July 21, 2021

Ward 3 Update: The Budget Advances

Dear Neighbors,

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 review: here.

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 worthyindeed, 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 available: here.


D.C. Regulated Third-Party Delivery Apps During the Pandemic. What Happens Now?

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 services...

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 stations
  • 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 alternative

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 stations
  • 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 Wisconsin Ave!

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, and Future."

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.

Join the Quilts 4 DC Facebook Group to collaborate, share your work, and find inspiration. Follow the fun on Instagram (Quilts4DC) and Twitter (@Quilts4DC).

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 501(c)(3).


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 requests.