From Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie <[email protected]>
Subject Ward 5 Report February 18 - Our Racial Equity Agenda
Date February 19, 2021 12:53 AM
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Last week, I wrote in the Washington Post about the urgent need for a racial equity agenda here in the nation's capital. I argued that achieving racial equity would improve the quality of life for every D.C. resident and finally give the least among us a real fair shot. I want to explain a little more why every District resident benefits from a racial equity agenda.

Certainly, our government must deliver an equitable recovery that isn’t just a return to normal for residents who feel left behind. But investing in Black communities isn’t just morally essential, it’s also good economics. Racial equity and economic inclusion aren’t zero-sum games. Empowering underserved communities and investing in Black businesses will significantly grow the prosperity of our city. New businesses create more jobs and expand our tax base to fund critical government services. Growing the proverbial economic pie benefits all district residents, not only communities of color. I hope you will join me in advocating for DC's racial equity agenda.

In service,

In this issue of the Ward 5 Report:

* Kenyan in The News
* Committee on Business and Economic Development Oversight Schedule
* Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Engagement Forums
* Celebrating Black History Month
* Community Leadership Meetings
* Small Business Spotlight
* DCPS and DC Charter School Lottery Deadline
* Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program 
* DC Commemorative Works Location Survey
* Rent and Utility Payment Relief 
* Unemployment Benefits Updates
* Covid-19 and Vaccine Updates

** Kenyan in The News
Last week, Councilmember McDuffie penned an Op-ed in the Washington Post entitled " DC's Racial Equity Agenda Demands Action Now." In it, Councilmember McDuffie explains, "Our government has an obligation to provide D.C. residents with the resources they need to achieve their full potential. Achieving racial equity would improve the quality of life for every D.C. resident and finally give the least among us a real fair shot." You can read his full op-ed here ([link removed]) .
[link removed]
Councilmember McDuffie also spoke with City Paper ([link removed]) about the importance of getting the Covid vaccine, the Washington Informer ([link removed]) on the need to pass his new reparations legislation, and NBC4 ([link removed]) regarding the impact of his Fair Meals Delivery Act on local restaurants.

** Committee on Business and Economic Development Oversight Schedule

** Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Engagement Forums
Mayor Bowser has also released the schedule for her FY22 budget engagement forums. These forums are important opportunities to make your voice heard and priorities known during the budget process. The next forum will be Saturday, February 20th at 11 AM. You can sign up and learn more about this process here ([link removed]) .

** Celebrating Black History Month
[link removed]
On Tuesday, Councilmember McDuffie spoke at DMPED's weekly recovery check-in about the importance of intentional and targeted economic investments in Black communities as a part of his racial equity agenda and ensuring our recovery isn't simply a return to normal for historically underserved residents. View the full conversation here ([link removed]) .
Check out a screening of the new documentary, Go-Go City, at 6:30 pm on February 23rd on GoGoRadio Live. Join the post-film conversation with Councilmember McDuffie and others as they discuss the important of preserving Go-Go's legacy and investing in Black communities that aren't seeing equitable economic investments.
Join Councilmember McDuffie for a panel conversation hosted by the Thurgood Marshall Center Trust discussing the importance of celebrating Black history year-round.

** Community Leadership Meetings

On Saturday, February 13th Councilmember McDuffie and his staff met with ANC and Civic Association leaders from the ANC 5A & 5C areas to discuss the latest COVID and public safety updates as well as hear what issues are affecting community members.

Yesterday, February 17th, Councilmember McDuffie held another leadership meeting (featured below) with ANC 5B and corresponding Civic Association leaders.

The final meeting with ANC 5D & 5E and Civic Association leaders will take place on February 20th.

** Small Business Spotlight
DMPED has re-opened the Entertainment Bridge Fund Grant Program, which aims to provide $29.5 million in financial relief to the entertainment industry. The fund is comprised of two programs: (1) Venue Program that will support DC’s entertainment venues, and (2) Supporting Business Program that will support entertainment businesses that do not have site control of a venue but their activities heavily rely on live events.

Visit [link removed] to learn more and apply.
The newest round of PPP funding is now open and accepting applications. Learn if your business is eligible and how to apply at ([link removed])

You can also view the DC Department of Small and Local Business Development's webinar on accessing PPP funding here ([link removed]) .
DSLBD is distributing free Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) care packages to District businesses.

There will be two PPE distribution sites, one in Anacostia and one downtown by the Convention Center. In order to receive a PPE Care Package, businesses will need to complete the PPE Sign-Up Form.

The form and additional details can be found here ([link removed]) .
DMPED announcing the availability of $5M in funding for the DC Local Equity, Access, and Preservation Funds program (DC LEAF). DC LEAF incorporates three separate solicitations: (1) FY 2021 Neighborhood Prosperity Fund, (2) FY 2021 Nourish DC Fund, and (3) FY 2021 Locally Made Manufacturing Grant Program.

Applications opened on February 12th at [link removed] and close at 4 PM on Friday, March 15th. Learn more about DC LEAF funding here ([link removed]) .

** DCPS and DC Charter School Lottery Deadline
March 1, 2021 is the deadline for students going into PK3 through 8th grade to apply for the DCPS and DC Charter School lottery. Go to [link removed] ([link removed]) to sign up or call (202) 888-6336.

** Marion Barry Summer Youth Employment Program
MBSYEP applications are open from now until February 27th. You can learn more and apply here ([link removed]) .

** DC Commemorative Works Location Survey

The Commemorative Works Location Strategy has identified potential locations for commemorative works in public spaces throughout DC. You can give your input on their survey here ([link removed]) .

** Rent and Utility Payment Relief
DC Government is supporting low-income residents who need assistance paying their rent and utility bills.

Housing providers may apply to the Covid-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) on behalf of eligible tenants. Learn more at

Households eligible for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) can receive up to $1800 in benefits. Click here ([link removed]) to learn more about how to qualify and apply for benefits.

** Unemployment Benefits Updates

The latest federal relief package that was signed into law on December 27th extended funding for several unemployment benefits programs including the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC), Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA), and Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC).

This relief package also creates a new benefits program, the Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC) fund, which provides benefits for residents who work part-time and made at least $5000 in the latest taxable year. Applications are open from now until March 14th.

Learn more about the new MEUC program here ([link removed]) .

Round 2 of the DC CARES cash assistance program for excluded workers is now open. DC is providing $1000 to DC residents who lost their job or worked less due to COVID and were excluded from unemployment benefits or federal stimulus. Please note, residents who already received DC Cares funds in the first round are not eligible for round 2.

To learn more and apply, visit

** Covid-19 and Vaccine Updates
Currently, residents 65 and older, and those who work in health care, grocery store settings, health and human services and social services outreach, manufacturing, and food packaging can sign up for the vaccine through the portal or by calling 855-363-0333

Today at 6 PM, appointments will become available for residents living in high-priority zip codes, every zip code in Ward 5 is high-priority for this purpose. On Friday at 6 PM, another batch of appointments becomes available to all qualifying residents and Ward 5 residents can sign up that day as well. The following week, appointments will become available at 9 AM, and signup times will alternate every week between evening and morning.

Certain groups of essential workers also qualify for the vaccine, such as teachers, in-person school staff, MPD officers, and childcare professionals, These individuals sign up through portals specific to their industry and agency that oversees their work. The mayor has also signaled that grocery store workers could soon get added to this list of essential workers.

FInally, starting on March 1st, Washingtonians between the ages of 64 and 16 with certain underlying medical conditions can sign up for the vaccine. The full criteria list can be found below.
Click these links to see the full slides from Mayor Bowser's February 18th ([link removed]) , February 17th ([link removed]) , February 11th ([link removed]) , and F ([link removed]) ebruary 8th ([link removed]) situational updates.

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