As DC budget season winds down and we take stock of some important wins (including more funding to end chronic homelessness and immediate funding for urgent public housing repairs) and where we need to do more work (including a long-term plan for public housing repairs), I have been thinking about one of my passions: engaging children and families in the local political process.

Two years ago, Eric and I organized a lobby day for kids at the DC Council. It was one of our first organizing efforts, and we were thrilled to host children from all across the District as they advocated before Councilmembers about their interests. They talked about everything from paid family leave to divesting from Wells Fargo to more money for the District's firefighters. It was invigorating and a valuable reminder that political engagement starts at home and starts at the local level, and that children and families lead some of the most meaningful advocacy efforts (such as those related to the environment and voting access).

Next weekend we are hosting another event geared toward engaging children and families in local politics. Councilmember Elissa Silverman and Councilmember Robert White will join us at the house to talk to children and families. Ward 4 State Board of Education Representative Frazier O'Leary has also been invited. We will have an election-themed game, postcard writing, and a ranked-choice voting activity. As with all of our events, we'll have food and drinks - because engaging kids can be both fun and educational.

We hope to see you there! Please
RSVP here so that we can have the right amount of food, and let us know if you need any accommodations.

ANC 4B June Meeting
*Regular Public Meeting: June 24, 7 pm, 4th District Police Station

The Commission will hold its next regular public meeting on Monday, June 24th at 7 pm at the 4th District Police Station (6001 Georgia Ave, NW). Please note that the Commission will not meet again until September 23rd following our summer recess.

The draft agenda (available
here) includes, but is not limited to, the following:
  • a letter of inquiry proposed by me regarding the improper use of heavy trucks on Aspen Street, NW, which has caused noise and house shaking along the street; and
  • a letter of inquiry collaboratively presented by all 4B Commissioners regarding safety, maintenance, and programming concerns at recreation centers within the Commission's boundaries, particularly in light of increased gun violence around these recreation centers.
Please contact me with any questions or if you would like additional details regarding the agenda.

As the Commission's Secretary and in the interests of transparency, I seek to share agendas and meeting minutes in a timely and accessible fashion. We are currently re-designing the Commission's website and anticipate the site going live at the end of our summer recess. As we work toward updating the Commission's current website, you can review past agendas and approved minutes on my website at You can see ANC 4B01 Commissioner Evan Yeats' live tweets from the May meeting here.

Neighborhood Updates

*4th/Cedar/Blair Intersection Improvement: The estimated start of construction for this intersection improvement project is the end of July / mid-August. The construction contract has been advertised and a low bidder contractor identified. The District Department of Transportation is in the process of getting a construction management team on board and hoping they will be issued a notice to proceed by the end of June, at which point they will work with me to schedule at least two community meetings prior to the start of construction to discuss the scope and impact of the construction. The Commission has a copy of the current plans, which are available for review upon request.

*Takoma Metro Crosswalk Improvement: The District Department of Transportation is planning short-term enhancements to improve safety at the crosswalk on Cedar Street, NW near the Takoma Metro Station. The improvements would include pulling parking to the standard distance from the crosswalk to enhance visibility of pedestrians and drivers, as well as adding bumpouts and extending the concrete median with flexiposts and paint. A rendering of the short-term proposal is available here, and the Commission will vote on a resolution in support at the June meeting.

*Lead Testing at Takoma Education Campus:  Earlier this week, ABC7 News and testing lab The Ecology Center
notified the District Department of General Services about unsafe lead levels at some school playgrounds in the District, including Takoma Education Campus. More here. I joined ANC 4B01 Commissioner Evan Yeats in issuing a letter asking for additional testing and prompt remediation, which you can see here. You can see the Takoma Education Campus PTO's letter here, DCPS's response here, as well as Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd's responses here and here. While the District Department of General Services has agreed to conduct additional testing, Commissioner Yeats has asked that he, another Commission member, or a representative of the Takoma Education Campus PTO be present for the retesting to assure that the testing process is neutral and valid.

*Smell of Gas Near Walter Reed: There have been several recent reports of the smell of gas near the Walter Reed site. There were several reports of the smell of gas near the site in February, as well. The District Department of Energy and the Environment conducted daily inspections in February, with no odors observed. (If you would like to see copies of these reports, please contact me.) Testing is continuing, and Councilmember Todd's staff has committed to keeping the community informed. If you smell gas, please contact me, Washington Gas, the District Department of Energy and Environment, or the Walter Reed Development Team.

*Soccer Pitch at Takoma Playground: The US Soccer Foundation will begin work next week on a soccer mini pitch at the Takoma Playground (on the location of the asphalt basketball court with one small basketball hoop, next to the community garden). A map showing the location is available
here. The only space impacted by the installation will be the mini pitch area. No other site amenities will need to be closed, and no access to other amenities will be impacted.

*Takoma Library Renovation: The Takoma Library will close as of today for a four-month renovation. Updates include replacing the floor on the upper level, HVAC replacement, refreshing and opening up space on the lower level, renovating staff bathrooms, and adding new computers. Items checked out from the Takoma Library that are due after June 22nd will have their due date extended until July 1st, and the book drop at the Takoma Library will remain open. During the closure, Weekly Story Time will be held at the Takoma Recreation Center, Monthly Senior Tech Help will be held at the Ft. Stevens Recreation Center, Monthly Reading with Dogs will be held at the Takoma Recreation Center, and the Paid Summer Kids Program will be held at Busboys and Poets. Updates will be posted

*Takoma Theater Project: Modest interior demolition at the Takoma Theater began on June 17th and will take approximately two weeks to complete. Construction is scheduled to be completed by the end of December 2018 and the Clinic and retail spaces (Turning Natural and Lost Sock) are scheduled to open in February 2020.

New & Notable
What's happening in local government?

Check out these DC Council legislative and other updates.
  • There's been quite a bit of drama as the results of a WMATA Board Ethics Committee investigation into Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans revealed serious misconduct and federal agents raided the Councilmember's home. A good summary of the latest here. The DC Council Chair has finally agreed to put together an ad hoc committee to investigate. As you may recall, the DC Council had been dragging its feet on calling for an investigation into the Councilmember's misconduct, whereas ANC 4B passed a resolution in March noting the Councilmember's pattern and practice of misconduct and asking for an investigation.
  • The budget season ended with a fight over whether the DC Council could use excess Events DC reserves to fund, in part, urgent public housing repairs. Thankfully, the DC Council voted to allocate about $25 million toward repairs of the city’s aging stock of public housing, as well as to set aside more money at the end of this fiscal year for additional repairs. More here.
  • Members of the DC Council introduced some important voting rights legislation. At-Large Councilmember Robert White, with the support of the full Council, introduced legislation that would restore voting rights for DC residents convicted and imprisoned for committing felonies, and Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau introduced legislation that would allow voting by mail. More here.
  • Washington City Paper journalist Mitch Ryals writes about recent violent attacks against members of the LGBTQ community and calls by the Rainbow Caucus of LGBTQ Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, among others, for additional funding for programs in the Office of Human Rights and the Office of LGBTQ Affairs. Read more here.
  • In the wake of allegations of sexual misconduct by an employee of a private before and aftercare provider and the Office of the State Superintendent of Education's failure of oversight in ensuring all employees of before and aftercare providers have the proper background checks, a number of Commissioners and State Board of Education Representatives signed a letter to the Mayor requesting data on sexual abuse, sexual assault, & harassment in DC schools. More here.
Are you interested in or following pending legislation or a city-wide issue? Send me an email, and I will include updates in this newsletter.

SMD 4B02 Office Hours
Next Office Hours: Thursday, June 27, 7-8 pm, 715 Van Buren St, NW

Let's chat about the neighborhood! Join me Thursday, June 27th from 7 - 8 pm at 715 Van Buren St, NW, for monthly office hours for Single Member District 4B02. Please note the change in date from the third Thursday to the fourth Thursday of the month due to a scheduling conflict. Please RSVP here. If you need accommodations or would like to schedule another time to meet, please email me at or call me at (202) 821-6333.

Upcoming Community Events

There's lots going on in the neighborhood! Check out the following community events: Know of other neighborhood events? Send notable events my way for inclusion in upcoming email newsletters.
You can always contact me:
Phone: (202) 821-6333
Facebook: @Erinfor4B02
Twitter: @Erinfor4B02

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