CommunityPast EventsUpdates

SEPTEMBER 2020 ESA NEWSLETTER

By September 25, 2020 No Comments

Coming Soon: New Neighbors on St. Elizabeths East Campus

On September 16, Mayor Muriel E. Bowser and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Development (DMPED), in partnership with Anacostia Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) and Flaherty & Collins Properties, announced the final buildings of The Residences at St. Elizabeths East are nearing completion.

“The St. Elizabeths East Campus is brimming with potential for the District to be bold and innovative when it comes to building and delivering housing for families and residents across the income spectrum,” said Mayor Bowser. “With this newest project nearing completion, we remain focused on ensuring that Ward 8 residents not only are benefiting from new housing but also the new amenities and opportunities that are coming to the site.”

The Residences include 202 affordable homes and 50 market-rate homes. Seven buildings make up the complex and are comprised of 242 studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units, including affordable units for households earning up to 50% of the median family income (MFI), which is $58,600 for a family of four.

Future tenants will be within a few steps to all the action happening at the Entertainment and Sports Arena! The Residences at St. Elizabeths East campus are located at 1201 Oak Drive SE, right next to Events DC’s very own Entertainment and Sports Arena (ESA).

This incredible transformation of St. Elizabeths East campus started with Events DC’s R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and Gateway Pavilion. In 2018, Events DC added the Entertainment and Sports Arena to the campus.

“Our goal with every DMPED-led project is to provide for the best economic and community benefit possible,” said Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio. “The momentum on this campus is picking up – after the excitement around the opening of the Entertainment and Sports Arena in 2018 – and now the completion of the first housing community on site, we look forward to delivering even more for the Congress Heights community at St. Elizabeths East Campus.”

Read more about The Residences and track the progress of St. Elizabeths East Campus here.

Events DC Secures GBAC STAR™ Accreditation for the Entertainment and Sports Arena and DC Armory

National Black Business Month, in its 14th annual celebration, highlights the importance of black-owned businesses, and their local and national economic impact. Check out our partners at Destination DC’s guide on where to find Black chefs and Black-owned restaurants and bars in DC here and check out our list of other black-owned restaurants here.Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for Washington, DC, has achieved GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation for the Entertainment and Sports Arena and the DC Armory from the Global Biorisk Advisory Council (GBAC)®, a Division of ISSA. The Arena and DC Armory join the Walter E. Washington Convention Center in achieving this premier certification for cleaning, disinfection, and infectious disease prevention.

The Arena is the first sports facility in DC to secure this preeminent cleaning accreditation.

“With the addition of two more Events DC venues achieving the GBAC STAR™ facility accreditation, we continue to maintain our commitment to safely reopening all of our venues at the appropriate time. As an organization, it is our responsibility to be focused and dedicated towards implementing and maintaining the highest levels of health and safety protocols for our attendees and employees. We must build confidence and instill trust as we look forward to welcoming guests back to our venues,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC.

Make it Count! Ayana Bias Shares Why it’s Important to Fill Out the 2020 Census

Completing your Census is the easiest and safest thing to do right now during the pandemic to make changes in your community. Every person in your household should be counted, and your information is completely confidential. We talked with Ayana Bias, Director of Advocacy & Volunteer Services at United Planning Organization (UPO), about the importance of filling out your 2020 Census. See our full interview with Ayana below. For more information about the 2020 Census, please visit http://www.my2020census.gov.

Why is it important for Ward 8 residents to complete the Census?
Currently, Ward 8 has the lowest Census self-response rate in the city. Historically, Ward 8 has had undercounts every Census year. When communities are undercounted, they lose access to funding (billions of dollars) over the course of 10 years. Funding can be used to address and improve conditions in the Ward related to housing, quality child-care, healthcare and education, community resources, programs, job opportunities, public safety, which includes road conditions, crime/violence prevention, and much more.

What do you tell residents about the importance of the Census?
The Census comes every 10 years to collect data that could potentially make a longstanding difference in our community. Last year millions of dollars in funding were cut from DC public schools with the majority located in Ward 8. It is not a new revelation that Ward 8 suffers the most when it comes to misappropriations of funding and program cuts. Unfortunately, an inaccurate and incomplete Census count of residents living in Ward 8 contributes to our lack of funding and access. However, fortunately together we can do something about it, and the first start is ensuring that every member of your household, regardless of the relationship or situation. As of April 2020, if they were living on your couch, sleeping in your bed, or on your floor they need to be counted on your 2020 Census.

What outreach does (UPO) conduct to engage residents on the Census?

UPO partners with organizations such as Martha’s Table, Marty’s Food & Catering, and Rita’s Ice, as well as other community groups, churches, property managers and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners (ANC) to host educational Census pop-up events with safe social distancing protocols. Additionally, we have participated in fresh produce food distributions, Fish Fry’s, cookouts and hot meals distribution efforts to get the word out about the importance of completing the Census. UPO also provides stipends to Ward 8 residents who are the trusted messengers (“Census Ambassadors”) of the community to canvas their community and encourage their neighbors to complete the Census.  Lastly, UPO hosts virtual panel discussions, game nights, and other fun engaging activities to provide Census education, awareness, and encouragement for residents to complete the Census.

Have your outreach strategies been effective? 

Our outreach is not done in vain.  Residents are receiving information, asking questions, and completing their Census. That is success in our books! Our hope is that the collective efforts of our partners and the “Complete Count” committee members will help make a difference in the Census 2020 response rates. Our hope is that the message of the importance of Census continues to spread and residents’ voices are heard and counted through completion of Census2020.   

For more information about the 2020 Census, please contact abias@upo.org or visit upo.org.

Tune in Virtually: Congress Heights Art All Night

Celebrating its 9th year, the popular city-wide “Art All Night” festival and celebration, presented by Mayor Bowser will be 100% digital this year. The festival will showcase more than 60 visual, performing and movement artists from across all eight wards, inclusive of 24 Main Street Programs and Business Improvement Districts (BIDs). The series will run during the last two weeks in September. For more information about Art All Night in Congress Heights, please visit Congress Heights Virtual Gallery: the Future is Now! and for the full schedule visit dcartallnight.org.

Event Recap: Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative Backpack & Supply giveaway in partnership with Councilmember Trayon White

On Saturday, September 12, the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, (Far SE Collaborative) and the Office of Councilmember Trayon White hosted a backpack and school supply giveaway for students living in communities throughout Ward 8.

The event provided over 1,500 students with backpacks, supplies and fresh hot meals to go. This year’s event was designed to provide Ward 8 students with access to the necessary tools and supplies needed to start off the new school year with success!

Far SE Collaborative is a mainstay in Ward 8.  Since opening its doors in 1996, the organization has worked to address economic and social issues plaguing the city’s most vulnerable population of residents. The backpack drive is just one of the many events and activities the organization has developed to help meet the needs of its community.

Events DC was a proud sponsor of the backpack drive and looks forward to engaging in more opportunities that directly uplift and support DC youth. To learn more about the Far SE Collaborative or to get involved, please visit www.fsfsc.org.  You can also engage with the organization on all social media platforms:  @FARSECOLLAB.

Tips for Helping Parents and Children Cope with COVID-19

Community members are continuing to adapt to the “new normal” during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents and children are learning together, how to navigate through this new landscape. With the beginning of the new school year, whether students are learning from home, or in individual small group sessions, each family is seeking how to best accomplish the complexities of distance learning. The following are a few tips for parents and children on how to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic: 

  • Stay calm, listen and offer reassurance.
  • Be a positive role model. Children will react to and follow your reactions. They will model your patience and encouragement of virtual distance learning.
  • Be aware of how you talk about COVID-19. Remind your child that your family is healthy, and you are going to do everything within your power to keep loved ones safe and well. Carefully listen or have them draw or write out their thoughts and feelings and respond with truth and reassurance.
  • Explain social distancing. Children probably don’t fully understand why parents/guardians aren’t allowing them to be with friends and in physical school. Tell your child that your family is following the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which include social distancing. Social distancing means staying away from others until the risk of contracting COVID-19 is under control. Showing older children the “flatten the curve” charts will help them grasp the significance of social distancing. Explain that while we don’t know how long it will take to “flatten the curve” to reduce the number of those infected, we do know that this is a critical time—we must follow the guidelines of health experts to do our part.
  • Demonstrate deep breathing. Deep breathing is a valuable tool for calming the nervous system. Do breathing exercises with your children.
  • Focus on the positive. Celebrate having more time to spend as a family. Make it as fun as possible. Do family projects. Organize belongings, create masterpieces. Sing, laugh and play!
  • Establish and maintain a daily routine. Keeping a regular schedule provides a sense of control, predictability, calm, and well-being. It is also important to connect with family and friends virtually.
  • Identify projects that might help others.
  • Get fresh air and exercise.
  • Offer lots of love and affection.

(Source – NASP Online)

Park Up DC

Don’t miss your chance to attend a Park Up DC drive-in movie experience!

Use promo code EVENTSDCSUMMER to get $5 Dollars OFF.

Movies recently added to the Park Up DC lineup include:

  • Men in Black (Sunday, 9/27)
  • Anchorman (Thursday, 10/1)