Ward 5 has among the highest positive COVID-19 cases and deaths in the District. We need to empower neighbors with the best information about the District’s fight against COVID-19 and support neighbors who need help accessing food, medical care or other services. We should also continue to support front-line workers and ensure they have the personal protective equipment they need.
Sean Barry understands how the health care system works at both the state and federal levels. As a hospital group spokesperson, he works to secure masks and life-saving equipment where they are needed most. In the DC Government, he fought to end the opioid epidemic and defend President Obama’s Affordable Care Act.
Public Safety and Policing
Our streets should be safe, inviting and accessible for all, regardless of race, age, disability or any other factor. We need to treat gun violence like a public health issue and work with MPD to recover, halt and confiscate illegal guns; work with everyone to prevent violent crime before it happens and solve it when it does. At the same time, we need to renew our commitment to combat systemic injustices in our city and nation. And, we need to connect those in need of behavioral health services to treatment, not jail.
Sean Barry championed the Pre-Arrest Diversion program serving Starburst Plaza, working closely with the Department of Behavioral Health, Department of Human Services and Metropolitan Police Department. He also supported the implementation of comprehensive behavioral health supports in DC public schools.
Neighborhood-serving businesses took a hit during the response to COVID-19 and need our support. We must encourage and support expansion of current loan and grant opportunities for small neighborhood-supporting businesses, nurture new business opportunities on Bladensburg and Benning Roads; and work with the Mayor and Council to ensure DC receives its fair share of federal relief.
Sean Barry was appointed by Mayor Bowser to represent the business community on the Age-Friendly DC 2023 Task Force. These institutions are vital to a thriving neighborhood and city.
The recent purchase of Hechinger Mall is an opportunity, but we need to pursue this redevelopment in the right way — with neighborhood-serving retail, housing for various income levels, less asphalt and better access for people walking to shop.
Sean Barry earned a minor in City and Regional Planning from UC Berkeley and has served as a planning commissioner. He knows we can welcome new development in the right way.
Housing and Land Use
We need to both welcome new neighbors while also helping current residents stay in their homes. Recent changes in zoning offer an opportunity to get this balance right.
Sean Barry worked closely with DC agencies to support affordable housing and reduce family homelessness. He championed the initiative to address housing insecurity by closing DC General and opening new short-term family housing programs in all eight Wards.
Environment and Open Space
We are fortunate to have access to the National Arboretum right in our backyard, along with tree-lined streets. We need to improve access to the Arboretum by successfully petitioning the USDA to reopen the M Street entrance for pedestrians and bicyclists (not cars). We also need to continue efforts to reduce waste and clean up the Anacostia River and explore options for additional parks and playgrounds closer to our neighborhood.
Sean Barry served as spokesperson for the Arbor Day Foundation, promoting the Tree City USA program and other initiatives. He understands the importance of green space and urban forestry because it has been a part of his work and life.
We need to protect the X2 and X9 bus lines, increase circulation on the X8 and improve the quality of our sidewalks and streets. We should also explore installing additional speed bumps and traffic cameras to cut down on speeding in our residential areas. This includes an immediate traffic safety assessment from DDOT of 17th Street, particularly between Maryland and M.
Sean Barry got his start in DC as a transportation advocate at Smart Growth America and the Transportation for America campaign. As a bike commuter and X2 and X9 rider, he understands our neighborhood’s diverse transportation needs first-hand.
Our neighbors need high-quality, dignified city services. Whether calling 311 or 911, you should get a swift response and timely follow-up from the appropriate agency. There should be no difference in quality of service to this ANC compared to any other in the district.
Sean Barry led efforts to educate the public about DC Health Link, homeless services and cold emergency resources while working for the DC Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services. He understands the District’s public programs, how they work and how to ensure residents receive the benefits to which they are entitled.