Friday, May 15, 2020

today's Ward 5 Report: Supporting Our Local Small Business, Budget Season About to Begin, and Brookland Middle School students release a book & vote by mail

From: Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie <>
Sent: Friday, May 15, 2020 11:24 AM
Subject: Ward 5 Report: Supporting Our Local Small Business, Budget Season About to Begin, and Brookland Middle School students release a book & vote by mail


Even as we continue to practice necessary social distancing in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the needs for ourselves and our families continue. The public health emergency has obviously had a brutal impact on our entire economy, importantly, including our local small businesses.

From the Council's first legislative response to COVID-19, I have been focused on helping residents make it through the pandemic safely and with their health. Small businesses are not just a critical part of the District's culture and fabric, they employ our people and they are more likely to spend their dollars within our community.

I've been highlighting essential Ward 5 small businesses that are open during the health emergency and I encourage you to support them as well. Stay in shape with during the pandemic with Wired Cycling Fitness Studio, Bourne 2 Fly Fitness Studio, or Fitness Snob Studio. Pick up a cup of coffee at Creative Grounds on North Capital St and Seaton Pl NW or stop by Tastemakers in Brookland for some contact-free goodies from Captain Cookie, Bullfrog Bagels, or OMG Latin Flavors.

Ward 5 Main Street organizations also have directories of local businesses that are open in Brookland, Rhode Island Avenue NE, and Bladendsburg Road NE as well as North Capital Street. Support our local economy and shop local!

In service,


For the latest and most comprehensive information always visit

Three Ways to Engage with the Council on the Budget

Next week, the Council will receive a draft budget from the Mayor and begin holding Budget Oversight Hearings. For obvious reasons, this budget process will not be like other years. Council committees are each taking written testimony as well as allowing residents to call a phone line and leave testimony, which will be transcribed and included in the official record. Additionally, there will be limited opportunities to testify before committee hearings held via videoconference. Check the Council website for the full schedule of hearings and additional details for each committee. 

The Council Committee on Business and Economic Development, chaired by Councilmember McDuffie, will receive input from the public through multiple channels:

Written Testimony:
  • Written Testimony shall be submitted by emailing the document to
  • Written testimony must be submitted as instructed above by June 3, 2020, 5:00 pm, to be included in the record.
  • Public witness testimony will not be accepted after that date.
Transcribed Oral Testimony:
  • Call (202) 430-5122.
  • When prompted, ready your testimony (speak slowly and clearly).
  • You may provide up to three minutes of testimony.
  • Your testimony will be transcribed and made a part of the record.
  • At the beginning of the message please state your name, spell your name, the agency you are testifying on, provide the name of the organization you are representing (if any), and then begin your testimony.
Live testimony via videoconference hearing:
  • The hearing will take place via Zoom on Tuesday, June 16 from 9:00 am – Noon. As with all Council hearings, it will be streamed live on the Council website and broadcast on DC cable channel 13.
  • Public witnesses are required to complete the witness form linked from hereThe form to sign up for the virtual hearing will open on June 10, 2020, at 9:00 am and close on June 12, 2020, at 5:00 pm.
  • Participation in the virtual hearing is limited, and participants will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis. Each public witness will receive a maximum of three minutes to testify, and each organization is limited to one testimony at the virtual hearing.
  • Witnesses that completed the form on May 11-12 will carry over to the new witness list.
  • Public witnesses selected to participate in the virtual hearing will receive additional instructions from the Committee on Business and Economic Development.
  • These hearings are official proceedings of the Council of the District of Columbia, and public witnesses who will appear live in a virtual hearing must conduct themselves respectfully and are subject to removal for using profane, indecent, or abusive language or images.
  • All public witnesses are encouraged to submit written testimony in advance of the hearing. Written Testimony can be submitted by emailing the document to
    • Written testimony must be submitted as instructed above by June 3, 2020, 5:00 p.m., to be included in the record.

The Ward 5 Office is Open and Teleworking

Throughout the public health emergency, Councilmember McDuffie and staff are teleworking and remain hard at work on behalf of Ward 5 residents. You can still call (202) 724-8028 or email any staff

In the Community

Team McDuffie joined ANC Commissioner Pierre Hines (ANC 5C03) in delivering masks, gloves, and hot meals to seniors in Ft. Lincoln.

Kenyan in the News

Do You Have Spingarn Photos or Memories to Share?

Pre-Order the Book Written by Brookland Middle School Students

A group of Brookland Middle School are publishing a book, We Matter: Notes from DC's Generation Z. Pre-order the book today for only $15 by clicking here. The book description reads: From go-go dancing and Mumbo sauce to gentrification, education equality, and environmental concerns, this collection explores what matters to this generation of new authors and offers key perspective into what DC is really like from their point of view.

Open Space Design for the New York and Florida Ave NE Intersection Project - May 18

The NoMa Parks Foundation invites you to provide input on the potential design of new public spaces that will result from the New York Avenue NE and Florida Avenue NE Intersection Project. The project will both improve the intersection for pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicular traffic, as well as create three new open spaces. This online meeting will present concept designs for the new open spaces.

Lamond-Riggs Library Meeting - May 20

Join your friends and neighbors on Wednesday, May 20, at 6 pm for a virtual community meeting about the Lamond-Riggs Library project. The design team will:
  • Share final designs for the new library
  • Provide a project timeline
  • Talk about what to expect during construction
  • Gather community feedback and answer questions
This meeting will be held online. Please click on this link to join the meeting. Learn more about this project at

DC Water Northeast Boundary Tunnel Forum -  May 21

DC Water looks forward to providing construction and traffic safety improvement updates and answering your questions, at the upcoming Tunnel Forum Meeting. In line with the current restrictions on mass gatherings due to the COVID-19 emergency, this meeting will be held online via Zoom on Thursday, May 21, 2020, from 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm.

Tunnel Forum Agenda:
  • Bryant Street APA & New LeDroit Park APA
  • Construction Site Updates
    • First Street NW Pumping Station
    • T Street NW
    • Florida Avenue NW
    • R Street NW
  • Main Street Update
  • Questions and Answers

Vote by Mail in the June Primary

For the 2020 Primary Election, voting by mail is strongly encouraged. To vote by mail, you must submit a request to do so before the deadline on May 26. Voters can request a ballot several ways:
For someone looking to download the request form, even though the instructions for the form indicate you must print and sign, you do not have to do so. If you’re unable to print, sign, and scan the form, save the completed form as a pdf and email it to The Board will accept unsigned request forms (however, the board will not accept unsigned ballots). Voters can check the status of their ballot request forms and ballots using the Board’s tracker.

If voters do choose to vote in person, the Board is prepared to safely receive them at any of the 20 Vote Centers, regardless of their residence. Voters who choose to vote in person must wear masks and socially distance. Voters who choose to vote in person are strongly encouraged to use early voting, rather than on Election Day. Vote Centers will be open for the Primary Election from May 22 through June 2, except on May 25 for Memorial Day. On Election Day, they’re open 7 am – 8 pm, and for all other early voting days from 8:30 am – 7 pm. This means on Election Day June 2, there will only be two polling places open in Ward 5.

Mail-in ballots must be postmarked no later than Election Day but can be received at the Board’s offices no later than June 9. If a voter received a mail-in ballot but didn’t put their ballot in the mail, you can also drop off your ballot at any Vote Center.


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