Ward 7 - Page 3

Penn Branch Commemorates the 20th Anniversary of 9/11


PBCA resident and community leaders came together to  commemorate the 20th Anniversary of 9-11 and memorialize those DC residents who lost their lives  that day. The event took place from 10:00am until 11:00am at the intersection of Carpenter and O Street SE.  Speakers included Rev. Kendrick Curry, Pastor of Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church (PABC), PBCA President Stan Benton, and a musical performance by Rev. Ebonie Shirley.

Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church to Offer COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic This Week


Your support is needed in helping to make sure DC residents 65 and older, especially those in Wards 5, 7, and 8, who want to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can get it.  Here’s how you can help. The Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church (PABC) is participating in a pilot to serve as a vaccine clinic for two days this week on Thursday, February 11, and Saturday, February 13, 2020 from 10am – 4pm both days. Please help your neighbors to get registered immediately!

Registration Link:   http://www.fivemedicine.com/request-a-appointment.php


Councilmember Gray announces New Hospital, New Mask Order & Major FY21 Budget Wins for Ward 7 & Penn Ave East Corridor


On Thursday, July 23, 2020, Councilmember Vincent Gray made some important announcements in his weekly address to Ward 7 Leaders.  Read below for an excerpt of those announcements:

  • New Hospital @ St. Elizabeth’s Amendment Act of 2020
  • Funds in the FY 2021 Local Budget Act of 2020 (Bill 23-761) supporting Pennsylvania Avenue East Main StreetProgram and update to the Pennsylvania Avenue East Corridor Small Area Plan
  • COVID-19 Update
  • New Mask Order
  • Advances in Testing
  • Contact Tracing
  • Reopening Schools
  • Ward 7 Response Team
  • Grab-and-Go Grocery Distribution
  • Meals for the City…..and more
Dear Neighbors,

I am pleased to inform you that the Council has unanimously voted to approve the “New Hospital at St. Elizabeths Amendment Act of 2020,” thereby officially approving the construction and operations agreement for a state-of-the-art, 136-bed community hospital that will catalyze a comprehensive health care system for Wards 7 and 8 for the first time ever!

This new hospital will serve as the catalyst for an interconnected health care system of emergency care, urgent care, specialty care, ambulatory care, primary care, medical offices, independent physicians, and dentists for the 150,000 residents that live east of the Anacostia River and who have never had a real health care system.

The negotiated deal that was also approved strikes a sound balance between the interests of labor and the District’s goal of creating job opportunities for DC residents.  This agreement provides a hiring preference to all current employees of United Medical Center first, and then, subsequently, requires the hospital operator to comply with District First Source laws to hire 50% DC residents.  The operations agreement along with Federal and District law provide strong workforce protections for the future employees and a potential future union at the new hospital.

I am extremely excited to see new multi-million-dollar investments into school-based mental health programs.  These programs are extremely important, especially during this health crisis.  I commend the Chairman of the Council for working with me and Councilmember Nadeau to shift a small amount of the school-based mental health program’s increase to the health care alliance to fully fund health care alliance reforms by October 1st.  We cannot have our undocumented residents waiting in long lines to have a face-to-face interview to renew their health care.

In other budget news, I am delighted that we were able to maintain our first round Ward 7 wins at Tuesday’s final vote on our local budget.  Working closely with Chairman Mendelson and other council colleagues, I was able to secure several important Ward 7 priorities including:

  • $420,840 to complete the Skyland town center;
  • $250,000 for a small area plan for Pennsylvania Avenue East;
  • $200,000 to create a Pennsylvania Avenue East Main Street program;
  • $210,000 for the replacement of the HVAC system at the Deanwood Library;
  • $200,000 to complete a water source connection for the Kingman Park-Rosedale community garden;
  • Capital funding to begin the Fort Dupont Ice Arena upgrade in FY 2021 and a recurring $235,000 to fund the grant to run programming at the ice arena;
  • $500,000 to support the 20-member Police Reform Commission;
  • Full funding to complete the Ward 7 streetcar line and interconnected pedestrian safety improvements at the Whitlock Bridge, which will improve pedestrian safety and increase mobility for Ward 7 with the widening of the bridge to create shared use paths for pedestrians and bicyclists.  The bridge will also become ADA compliant and provide better trail connection along the Whitlock bridge to the Anacostia River Walk Trail; the proposal to fix the interchange at Benning Road and DC-295, which currently generates significant volumes of vehicles making illegal U-turns at the 34th street intersection; and improvements to high crash intersections at Minnesota Avenue & Benning Road; and
  • Restoring the funding for two important feasibility studies, one to investigate the potential upward expansion of the Benning-Stoddert Recreation Center, which is highly utilized by the Ward 7 community, and another to investigate locating a recreation center in River Terrace, which is an isolated community in Ward 7 without convenient access to any recreation facility.

Click HERE to read the complete list of announcements from Councilmember Gray…..

DC Council Approves $450K in Funds for Penn Ave East Initiatives

For Immediate Release
Contact: Viveca Miller, PAECC Member, [email protected]
Washington, DC, July 23, 2020

Pennsylvania Avenue East Community Coalition (PAECC) Press Release


On July 23, 2020, the DC Council held the Second Vote of the Fiscal Year 2021 Local Budget Act of 2020 (Bill 23-761). The Bill passed 13-0. Included in that Bill are two initiatives sponsored by Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray: $200,000 for a Pennsylvania Avenue East Main Street Program and $250,000 to update the Small Area Plan for Penn Ave East.

The approval of funding is a significant accomplishment of the Pennsylvania Avenue East Community Coalition (PAECC), a group of Community Civic Association Presidents and residents from nearby communities such as Dupont Park, Fairlawn, Fairfax Village, Fort Davis, Hillcrest, Penn Branch, and Randle Highlands, who are working together to bring long-overdue development to the area. The PAECC successfully solicited the support of Vincent Gray, Ward 7 Councilmembers; John Falcicchio, Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development; and Kenyan McDuffie, Ward 5 Councilmember and Chair, Committee of Business and Economic Development, to support the funding efforts.

Pennsylvania Avenue is designed as one of America’s “Great Streets.” Yet, Pennsylvania Avenue East of the River has not kept pace with the economic development happening in the rest of the city. Numerous reports, studies, and recommendations for revitalization and improvements have been conducted, including the  January 2008 Pennsylvania Avenue SE Corridor Small Area Plan, the current DC Comprehensive Plan, and the Pennsylvania Avenue East of the River Task Force Report dated 12/8/01.

These plans and report reflect the same recommendations; unfortunately, nineteen years (19) later, there has been little or no implementation to date. The PAECC followed the advice of the late John Lewis, “When you see something that is not right, not fair, not just, you have to speak up. You have to say something; you have to do something.” 

Jacquelyn Cannon, Chair PAECC, states, “Our efforts started from a Change.org Petition created by Ayanna Smith requesting support for a Pennsylvania Avenue East Main Street Program. As a result of the petition and this funding, Penn Ave East will begin revitalization equal or similar to other communities in the District of Columbia. This is a major WIN for the community. The PAECC slogan is, “As DC Fights for Representation, We Fight for Revitalization.”


Pope Branch Restoration Project Update


We’re pleased to say that the restoration of Pope Branch Stream is expected to be completed in November 2016.  The Pope Branch tributary stream starts near Fort Davis Drive, runs through Penn Branch (Texas Avenue) and flows to the Anacostia and drains to the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.  The stream had become an eyesore, polluted by stormwater runoff, leaking sewer pipes, trash, and stagnate  water and mosquitos.  But thanks to the restoration project,  we will soon be proud of our community stream.

The restoration project completed by DC Water and Sewer will provide residents with scenic views, and more importantly, will reduce the sediment load carried to the Anacostia river, and provide a in-stream habit for resident fish and other wildlife.  The entire project will restore the ecological value of Pope Branch stream and floodplain area.

The multiple construction entrances and 3200 linear feet of access road have been completed at Texas Ave, 35th St. and M.  Eighty percent of construction for restoration design features are complete; specifically, shallow places in the stream where the water runs fast and is agitated by rocks, pools, boulder walls, gravel bottoms and small hills of sand constructed with an estimated 1600 tons of natural stream bed material, such as clean sand, gravel, cobble, and boulders.

We will soon have a beautiful community stream, and we thank DC Water and Sewer for keeping us updated and responding to our inquires during the project.


unnamed (1) unnamed (2) unnamed