District Digest – Fleischer steps down from Rock Creek, Mayor Bowser promotes Every Day Counts!

Matt Fleischer addresses the crowd at the Rock Creek Gala in 2017. (photo courtesy of Rock Creek Conservancy)

Matt Fleischer addresses the crowd at the Rock Creek Gala in 2017

Dear Friends of Rock Creek,

It is with a heavy heart that I say goodbye as I resign from my position as the executive director of Rock Creek Conservancy. My family and I are relocating to Frederick and I do not feel that I can offer the position what it needs and deserves by not being close to this area.

It has been such a wonderful four years since I joined the team in early 2014 to do my very best to restore Rock Creek and its parklands as a natural oasis for all people to appreciate and protect. I grew up in the D.C. area and have used Rock Creek both in D.C. and Montgomery County all my life. These are my woods, this is my creek; these are our woods, this is our creek. This is where I learned to love the outdoors and the tranquility that green space can provide. This is where I became passionate about the environment and helping to restore and take care of it, because in so many ways it has taken care of me.

The conservancy has come a long way thanks to the enthusiastic people of this city that are just as dedicated to helping this treasure thrive as I am. Our staff, budget, and impact have grown four-fold in the past four years. I leave filled with pride in the many accomplishments we have achieved.

Together, we celebrated the 125th anniversary of our beloved Rock Creek Park in 2015 with an illustrious Green Ribbon Panel and thoughtful, informative Green Paper outlining the next 125 years for the park. We launched the Rock Creek Conservation Corps, which will have 60 youth out in the parks sweating, learning, and having fun this summer. We worked and will continue to work closely with our partners at D.C. Water to implement a downspout disconnection program to remove acres of impervious surface from the combined sewer system. And, of course, we’ve mobilized thousands of dedicated volunteers who join us in the heat, snow and rain to restore our public spaces by picking up litter and saving our forests from invasive plants.

I know there is still so much work to be done, and I will miss all of you; our staff, our board, the National Park Service, Montgomery Parks, and all our partners and neighbors who have lent a hand for a cleaner, healthier Rock Creek. I know you all will continue this great work!

During this transition period, while we recruit a new executive director, Caroline Cunningham will be stepping in as interim executive director. Caroline has an impressive background as the founding chief executive officer of the Trust for the National Mall. She has worked closely with the National Park Service for many years, and as a consultant to the conservancy for the past eight months. She is extremely knowledgeable about the issues and the programs of our organization.

It has been both an honor and a privilege to serve as the executive director of Rock Creek Conservancy. I will always love Rock Creek, and I will continue to visit and care for this amazing resource.

With much gratitude,

Matt Fleischer


Mayor Bowser promotes Every Day Counts! as students return from Winter Break

As part of the Every Day Counts! campaign, Mayor Muriel Bowser celebrated Jefferson Middle School Academy’s success in creating a strong school community that welcomes students and families.

Last month, the middle school was announced as the winner of the 2018 DC Public Schools (DCPS) Standing Ovation prize for Family Engagement. At the event, the mayor highlighted the school’s work in building positive and collaborative relationships with students and families through home visits, student-led conferences and more.

“We know that when students feel loved, challenged and prepared, they are more likely to attend school every day. Ensuring this is the case for every student in every school isn’t easy and it won’t happen overnight, but we have educators across all eight wards working with families to get us there,” Bowser said. “I applaud the teachers, administrators, and staff at Jefferson and at schools across the District who are going above and beyond to engage families and set our students up for success.”

Jefferson started making home visits during the 2012-2013 school year and each year it has continued to expand its program. Now, home visits are a required part of Jefferson’s model and all members of the staff, including operations and student support team members, are required to do home visits.

During the 2016-2017 school year, Jefferson visited 186 families, and survey data shows that the family engagement efforts are changing how students perceive school. Last year, on the annual DCPS student satisfaction survey, 96 percent of students either “agreed” or “strongly agreed” with the statement, “my family is welcome at my school.” That is an increase of 5 percent over the previous year.


American University Career Center Internship Fair

American University invites you to register now to attend its Spring 2018 Job and Internship Fair on March 21 from 1-4:00 p.m. This event will connect you with hundreds of students and alumni from five schools: Arts & Sciences, Business, Communications, International Service and Public Affairs. Local and out-of-town recruiters have long enjoyed this opportunity to meet candidates for full-time positions, internships, and part-time jobs.

Take advantage of the Early Bird Special. Register by Feb. 23 to receive the early-bird rate.

Registration Fee & Services:
For-profit Organization: $550 (Early Bird) $600 (Regular)
Government Agency: $350 (Early Bird) $400 (Regular)
Nonprofit Organization: $200 (Early Bird) $250 (Regular)
Fee includes a six-foot table with cloth and two chairs. We provide a 7×44-inch organization name sign, complimentary parking, buffet lunch and coffee/water throughout the event in the employer lounge. Please note that no electrical sources will be available to power laptops or iPads.
For more details and to register, visit the Job & Internship Fair homepage.


Ingleside at Rock Creek presented with Michael Vincent Hodge D.C. Revenue Bond Deal of The Year Award

The Washington DC Economic Partnership (WDCEP) presented Ingleside at Rock Creek (IRC) with the Michael Vincent Hodge D.C. Revenue Bond Deal of The Year Award on Dec. 12, 2017. The award recognized the year’s top deal that made a significant contribution to D.C.’s economic landscape. It is named after the former director of the D.C. Revenue Bond Program in the Office of Planning and Economic Development.

“All of us at Ingleside at Rock Creek are proud of our accomplishments related to the 2017 award,” Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer Timothy Myers said. “The award is a public acknowledgement of the benefit our recent bond transaction brings to all of the residents at Ingleside at Rock Creek.”

Hodge expanded the city’s program to issue bonds that helped finance construction projects and other development efforts. The award is a way for the D.C. Revenue Bond Program and the city to keep Hodge’s name and zest for economic development growing in the District.


In First-Of-Its-Kind Electric Car Rally, Maryland leaders to push for Clean Energy Expansion and Jobs Bill on first day of General Assembly

On Jan. 10, Maryland community, business, faith, labor and climate leaders rallied in Annapolis for a campaign to double the amount of renewable energy to 50 percent by 2030. The advocates were surrounded by more than a dozen electric cars decorated with signs and streamers that circled the State House. The campaign proposes legislation to expand and strengthen Maryland’s Renewable Portfolio Standard to 50 percent of Maryland’s electricity sources by 2030 on a path to 100 percent clean energy. The campaign will also call for a substantial investment in training for good clean energy jobs with a livable wage and assistance for minority, veteran and women-owned businesses working in this field.


Sunday demonstration at Johnson’s, message to President Burwell: ‘Keep Johnson’s Open’

The Ad Hoc Committee to Save Johnson’s Florist and Garden Center demonstrated on Jan. 7 at Johnson’s to deliver a simple message to American University (AU) President Sylvia Mathews Burwell: “Keep Johnson’s Open.”

The neighbors are demanding that AU reverse the increases in rent and other fees that are forcing Johnson’s to close its D.C. outlet later this month. The action was on Wisconsin Ave. at Van Ness St. NW, in front of the AU building that houses Johnson’s, which has been “Blooming Since 1933.”

The community is using all available avenues to appeal to President Burwell, including via the existing AU-Community Liaison Committee. Judy Chesser, a neighborhood leader and member of the committee, emailed Burwell, referencing her cabinet positions as HHS Secretary and OMB Director, saying “if you can negotiate OMB and HHS issues with Congress, you can come up with a positive solution that keeps Johnson’s Garden Center in our community.”

It was the second protest planned to demand Burwell save Johnson’s. The first was to be at AU’s Katzen Art Center on Jan. 4 when Burwell was to hold her annual community town hall and New Year’s reception. However, the demonstration was called off when AU cancelled the town hall, apparently because of the cold weather.


Amy Hemingway’s ANC 4D06 New Year’s Resolution: Broader Communication

From Commissioner Amy Hemingway of ANC 4D06:

Happy New Year, everyone! My New Year’s resolution is to identify block captains for my Single Member District (SMD), which is 4D06. See the link to the map below to check the boundaries.

This will significantly improve our ability to reach more people throughout my SMD.

The primary role of a block captain is to distribute materials to each residential address on a block. This will mostly include notices and invitations to events and meetings. I will also notify you first of any happenings so you can get the word out. If you have email addresses and phone numbers for your neighbors, it will be even easier than going door to door (but not as fun)!

If you already organize block activities, you would be perfect. Or perhaps you are looking to get to know your neighbors better or expand your civic involvement. Either way, I would love to work with you!

I represent ANC 4D06. Here’s an ANC 4D map – http://anc4d.org/map.html. And to locate your precise ANC single member district (SMD) click here –  http://dcatlas.dcgis.dc.gov/mar/.

Would you like to be a block captain for any of the following blocks? Reach out directly to me at 4D06@anc.dc.gov (or use other contact information in signature to be in touch) if you would like to volunteer. Thanks for considering it!


Bunch, III receives Washington Performing Arts’ Ambassador of the Arts award

Washington Performing Arts has selected Lonnie G. Bunch, III – a longtime Shepherd Park resident and founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture – to receive its 2018 Ambassador of the Arts Award.

The award recognizes extraordinary achievement, service and advocacy in the performing arts, according to a release. Bunch was chosen for “his success in showcasing the transformative power of the performing arts and the role that African Americans played in shaping culture in America and around the world.”

As the director of the museum since 2005, Bunch led a $540 million fundraising campaign and oversaw the development of the museum’s exhibitions, public programs and publications. He is also published on topics including the black military experience, the American presidency, all-black towns in the American West, diversity in museum management, and the impact of funding and politics on American museums.

Bunch will receive the award in a private ceremony at the National Building Museum at 6 p.m. on March 10. Past award recipients include Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and opera singer Denyce Graves, a native Washingtonian and Duke Ellington School of the Arts graduate.