Learn more and register HERE.
Also be sure to take advantage of Rock Creek Conservancy’s Downspout Disconnect program, which reduced Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO) into our waterways and improved water quality. In 2017, Rock Creek Conservancy entered into a contract with DC Water on a pilot project called Drain the Rain, which incentivizes homeowners to disconnect their downspouts from the combined sewer system, aiming to stop CSOs at the source. During the pilot phase, our team disconnected 128 downspouts and installed 63 rain barrels, ultimately converting nearly an acre of impermeable rooftop surface into permeable surface and preventing thousands of gallons of runoff from entering the sewers and potentially overflowing into Rock Creek. After a successful Pilot Phase, the 2018 Phase launched in March. The 2018 Phase is focused on disconnecting downspouts in Manor Park and Takoma Park. Our team of trained technicians has already disconnected 41 downspouts and installed 22 rain barrels! Learn more at dcwater.com/projects/downspout-disconnection-program.
Metro Weekend Service Adjustments, Aug 4 & 5
Please be advised that Metro’s Red Line shutdown continues between NoMa-Gallaudet and Fort Totten; last inbound train from Glenmont to Fort Totten departs 30 minutes earlier than usual. To see the full Metro service adjustments this weekend, visit wmata.com/service/status/details/weekend.cfm.