Hi Ward 1,
As we enter fall, our community will face new challenges as we adjust to the impacts that the COVID-19 outbreak will have on residents, services, and businesses during a new season. I have several updates to share as we begin to make those adjustments.
The Council is now back for the fall legislation session.We are continuing to conduct our legislative meetings and hearings virtually just like we did in the spring. To see the October calendar for Council hearings, click here.
The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) announced the District’s updated revenue estimates for Fiscal Year 2021 earlier in the week. The CFO shared that the District generated more revenue in the last quarter of Fiscal Year 2020 than expected; but is also predicting that Fiscal Year 2021 revenues will be low due to the continuation of limited economic activity.
In the next few weeks, the Council will begin to work with the Mayor to take another look at our budget plan to see how the unexpected revenue will be used, and also what cuts she will be proposing for FY 2021 It is critical that we protect investments the Council made in its budget process.
Registering to Vote
Register before October 13 to receive a mail-in ballot. Click here to register online.
Register in-person at any of the 95 Vote Centers during Early Voting (October 27-November 2) or Election Day (November 3). A list of documents you will need can be found here.
If you are already registered, double check your registration to make sure the Board of Elections sends your mail-in ballot to your current address.
Some residents have already received their ballots, but the Board of Elections is sending mail-in ballots in batches, so don’t worry if you haven’t received yours yet. Once you do receive your ballot and fill it out, you can cast your votes a few different ways:
Return your ballot by mail. Ballots must be postmarked on or before Election Day.
Return your ballot in one of the 55+ new secure drop boxes across the District by 8p.m. on Election Day. Drop boxes will become available on October 5th.
Drop your ballot off at a Vote Center during Early Voting week or Election Day.
If you decide to vote in-person, we highly recommend you vote during the Early Voting week (October 27-November 2) so that we can avoid long lines on Election Day. You can vote at any of the 32 Vote Centers that will be open. Click here to see a list of locations.
On Election Day, 95 Vote Centers will be open. Again, we highly recommend that you vote early. Due to COVID-19, we have less Vote Centers open than previous years and the additional safety precautions being taken will result in lines moving slower.
Several DCPS schools are now open for Student Support Center and Career and Technical Education (CTE) programming. These student centers have specialized programming for small groups to supplement distance learning. In Ward 1, Bancroft Elementary School and Cardozo Education Campus will be opening.
We expect to have an update on when in-person learning may resume from the Mayor in the next week or so. On September 23, I joined three of my colleagues in sending a letter to the Mayorasking her to share specific details on how we are preparing to safely reopen schools. Reopening schools will take the coordination of several agencies, and I know that parents and school staff need transparency to feel comfortable.
My team has also been reaching out to education groups and Parent Teacher Organizations to make sure we are getting feedback from parents on what student needs are and how we can help.
Registration is open for fall programming. On October 13th, Banneker Recreation Center and Columbia Heights Community Center will open. The Marie Reed Aquatic Center will also open on the 13th, with limited reserved times for swimmers.
Also, organized athletic activities will require a permit, and applications for permits can be accessed at dpr.dc.gov.
Leaf collection will begin on November 9th. This year, you won’t see the large groups of employees from Department of Public Works collecting leaves. The agency is trying to limit the exposure and spread of the virus, so residents will be required to bag their leaves. DPW will distribute 20 paper bags to each household. Bag distribution will begin on October 30th.
If your unemployment insurance is about to run out, you can apply for Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation for an additional 13 weeks of assistance. For more information, check out this quick guide from Councilmember Elissa Silverman, who chairs our labor committee.
The DC Housing Finance Agency is providing mortgage assistance to households impacted by COVID-19. Click here read more about the program and see if you qualify.
The Office of Nightlife and Culture’s Streatery Winter Ready Grant Program will provide recipients a one-time $6,000 grant to assist with winterizing outdoor dining spaces. Click here for more information.
The grocery distribution sites and schedule have changed. See updated locations and times below.
There are also changes to student meal sites.
DC is still providing free COVID-19 testing. No appointment needed. Click here to find a testing site near you.