From Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie <[email protected]>
Subject The Ward 5 Report - Emancipation Day
Date April 16, 2021 8:43 PM
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We celebrate Emancipation Day this year in the context of renewed calls for justice and racial equity that have gone unanswered for too long.

My bill, The Reparations Foundation Fund and Task Force Establishment Act, is a critical step in redressing the centuries of slavery, Jim Crow, and Government-sanctioned discrimination that have denied Black Americans wealth-building opportunities at every turn. We cannot fix longstanding racial inequities like the District’s racial wealth gap without reparations. As you celebrate Emancipation Day, I hope you will join us in calling for racial, economic, and social justice.

In service,

In this issue of the Ward 5 Report:

* Legislative Update
* Kenyan in The News
* Kenyan in the Community
* Community Meetings
* Small Business Spotlight
* Schools will have full in-person learning this Fall
* Financial Literacy Month
* New Rent and Utilities Relief Program - STAY DC
* COVID-19 and Vaccine Updates

** Legislative Update

Last week, Councilmember McDuffie unveiled his sweeping Clean Slate legislation after years of development and collaboration with stakeholders.

This bill simplifies and rectifies the District’s imbalanced criminal record sealing laws, which are some of the most complex in the country, by automatically sealing non-conviction records without requiring an individual to file a motion or prove their innocence.

Upon introduction, Councilmember McDuffie said, "At its core, this legislation is about equity and fairness. The current law creates additional hurdles for residents with publicly available criminal records, disproportionately Black Washingtonians, who often lack the resources and institutional knowledge to complete this cumbersome process. Automatically sealing records and expanding the number of eligible misdemeanors would help to chip away at the layers of institutional barriers that inhibit the successful transition home for thousands of District residents returning from periods of incarceration."

** Kenyan in The News
Check out some of the articles Councilmember McDuffie was mentioned in recenty:

A To-Do List for Robert Contee as He Prepares to Take the Helm of MPD (City Paper ([link removed]) )

D.C. Council, Health Educators: Racism is a National Health Threat (Washington Informer ([link removed]) )

D.C. Will End Hotel Shelter For Medically Vulnerable Residents In September (DCist ([link removed]) )

Bowser Cancels Weekly Conference Call with D.C. Council (City Paper ([link removed]) )

** Kenyan in the Community

Congratulations to Montello Barbershop and Sprouts Town Child Care on their 2021 Great Streets Grant Awards! CM McDuffie came by personally to drop off the award letters and celebrate our Ward 5 businesses as he continues to prioritize an equitable economic recovery.

Yesterday, Councilmember McDuffie joined Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Bowser, EPA Administrator Michael Regan, and DC Water General Manager David Gatis in Ward 5 to announce a new $156M EPA loan that DC Water will use to improve water quality, cut costs for consumers and protect our rivers from sewage contamination.

** Community Meetings
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On Monday, Councilmember McDuffie joined Georgetown's MLK Initiative panel to discuss his work on the Council to advance racial justice and economic inclusion here in the District.

** Small Business Spotlight
Congratulations to Calabash Tea and Tonic on 12th St NE for winning a 2021 Great Streets Grant Award! Councilmember McDuffie came by in person to drop off their award last week. Make sure to support our Ward 5 businesses!
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Join City First Enterprises & DSLBD on April 19th at 2 PM to learn about DC BLOC, a business line of credit program, and how it can help your business bridge the gap that can appear between a contract award & initial payments. RSVP here ([link removed]) .
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The Small Business Administration's Paycheck Protection Program has been extended until May 31st. Apply for a first or second PPP loan here ([link removed]) .

** Schools will have full in-person learning this Fall

** Financial Literacy Month
The Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking (DISB) is devoting April to improving financial literacy. See a full calendar of opportunities here ([link removed]) .

** New Rent and Utilities Relief Program - STAY DC
STAY DC, a new relief program made possible by new federal funding provides support for back rent to pay unpaid rent going back to 4/1/20, upcoming rent for up to 3 months, utility expenses for water, gas, & electricity, and extended housing support available for 18 months per tenant

Call 833-478-2932 to apply

** COVID-19 and Vaccine Updates
Since April 12, the COVID vaccine became available to all District residents 16 years and older. To pre-register for the vaccine so you can get your shot, visit vaccinate.dc.govor call 855-363-0333. Starting Monday, April 19th, residents 65 and older will be able to walk into 10 different vaccination sites without needing an appointment (full list below).

On Tuesday, the CDC and FDA issued a recommendation that departments of health pause their use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. This pause is so doctors can collect more data on the potential for si

If you have secured a vaccine dose outside of DC’s registration system, please take time to remove your name from the system. Contact the Call Center at 1-855-363-0333 or email [email protected].

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