Newsletter: The Stanley Cup Is Here!
Yesterday we experienced what is great about sports: It can unite people and bring us pure, unbridled joy. After recent years of what else sports can bring—the agony of an earlier-than-expected playoff exit—it was so thrilling to celebrate a championship win as a community. Seeing the Stanley Cup sit in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol was something else, and then the sea of red that flooded Constitution Avenue, every cross street, and the Mall was unbelievable. Congratulations again to our Washington Capitals, our fantastic fans both longtime and newly indoctrinated to #RockTheRed, and all the D.C. agencies and public employees that made last-minute watch parties and our championship parade so amazing.
On to….Let’s Go Nats! That’s right, Michael Wilbon. We are a major league sports town!
I want to take a moment to also talk about something else exciting this summer: expanded outdoor pool hours! This year pools are opening one hour earlier because of additional money put in the budget last year after hearing from residents. I hope that the additional hours better accommodate working families and families with small children, and I’ll be looking for more ways to open even earlier in the future.
There are more budget updates and community news below, so keep reading!
Investing in Crime Prevention: From investments in job expansion to new programs to help seniors afford to age in place, I highlighted many of my priorities for the FY 2019 budget in my last newsletter that I believe ultimately help make our city more equitable and just. However, my colleagues and I passed the FY 2019 budget amidst a larger discussion about where we can better invest in crime prevention and anti-violence strategies across the city. Violent crime is not just a Ward 8 problem or an East of the River problem, it impacts our entire city and needs the fierce urgency of now to do everything we can to intervene.
I was happy to work with Chairman Phil Mendelson, Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, NEAR Act author and Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, Judiciary Committee Chair and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, and Attorney General Karl Racine to identify resources immediately to implement proven methods against crime. We shifted some unspent resources from an agency program in my Labor Committee to put $360,000 toward two sites in our city for implementation of new violence interruption strategies in the next few weeks. You can read more about how I hope to optimize our violence interruption money and intervention programs in my statement here.
Protecting Workers from Wage Garnishment: Back in November, I introduced a bill to better protect low-income District workers from significant wage garnishment when a court orders that wages be diverted to pay a debt. Current law allows garnishing wages for workers with incomes as low as $11,310 a year. Given the high cost of living in the District, this can easily put households in financial jeopardy. My bill raises the income threshold to $39,000 a year and requires advance notice to workers before their wages are garnished. The Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety held a hearing on the bill last week, and I look forward to working with Committee Chair and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen to move the bill to a full vote before the Council soon!
Honoring DCPS Students in NASA Competition: Last week, I had the honor of welcoming three outstanding young women and young scientists to the Council! Mikayla Sharrieff, India Skinner, and Bria Snell from Banneker High School represented our city in a NASA competition that challenges students to re-apply NASA technology to solve current, real-life problems. Rising to the challenge, these young scientists developed a water filtration system that could detect pH imbalances to ensure clean drinking water in public schools.
The team was named the second-place winner in their competition category—winning after hackers spewing racism tried to target them because they are three black women. Read more about their outstanding accomplishments in my resolution here.
Job Fair for New Audi Field: Earlier this month, my office partnered with Levy Restaurants to host a job fair with on-the-spot interviews to get residents into immediate work at D.C. United’s new home, Audi Field, that is slated to open next month. Thank you to Levy Restaurants, my staff, and the R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center for collaborating to help get as many residents into jobs as possible. With summer quickly approaching and concerns about crime, it is especially important that residents are working and putting their time to good use.
Joining Neighbors Across the City: Over the last few weeks, I’ve had the chance to support school functions and meet new neighbors, while enjoying a few less-rainy days. Special thanks to Eastern High School for including me in their College and Career Day, Powell Elementary for inviting me to make balloon animals at their annual carnival, all who participated in Bike to Work Day, and everyone who stopped by my booth at the Kennedy Street Festival!
There are a number of festivals and family activities coming up soon. Take a look at what’s happening below:
- D.C. Jazz Festival: Ongoing through Sunday, June 17, at locations across the city
- Politics and Art: Thursday, June 14, from 5:30-8:00pm at the John A. Wilson Building (1350 Pennsylvania Ave. NW)
- Columbia Heights Day: Saturday, June 16, from 11:00-6:00pm along 11th St. NW between Park Road and Kenyon St. NW
- Juneteenth Festival Southeast: Saturday, June 16, from 12:00-8:00pm at the Black Workers Center and Adjacent Lot (2500 MLK Jr Ave. SE)
- Juneteenth Festival Northwest: Saturday, June 16, 12:00-8:00pm at Bruce Monroe Park (3012 Georgia Ave. NW)
- Volta Park Day: Saturday, June 16, from 2:00-5:00pm at Volta Park (Volta Place and 34th St. NW)
- 51st State Fest: Sunday, June 24, from 11:00-5:00pm at the intersection of Mount Pleasant and Lamont Streets NW
- 2018 Citywide Truck Touch: Saturday, June 30, from 8:00am-1:00pm at RFK Auxiliary Turf Field (279 Oklahoma Ave. NE, Stadium Lot 7)
As always, thanks so much for reading.