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Replace Graffiti with Murals DC!

MuralsDC is seeking sites for consideration for the 2012 summer program. MuralsDC is a partnership between DPW and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. It was created to replace illegal graffiti with artistic works; to revitalize sites within the community and to engage young people in a legal activity that promotes respect for public and private property. A portfolio of past projects can be found at MuralsDCProject.com.

Your input is requested!

Where should the 2012 MuralsDC program consider putting this years murals? Do you know any artistic youth that could use something to do this summer? The program supplies all tools, supplies and materials. Submit your recommendation for a site today! Sites will be selected and owners notified by May 15, 2012.  Want more information? Reach out directly to MuralsDC at Nancee.Lyons@DC.Gov.

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MLK Day Parade – Anacostia (VIDEO)

The MLK Day parade came back to Anacostia, SE Washington DC after an eight year hiatus. I have to admit, I was surprised by the number of groups and organizations in the parade and equally as surprised by the turn out. In retrospect, I probably shouldn’t have been because King day is a monumental event and it deserved the level of participation and activity it recieved. Here is a brief video of the days events. 

O-V-E-R-S-A-T-U-R-A-T-I-O-N Rally Re-Cap

This morning, candidate for Ward 8 City Council Natalie Williams, organized a rally at the site of the proposed Calvary Women’s Shelter at 1217 Good Hope Road. Several people came out for the event and the podium welcomed a mixture of civic association leaders and concerned members of the community. I don’t want to speak for anyone, but my takeaway from it all was that participants are not against social services, but against the “oversaturation” of such services in Ward 8. There was a large map on display at the rally showing at least 10 such sites in the Ward (homeless shelters, rehabilitation facilities and the like). I won’t attempt to re-post them here, but I’ll provide a link if I can find one with all the locations in one place.

I’m glad to see the community come out before dawn on a week day to share their concern for such initiatives. Councilmember Barry has voiced his support for the shelter, but he and Calvary leadership still refuse to have a conversation with the community about the site. More information can be found at (Congress Heights on the Rise). Perhaps the media attention, and turnout from todays event will help them change their minds.

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Sometimes it’s hard to see the forest for the trees..Thanksgiving

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Happy Thanksgiving! Today marks the beginning of the season focused on acknowledging our blessings, family and sharing our fortune with others. A wonderful time of year.

Amid the turkey pardoning, sweet potato pie preparation, football and anticipation for black Friday; it’s sometimes hard to remember why we have the day off and long weekend ahead. I won’t keep you long because there are families to get to, finishing touches to put on that bird and all manner of celebratory items to complete; but here’s a brief history of how we got to where we are.

Lincoln declared Thanksgiving as a holiday in 1863. The declaration in part reads:

“…and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years, with large increase of freedom. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American people.  I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” – Abraham Lincoln

Until just now as I type this I never realized Thanksgiving was created in response to the abundant fortune the country was experiencing at the time. I think it’s ironic that 1863 is the same year the Emancipation Proclamation was signed into law – the document widely credited for freeing the slaves in America. A year perhaps for those of African decent to be doubly thankful.

During this time where we are in very heated discussion about our freedoms, and how we protect them and the pillars on which this country was founded, I believe it’s important to recognize that we are still blessed as a country. We are in tough times, but we will overcome. Dont’ let the beauty of the forest that is this great nation be overshadowed by the trees that we must manage day to day.

So as you celebrate today, and this time each year, keep in mind that we are still abundantly blessed and I think we our collective fortune should continue to be “reverently and gratefully acknowledged.”  Happy Thanksgiving!

ANC8E Job Fair Going Strong – TODAY!

ANC8E Job Fair 9am to 3pm - November 12, 2011 - SE Tennis and Learning Center - 701 Mississippi Ave SE

I would be remiss if I didn’t begin this post by giving kudos to Commissioners Slaughter and Burnette for putting together a fantastic job fair today! If you are reading this now, head down to the SE Tennis and Learning Center to see what’s going on.

Who are the next leaders of Wards 7&8?

Congress Heights on the Rise has a great poll going asking – “Who are the Wards 7 & 8 Leaders of Tomorrow?

Photo courtesy of Congress Heights on the RiseWard 8, Obama

Take a look at some of the answers, very interesting. I’ve thrown my two cents into the mix and here are my votes:

Charles Woodson, Markus Batchelor, Jacque Peterson, and Sylvia Brown. Who do you think the next generation of leaders are? Go to Congress Heights on the Rise and enter your vote! A big shout out to the Advoc8te for nominating me!

DC Voice Ready Schools Project Kick-off & Training – 10.6.11

Join the DC Voice committee at one of their two sessions this Thursday, October 6, 2011 at 6:00pm.

The event will take place at two locations at the same time:

  • Thurgood Marshall – 1816 12th Street, NW, 1st Floor, Conference Room
  • Dorothy I. Height/Benning Neighborhood Library – 3935 Benning Road, NE, Large Meeting Room

The event will focus on:

  • Community Schools Update and Action – the unveiling of our new Community Schools toolkit which we’ll use in our advocacy efforts on the pending legislation.
  • DC VOICE’s Ward 7 Safe Passages Initiative – a presentation by youth advocates chronicling their grassroots strategy to limit the sale of underage tobacco/alcohol this summer.
  • Ready Schools Project Training Session – an overview of this year’s survey instruments and the opportunity to sign up for your school of choice.

Please RSVP to include which location you plan to attend. One additional interesting point of note, today the FRAC released the improving school meal standards report. Interesting read and for those of you planning to attend the DC Voice event, might be seguay to a good conversation.