DMPED's Closer: September Edition

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September Edition 2019

The Rockefeller Foundation Selects DC for Opportunity Zones Initiative

On September 6, Mayor Bowser and Interim Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development John Falcicchio hosted the Rockefeller Foundation and city leaders from Dallas, St. Louis and Oakland for an annoucement of $3.7 million in grants that will benefit four U.S. cities to help drive responsible private investment in Opportunity Zones, including $920 million for Washington, DC.

At the event, the Rockefeller Foundation named Washington, D.C., Oakland, Dallas and St. Louis as the newest participants in its Opportunity Zone Community Capacity Building Initiative, which launched in May 2019.  The initiative will help cities engage existing residents, businesses and community organizations in Opportunity Zones and build a pipeline of projects and small business investments that align with community needs.

“We are very focused in Washington, DC on making sure our Opportunity Zones work for existing residents and small businesses owners,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser. “With this support from the Rockefeller Foundation, we will be better equipped to leverage Opportunity Zones to create DC jobs for DC residents, produce more affordable housing, and support our small and local businesses.”

This new partnership will enable us to provide some new resources for stakeholders in DC's Opportunity Zones:

  • Technical assistance to support local projects seeking Opportunity Zone financing
  • Grant program that will support community-driven projects in Opportunity Zones 
  • Two community engagement specialists to support outreach in Opportunity Zones   

To read more, follow this link.


Mayor Bowser hosted the Rockefeller Foundation to announce a new partnership to help guide responsible and equitable investments in Washington, DC's Opportunity Zones.

WeDC House Pops Up at DC Startup Week

Startup week

On September 11, DMPED partnered with the Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) to bring the WeDC House to Eaton DC as part of DC Startup Week. This was an opportunity to promote the WeDC campaign, positioning Washington, DC as the “Capital of Inclusive Innovation.” Through activities that facilitate new business connections within the private and public sectors including technology, innovation and creative economies, the campaign is able to showcase the city’s dedication to inclusivity, diversity and innovation with a focus on its communities, talented workforce and residents.

Joy James, DMPED's Tech & Innovation Portfolio Manager, spoke on the panel "Why DC is the Capital of Inclusive Innovation" accompanied by representatives from IN3, Byte Back, Social Driver, and Connect.DC.

"Other cities remark on how inclusive DC's tech culture is, and I really think it is because Mayor Bowser made these efforts a priority, and put resources behind it,” said James.

The District's Push For Statehood


On September 16, Mayor Bowser led a parade with 51 DC veterans and flew 51-star American flags along Pennsylvania Avenue in a salute to DC statehood ahead of the historic House hearing Thursday, September 19.

Mayor Bowser, DC veterans, and public officials boarded a DC statehood-themed bus and rode down Pennsylvania Avenue, which was lined with hundreds of 51-star flags. Mayor Bowser held a media availability at the end of the parade to thank DC veterans for their service and call on Congress to grant the District’s 702,000 residents, including 32,000 veterans who have fought for their country, their full democratic rights as American citizens.

"It should not matter what our politics are or what yours are—that is beside the point. The point is that to continue to deny statehood to the 702,000 residents of Washington, DC is a failure of the members of this body to uphold their oath of office," said Mayor Bowser. " I would, likewise, fail to do my duty by not forcefully advancing our statehood petition."

To learn more about DC statehood efforts, visit

EVERFI Officially Opens Doors to New Office Space on N Street, NW


On September 17, Mayor Bowser joined by Interim Deputy Mayor John Falccichio, Office of Planning Director Andrew Trueblood, and Business Development Director Karima Woods, celebrated the grand opening of EVERFI's new expanded office space on N Street, NW, a move from their former location in Georgetown.

“We could not be more excited to celebrate EVERFI’s expansion by selecting a new headquarters that allows our continued growth,” said EVERFI Co-Founder and CEO Tom Davidson. “Ten years ago, EVERFI was founded in a small D.C. row house with the idea that we could harness innovative, digital education to engage learners around some of the country’s most intractable issues, including financial illiteracy, student loan debt, sexual harassment and violence, and workforce access. We have executed on this vision, built a successful business, and helped millions of learners.  It is only fitting our home remains in the District of Columbia to continue this journey.”

EVERFI is a technology firm that uses interactive educational programming to address critical topics including financial literacy, anti-bullying, workplace conduct, prescription drug addiction, and more.

Urban Land Institute's Fall Meeting

On September 20, Mayor Muriel Bowser participated in Urban Land Institute's (ULI) housing discussion where she talked strategy on how to obtain her goal set for 36,000 housing units by 2025, as well as where to add said housing.

A ULI Advisory Services panel recently completed a report for the District exploring the possibility of developing affordable housing options in the Rock Creek West area in Northwest DC. While the high cost of land and growing construction costs in Rock Creek West present challenges, the panelists noted that gentle density increases and greater levels of affordable units on public land could meaningfully accelerate the production of affordable housing.

The ULI Fall Meeting attracts more than 6,500 attendees annually. It is the only event that brings together EVERY sector of the real estate industry in one place where you can build relationships with developers, investors, architects, planners, brokers, academics, attorneys, decision makers, and government.


Mayor Bowser panels at the Urban Land Institute Conference 2019.

DMPED Welcomes Atlantic Festival to Washington, DC

Atlantic Fest

For the 11th consecutive year, the Atlantic Monthly chose Washington, DC for its popular Atlantic Festival, a three-day gathering of the nation’s leaders in politics, business, health, science, technology, arts, culture and journalism for conversation on the most consequential issues facing the country and the world.  During the festival, DMPED partnered with the Atlantic to bring together Washington, D.C. innovators with Atlantic Fest attendees at a networking reception “A Toast to the District” on Sept. 24. Members from the DC business, arts and technology community joined DMPED at the reception to connect guests from all over the country to the local scene and share more on our initiatives to make DC the true “Capitol of Inclusive Innovation.” Interim Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio and Patrick Garrigan, the Executive Director of Business Development for AtlanticLIVE shared greetings with guests.

“We were thrilled to partner with the Atlantic to fuse the national and international themes of the Atlantic Festival with the local innovation and creativity of Washington, DC. We are, obviously, a city that has national significance and global reach, but it is our local community that makes us who we are. We hope the Atlantic Festival guests enjoyed Washington, DC as much as we do,” said Interim Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio.

More on the Atlantic Festival here.

Atlantic Fest

Interim Deputy Mayor John Falchicchio represents the District at The 11th annual Atlantic Festival.

Rhode Island Avenue Radio

RIA Radio

DMPED's Business Development Director Karima Woods sat down with Kyle Todd on Rhode Island Avenue Radio at Studio 202 to talk about #ObviouslyDC and why DC is the place to be, as well as our Great Streets grants program! The interview aired on Tue, Sept 17th on 

Check it out!

“ObviouslyDC is an initiative by the Mayor to focus on ensuring that we are creating a strong and vibrant economy for businesses who want to locate here and for businesses who have been here for an extended amount of time,” said Director Woods. “I love the fact that the [ObviouslyDC] site is really promoting and touting things about Washington, D.C. that the average person or company, whether you live here or not, may not know. You may not know that we…have been ranked by SmartAsset as the #1 city for women in technology for five years in a row.”