Letter from DC Mayor Muriel Bowser
As DC continues through our COVID-19 response and recovery, we know how important it is to build a budget that reflects the urgent needs of DC residents and sets our community up for a strong comeback from this pandemic.
Each February, I look forward to hearing from DC residents at our annual Budget Engagement Forums about your budget priorities and your ideas for how we should (or should not) spend our money. And while we will be virtual this year, it is more important than ever that I hear your thoughts on what we should prioritize in the Fiscal Year 2022 Budget so that we can make a strong and equitable recovery. Next week, I hope you will join me on Thursday, February 18 or on Saturday, February 20 to hear from neighbors and share your ideas. You can learn more and register for a forum at budget.dc.gov.
And while we hope you will join us for one of the virtual forums, there are other ways to submit ideas and feedback:
Thank you and stay safe,
In This Week's Newsletter:
DC thanks our seniors for leading the way on the path out of the pandemic. Already, more than 1 in 3 DC residents 65 and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine and we are on pace to vaccinate 70% of DC seniors by the end of February.
Washington, DC is now vaccinating:
*When appointments are available, these populations are able to make appointments through vaccinate.dc.gov and/or the Call Center. Other populations are vaccinated through systems set up by DC Health.
Learn more about the vaccine at coronavirus.dc.gov/vaccine
Get Current on Rent and Utility Bills Assistance
Multiple programs are available to assist residents with paying their rent and utility bills. If you are behind on rent or utility bills, do not wait until the public health emergency ends to catch up — get current on your payments now by utilizing assistance that is available to DC residents.
The COVID-19 Housing Assistance Program (CHAP) provides
rental assistance to low-income renters who are in arrears
due to the impact of the COVID-19 public health emergency. This week, we announced that housing providers may apply
to CHAP on behalf of eligible tenants.
Additionally, the District Department of Energy & Environment assists income-eligible District households with heating and cooling energy costs through the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Eligible households can receive energy bill assistance between $250 and $1,800 as a one-time regular energy assistance benefit. This benefit is based on household size, total household income, heating source, and type of dwelling.
Learn more about rental and utility assistance programs at coronavirus.dc.gov/rent
This week, Mayor Bowser and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) announced the creation of a task force to address the increase in carjackings, auto thefts, and unauthorized use of vehicle offenses across the District of Columbia. The task force consists of a team of detectives specialized in robberies and violent crimes.
MPD is the lead law enforcement agency of the task force, with assistance from federal law enforcement including the FBI and ATF Washington Field Offices and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
MPD has also engaged with partners at the Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV) and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) to alert local businesses of the increase in crime. DFHV and DMPED have been instrumental in reaching delivery drivers for local restaurants and retail establishments in the District. The goal is to not only address the ongoing crime, but to also equip communities and residents with tips for staying safe.
Below are ways that drivers can avoid becoming a target of these crimes:
Learn more HERE.
Applications are now open for the 2021 Mayor Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP). District youth between the ages of 14 and 24 are encouraged to apply online at summerjobs.dc.gov. Applications will be accepted until Saturday, February 27, 2021.
In 2020, MBSYEP was able to continue during the pandemic by going online and providing six weeks of telework experience for approximately 9,000 youth. Employers who are interested in supporting young people through the Summer Youth Employment Program can learn more at summerjobs.dc.gov.