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About Ward One

Nearly 80,000 of us make Ward One home.  Many have deep roots in Ward One and the District of Columbia -- going back three or four generations.  Many are recent immigrants from all over the world -- who have come to the nation’s capital in pursuit of employment, health care, affordable housing, and quality education. And many are new residents to DC -- blazing new paths and establishing their own roots -- right here in Ward One.

Since becoming councilmember in 1999, Ward One has undergone a transformation and Renaissance.  We have worked hard to preserve Ward One history and to celebrate the important role Ward One residents had in the shaping of this great city.

During my time thus far on the Council, we have preserved affordable housing options for low-income families -- 3,000 units in the last five years -- rehabilitated community parks throughout the ward, renovated school buildings, community and recreational centers, restored galleries and theatres, attracted national and local retailers and restaurants, made our streets and side-walks safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, established farmers' markets and inspired community gardens.  With every new development, we are creating a more diverse and caring community welcoming to all.

Ward One residents tell me "it's the people” who make this ward so wonderfully unique.


Ward One Demographic and Geographic Information

  • 2010 Population                                    78,120

               African American Population              33%

               White Population                                41%

               Latino / Hispanic Population               21%

               Residents under 29 years of age       47%

               Poverty rate                                       16%

               Children poverty rate                         23%

               Average household income          $98,485

               Families receiving food stamps          9,807



Historical Significance of Ward One Neighborhoods


The violence following the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 devastated areas of Ward One.  The rebuilding process went on for almost forty years.


Link to Cultural Tourism DC “Neighborhood Heritage Trails” in Ward One


Roads to Diversity – Adams Morgan


Cultural Convergence – Columbia Heights Heritage Trail


City Within A City – Greater U Street Heritage Trail


Village in the City – Mt. Pleasant Heritage Trail


Lift Every Voice – Georgia Ave / Pleasant Plains Heritage Trail


African American Heritage Trail


Neighborhoods: Active and Engaging


DC has a rich tradition of neighborhood-based activism.  That tradition is alive in Ward One.  

As the smallest and most densely populated ward in DC, Ward One residents work very hard at building relationships with each other.  We do this by organizing formal organizations and participating in neighborhood-based work projects. 

The neighborhoods of Ward One have a familiar ring - - LeDroit Park, Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights, Pleasant Plains, Park View, Westminster, Mt. Pleasant and U Street.  Over the years, smaller groups have formed within these larger neighborhoods to build even closer relationships with each other. 

There are now over 50 such groups working together to improve the quality of life in Ward One.


Link to map of Ward One Neighborhoods






Pleasant Plains

Mt. Pleasant

Adams Morgan

Le Detroit Park

Columbia Heights

Greater U St. Historic District


List of neighborhood groups and civic organizations with links

“Education and Recreation: Learning and Growing”

Ward One schools are among the most diverse and exciting schools in DC - - if not the entire country.  In many schools, over 60 different languages are spoken in the classrooms and on the playgrounds.  There are 32 DC Public School and Public Charter Schools in Ward One.  Each school offers a unique learning opportunity for children, youth and adults. 

Over the last five years, many Ward One schools have enjoyed complete renovations including - - H.D. Cooke Elementary School which has incorporated a “green curriculum” to mirror its LEAD Gold certification; a brand new Columbia Heights Education Campus which is home to Bell Multicultural High School and Lincoln Multicultural Middle School; and the historic Cardozo High School is undergoing a $80 million renovation.  Cardozo will re-open in 2013 featuring several different vocational, state of the art learning academies.  Graduation rates?

Finally, Ward One is home to Howard University - - founded in 1867 - - one of the most renowned and accomplished colleges in the US.

Despite its compact size, Ward One is also known for its parks and green spaces.  Among those include Meridian Hill / Malcolm X Park and the National Zoo, both national treasures maintained by the National Park Service.  There are dozens of active pocket parks, playgrounds and recreation centers distributed throughout the Ward managed by the DC Department of Parks and Recreation.  Each of these provides opportunities for family and neighborhood get-togethers for persons of all ages. 

Many parks and recreation centers are adopted by neighborhood groups to help sustain programming and needed repairs.  For example, the U Street Summer Film at Harrison Recreation Center has been sponsored by the U Street Neighborhood Association for the last two years. 

Finally, the Beatrice Fonteneau Senior Wellness Center opened last year on Georgia Ave.  The Center provides a wide-array of social and recreational services for Ward One seniors. 

Links to:

DCPS Schools

DC Public Charter Schools

GED Programs

Recreation Centers

Senior Wellness Center

Parks and Recreation Centers

“Business and Jobs: Something for Everyone”

Vibrant entertainment and business corridors contribute to the neighborhood diversity and prosperity of Ward One.  Long established business districts like Mt. Pleasant, Adams Morgan and Historic U Street are well known throughout DC.  Exciting new business districts are emerging along 11th St. and 9thSt.  And businesses along the Lower Georgia Ave. businesses are being restored.  The DC-USA Retail Center provides an anchor for smaller businesses to flourish and grow in Columbia Heights along Park Rd. and 14th St.  And a growing number of Ward One entrepreneurs are establishing home based consulting and service – oriented businesses. 

With renewed business vitality there is a need for a trained and competitive workforce.  In a global competitive economy, there is no greater challenge than growing a workforce. 

Ward One schools, after-school programs offered by community based organizations, and the DC Department of Employment Services work hard to help Ward One residents identify potential career interests and the path to achieving those careers. 


Approximately 70% of the over 1,000 employees at retail stores at DC-USA are DC residents.  The majority of small businesses in the Ward hire DC residents - - many of whom are Ward One residents. 


The Columbia Heights Farmer’s Market has shown the creativity of combining different resources to benefit a wide variety of Ward One residents and businesses.  The market is operated by a local non-profit - - it employs Ward One residents and young people to manage the day to day operations of the market - - it is an outlet for Ward One small businesses and local farmers to sell their goods - - and, through an innovative partnership between DC government and a private foundation, Food Stamps are double valued when families use them to purchase organic and other healthy foods at the market.


Finally, the Ward One business corridors are cleaned daily and kept safe by the Green Teams.  Green Teams, first established in 2006 along the 9th St and U Street business corridors, are now established throughout DC.  The Green Teams offer an opportunity for persons who have had difficulty with sustaining long term employment due to arrest backgrounds, substance abuse backgrounds and other challenges.  Hundreds of men and women in DC have been able to turn their lives around – recommit themselves to their children and families and neighborhoods – because of the Green Teams. 


Links to each

“Arts and Special Events: Inspiring and Fun”

Over the last several years a “creative economy” has been growing throughout the ward.  Increasing number of artists, designers, musicians, performance artists, media and film artists are making their home in Ward One.  And residents who enjoy the arts are supporting their efforts!


The Ward One artist community is building upon an arts tradition that has been prevalent throughout the Ward - - especially in Adams Morgan, Mt. Pleasant, Columbia Heights and U Street.   Beginning in the 1930’s, theatres along the U Street corridor were known as the “Black Broadway”.  Two of those theatres, the Lincoln and Howard are making comebacks today.  The Studio Theatre and Gala Theatres are also well established theatres with regular shows. 


There is a rich tradition of transitory block parties, corner “street artists” and METRO artists in Ward One.  Almost every summer weekend, there are block parties / street fairs held in neighborhoods throughout the Ward.  The artists who work from their homes - - musicians, painters, sculptors, display their works at the neighborhood fairs.  It is a lively and fun time for all! 

Links to each

  • Midcity Arts District
  • Businesses with arts emphasis
  • Names of regular block parties
  • “Religious and Service Organization: Faith and Good Works”

Houses of worship and hundreds of community based organizations offer direct services to thousands of persons and families on a daily basis in Ward One.  They reflect the multicultural population of the ward as well as the myriad of interests and needs among the community.  They are on the front lines of identifying and helping some of the most vulnerable children, youth and families in the Ward. 

16th St. was identified as the “Avenue of Churches” with historic congregations like Florida Ave. Baptist Church, St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church, All Souls Church, Unitarian, Sacred Heart, Canaan Baptist Church and Trinity A.M.E. Zion Church all within blocks of each other on and near 16th St.  To increase their visibility and impact on public policy, many congregations have joined the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN)


Similarly, Ward One is home to some of the most effective and well organized community based organizations serving children, youth and families.  Community based organizations like the Latin American Youth Center, Mary’s Center, Martha’s Table, Columbia Heights Youth Club, Columbia Heights Shaw Family Support Collaborative have served Ward One families and youth for decades.  When they join efforts, they create a safety network of support that is so important when families are facing challenging times. 

Links to each religious organization and CBO.

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