The Council passed, on the first of two readings, what Chairman Mendelson
has called a transformative budget. Indeed, this year's budget is
transformative, especially in the innovative ways it seeks to address
wealth and racial disparities in the District. It includes funding for
initiatives such as the "baby bonds" program that will invest up to
$1,000/per year into a trust for low-income children to access once they
turn 18, as well as funding to increase access to maternal healthcare for
low income residents, and investments in legal access for the elderly and
programs that provide critical legal aid to low- and moderate- income
residents in civil claims. The budget also includes substantial funding for
District residents and businesses still recovering from the pandemic,
including $80 million in additional relief for hotels, restaurants, and
small businesses as well as an expansion to the District's universal paid
leave program. Several investments were also made for programs supporting
our most vulnerable residents, including expanded funding for Permanent
Supportive Housing and Emergency Rental Assistance and providing $35
million in aid for undocumented and excluded workers who are ineligible for
traditional unemployment insurance.
All of these investments build on a number of initiatives that I previously
mentioned in other newsletters, such as lead pipe replacement, Vision Zero,
supports for our seniors, nutrition programs, and a number of Ward 3
investments, which were maintained in the full budget and are available to
In the end, the Council voted unanimously to approve a budget that also
included a measure to increase the income tax, with which I disagreed
(along with Chairman Mendelson and Councilmembers McDuffie, Pinto, and
Bonds). And it wasn't because the purposes to which the money would be put
are not worthy–indeed, they are and I strongly support those purposes (even
more compensation for childcare workers and housing assistance for those
experiencing homelessness, etc.). I believe, however, that tax increases
should not be ad hoc, 11th hour add-ons that receive no public hearings.
The most appropriate and sophisticated mechanism for such income tax reform
is the Tax Revision Commission. One of the reasons I introduced legislation
to recreate the Tax Revision Commission was to ensure that tax policy would
be viewed and evaluated holistically, with the full consequences of any
actions comprehensively and expertly considered. I would have preferred to
hear their recommendation and to follow the regular legislative procedures;
but, in any case, the increase was approved by an 8-5 vote and has been
absorbed into the total budget.
The second vote will take place on August 3rd, and although there may be
some final tweaks, it will no doubt be approved as it is now.
Please see coronavirus.dc.gov for the latest District updates &
resources on COVID-19
Get vaccinated TODAY at any of the District's walk-up vaccination sites
The Chevy Chase Bus Terminal Renovation is Complete (Finally!)
Historic Rehabilitation in Action - Metro's historic Chevy Chase Bus
Terminal renovation is complete! First opened in 1941, the bus terminal
located just steps away from the Chevy Chase Circle underwent a significant
rehabilitation project that sought to provide much-needed safety and
service upgrades while preserving the historic character of the building.
The site now features new photo-sensitive LED outdoor lighting, real-time
passenger information signs, a vital break space for drivers, a resurfaced
and cleaned bus loop, and restored historic features (such as
repaired/refinished copper accents and tile work). This is the first of
three such bus terminal improvement projects.
Your Input Wanted: The Future of Beach Drive
Offer Input on the Future of Beach Drive - This past April, Councilmember
Cheh spearheaded a Sense of the Council Resolution in support of the
permanent closure of upper Beach Drive to vehicle traffic. The National
Park Service (NPS) subsequently announced that it will begin an assessment
on the potential future uses of upper Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park. This
includes the decision as to whether NPS will reopen segments of the road to
car traffic or continue the pandemic-induced road closure for pedestrian
and cyclist use.
NPS is accepting public comments on the future use of Beach Drive from now
through August 22nd.
To submit your comment online, please go to: National Park Service
invites comments on future of Beach Drive in Rock Creek Park.
If you prefer to mail your comments, please follow the mailing instructions
D.C. Regulated Third-Party Delivery Apps During the Pandemic. What Happens
From The Washington City Paper - Local restaurants got a bit of a break
during the pandemic after the D.C. Council passed emergency legislation
that took a bite out of the commission fees third-party delivery apps like
DoorDash and Uber Eats can charge for their pick-up and delivery
Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh has regularly voiced support for making the
fee caps last beyond the pandemic and recovery. “I am very interested in
seeing the cap on third-party delivery and pick-up fees become permanent,
especially if it will result in a stronger and faster recovery for our
local restaurant industry,” she says. “Delivery apps are popular and can
serve a business purpose, but let’s be clear: They are huge investor-driven
companies that hold a significant financial and power advantage over the
District’s restaurant industry, which is about 96 percent independent
restaurants. Without meaningful protections for restaurants, including
reasonable fees, the current arrangement is not sustainable, and many
restaurants will not survive.”
The third-party app giants have fought the fee caps every step of the way.
Read the Full Story
Attention Ward 3: Major Projects Underway for the Red Line
From Metro - Construction has begun on the first of two major capital
projects on the Red Line that will upgrade the tunnel ventilation
system and repair deteriorating platform canopies. From now through Sunday,
August 29th, Metro and its contractor will install new, more powerful fans
in the tunnels between Woodley Park and Cleveland Park as part of a pilot
project to improve tunnel safety in the event of a smoke or fire
emergency. The work is expected to cause significant impacts for customers,
with around-the-clock single tracking and station closures.
Two weekend shutdowns will also be needed, with free shuttle buses
replacing trains this summer. Additional weekend closures will be necessary
in 2022 to complete the project, commissioning, and safety testing.
July 17 – August 29
* Continuous single tracking between the Dupont Circle and Van Ness
* Trains will operate every 18 minutes between Shady Grove and Glenmont
* Customers may also wish to use Metrobus Route L2 which runs along
Connecticut Ave between Chevy Chase Circle and Farragut Square as an
Weekends of August 7-8 and August 28-29
* Red Line trains will operate in two segments: Shady Grove to Van Ness;
and Dupont Circle to Glenmont
* Free shuttle buses replace trains between Dupont Circle and Van Ness
* Cleveland Park and Woodley Park stations closed
Please Support Ward 3's Food & Cleaning Supply Pantry
Helping Ward 3 Neighbors in Need - The International Women's Democracy
Center and Ward 3 Mutual Aid are looking for volunteers for the Feed the
Family Pantry in Ward 3! The Feed the Family Pantry focuses on offering
fresh produce and cleaning supplies to neighbors in need every Sunday from
1:00 to 4:00 pm at 4225 Connecticut Ave NW (the former Walgreens site right
across from the UDC-Van Ness Metro Station).
For anyone looking to volunteer in-person or to help out remotely, please
email: [email protected].
Submit Your Artwork for the Inaugural Harrison Window Gallery
Calling All Artists - PepcoConnect, Councilmember Cheh, ANC 3E, and the
Tenleytown Main Street are excited to announce a Call for Artists for the
inaugural launch of Pepco’s Harrison Window Gallery, located at 5210
The street-facing display windows will feature quarterly art installations
highlighting the work of District of Columbia artists. The inaugural
exhibit will be entitled, "Tenleytown & Friendship Heights: Past, Present,
Artists must be a resident or student (of any age) in the District of
Columbia. Artwork of any medium or creative expression is encouraged.
Individual or group exhibits will be considered. Artwork of a partisan,
religious, discriminatory, or sexual nature will not be considered.
To apply, please click on the button below!
Ending this Update on a Happy Note:
Quilt for DC Statehood!
Join the Quilt 4 DC Statehood Challenge - Quilts4DC and the League of Women
Voters of DC are sponsoring a summer quilt challenge in support of DC
Statehood. The challenge calls for quilts inspired by the opportunity for
the District of Columbia to become the 51st state. Submissions are due by
September 30th. The challenge will feature a virtual quilt show in November
with a (potential) in-person quilt exhibition scheduled for early 2022.
* For challenge instructions and resources, please go to:
* For information/questions, please contact [email protected]
Join the Quilts 4 DC Facebook Group to collaborate, share your work, and
find inspiration. Follow the fun on Instagram (Quilts4DC) and Twitter
Quilts4DC is organized by quilters in the DC region in association with the
League of Women Voters of the District of Columbia, a non-partisan
Our Office is Open!
Connect with our staff - While Councilmember Cheh's physical office is
closed during the public health emergency, she and her staff are
teleworking and will remain accessible for residents.
You may continue to reach us via phone through our main line at (202)
724-8062 with legislative ideas, budget requests, and constituent services