Photo by Darrow Montgomery

Goodbye to the neighbor that never was. Seriously. Donald Trump frequented one restaurant in his four years in the District, and it was the one inside his hotel. 

It’s not surprising that he was a stranger to local D.C. Only 4 percent of Washingtonians voted for Trump in 2016. In the four years that followed, Trump fought over control of the city with Mayor Muriel Bowser, and his idea for a photo op at St. John’s Church led to the tear-gassing of protesters. His immigration policy sought to uproot long-time residents. Oh, and the dating scene for locals got more complicated when his administration came to town. Unsurprisingly, Trump was met with cheers from a few when he departed the White House one last time this morning. 

Hello to former resident, Joe Biden. (For curious minds, Biden was reportedly a regular at Pete’s Apizza and one of the first customers at Delaware-based sandwich chain Capriotti’s.) Most locals are relieved to have a new resident at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 92 percent of Washingtonians voted for Biden and Kamala Harris, a Howard University graduate. 

But not everyone is holding their breath for radical change. “I don’t think any changes will be made. I feel wards 7 and 8 have been neglected under our local administration under Muriel Bowser, so I don’t expect the federal administration to come in and save a neglected part of the city,” Angel Gregorio, of Benning Road, tells DCist.      

The inauguration like no other has already commenced, with events currently underway or finished depending on when you read this late-morning newsletter. There is no getting around the fact that District life has been disrupted to prepare an inauguration that followed an attack on the U.S. Capitol. The militarized perimeter is 4.6 square miles, but National Guard members are as far north as Malcolm X Park. DC Health even canceled three days of home visits to residents who tested positive for COVID-19, meaning contact tracers cannot tell residents who are hard to reach by phone that they tested positive and connect them to resources. A downtown school with students reporting for in-person learning also temporarily shut down, according to the Post’s education reporter. And plenty of businesses have temporarily shut down during a time that’s thought of as “the four-year sweepstakes” that hotels and restaurants usually look forward to. (At a Tuesday press conference, Bowser said her team is looking into whether they can direct federal dollars to impacted businesses.)    

A few social services are shut down on Inauguration Day, including the Department of Employment Services call center and meal distribution sites through DC Public Schools. To see an exhaustive list of closures, CLICK HERE. It’s unclear how quickly the District will demilitarize. Last week, Bowser said to expect a “new normal.” She also said she “doesn’t like fences.”          

A bit of hope: Biden for D.C. statehood. When asked about her conversations with Biden about statehood, Bowser said “he said something to the effect like ‘kid, you know I’ve always been there with you. You know I’ve always supported statehood.’” 

In light of the Georgia results and Capitol insurrection, Bowser is asking Congress to send Biden statehood legislation within the first 100 days. Biden has previously told the 51 for 51 campaign that he supports passing statehood legislation by temporarily abolishing the filibuster. Although, Biden has never made that commitment again.    

What can YOU, resident who has no senator to call, do for statehood? According to DC Vote executive director Bo Shuff, call family and friends that don’t live here and tell them to call their representatives about statehood. It could also be as simple as putting up a statehood sign in your yard, for all the incoming Biden administration workers to see.  

Background: For more ideas, check out this article on how to get involved with statehood from last June. 

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FYI: City Paper is accepting readers’ questions about the District. Ask us anythingANYTHING—about local life and we’ll do our best to answer them in our February issue.  

—Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com

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