It’s Wednesday and not Tuesday but here we are. This Hill Buzz makes up for its tardiness with a lot of content.
Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton will be holding a Zoom townhall tomorrow, Thursday February 11, at 6 p.m. You can RSVP by emailing l firstname.lastname@example.org for the link. If you haven’t signed reader Allison Cunningham’s petition to US Capitol Police acting chief Pittman, do so here. And yes, please ask your family from out of town to sign it. Del. Norton has recently introduced legislation to ban permanent fencing around the Capitol (DCist), while some Republicans are petitioning Speaker Pelosi to take the fence down as well (The Epoch Times).
A city is a thriving organism, made of millions of little components of which we only become aware when they are not working. The pandemic has also infected our city, making it sluggish and slowing it down, and some of the cures are not reaching all the parts of this organism equally. There are Streetearies everywhere, but just one East of the River (Washington Post). Ward 3 boasts a lot of seniors who’ve been vaccinated, but Wards 7 and 8 have very low rates. This quote from Washington City Paper‘s focus on the District’s efforts to tackle vaccine rollout disparities is just striking:
Some residents believe officials are leaning too heavily on vaccine hesitancy or mistrust in medical institutions based on racism to explain disparities. “These people aren’t hesitant … They don’t know how to get online. They want to live too. They want the shot,” says Orandra Cotton, a native Washingtonian who’s lived east of the Anacostia River all her life. “You have to take the services to the community.”
This tweet is also, well, wild. This user maintains a site dedicated to analyzing COVID statistics in DC independently at dccovid.com.
A worthwhile read: The Washington Post‘s latest analysis on the coronavirus vaccine rollout is a story of good intentions meeting bureaucratic obstacles and unforeseen situations.
The Washington Informer reports on the first in-person DCPS teacher to die of coronavirus and the concern on the part of the Washington Teachers’ Union that, according to them, Ballou STAY was not immediately notified by the administration that Helen White had tested positive for the virus– though later in the article, administrators affirm that a letter was sent home regarding a positive case. As of the date the article went live, 100 DCPS students and personnel are in quarantine.
This reality hasn’t stopped parents who are lobbyists for a living to advocate for schools to be open across the region. Roll Call examines the parent divide along racial and income lines, with parents in the pro- and con- sides weighing in.
Wallethub has a rating of the healthiest and unhealthiest cities in America, using such metrics as fitness, availability of green spaces and access to healthy foods. Shockingly, DC is ranked at number 6 out of 182. Considering all the deep disparity we know exists in our city, it begs the question, just how much more terrible is life elsewhere?
The Veterans’ Administration has sent out mobile mental health clinics to support police and troops after the attacks on the Capitol. The day after it happened, I remember talking to a couple of USCP who were still in shock after the attacks. One of them knew Officer Sicknick and was devastated. It was heartbreaking and it’s great to see the VA supporting those who need it now. Radio.com/Connecting Vets
A local candidate has already thrown her hat in the ring for the 2022 Democratic primary. Reverend Wendy Hamilton, who is attached to Metropolitan Community Church of DC in Lincoln Park, recently announced her candidacy. Washington Blade
Brewbound has details on Tap 99, which would have been an incredible concept before the pandemic but which now gives me the willies a little. Best of luck to them as they open in (where else?) Navy Yard this spring.
A new twist in the Handle 19 story emerges: The DC Lottery has denied them a sports wagering license. No word on whether ANC 6B will get their $14,000 in fees back. Capitol Hill Corner
ANC 6A and 6C will be holding a joint meeting to talk about H Street on Tuesday, February 16 at 7 p.m. You can learn more details through this link.
Let’s end on a positive note. Good news, #bikeDC! Protected bike lanes are coming to West Virginia Avenue. Friend of the blog Mark Sussman (starting another streak of appearing on Hill Buzz) tweeted about it earlier today: