September 9, 2021

Ward 3 Update:

Dear Neighbors,

I went to Wilson High School on Thursday to observe how students were adjusting to in-person learning and adhering to the mask wearing, social distancing, and COVID safety protocols in place within the building. My overall impression was generally positive. With the exception of a few outliers, the majority of the students I observed wore their masks when in class, while walking through the hallways, and even when sitting among friends. Overall, it seems as though the adherence to safety protocols has greatly increased since the first day of school. The real challenge at Wilson, as is the case in most school buildings, is the near impossibility of separating students from one another during the free and lunch periods. Students stand shoulder to shoulder in the lunch line, they eat lunch immediately next to each other, and many are in classrooms where their desks are right next to one another. Wilson has already experienced 5 positive cases within the school community, and the DC Public School (DCPS) system as a whole is similarly experiencing a steady increase in the number of positive cases among students and staff.

As of September 8th (the most recently reported data), 87 DCPS students and 43 DCPS staff have tested positive for coronavirus. As a result, 912 students are learning remotely in quarantine while 140 members of the teaching and building staff are in in quarantine. For comparison, after the first week of school, only 43 students and 26 staff tested positive. An entire grade level at John Hayden Johnson Middle School in Southeast is in quarantine. Moreover, the data being reported is missing an especially important metric: the percentage of vaccinated students and staff within each of our school communities. This concerning information from the start of the school year underscores the need for DCPS to immediately adopt the five critical safety items that I detailed in a previous update—it is imperative that, unless there is a medical reason, all teachers, staff, and eligible students be required to get the vaccine.




Honoring First Responders

Every year on September 11th, Councilmember Cheh visits firehouses across Ward 3 to honor our local firefighters and emergency personnel and presents a small token of appreciation. Residents are invited to join Councilmember Cheh and give a special thanks to our first responders at any of the firehouses below:

  • 8:00 am – Engine 29 (4811 MacArthur Blvd NW)
  • 8:45 am – Engine 20 (4300 Wisconsin Ave NW)
  • 9:30 am – Engine 31 (4930 Connecticut Ave NW)
  • 10:15 am – Engine 28 (3522 Connecticut Ave NW)

UDC Tennis Court Open House

Open House Today! - As pictured above, Councilmember Cheh recently joined the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) in cutting the ribbon on the newly renovated tennis courts at the UDC Forest Hills campus.

After working with Councilmember Cheh and several Ward 3 neighbors, UDC has announced a new tennis club pilot program that will provide residents with free access to the tennis courts.

Today, September 10th, UDC is hosting an Open House to receive community feedback on how best to administer the club pilot program, develop membership policies, and coordinate court access for the neighborhood.

The open house will be held from 3:00-7:00 pm on the UDC Tennis Courts on Yuma Street, NW. Forms to sign up for the tennis club pilot program will be available. 

For more details on the open house and the proposed tennis club policies please contact Pat Thomas, UDC Athletic Director at (202)274-7257 or [email protected].


Spray Park Season is Extended!

Instead of closing after Labor Day, all of the District's 33 spray parks will now remain open every day from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm through September 26th!

Please Click Here for a map of the District's spray parks.


Councilmember Cheh in the News - The Politics Hour with Kojo Nnamdi

From WAMU -

"In D.C., public school students returned to the classroom this week. Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh (D) has a few suggestions for how to make schools safer for students and staff.

We get her thoughts on in-person learning, and why D.C.’s sports betting app isn’t doing so hot."


Free Take-Home COVID-19 Testing Kits

Get Tested At Home - In addition to testing at fire stations, recreation centers, and other sites, residents are able to access free At Home COVID-19 Testing Kits at 27 locations across the District. Testing kits may be dropped off at a Test Yourself drop box (pictured above) any day of the week by 8:00 pm. (If the testing kit drop boxes look familiar, it is because they are repurposed ballot boxes!)

Ward 3's Testing Kit Pick-up/Drop-off Locations:

The Chevy Chase Library (5625 Connecticut Avenue NW)

  • Pick up hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Thursdays.

The Cleveland Park Library (3310 Connecticut Avenue NW)

  • Pick up hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Thursdays.

The Palisades Library (5200 Sherier Place NW)

  • Pick up hours: 8:00 am to 6:00 pm on Monday through Friday. 9:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturdays.

Tenley-Friendship (4450 Wisconsin Avenue NW)

  • Pick up hours: 10:00 am to 6:00 pm on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm on Thursdays.

Join Councilmember Cheh at the InterFaith Council Unity Walk

Join the InterFaith Council - The annual IFC Unity Walk brings together hundreds of people from all faiths and backgrounds in a public display of solidarity and hope.

This year's walk will be held on Sunday, September 12th at 1:45 pm at the Washington Hebrew Congregation.

Walkers will visit houses of worship and engage in open, informal conversations with members of Sikh, Muslim, and Buddhist communities along Massachusetts Ave., NW.

View the full program here!


Free Bus Transfers, More Trains, Lower Weekend Fares

Metro Improvements - The following WMATA fare discounts and service changes went into effect this week:


  • Free bus transfers - If you connect between rail and bus, the bus ride will now be free for all routes (except Express service)
  • Lower rail fares on weekends - Weekend fares on Metrorail will be $2 for a one-way trip, instead of the current distance-based fare
  • Lower prices for 7-day Regional Bus Pass – Customers will now pay $12 for a 7-day Regional Bus Pass ($6 for seniors/disabled customers)


  • Additional trains – Residents can expect to wait no more than 3-6 minutes for a train on weekdays at any station served by multiple lines (and on the Red Line) all-day until 9:30 pm
  • Improved late-night service – With more trains operating during late-night service, residents can expect to wait no more than 5-8 minutes for a train at any station served by multiple lines (and every 10 minutes on the Red Line)
  • Later closing on Fridays and Saturdays – Metrorail will stay open until 1 am instead of midnight on Friday and Saturday
  • Earlier opening on Sunday - Metrorail will open at 7 am instead of 8 am
  • Additional Weekend Trains – Trains will run every 5-8 minutes at any station served by multiple lines (and every 10 minutes on the Red Line)


  • Additional buses on the 36 most popular Metrobus routes (including the 31, 32, & 33 routes)
  • Buses on more than 40 other routes will provide more frequent service

Call 311 to Schedule Yard Waste Pickup

Yard Waste Collection - Yard waste collection season, which differs from the fall leaf collection season, runs from August 16th through October 31st.

Starting this year, yard waste will only be collected in paper bags. The Department of Public Works (DPW) will collect up to 20 paper bags of yard waste from residences that receive DPW’s trash and recycling collection services.

Residents must call 311 to make an appointment for yard waste collection. Residents can also visit to make an appointment or download and schedule an appointment using the 311 mobile app.

Yard waste consist of the following:

  • Leaves
  • Grass Clippings
  • Weeds
  • Bulbs
  • Twigs
  • Pinecones
  • Uprooted Plants
  • Bundled branches and limbs no more than 4 inches in diameter and that are tied in 4-footlengths

DPW will not collect yard waste that includes tree limbs and branches greater than 4 inches in diameter or 4 feet in length and stumps, dirt, stones, rocks, broken concrete, and broken pottery flowerpots.

Please visit DPW’s What Goes Where Tool to learn how to recycle or dispose of these materials.


At-Home Vaccinations Available to Everyone

Get Vaccinated At Home - In an expansion to the District's vaccination at home program for those who are medically vulnerable, any resident who prefers to get vaccinated at home may now call 1-855-363-0333 to schedule a free at-home vaccination.

The data shows the importance of vaccination:

  • Over a seven day average, 84% of all new local COVID-19 cases were among the unvaccinated
  • 96% of local COVID-19 hospitalizations were among the unvaccinated
  • The District is experiencing breakout cases, but the data is clear: vaccinations provide the greatest source of protection against contracting and being hospitalized from coronavirus

Ending this Update on a Happy Note:

The DC Green Bank Announces First Major Environmental Investment!

Funding Sustainability - The DC Green Bank, the District's new green financing authority, announced its first investment in sustainable infrastructure with a $650,000 project with Green Compass to better manage stormwater runoff in Wards 5, 7, and 8.

This stormwater management project will result in:

  • 10,000 square feet of new green infrastructure
  • De-paving surfaces and replacing it with green space
  • Diverting up to 250,000 gallons of stormwater runoff

More on the DC Green Bank: DC Green Bank’s mission is to provide access to capital, growing the clean economy to develop a more equitable, resilient, and sustainable DC. They do this by offering innovative financing solutions that prioritize making the clean economy inclusive and affordable for all DC residents, businesses, and community institutions.

  • The DC Green Bank focuses on investments in solar energy, building efficiencies, infrastructure resilience, and transportation electrification

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.