Thursday, February 04, 2021

Ward 5 Report: Black History Month -- Thursday, 02-04-2021

From: Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie <>
Sent: Thursday, February 4, 2021 1:20 PM
Subject: February 4th Ward 5 Report - Black History Month 

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As we celebrate Black History Month and commemorate the trailblazers whose shoulders we stand upon, I can't help but think about the challenges that we continue to confront. More and more Americans of all backgrounds are waking up to the realities of systemic racism and demanding we address longstanding structural inequalities. This year, the best way we can honor Black History Month is by advancing racial equity and speaking out against injustice wherever we see it.

The REACH Act is helping to lay the foundation to address these issues. The Council Office of Racial Equity launched on January 18th and this past Monday Mayor Bowser began the search for a Chief Equity Officer. As we near the start of budget season, I am focused on delivering an equitable recovery for District residents and making targeted economic investments in Black communities to lift families out of poverty and empower entrepreneurs. Let's work together and continue fighting for true racial equity here in the nation's capital. 

In service,





Kenyan in The News


Councilmember McDuffie continued his calls for equitable vaccine distribution in the New York Times, DCist, and ABC7 this past week.

Monday, Councilmember McDuffie spoke at a press conference on the importance of Black District residents owning property and businesses, covered by
the Washington Post.

Last week, he 
spoke with Martin Austermuhle from DCist about the new Council of Racial Equity Office and the equity impact assessments the office will produce for future legislation.

Councilmember McDuffie also
spoke with Laura Hayes from the City Paper about his new legislation, the Fair Meals Delivery Emergency Act. More info on that bill below.


Legislative Update


On Tuesday, February 2nd the Council unanimously passed Councilmember McDuffie’s legislation, The Fair Meals Delivery Emergency Act, which requires third-party meal delivery services to obtain permission from restaurants before listing that restaurant on the delivery service platform. Restaurant operators across the District requested this legislative fix after losing customers from delivery services posting inaccurate or out of date menus. 


Celebrating Black History Month


Tune in on Wednesday, February 10th at 8 PM to watch a History Channel documentary on the Tuskegee Airmen featuring Councilmember McDuffie, who explains their legacy and significance as we celebrate Black History Month.

In 2019, Councilmember McDuffie
presented a Council resolution honoring the Tuskegee Airmen and creating Tuskegee Airmen Commemoration Day here in Washington, DC.


Kenyan in the Community


On Monday, Councilmember McDuffie spoke at a press announcement about the importance of investing in Black communities and building the Go-Go museum. Watch the full clip here.




Last week, Councilmember McDuffie toured Dunbar High School and McKinley High School to see the schools’ preparations for the return of in-person learning. Starting February 2nd, in-person education has resumed for students at DCPS who opted to return.



In case you missed Councilmember McDuffie's panel conversation on smart growth and the importance of supporting Black-owned businesses, you can watch the full discussion here. The panel portion begins 26 minutes into the video.


Fiscal Year 2022 Budget Process



Like last year, we are distributing the Ward 5 online budget priorities survey. We have shared it through our email lists, ANC partners, Civic Associations, and social media. Physical copies of the survey are available at Woodridge library, located at 1801 Hamlin St, NE. All surveys must be completed by 11:59 PM on February 19th. We hope you will make your voice heard in the budget process by filling out our survey and telling us your priorities for the FY 2022 budget.



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 first forum will be held on Wednesday, February 10th at noon. You can sign up and learn more about this process here.


2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report



On Monday, DC's Chief Financial Officer released the 2020 CAFR. The report identifies areas where we saw substantial declines in revenue, in the hospitality and tourism sectors, along with increases in unemployment due to the COVID-19 induced recession.  Urgent needs persist, including unemployment insurance benefits program as well as other critical services to meet the needs of residents. 

You can view slides from the CFO's presentation
here and the full CAFR here


DC CARES Program Funding


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


Small Business Spotlight


Celebrate Black history month by supporting Black-owned businesses like DCity Smokehouse in Ward 5 on Florida Ave. You can find a list of DC area Black-owned restaurants to visit here.



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 to learn more and apply. 



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 will open on February 12th at and close at 4 PM on Friday, March 15th. Learn more about DC LEAF funding here.


Covid-19 Vaccine Update


As of February 1st, DC residents 65 and older, health care professions, teachers and in-person school staff, MPD officers, and childcare professionals are eligible to sign-up for the Covid-19 vaccine. Every Thursday starting at 9 AM, appointments will become available for residents living in Wards 5,7, and 8. On Fridays at 9 AM, more appointments will become available for all qualifying residents.

You can schedule a vaccination appointment at or by calling 855-363-0333. There is limited availability every week, so try to schedule your appointment on Thursday when more slots are added.











Looking for more information? Check out the full slides from Mayor Bowser's February 4thFebruary 1st, and January 28th situational updates. 

Subscribe to get real-time vaccine updates 



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