A District Prepared

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December 23, 2015 | Volume 1, Issue 46


It may not feel like it right now, but it is winter. Snow season is approaching - and the District of Columbia is prepared.

This winter we are doing things a little differently. The District Snow Team has been preparing since summer for the first snowfall. We have added fourteen new dump trucks to salt and plow major streets, six new Ford 550s to uncover smaller residential streets, and even more bridge clearing teams. Meanwhile, our salt domes are filled to the brim with 39,000 tons of salt. On October 23, we did a dry run to test our vehicles, review our routes and prepare the team for winter weather.

But those are not the only changes. This year, when snow impacts trash pick-up, we will not make residents wait for their next scheduled day for trash removal. Similar to holiday scheduling, if inclement weather results in a missed collection day, the schedule will slide and the DC Department of Public Works will resume trash removal where we left off prior to the snow or ice event. This will ensure that neighborhoods with one day a week removal - and even those with two day a week hauling - do not fall too far behind if snow or ice prevents pick up on their scheduled day.

We can do a lot, but we can’t do it alone. Serve DC is enlisting volunteers to shovel sidewalks for our senior residents and those with disabilities. If you or someone you know would like to join the team, you can visit www.snowteam.dc.gov or call (202) 727-7925. And please check out the District Snow Team’s site for personal tips on how to prepare for snow this winter. 

Whether you’re staying in the District or traveling, I wish you all a safe and peaceful holiday. 



Muriel Bowser

2015 Tree Summit

The 2015 Tree Summit

The District is taking bold steps to improve our environment: promoting clean energy, creating a resilient city and advancing sustainable practices. Last week, the District Department of Energy and the Environment and the District Department of Transportation held the first-ever Tree Summit. I announced the launch of Canopy 3,000, a short-term public-private partnership to expand the number of trees planted on private property and public spaces throughout the District. One of the unique things about our city is how green and beautiful it is, and our aim is to keep it that way.

Graphic - DC ranked third fastest growing state

A District on the Move

This month marked two important milestones. Last Friday, the DC Department of Employment Services reported that the unemployment rate for the District dropped from 7.7 percent to 6.6 percent since I took office in January. This reflects a steady reduction in jobless numbers throughout the past 10 months and an increase in 23,500 private sector jobs. And yesterday, the U.S. Census Bureau announced that the District’s population increased 1.9 percent to 672,228 since last year. Together, these numbers show that the District is heading in the right direction - but we have more work to do to bring prosperity and opportunity to all 8 Wards.

5K Run

Start off the new year the right way - with a good jog!  My Second Annual Fresh Start 5K Run/Walk will take place at 9 a.m. on Friday, January 1, 2016 starting at the Stadium-Armory Metro Station. In preparation, we are planning a practice run/walk on Saturday, December 19, 2015 at Freedom Plaza. For more information visit FitDC.com or RSVP for the run online.

We’re also looking for volunteers to help with parking, check-in, water stops, and other duties. If you’re interested in volunteering, register online and a member of my staff will reach out.

FEMS image

Career Stories: Aarion Garrett, Probationary Firefighter/EMT, DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department (FEMS)

This week’s job spotlight, Aarion Garrett, is a former Marion S. Barry Summer Youth Employment Program (MBSYEP) participant.

Through MBSYEP, Aarion was able to spend her summer working at FEMS.

Aarion valued her time in the MBSYEP and partially credits the MBSYEP with her career choice. She is one of FEMS’ newest active service members!

Last week, I had the pleasure of delivering remarks at the FEMS graduating ceremony for Aarion and the other 14 members of her cadet class. FEMS plays such a critical role in keeping our city safe and strong, and I was happy to thank Aarion and her fellow cadets for their commitment to our city. Aarion is a great example of the important role MBSYEP has played and will continue to play in the District.

This year, I reinstated the FEMS entrance exam to bring more people onto the force. For the first time in eight years, we opened the exam to individuals between the ages of 19 and 29, and gave preference points towards District residents, military veterans, and former foster care children. Of the roughly 200 top ranked applicants who took the exam in June, more than 180 are District residents. This is great news for FEMS and for the many District residents who will land jobs in public safety!