When taking a moment to step back and reflect on all we have accomplished – together – so far this year, I have two words: thank you. With just over 50% of District residents partially or fully vaccinated, I thank you for getting yourself, your friends, and your family vaccinated. We still have more work to do on that front, but I now have one more ask of you. Ahead of the summer months, we must make sure our neighbors are in the best position possible to thrive in this new normal. That starts with STAY DC.
The STAY DC program is one where individuals and families affected by the pandemic can apply for rent and utility relief. District residents can receive payments for up to twelve (12) months of past due rent, three (3) months of future rent, and past due utilities. Keep reading this newsletter to see an explainer video about the application process. Please share this information with your communities.
As we envision our emergence from the pandemic, our work on funding an equitable recovery is just beginning. The Mayor will release her budget to Councilmembers today. I am watching for investments that support our most vulnerable communities first. On Wednesday, June 2nd at 5 PM, I will host a virtual discussion on the budget process. I hope you will join me for the event, ‘Town Hall: Understanding the Budget Process.’ Please click here to RSVP.
Budget season has arrived! Follow our social media, @CMCHenderson, and here on Facebook for weekly updates on the budget hearing schedule. We will post every Monday afternoon with the budget hearings for the week ahead.
Councilmember Henderson speaking at the reopening of the SW Library. The Councilmember is accompanied by Councilmember Charles Allen, DCPL Executive Director Richard Reyes-Gavilan, the Library’s Teen Council member Sheridan Waters, and Board member Monte Monash.Budget Priorities
This will be my first budget season as your Councilmember. My work will focus on creating an equitable budget for all District residents. Many groups have shared their budget ideas with me, and it is through these conversations that I continue to evolve some of my priorities for investment:
Legislation Milestones in May
Councilmember Henderson at the High Road Restaurants job fair in partnership with One Fair Wage in the District.
Stronger as a Community: In-person and Virtual Events
I have met many new neighbors and community leaders this past month. To name a few, I was honored to celebrate the opening of the Southwest Library alongside Mayor Muriel Bowser and Councilmember Charles Allen. I learned more about the priorities and needs from business leaders at the High Road Restaurant job fair. I’ve participated in, and more importantly listened to, virtual general body meetings hosted by everyone from DC political organizations to engaged teens to civic associations. I also had the personal pleasure of hosting the Story of Our School’s trivia night. As time and capacity restrictions are lifted, I hope you will get vaccinated, support local, and safely enjoy time with your community.
Councilmember Henderson at the Princeton Prize Awards in Race Relations and the Southwest Library reopening celebration.
Constituent Services Corner: STAY DC
Apply for rental assistance today. STAY DC (Stay.dc.gov) is a program that will pay 12 months of past due rent, 3 months of future rent, and past due utilities. This program is one where tenants who have faced financial hardship due to COVID-19 will be able to apply to this program and have their rent paid directly.
STAY DC empowers all DC tenants to be proactive in seeking money in order to keep your home and utilities without sacrificing other basic needs. Please take a few moments to watch this video explainer on how to apply for the STAY DC program. My hope is to demystify the application process, making you feel comfortable to start your application. Need assistance in English or Spanish? My office can be reached at 202-724-8105.
In short, I hope you and your neighbors will take advantage of this program. This is a federally funded program and one where the information gathered will only be used to make a decision on the type of rent relief the applicant will receive – and nothing else. The federal funds supporting this program must be used before September, so don’t wait! STAY DC will keep our neighbors housed and out of rent-debt. As we head into the new normal, I hope you will share this program with someone you know!
Click play to watch our STAY DC tutorial.
Stay In Touch
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Chief of Staff
Deputy Chief of Staff
Constituent Services Director