From Councilmember Kenyan R. McDuffie <[email protected]>
Subject Office of Racial Equity Launch & Inauguration
Date January 22, 2021 1:00 PM
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The Ward 5 Report January 22nd - A new administration and a new DC Racial Equity Office

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This week made me hopeful for our city and our country's future. On Wednesday, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn in and their administration has already begun to take shape. Kamala Harris, a fellow Howard alumna, became both the first Black and female Vice President. In his speech, President Biden spoke repeatedly about rooting out systemic racism and hearing the cry for racial justice. President Biden also indicated his support for statehood and I urge Congress to send HR 51, the DC statehood bill, to his desk within the first 100 days of his term.

On Monday, we commemorated Martin Luther King Jr. Day and officially launched the Council Office of Racial Equity (CORE), the first step to enacting the REACH Act ([link removed]) that I authored in 2019. This office will advance racial equity across the District, provide equity impact assessments for future Council legislation, create equity tools to eliminate racial disparities in government as well as the budget, and ensure all Council staff undergo equity training. The Racial Equity Achieves Results Act (REACH Act) is a comprehensive measure designed to guide government work through a racial equity lens and reduce existing disparities between Black residents and everyone else.

Visit and see all the ways CORE will help us advance racial equity throughout District government.

In service,


In this issue of the Ward 5 Report:

* Legislative Update
* Kenyan in The News
* Kenyan in the Community
* Ward 5 Community Spotlight
* Small Business Spotlight
* COVID-19 & Vaccine Update

** Legislative Update
Councilmember McDuffie’s Landmark REACH Act Begins Implementation with Launch of the Council Office of Racial Equity ([link removed])

** Kenyan in The News
Councilmember McDuffie was prominently featured in the news the last two weeks for his advocacy on equitable vaccine distribution, DC Statehood, a reparations task force, and a safe inauguration.

Councilmember McDuffie was interviewed by the Washington Post ([link removed]) , City Paper ([link removed]) , DCist ([link removed]) , ABC7 ([link removed]) , WUSA9 ([link removed]) , and NBC4
([link removed]) after demanding more vaccines be made available for residents in the hardest-hit Wards. On Friday, two days after his calls for more vaccines, the Department of Health announced an additional 4,309 vaccine appointments for residents in Wards 1,4,5,7,8. Read his full statement regarding vaccine distribution here ([link removed]) .
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Councilmember McDuffie also shared his thoughts on the January 6th insurrection, a safe inauguration, and DC Statehood with The Atlantic ([link removed]) , NPR's The Takeaway ([link removed]) , Bloomberg ([link removed]) , Washington Post ([link removed]) , USA Today ([link removed]) , and NBC4 ([link removed]) .

Lastly, Councilmember McDuffie spoke with WAMU ([link removed]) ([link removed]) about the significance of reintroducing his reparations task force legislation.

** Kenyan in the Community
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Watch Councilmember McDuffie celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday and the 40th MLK Parade with a special performance from Black Alley here ([link removed]) .

** Ward 5 Community Spotlight
Councilmember McDuffie’s years of work on environmental justice issues earn a win for Ward 5 residents ([link removed])
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The Department of Parks and Recreation is hosting a meeting on Monday, February 8th at 6:30 PM to get your input for their new parks and recreation master plan, "Ready2Play. This meeting will provide an opportunity to discuss the unique parks and recreational needs and desires of Ward 5 residents.

You can sign-up to attend this meeting here ([link removed]) .

For more information about Ready2Play, visit

** Small Business Spotlight
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Today, Main Street America and Brother International partnered to introduce the "At Your Side" small business grant program worth $75,000 in total funding. To learn more about the program and apply, visit their website. ([link removed]) Applications will be accepted until Thursday, January 28th at 7:59 PM.
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The Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) is accepting applications for the 2021 Robust Retail Citywide grants. DSLBD intends to award up to $7,500 per business to 106 businesses from the total $800,000 in available funding for Fiscal Year 2021. This grant will be operated as a reimbursement grant, awarded via lottery, to DC retail businesses that have met all eligibility requirements by the final deadline.

Click here ([link removed]) to learn more and apply.
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Monday, January 25th marks the start of Metropolitan Restaurant Week. The extended restaurant week will go until February 7th.

Please consider supporting participating Ward 5 restaurants: Ivy City Smokehouse ([link removed]) , Gravitas ([link removed]) , Stellina Pizzaria ([link removed]) , and Elcielo ([link removed]) .

** COVID-19 & Vaccine Update

To date, DC residents 65 and older and/or health care professionals are eligible to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. Appointments are made available as DC continues to get vaccine doses from the federal government. When appointments open up, you can schedule your vaccine at ([link removed]) or by calling 855-363-0333.

Starting on January 25th, vaccine appointments will become available for in-person school staff and MPD officers.

You can subscribe for real-time updates on the vaccination rollout here ([link removed]) .

Information from the Mayor's situational updates is included below, the full presentation is available here ([link removed]) .

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