DMPED's Closer: June Edition

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June Edition 2019

Washington Mystics Open Season at the Entertainment and Sports Arena!

On June 1, Mayor Muriel Bowser joined Monumental Sports CEO Ted Leonsis and Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner to celebrate the first home opener of the Washington Mystics, including a free block party to gather the community for entertainment, arts, food, music, clinics and more at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. Angie Ange, host of WKYS’ “Angie Ange in the Morning” served as host of the day’s activities, and the entire DC community came out to enjoy live music, activities, local art, and food. 

"We have waited a long time for this day – to welcome our Washington Mystics to a home court that they deserve," said Mayor Bowser. "I’ve said before that this arena is bigger than basketball, and I am so proud that the Mystics and Monumental have been able to play such a major role in bringing the Entertainment and Sports Arena to Ward 8."

Mystics Home Opener

Mayor Muriel Boswer and Deputy Mayor Kenner celebrate the Washington Mystics' home opener at the Entertainment and Sports Arena

Three New Recreational Fields Replace Vacant Parking Lots on RFK Campus


On June 8, Mayor Muriel Bowser, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), and Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen were joined by Events DC, the District’s convention and sports authority, to celebrate the opening of The Fields at RFK Campus with city dignitaries, professional athletes and the DC community.  The Fields at RFK Campus transformed 27-acres of asphalt into three new state-of-the-art artificial turf recreational fields with community amenities.  The Fields mark the first of five short-term program elements that are part of restoring the RFK Campus as one of the District’s original sports and entertainment corridors in the city.

“The ribbon cutting on the new multi-purpose recreational fields at the RFK Campus signifies another step forward on our collective vision to restore the Campus as a vibrant sports, recreational and entertainment hub in the District,” said Gregory A. O’Dell, president and chief executive officer. “At Events DC, we are so proud to share these fields with DC residents and their youth to enjoy and be inspired for generations to come. By creating this new space, it is our goal to better serve our city and its neighborhoods through recreational activities that will also drive economic development and opportunities.”

The three multi-purpose recreational and community playing fields are made of artificial turf and will be available to the public during day and evening hours for open play. The fields will also be reserved for amateur sports programs, leagues and tournament. The fields include layouts to accommodate soccer, kickball, lacrosse, baseball, softball and more. In addition to the fields, there is a 6,000-square-foot celebration pavilion, public restrooms, a playground and picnic space. The complex also highlights increased green space, walking and bike paths, dedicated parking and mobile chargers for parents-on-the-go. The Fields represent a new connection for the Campus to the Anacostia River and surrounding communities. Sign up for field use at


Mayor Muriel Bowser cuts ribbon on three new recreational fields on RFK's Campus!

Israel Trade Mission: Promoting DC as Destination for Investment and Tourism


On June 23, Mayor Muriel Bowser led a trade mission in partnership with the DC Chamber of Commerce to Israel to attract technology firms, establish educational partnerships, and promote Washington, DC as a destination for investment and tourism. The five-day mission, with a delegation of more than 40 government and community stakeholders, included meetings with tech and cybersecurity companies, health care leaders, as well as the local leaders of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and Haifa. The trade delegation traveled to Israel via the new United Airlines nonstop air service to Tel Aviv from Dulles International Airport. That weekend marked one month since the start of the nonstop service. 

While in Israel, the Mayor delivered remarks at Cyber Week, an international cybersecurity event held at Tel Aviv University and participated in the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the DC Chamber and the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce.

We’re excited to welcome more Israeli travelers to visit Washington, DC and not only experience our landmark attractions but also go beyond the National Mall and visit our dynamic neighborhoods,” said Elliott L. Ferguson, II, president & CEO of Destination DC, the official destination marketing organization for the nation’s capital. “Ensuring that visitors feel welcomed in our city continues to be a top priority as overseas visitation is extremely important for us, especially from an economic perspective. Overseas visitors make up nine percent of DC’s total visitation, but international visitor spending represents 27 percent of total visitor spending in Washington, DC.”

On June 25, Mayor Bowser, joined by Councilmembers Anita Bonds and Brandon Todd, visited with executives of Mobileye, an Intel company and a global leader in the development of safety technology for automakers, to gain insight on strategies for improving road safety in Washington, DC. During the visit, Mayor Bowser and the Councilmembers rode in an autonomous vehicle.


Mayor Bowser and EagleBank Announce Mortgage Loan Product to Help District Employees Achieve Homeownership

On June 10, Mayor Muriel Bowser and EagleBank President and Chief Executive Officer Susan G. Riel announced an exclusive mortgage loan option program designed to help DC Government employees achieve homeownership in the District of Columbia. The announcement was made ahead of the 11th  Annual DC Housing Expo and Home Show on Saturday, June 15, co-hosted by the Department of Housing and Community Development and Greater Washington Urban League, an all-day event focused on sharing housing resources to ensure that residents of all backgrounds can afford to live and thrive in the city.

“This new program will help us give DC Government employees the fair shot they work so hard to give others,” said Mayor Bowser. “With tools like this, we can recruit and retain the best and brightest at DC government, increase access to safe and stable housing, and put homeownership in reach for families and workers across the income spectrum.”

The special mortgage program will offer a substantial discount on the interest rate for various mortgage loans, including conventional, Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Home Equity lines of Credit, and FHA rehabs. Borrowers do not have to be first-time home buyers, and all DC Government Employees are eligible, with no tenure requirement. Other features of the program include the Bank @ Work deposit program and home buying education seminars.

The program will serve as a complement to existing homeownership assistance programs such as the Employer-Assisted Housing Program (EAHP) and Home Purchase Assistance Program (HPAP), which both offer a deferred, 0% interest loan to help with down payments, as well as closing cost assistance, to low- and moderate income first-time homebuyers. EHAP is only available to eligible District government employees. Mayor Bowser increased home purchase assistance under EHAP from $10,000 to $20,000 and  first responders—such as Metropolitan Police Department, DC Fire and Emergency Medical Services Department, and Department of Corrections—can get assistance totaling up to $45,000. Mayor Bowser also enhanced HPAP by increasing the maximum amount of down payment assistance from $50,000 to $80,000 and increasing closing cost assistance to $4,000.

Mortgage Program for DC Employees

Mayor Muriel Bowser announced an exclusive mortgage loan option program designed to help DC Government employees achieve homeownership in the District of Columbia

WeDC House x By the People

By The People

On June 20th, Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner kicked off our second WeDC House activation of the year during the By The People, an international arts and dialogue festival, hosted by Halycon House. This WeDC House activation boasted a series of illuminating and thought-provoking dialogues envisioning the future of Washington, DC and the world. Panelists with broad expertise in food, transportation, and sports/entertainment answered questions about the ideas, innovations, and strategies that will define these sectors. The panel discussions were followed by a future world happy hour and dance party on Eaton DC's rooftop!

“I always look forward to our #WeDC activations because of the sheer creativity and spin we’re able to put on each focus area!” said Deputy Mayor Kenner. “Envisioning what the future of Washington, DC will look like truly showcases the forward thinking and innovative minds we have leading the pack in the District.”

DMPED’s first WeDC popup of the year took place in March at South by Southwest in Austin, TX. During the activation, we showcased all the Capital of Inclusive Innovation has to offer across technology, social impact, art and entertainment, while highlighting our communities and culture.

The next WeDC house is scheduled to take place in Washington, DC in September. More details to come!

By The People

Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner kicked off our second WeDC House activation of the year during the By The People international arts and dialogue festival.

Deloitte Impact Day: Strategy Lab for Increasing Employment

On June 7th, DMPED Business Development Director Karima Woods and her team partnered with Deloitte to host Impact Day: Strategy Lab for Increasing Employment. The goal of the event was to help the District better understand the workforce development challenges and opportunities taking place in the tech community. The findings of this strategy lab will be used to implement better strategies to help DC residents meet the hiring criteria of tech companies located in Washington, DC.

“High-tech employment is 2.5 times more concentrated in the DC metro area than in the rest of the country. With all the talent we have, we must ensure that it meets the needs of our employers. Through ongoing collaboration, we are focused on building a solid strategy to develop a tech talent pipeline with universities and companies alike,” said Karima Woods.


Business Development Director Karima Woods and her team partnered with Deloitte to host Impact Day: Strategy Lab for Increasing Employment.

DMPED Welcomes SelectUSA Guests


On June 11th, Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner kicked off the International Business Investment Networking Reception held in conjunction with the 2019 SelectUSA Summit. DMPED has participated in SelectUSA's receptions for the past 3 years. During the reception, DMPED officially welcomed the SelectUSA delegation to Washington, DC, pitched DC as an ideal location to do business (#ObviouslyDC) and created an informal environment to foster relationships and transact business.

“Washington, DC is an international city that attracts people from all over the world. With business attraction and retention as one of our many goals, it is vital that we to connect with our visitors, build rapport and showcase why the District is a prime location to live, work and do business,” said Deputy Mayor Kenner.

Employer Engagement 100 Intiative with APCO


On June 5, as part of the Employer Engagement 100 initiative, DMPED’s business development team, along with our friends from the Washington DC Economic Partnership met with senior leadership representatives at APCO Worldwide to deepen relationships in the District and discuss potential ways for partnerships.

“The Employer Engagement 100 initiative allow us to cultivate mutually beneficial relationships with DC employers. We get the opportunity to truly learn why they love DC, what their pain points are and how we as a city can improve for the benefit of our residents and the economy.” said Karima Woods.

Celebrating 25 Years of Step Afrika!

On June 6, Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner joined Step Afrika! to celebrate its 25th anniversary at a gala held at Union Market’s Dock 5.

Step Afrika! was founded in 1994 as the first professional company dedicated to the tradition of stepping. It now ranks as one of the top ten African American dance companies in the United States. The Company blends percussive dance styles practiced by historically African American fraternities and sororities, African traditional dance and influences from a variety of other dance and art forms. Mayor Bowser proclaimed June 17, 2018 as Step Afrika! Day in the District.

"Through their engaging and educational step performances, Step Afrika and its programs are essential to the fabric of the District’s diverse culture," said Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner. "I would like to congratulate Step Afrika on celebrating 25 years of exemplary step performances that showcase the rhythm and culture of South Africa and influence the youth of our nation’s capital."

Step Afrika

Deputy Mayor Brian Kenner gave welcome remarks as a member of the Events DC board of directors at the 25th anniversary gala for Step Afrika!