MPTD and SnagFilms Honor Winner of Washington's Best Film Competition and Screen Winning Film
Mayor Gray, SnagFilms Founder and Chairman Ted Leonsis and D.C. Office of Motion Picture and Television Development (MPTD) Director Crystal Palmer announced the winner of the inaugural “Washington’s Best Film” competition. Student film “Released for Life,” produced by students attending The Documentary Center at George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs, was named Best Film by D.C. The officials also introduced a special screening of the documentary, which follows the lives of several recently released ex-offenders as they struggle to adjust in a society that they no longer know. The screening was followed by a Q&A with the production team and key players from the ex-offender governmental and non-governmental communities.
SYEP Applications Open
D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) announced that the application process for the District’s 2012 Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) began on Friday, January 27. The program will provide important employment experiences for D.C. youth to help them develop job skills and teach them workplace etiquette in order to prepare them for their future careers. The online application for the 2012 SYEP is available to District residents between the ages of 14 and 21 at www.summerjobs.dc.gov. Applications will be processed on a first-come, first-served basis and must be received by February 17, 2012. Space is limited, so youth should apply early. The SYEP 2012 will begin on Monday, June 25, and end on Friday, August 3.
Young Scholars Portray Black Historical Figures to Officially Announce 6th Annual Blacks in Wax Performances
Mayor Vincent C. Gray and Cora Masters Barry, CEO and Founder of the Recreation Wish List Committee, announced that the 6th Annual Blacks in Wax program will take place on Friday, February 24, at the event’s home site, the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center (SETLC), and will also have a special performance on Saturday, March 3, at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Blacks in Wax includes portrayals of over 70 influential figures from black history, brought to life through preparation from the SETLC Scholars, parents and staff. Mayor Gray also announced Black History Month events offered by other government agencies including the DC Public Library, the Mayor’s Office on African Affairs, and the DC Lottery & Charitable Games Control Board. Read more.
Breaking Ground on The Shops at Dakota Crossing in Ward 5
This week, principals from the development partnership, Fort Lincoln Retail, LLC, were joined by Mayor Gray and DC Council Chairman Kwame Brown to formally kick off construction at The Shops at Dakota Crossing, a 44-acre site in Ward 5. When completed, the center will house 430,000 square feet of retail space and 2,000 parking spaces, create 1,200 new jobs (permanent and construction) in the District, and generate $634 million in tax revenues for the District over the next 30 years. It will also bring convenient shopping choices to the surrounding communities, neighboring suburbs and beyond. Read more.
Broad Branch Road NW Reopened
The District Department of Transportation(DDOT) reopened Broad Branch Road NW between Brandywine and Ridge Roads after the morning rush hour on Wednesday, February 1, 2012. Broad Branch Road was closed this past December to permit crews to repair the culvert that collapesed over Soapstone Creek earlier. Read more.
Mayor On The Move
One City Summit
Join Mayor Gray and city officials at the One City Summit! This event will offer District residents the chance to provide input on important decisions that will shape the city for years to come. It will be held at the Washington Convention Center on Saturday, February 11 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. To register, go to www.onecitysummit.dc.gov.
Significant Surplus and Rebound in District's Fund Balance
Mayor Gray and D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi announced that the District’s financial health rebounded significantly in Fiscal Year 2011, with one of the largest surpluses in recent history and a dramatic increase in the city’s savings account after several years of losses. Announcing the results of the District’s Fiscal Year 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR), conducted by independent auditing firm KPMG, Mayor Gray said the District ended the year with $240 million more in revenues and savings than expenditures and a $1.1 billion increase in the city’s fund balance over the $890 million in the fund at the end of FY 2010. Read more.
Mayor Welcomes December Drop in District’s Unemployment Rate
Last week, Mayor Gray welcomed new preliminary estimates from the D.C. Department of Employment Services (DOES) showing that the District’s unemployment rate continued to decline – to 10.4 percent – in December. At the bi-weekly press conference, Mayor Gray pointed to the One City ● One Hire program, an innovative effort by DOES to connect qualified, unemployed D.C. residents with jobs and to provide employers who commit to hire unemployed District residents with placement, screening and training support. Based on more complete reporting from employers, previously released November estimates were revised upward to show an over-the-month (October-November) total non-farm employment gain of 4,400 jobs. The November revised unemployment rate remained unchanged at 10.6 percent. Since January of 2011, total private-sector employment in the District has increased by 3.6 percent, or 17,400 jobs.
Georgetown Resident, Ken Archer Provides a Great Summary on DOES’ One City ● One Hire Program - http://greatergreaterwashington.org/post/13496/gray-deserves-more-credit-for-one-city-one-hire/
Mayor Gray and Federal Partners Announce Launch of ExportDC
On Thursday, February 1, Mayor Gray, U.S. Department of Commerce Undersecretary for International Trade Francisco Sanchez and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Deputy Associate Administrator for International Trade Luz Hopewell announced the launch of ExportDC, the District’s first major export-development program for D.C. businesses. Noting that 95 percent of the world’s customers are outside the United States and that exporting companies pay wages 13 to 18 percent higher than non-exporting companies, Mayor Gray said that ExportDC is an important part of his strategy to grow the District’s economy and get D.C. residents back to work. Read more.
Global Diplomatic Community Representatives Sign Pledge Embracing Mayor Gray's Vision of a Greener, Healthier, More Sustainable City
Mayor Gray, Ambassador Renée Jones-Bos of the Royal Netherlands Embassy, Under Secretary Patrick Kennedy of the U.S. Department of State and other representatives of international embassies in the District signed a District of Columbia Diplomatic Missions and International Institutions Environmental Performance, Climate and Sustainability Pledge during a ceremony and reception at The Royal Netherlands Embassy. Read more.
D.C. Tops List of U.S. States in U.S. Green Building Council-Certified Green Buildings
Recent data from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) shows that the District leads the nation in promoting green building and sustainability. USGBC ranked D.C. as No. 1 per capita in its list of top 10 states for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified commercial and institutional green buildings during 2011. Read more.
DC Government and Microsoft Launch Strategic Digital Alliance
On Wednesday, February 25, Mayor Gray and Microsoft Vice President for U.S. Government Affairs Fred Humphries announced the launch of the Digital Alliance, a first-in-the-nation strategic partnership between the D.C. government and Microsoft Corporation that will support job training, economic growth and education in the District. The strategic partnership will include job training, educational and economic development components and be administered through the Department of Employment Services, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development, the D.C. Public Schools and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education. Read more.
Proposal Updates 30-Year-Old Regulations
The Mayor recently announced proposed new regulations that update the 30-year-old rules governing street vending – including food trucks – in the District of Columbia. The proposed regulations, issued by the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA), would open up additional locations for sidewalk vending, reflect new design standards for vending carts and update a rule originally designed for ice-cream trucks that currently exposes some of the newer food trucks that operate in the District to potential citations. The proposed regulations were published in the D.C. Register on January 20 and will be open for a 30-day public-comment period. The final regulations will require approval by the D.C. Council. Read new regulations.
Introducing D.C.’s New Construction Codes
Mayor Gray recently announced that the District of Columbia will be introducing new Construction Codes by March 1, 2013. The updated Construction Codes will keep the District at the national forefront of sustainable building practices for all new and renovated residential and commercial buildings. Read more.