We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Just 3 percent of people reading this are paying members of City Paper. They make our reporting free for everyone. Will you join them?


COVID-19 has taken too many individuals from us at too soon a time. More than 540 D.C. residents have died of the coronavirus disease: Maria Morales, a grandmother. Noel Sinkiat, a veteran nurse at Howard University Hospital. And Deon Crowell, a man at DC Jail who was looking to prove his innocence during his long-awaited trial. 

The latest death is a familiar face to those working or observing D.C. politics: Allen Lew. Lew died Tuesday, June 23 of complications from COVID-19 at the age of 69. 

Lew passed away in a hospital in New York City, but spent the meat of his career in D.C., where he wore many hats over time. He was CEO of what was then the D.C. Sports and Entertainment Commission and is now Events DC, where he oversaw many projects including the construction of Nats stadium. Mayor Adrian Fenty tapped him to lead the new Office of Public Education Facilities Modernization, where he was tasked with repairing crumbling public schools. And then he served as city administrator under Mayor Vincent Gray, where he got it done.  

“If we judge our life by how much we do to improve the lives of others, few will match Allen Lew,” said Mayor Muriel Bowser in a statement.         

City Paper’s Tom Sherwood writes about a moment that encapsulates the kind of person Lew was:

“Damn, another one of those interminable D.C. Council hearings in the equally bland and depressing Room 412 of the John A. Wilson Building.

Allen Lew, D.C.’s City Administrator, sat alone at the witness table, no aides, no notes, no slides, no graphics. 

Hunched over the table, Lew would occasionally look up and respond politely to the councilmembers looming above him from 25 feet away. 

A sneak peek under the witness table revealed Lew, in between answers, furiously tapping his Blackberry, getting things done. 

After the hearing, Lew mock-begged that NBC4 not use the video we had recorded of his subterfuge. But Lew couldn’t help but smile at his school boy-like success in making better use of his time.”

Read Sherwood’s full remembrance here.  —Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)

CITY DESK LINKS, by Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • There is no mayoral press conference today. 
  • Today D.C. reported four additional deaths and 34 new positive cases of COVID-19, bringing the total numbers to 541 deaths and 10,128 cases. [EOM]
  • D.C. police, along with city officials, clear encampment at Black Lives Matter Plaza. And clearing an encampment with no warning could be illegal. [DCist, Twitter, Twitter]
  • Virginia could enter Phase 3 July 1. D.C. suburbs in Northern Virginia might join the rest of the state this time. [BizJournal]
  • 18th Street NW in Adams Morgan will become a pedestrian zone this weekend. [Washingtonian

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Mayor Muriel Bowser is facing pressure on two fronts: from President Trump and the D.C. Council. [Post]
  • Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton on the Lincoln Park Emancipation statute: Designers “didn’t take into account the view of African Americans. It shows.” [Twitter]
  • Brooke Pinto supports bringing the NFL back to D.C. if they change the team’s name. [Twitter, WSJ]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com) 

  • Captain Cookie and the Milkman’s newest shop opens July 2. [WCP]
  • Thamee launches Sunday Service with La Tejana breakfast tacos by day and Burmese fried chicken by night. [WCP]
  • Chef Kevin Tien splits from Emilie’s on Capitol Hill. [Washingtonian]
  • Cafe Soleil closes after 12 years. [PoPville]
  • Baltimore’s Atlas Restaurant Group selectively enforced its dress code again, apologizes to Black mother and son. [Post]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The Kennedy Center has canceled most of its previously announced programming through the end of the year. [DCist]
  • Arena Stage’s Inside Voices film features youth responding to the COVID-19 crisis. [DC Metro Theater Arts]
  • The Smithsonian Folklife Festival is online this year, and it starts today. [Smithsonian]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • MLB is officially back, with players expected to report for a 60-game season starting either July 23 or 24. But as a reminder, that doesn’t mean the pandemic is over. Several Colorado Rockies players tested positive for COVID-19 after workouts at their stadium. [CBS Sports]
  • Jack Del Rio, the Washington NFL team’s defensive coordinator, spent his day yesterday sharing a fabricated image about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, expressing his support for Donald Trump, and retweeting a video that argues the president isn’t racist. [Newsweek, NBC Sports Washington]
  • The Nats have signed all six of their 2020 draft picks. [Post]
  • No surprises for the Spirit, who will have 26 players, including World Cup hero Rose Lavelle, available for the NWSL Challenge Cup. The team’s opening match will be this Saturday against the Chicago Red Stars. [Black & Red United]

CITY LIGHTS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

We’re bringing you the best things to watch, read, make, and do from the comfort of your home while social distancing.

Sign up: To get District Line Daily—or any of our other email newsletters—sent straight to your mailbox, click here. Send tips, ideas, and comments to newsletters@washingtoncitypaper.com.