Saturday, January 30, 2010

2010 Tet Cultural Event

The Vietnamese-American Community Service Center (VACSC) invites the community to this February 16 event to celebrate the Year of the Tiger.   This cultural event will help VACSC, the Vietnamese community, and friends of this Ward 1 nonprofit to celebrate a year of new hope, new beginnings, new strength, and new future!
Lunar New Year Invitation 2010

Thursday, January 28, 2010

More TPS assistance

Catholic Charities' Immigration Legal Services is hosting workshops on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians pursuant to the recent change made by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the federal Department of Homeland Security.   (See this prior blog post for more information.)

The first workshop is being held on January 30 at 10:00 am in Silver Spring, MD.   Details (in English and Kreyol) are in the fliers, below.


Aplike pou tanporè Protected estati yo

Catholic Charities is also holding a training on representing Haitians in applications for TPS on February 8.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

DC Environmental Health Collaborative Community Forum

There are thousands of reasons why Ward 1 residents, and especially parents, should be concerned about the myriad ways our environment negatively impacts the health of children.   Others, too, have a stake in the environment and how it affects health, given the high rates of asthma and other health problems experienced by the residents of Ward 1.   These health challenges limit work productivity, voluntarism, and the like.

Those who are concerned and even interested should plan on attending this community forum on Saturday, February 6 from 10:00 am - 1:30 pm at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library located at 901 G Street NW.   The purpose of the meeting is to engage community stakeholders in discussions about local environmental health concerns.   All participants will work together to create an action agenda to address key issues of concern such as drinking water in schools, healthy homes, asthma, and lead poisoning.

Those who attend the meeting will be treated to a warm lunch; activities for children will be available.   Transportation to the event is available for those in need.   Additional information, including the process to RSVP is found in this flier.

Want to know more about how the environment affects health?   Consider that in 2004 nearly 7% of Ward 1 residents had been diagnosed with asthma (DOH fact sheet).   According to Rebecca Morley of the National Center for Healthy Housing, "asthma is epidemic in the District of Columbia: over 16,000 children, or 15.2%, were reported to have had asthma at some point in their childhood, the third highest rate in the nation (behind only Delaware and Hawaii)."   (Rebecca Morley, Executive Director, National Center for Healthy Housing)   Or consider that close to 90% of the city’s housing stock pre-dates 1978 and 50% of the total was built prior to 1950.   (Rebecca Morley, Executive Director, National Center for Healthy Housing)   This means that the chances of lead poisoning are greater than in newer, post-1978 homes.   The District of Columbia Coalition to End Childhood Lead Poisoning reports that Wards 1, 2 and 5 are considered to be "high risk" Wards for childhood lead poisoning.

Monday, January 25, 2010

ANC 1C06 reports on SWOT kickoff meeting

A shout-out to ANC 1C06 for reporting on the January 22 SWOT meeting - and taking and sharing some of the photos.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Strengthening Ward 1 - 72 strong!

Seventy-two people representing more than 50 organizations and civic associations packed a room at Girard Recreation Center for two hours on January 22, 2010 to kick off the new collaborative effort Strengthening Ward One Together.   The energy was palpable and exciting and clearly demonstrated the need for and interest in a coming together to better help our neighbors in Ward 1.

The group that convened at Columbia Heights Youth Club (in Girard Rec) generated an incredibly insightful and useful list of needs, assets, things to improve, and most importantly next steps.   Next steps include:

  • In-service training on the SWOT blog - how to make the best use of it and how to contribute
  • Workshops to improve the skills of staff
  • Improving networking among and between service providers and the government

By the close of business on January 22, the Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative, which is facilitating the collaboration, had sent minutes from the meeting and the needs/assets/improvements/next step ideas (link above).   The Collaborative also announced the next big meeting and smaller group meetings:

  • Next SWOT meeting:   Mark your calendars for the next SWOT meeting, February 19 from 9:30 to 11:30 am at the Columbia Heights Youth Club/Girard Rec Center.   During this meeting we will finalize next steps for the coming months based on all the feedback from the initial meeting.
  • Sign up for SWOT blog notices:   Visit to sign up for daily email updates of blog posts.   If you have specific events/ideas/data to share, send them to swotdc (at) gmail (dot) com.   If the information you want posted on the blog is also on your Web site, let us know by sharing the URL.
  • Data meeting:   Contact Jess Quaranto (jquaranto (at) chsfsc (dot) org) if you are interested in participating in a the data work of discussing the service organization inventory, Ward 1 fact sheet, and service needs/assets survey.   The meeting is tentatively scheduled for February 5 at 1:00 pm.
  • SWOT blog working group:   Contact Susie Cambria (susie (dot) cambria (at) gmail (dot) com) to get involved specifically with maintaining and transforming the current blog to meet the needs of all SWOT members.   This group will also meet in the next couple weeks before the next large group meeting.
  • Review the action steps and consider leading a subcommittee:   Please review the next steps (see link above) and decide how you or your organization would like to participate in taking the next steps.   If you are interested in specific efforts and would like to lead a subcommittee, contact Jess Quaranto (jquaranto (at) chsfsc (dot) org).

If you missed the first meeting, no matter -- there is plenty to do and we welcome you to join the work!

Finally, if you have questions about the future of this collaborative effort or follow-up materials, contact Jess Quaranto (jquaranto (at) chsfsc (dot) org).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

November 2009 unemployment

Ward 1's November unemployment rate, 10.2%, represents a miniscule, scientifically insignificant decrease from the October 2009 rate of 10.4%.   The Ward 1 rate was just under the citywide rate of 11.8% for the same period.   The change in Ward 1's unemployment between November 2008 and November 2009 is +42%, midway between the Ward 8 low of +33% and the Ward 3 high of +45%.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Free TPS assistance from CARECEN

Starting on Friday, January 29, the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) will provide free assistance to low-income Haitians who live in DC filing for TPS (Temporary Protected Status).

CARECEN is having an information session (with French translation) on Friday, January 22, at 2:00 pm on TPS.   The session is being held at 1460 Columbia Road, NW C-1.   At the session, Haitians wanting to apply for TPS can get information on eligibility criteria, documents needed, and the application process.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the federal Department of Homeland Security, may grant TPS to eligible nationals of certain countries who are already in the United States when conditions in the foreign country prevent the safe return of their nationals.   The Department of Homeland Security has designated Haiti a country incapable of accepting the return of their nationals.   Under this program, eligible participants may stay in the United States for 18 months and work.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Childcare collective seeks volunteers

The DC Childcare Collective, a small all-volunteer group, is founded on the belief that mothers, women of color, and people with low income are critical leaders of healthy and effective social justice movements.   As an act of solidarity, the DCCC provides free childcare to progressive groups in the DC metro area that are working to further social justice.
It is our mission to make childcare that is safe, fun, and empowering available to families, as a way of supporting their work to further social and political change.
The DCCC provides childcare to groups in order to make their work more accessible for people who are most affected by the lack of affordable, quality childcare options.

DCCC is holding a Volunteer Orientation on Sunday, February 7 from 1:00 - 5:00 pm.   Volunteers are asked to make a commitment to provide childcare at least six times over the course of 12 months and attend additional trainings that DCCC provides.

If you are interested, complete the volunteer application on the DCCC Web site and send it to dckids (at) gmail (dot) com, or email them for a copy.   The deadline for applications is February 1.

Returning Citizen’s United Forum:    The Impact of Incarceration & Reentry on the Family

This forum is being held on January 23 from Noon - 3:00 pm at Shiloh Family Life Center, 1510 9th Street, NW.   This free public event will focus on ways to strengthen families of those returning from prison.   The event features numerous panels; topics include advocacy, marriage, and faith-based perspectives.RCU0126Event

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Free legal advice clinics/asesoría legal gratis - February 13

The next free legal advice clinic sponsored by the D.C. Bar Pro Bono Program is being held on Saturday, February 13 from 10:00 am - Noon.   Bread for the City is hosting the clinic -- at two locations:
  • 1525 7th Street, NW (Green Line to Shaw/Howard University)
  • 1640 Good Hope Road, SE (Green Line to Anacostia, Bus B2 or W6)

Details about the clinics are in the fliers, below, in English and Spanish.0210 Legal Clinic

0210 Legal Clinic Spanish

Juntos Podemos Fortalecer Ward 1!

Asegurando oportunidades para todos, ayudando a los desafortunados y trabajando juntos para el beneficio de todos los individuos en nuestra comunidad.
Mientras que las recesión económica y el alto desempleo afecta a los residentes de Ward 1.   Los servicios sociales de los que la comunidad depende están siendo victimas de los cortes de presupuesto.   Si la red de servicios sociales de Ward 1 fracasa las consecuencias nos afectarán a todos por un largo plazo.

Por favor acompañe a nuestro Ward 1 councilmember Jim Graham dando inicio a este afán de colaboración.   22 de enero de 2010 de las 9:30 a las 11:30 a.m.

Vamos a Fortalecer Ward 1 este Viernes!

Community gathering in support of Haiti and her people

Everlasting Life and The Adams Morgan Youth Leadership Academy (AMYLA) are hosting a Community Gathering on January 20 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm to raise awareness and come together in solidarity for Haiti.Haiti Solidarity

Monday, January 18, 2010

Legal Aid Society's new clinic times

DC's Legal Aid Society has new clinic hours in their northwest and southeast locations.   Details are in the fliers below (English and Spanish).
Legal Aid Society of DC Locations and Hours

Legal Aid Society of DC Locations and Hours Spanish

Hundreds benefit from Part D clinics

You may remember that the Legal Aid Society and Whitman-Walker offered assistance to seniors during Medicare's open season for Part D (see Help is out there for choosing a new Medicare Part D plan).

A few days ago, Legal Aid gave a big shout out to the Part D clinic volunteers.   And rightly so.   Nearly 350 clients were served and many were able to save money by changing plans.

This is what happens when people work together.   This is what happens when people help others.

ANC 1B's revised community grant policies

ANC 1B has announced that policies governing grants to community organizations serving residents of the ANC have been revised.   The Commission voted on and approved the changes on January 7; they are here.

From Jim Irwin, Staff Director ANC 1B:

Any community organization interested in applying for a grant should contact the Commissioner representing the single-member district in which the organization is located.   Organizations should work closely with their ANC Commissioner in developing and presenting their grant proposal to the full Commission.
A map of ANC 1B single-member districts and a list of Commissioners with contact information can be found at our website,
The standard grant application form can be found in the Library section of our website at or by contacting Jim Irwin, Staff Director.
Please address comments or questions regarding these policies to the ANC 1B Commissioner representing the single-member district in which you reside.

Jim Irwin's contact information is:   PO Box 73710, WDC 20056, (202) 870-4202,

CARECEN expands Immigration Legal Services Program hours

Starting on January 19, CARECEN's Immigration Legal Services Program is expanding its intake times to include five intake sessions per week in immigration cases.   New intake hours are:
  • Mondays:   9:00 - 11:00 am
  • Tuesdays:   1:00 - 3:00 pm and 5:00 - 7:00 pm
  • Wednesdays:   9:00 - 11:00 am
  • Thursdays:   1:00 - 3:00 pm

The Central American Resource Center is adding evening hours (Tuesdays) starting January 19.

CARECEN will take the first 10 people who walk-in.   No appointments are needed.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

ANC 1A 2010 meeting schedule

ANC 1A invites residents, organizations, businesses, and others interested in the life and well being of this part of Ward 1 to attend monthly meetings and get involved.   Cliff Valenti, commissioner of ANC 1A08, wrote this about the meetings:
ANC 1A meetings consider a wide range of policies and programs affecting Columbia Heights, Park View, and Pleasant Plains including:   development, traffic, crime and quality of life, recreation, liquor licenses, zoning, economic development, police protection, and the District's annual budget.

More information is available by going online to or

2010 schedule of ANC 1A meetings held at Harriet Tubman Elementary School (3101 13th Street, NW):

  • February 10
  • March 10
  • April 07
  • May 12
  • June 9
  • July 14
  • September 8
  • October 13
  • November 10
  • December 8

Monday, January 11, 2010

Criminal Justice Public Forum - January 25

The Northwest Columbia Heights Community Association (NWCHCA) is hosting a Criminal Justice Public Forum on January 25 from 6:30 - 8:00 pm at St. Stephens and the Incarnation Episcopal Church, 1525 Newton Street NW.   The purpose of the forum is to provide community members an opportunity to hear more about DC’s criminal justice process and to ask key leaders questions face-to-face.   All are welcome at this free event and refreshments will be served.

Panelists are:

  • Metropolitan Police Department Chief Cathy Lanier
  • Ward One Councilmember Jim Graham
  • DC Superior Courts Chief Judge Lee Satterfield
  • DC Deputy Attorney General Robert Hildum
  • Executive Assistant US Attorney for External Affairs Albert Herring
  • Pretrial Services Agency Deputy Director Cliff Keenan
  • Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1A Chair Cliff Valenti
  • Court Watch Leader for MPD’s 5th District Kathy Henderson
  • NWCHCA President and CCJAI Leader Cecilia Jones
  • Moderator:   Sam Ford, ABC 7 News

The Community Criminal Justice Accountability Initiative (CCJAI) gives community members a way to become more aware and to intervene effectively in criminal cases.   CCJAI has been piloted in PSA 302 since April 1, 2009.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

From CM Graham on recreation opportunity

This from Ward 1 Councilmember Jim Graham (posted on the U Street Yahoo Group January 8, 2010):
Dear Friends:
Yesterday, the District of Columbia purchased the Mary & Daniel Loughran Clubhouse No. 10 at 14th and Clifton Streets, NW.   The Department of Parks and Recreation will soon request proposals from community groups to operate programs there.   In the interim, Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington will manage programs and the facility.
A special appreciation goes to Mayor Fenty and Chairman Gray for their leadership in bringing this about.
I have authored $1 million in funding in two separate years to support programs and capital improvements at No. 10.   Last year, I authored the $750,000 which is being used to keep programs running during the transition period.   I also assembled a working group of advocates, the No. 10 Parents Association, Linda Edmundson, Denise Credle, Hanif Hill and others to get $20 million to include No. 10 and Eastern Branch in the city's purchase of three clubs.
Clubhouse No. 10 has offered recreational and mentoring programs for over 30 years.   Alumni have gone on to play in the NBA and NFL, start businesses and lead very productive lives.   I am pleased this tradition will be continued.   This is a major victory for the Columbia Heights neighborhood and all of Ward One.
Bests, Councilmember Jim Graham

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Strengthening Ward One Together kickoff meeting, 1/22

As the recession and high unemployment batter Ward 1 residents, the very social services people turn to for help are falling victim to budget cuts. If our Ward 1 safety net fails, the consequences will affect everyone for a long time to come.
. . . But we can make sure this doesn’t happen! Together members of the Ward 1 community can weather this storm by efficiently and strategically using what remains of the safety net.

Join Ward 1 CM Jim Graham and Strengthening Ward One Together for a meeting to kickoff this new collaborative and mutually supportive effort.   The event is being held on January 22 from 9:30 - 11:30 am at Columbia Heights Youth Club (1480 Girard St NW).


Free workshops for adult literacy professionals

Free winter/spring adult education workshops have just been announced by the Adult Education Professional Development Center (AEPDC) at D.C. LEARNs.   The workshops will offer training in topics and skills for teachers, tutors, volunteers, and program staff working in ABE, GED, and adult ESOL.   Check out the schedule on the D.C. Learns calendar.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Writers needed to help neighborhood budding young writers

This from Greater DC Cares:
Do you have an idea about how to get students excited about writing?   Bring it to Parkview!   Help the teens and elementary school students get in touch with their inner lyricist, poet, or writer every Monday evening at the Parkview Recreation Center.   Lend your passion for words and creativity, or just become a mentor to a student in the neighborhood.   To sign up, email Ashley Wood at ashleyawood (at) gmail (dot) com.

The featured WPC resource of the week is. . .

... brand-spanking new (used) speakers!   If you are a local activist or advocate and you need speakers for a rally or educational event, you can now borrow them from the Washington Peace Center for a sliding scale donation of $25-$100.   For more information about this and other resources, including contact information to borrow the speakers, go the the WPC resource page on the Web site.

State of Shaw Middle School Summit and Open House, January 9

Does your child attend Shaw Middle School?   Are you interested in learning more about student progress or how the school is using data to inform practice and policies?

Then plan on attending the State of Shaw Middle School Summit and Open House on Saturday, January 9 from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm.   The summit/open house is being held at Garnet-Patterson (2001 10th Street, NW).   The event will feature such open house sessions as:

  • Daily life
  • Literacy/Math initiatives
  • Data driven instruction

Lunch will be provided.   Additional information is provided in the flier, below.

State of Shaw Summit Flyer

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ward 1 students present plans for White House Visitors' Center

Twenty-four students from Browne Education Campus and Lincoln Middle School at Columbia Heights Education Campus spent the fall of 2009 participating in the CityVision semester.   During this time, the students planned a White House visitors' center.   These students will present their plans and discuss the creative process at a January 8 event sponsored by the National Building Museum.   CityVision Fall 2009 Final Presentation is being held from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the museum in the Great Hall.   More information about the event is available online at the National Building Museum's Web site.

DC Food For All ~ Potluck and Community Circle

Welcome the DC Food for All potluck event in Ward 1 on January 17 from 5:00 - 8:00 pm at Potter’s House (1658 Columbia Road, NW).   Join other DC residents who are acting to expand availability of healthy, affordable, and sustainable food!

This month’s discussion will be led by members of Rooting DC; they are planning DC’s 3rd annual Urban Gardening conference.   Doors open at 5:00 pm; the discussion and dinner will start at 6:00 pm.   Donations are appreciated, but no one will be turned away.

Here are some potluck tips:

  • Don’t have food to bring this time? Don’t panic!   Come with your ideas, passion and hunger.   Just come!
  • Support local farmers!   Go shopping at Dupont Circle farmers market on Sunday morning and prepare a delicious dish using fresh seasonal produce!
  • The Potter’s House is alcohol-free… please do not bring any!
  • If you can label ingredients in any food that you prepare and bring to share, please do!

RSVP:   dcfoodforall (at) gmail (dot) com.