A Letter to the Capitol Riverfront Community

Dear neighbors:

Our world, nation, and city have been changed radically over the past month with the COVID-19 pandemic. Business and hotel closings, social distancing and shelter-in-place directives, the closures of public facilities, a health care crisis that seems to grow every day, job losses in the millions, and shocks to our economy have shaken us all as individuals, families, and friends. Even our institutions that we rely upon daily have been changed or put on hold, while others have been brought to the forefront of our lives.

The Capitol Riverfront BID, like the 10 other BID organizations throughout DC and the over 1,200 in the US and Canada, are constantly examining and implementing ways to support our neighborhood businesses, stakeholders, residents, and employees through deploying our Clean Teams daily in the neighborhood, disseminating information regarding the pandemic, communicating financial relief programs for local businesses; promoting the 50+ neighborhood restaurants and shops still open; and planning for the recovery period that is to come

During times like these of high uncertainty and health risk, I am reminded of things that give me comfort during turmoil – family, friends, experiencing new neighborhoods, visiting museums, dining out at a restaurant, and enjoying concerts, theater, and movies – many of which we cannot experience now. But there are a few activities we can still do that can bring us a sense of normalcy like listening to music or podcasts, reading, taking a walk outside, contacting friends and family, or cooking a nice meal. These are some of the “constants” in a changing world that can give us comfort and even allow us to slow down.

The Anacostia River, along with its open spaces on the riverwalk trail, is one of the “constants” of this community. In fact, it helps define this growing, mixed-use urban waterfront neighborhood as Capitol Riverfront. There will always be change in our lives as the restaurant scene evolves, sports seasons come and go, events and festivals are transformed, we change jobs, or our everyday life is put on hold by events beyond our control. Throughout all of these adjustments, the Anacostia River continues to flow by and offers us access to the beauty and quiet of nature. I hope that the river’s constant presence and quiet waters can be a comfort and a constant to you all in these changing times, as they are for me.

Best wishes to you all, stay safe and healthy, remember your neighbors, and say thanks for the frontline workers who are out there every day.



Michael Stevens, AICP
Capitol Riverfront BID