ChecklistDC presents the most comprehensive guide to getting up-to-speed with everything DC. This includes a 2-minute civics lesson, neighborhood blogs, associations, listservs, and the best blogs for food, history, and more!
Like most transplants, we felt a bit lonely after moving to DC. In addition to going out, getting involved in the local community was a great way to feel connected to our new homes.
The District of Columbia is divided into eight wards; and that’s how we chose to organize our list. Fun Fact: Regardless of size, each ward contains approximately the same number of residents.
Defunct blogs are included in this list, and indicated with
strikethrough text, because we felt that they remain valuable resources.
⭐Want to add to this list? Leave a comment or send us an email at [email protected].
Quick Guide to DC Politics
#1 Does my vote matter in DC?
YES! Too many people move to DC but keep their voter registration in another state so they can vote in a swing state during Presidential elections. Don’t be Jared Kushner. Make sure that your voter registration is up-to-date and accurate.
Local elections have more impact on our day-to-day lives than the Presidential election. Fun Fact: The 13 members of the DC Council have almost as much power as the Mayor. Together, they can can pass laws to regulate how much your salary goes to taxes, the amount of Metro money that your company gives you, and whether certain plants should be legalized in DC.
#2 Which party should I register for?
DC has closed primaries which means that registered party members can vote in their own party’s primary. DC is a blue town so this means that the winner, usually a Democrat, is whoever wins the party ticket during primary elections.
HEADS UP! Primary elections are on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018. Eligible voters not registered in the District of Columbia can register and declare their party affiliation during early voting or on election day.
#3 What is a Ward?
Wards are how the DC government divides up the District. DC has eight wards, each with approximately 75,000 residents. Each Ward elects their own Councilmember. Fun Fact: Your ward number is the same as your parking zone!
#4 What is an ANC?
ANC stands for Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. There are 37 ANCs in DC. An ANC is a non-partisan, neighborhood body made up of locally elected representatives called Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners. This is a unique feature to DC.
ANC Commissioners are your government representative at the most micro level of local government. Commissioners serve two-year terms and receive no salary. Each Commissioner represents approximately 2,000 residents.
#5 Who represents me?
As a resident of DC, you are represented by the following government officials. Salaries are included to urge you to use your local government representative as a resource—your tax dollars are already paying for them. As someone who is passionate about community activism, I know for a fact that they would be delighted to hear from you…and help with your problem!
Listed by # of residents represented, from lowest to highest:
- ANC Commissioner: 296 positions, unpaid
- ANC Chair: 41 positions, unpaid
- DC Councilmember: 8 positions, $134,852/year
- DC Councilmember, At-large: 4 positions, $137,144/year
- DC Council Chairman: 1 position, $190,000/year
- Mayor: 1 position, $200,000/year
- Congressman, non-voting: 1 position, $174,000/year
W1 Neighborhood Blogs
ParkviewDC, a detailed neighborhood blog written by Kent Boese, Ward 1 ANC Chairman and ANC Commissioner for 1A. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
New Columbia Heights, a neighborhood blog. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
14th&You, a neigborhood blog. (Last updated September 25, 2012) A Shaw Thing, a neighborhood blog written by a 20-something Australian of relatively privileged background, in my effort to develop a “pro-poor gentrification” working model, whilst living in the Shaw neighborhood of Washington, DC. (Last updated August 21, 2007) Fifth and Oh, views on local and world events and daily life from a “hot spot” in the Shaw district of Washington, DC. (Last updated January 9, 2009) Left for Ledroit, a blog covering various and sundry topic of neighborhood interest regarding LeDroit Park, the surrounding neighborhoods, and Washington in general. (Last updated October 24, 2016)
The 42 Bus, a blog written from the windows of the 42 bus (Last updated March 11, 2016) Renew Shaw, a blog detailing all great things the neighborhood has to offer with a focus on promoting Shaw as a great place to live, work, play, shop, and dine. (Last updated October 01, 2012)
North Columbia Heights Civic Association
Columbia Heights Civic Association
Kalorama Citizens Association
Ledroit Park Civic Association
Meridian Hill Neighborhood Association
Historic Mount Pleasant
Park View United Neighborhood Association
Pleasant Plains Civic Association
W2 Neighborhood Blogs
Penn Quarter: PQ Living, a regular news and information site focused on living, working, going out and generally enjoying all that downtown Washington DC’s East End has to offer. (Last updated March 30, 2018)
Georgetown Metropolitan, a community news blog written by Topher Mathews. He has been a Georgetown resident since 2003. (Last updated March 27, 2018)
Logan Circle News, an electronic neighborhood watch, maintained by the Logan Circle Community Association and focused on community events and issues surrounding Logan Circle. (Last updated June 8, 2011)
W3 Neighborhood Blogs
Ward3Vision is an active group of residents partnering with the Coalition for Smarter Growth to ensure that new development is positive and forward-thinking, and brings new life and vibrancy to our neighborhoods. We believe our community will benefit from an honest dialog with true inclusiveness and citizen engagement. (Last updated February 5, 2018)
Ward3DC, ongoing news and commentary about the happenings in Upper Northwest Washington, DC, including American University Park, Chevy Chase, Cleveland Park, Friendship Heights, Foxhall, Glover Park, Palisades, Spring Valley, Tenleytown and Woodley Park. (Last updated September 18, 2016) Wesley Heights Neighbors, a website intended to keep neighbors informed of neighborhood events. (Last updated September 28, 2016)
Chevy Chase Citizens Association
Cleveland Park Civic Association
Forest Hills Connection
Foxhall Community Citizens Association
Glover Park DC
Glover Park Citizens Association
Palisades Citizens Association
Spring Valley Neighborhood Association
Tenleytown Neighborhood Association
Woodley Park Community Association
W4 Neighborhood Blog
Petworth News, neighborhood blog of local news, events, real estate and information about the Petworth area in Washington DC. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
Restore Shepherd Parkway, a blog about Shepherd Parkway because all residents of the District of Columbia deserve access to clean, safe parks. (Last updated Tuesday, March 20, 2018)
Brightwood History Project Blog, a personal blog with historical photos and stories. (Last updated November 12, 2014)
Brightwood Community Association
Crestwood Citizens Association
Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association
Manor Park Citizens Association
Shepherd Park Citizens Association
Takoma Neighborhood Association
Main Street Takoma
Buy Nothing Brightwood Park/Columbia Heights/Petworth, 200+ members
Petworth Social Club, 600+ members
Greater Petworth, 1,000+ members
W5 Neighborhood Blogs
H Street: The X2 Bus, a personal blog written from the windows of the X2 bus in the District of Columbia. Based in Carver Langston. (Last updated March 7, 2018)
In Shaw, a neighborhood blog focused on Wards 5 & 6. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
Bloomingdale Neighborhood, blog for the Bloomingdale neighborhood in Washington, DC. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
Brookland Bridge, a blog to chronicle the happenings in Brookland, a neighborhood in Northeast Washington DC. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
Fort Lincoln: Gateway to the City, This site is intended to be a source for all residents to receive updates for not only Fort Lincoln Redevelopment but also for redevelopment along the New York Ave. Corridor which will soon serve as a another primary retail destination for Fort Lincoln Residents. (Last updated April 1, 2018)
Bloomingdale (for now), a neighborhood blog. (Last updated November 5, 2009) Life on the Edgewood, blog all about the Edgewood Neighborhood of Washington, DC (Last updated September 26, 2016)
Arboretum Neighborhood Association
Bloomingdale Civic Association
Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association
East Shaw: Bates Area Civic Association
Eckington DC Living
Edgewood Civic Association
Fort Lincoln Civic Association
Langston Civic Association
Michigan Park Citizens Association
Trinidad Neighborhood Association
Woodridge Civic Association
W6 Neighborhood Blogs
Capitol Hill Corner, a news blog focusing on the activities of Capitol Hill’s ANCs, (6A, 6B, 6C, and 6D), the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee, and new development/businesses. (Last updated April 1, 2018)
H Street: Frozen Tropics, a look at what’s going on in Trinidad, on H Street, and in the larger area north of Capitol Hill. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
Navy Yard: JDLand, a neighborhood blog written by JD who work for the Washington Post, but as a computer geek. (Last updated March 29 2018)
SW Waterfront: The Southwester, a news site serving the waterfront communities of southwest and navy yard. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
SW Waterfront: The Little Quadrant that Could, a blog dedicated to the good, the bad, and the ugly in the smallest quadrant in DC. (Last updated February 20, 2018)
Ward 6: Sociology in My Neighborhood, a blog about gentrification and displacement, written by a Ward 6 resident sociologist.
H Street Great Street, a neighborhood blog written by a Capitol Hill resident with an avid interest in the burgeoning H Street area. (Last updated February 14, 2017)
Quest for Quiet, a neighborhood blog documenting a community’s quest for the right to pease and quiet near H Street NE. (Last updated October 21, 2008)
W7 Neighborhood Blogs
Life in the Village, a blog written by Ms. V, a 30-something urban planner/civil engineer and community activist in the Washington, DC Metro. (Last updated July 21, 2014)
River East Idealist, an insider’s perspective on Washington D.C.’s Washington Highlands Community and beyond. (Last updated August 12, 2012) Ward 7 Connections, Ward 7 Connections offers an opportunity for information sharing and discussion on issues of relevance to Ward 7. (Last updated December 7, 2012)
The Greater Ward 7
Wards 7 and 8 Community Calendar
Deanwood Community Association
Dupont Park Civic Association
Eastland Gardens Civic Association
Fairlawn Citizens Association
Hillcrest Community Civic Association
Kenilworth: History Booklet
Friends of Kingman Park
Marshall Heights Civic Association
Marshall Heights Community Development Organization
Penn Branch Citizens Civic Association
River Terrace Community Organization
Ward 7 Business Partnership
The Greater Ward Seven, 945 members
W8 Neighborhood Blogs
Congress Heights on the Rise, realizing the huge void of information about Ward 8 in general, the goal of CHotR is to bring attention and focus to a Ward 8 neighborhood relatively unheard of beyond its borders. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
Bellevue DC, at it’s core, the bellevuedc.com blog will be a place to easily find info and resources centric to Bellevue and its immediately surrounding environs. (Last updated November 22, 2016) Live Anacostia, a comprehensive online resource for the great events, places to eat, and festivities to attend in and around Historic Anacostia. (Last updated October 23, 2017)
EastBankDC, Although the viewpoint of East Bank DC is grounded physically on the east side of the city, it is also a metaphor for a way of thinking, one which recognizes the past and seeks to move forward with the interests of all groups represented. (Last updated April 22, 2016) And Now, Anacostia, provide a casual and visual place for others to see Anacostia. (Last updated October 27, 2011) Tales From The Sharrows: Irreverent observations from an urban cyclist. (Last updated July 10, 2017)
Barry Farms Listserv
The Great Ward Eight, 4.7k members
Art and Culture
Chicks Dig Poetry, occasional postcards from Washington, D.C. writer Sandra Beasley. (Last updated April 1, 2018)
Daily Campello Art News, F. Lennox Campello’s art news, information, gallery openings, commentary, criticism, happenings, opportunities, and everything associated with the global visual arts scene with a special focus on the Greater Washington, DC area. (Last updated March 31, 2018)
DC Rocks, a native account of mostly rock music and other things very local to Washington, DC. (Last updated April 1, 2018)
DC Theatre Scene, DC Theatre Scene goes where you go – whether it is to a theatre in the DC area, Baltimore or New York, to a festival, to the movies or to your digital screen. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
East City Art: DC’s Alternative Art Source. (Last updated March 10, 2018)
Painterly Visions, Artist, Anne Marchand delivers news from the Washington, DC Arts Scene. (Last updated March 20, 2018)
The Library of Congress is Great, (Last updated March 26, 2018)
BadWolf DC (Last updated November 30, 2017) We Love DC, Your Life Beyond the Capitol (Last updated April 22, 2015) Why.I.Hate.DC (Last updated May 28, 2010)
DMV Dining, (Last updated March 6, 2018)
The Hungry Lobbyist, (Last updated March 19, 2018)
What Micky Eats, (Last updated March 23, 2018)
Spicy DC, sharing stories about unique spices, herbs, botanicals, and other specialty food items from Bazaar Spices @ Union Station. (Last updated August 31, 2017)
ActiveLifeDC: Promote fitness-related events and activities. (Last updated March 31, 2018)
Run Washington: The runner’s source for the D.C. area. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
The DC Bike Blogger, (Last updated March 23, 2018)
WashCycle: Cycling advocacy in the nation’s capital. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
A Girl and Her Bike: Adventures in Cycling. Mom, Cop & Everything in Between. (Last updated October 24, 2017)
Architect of the Capital (Last updated January 10, 2018)
Boundary Stones, WETA’s local history blog. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
Ghosts of DC, the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. (Last updated March 19, 2018)
Streets of Washington (Last updated March 13, 2018)
The House History Man (Last updated February 23, 2018)
Washington DC History Resources, consolidate access to resources for those interested in the History of the District of Columbia. (Last updated March 22, 2018)
Popville (Dozens of daily updates)
Capitol Hill: East of the River, a community news site.
Capitol Hill: Hill Rag, a community news site.
The Hill is Home, serving the Capitol Hill neighborhood as an online news source designed to build community, connect neighbors, share news, and celebrate Washington, DC’s Capitol Hill neighborhood.
RuninDC, (Last updated April 1, 2018)
Unsorted: Everything Else
Coop DC: Building a cooperative network in DC. (Last updated March 16, 2018)
DC Address Coordinates: A blog regarding the official address database for Washington, DC. (Last updated January 25, 2018)
DC Freecycle (free stuff)
DC Recycler: a guide to recycling and greening in Washington, DC. (Last updated August 10, 2017)
EducationDC: by, for, and about everyone interested in public education in DC. (Last updated March 28, 2018)
K Street Magazine, (Last updated March 29, 2018)
Urban Places and Spaces, focuses on transit issues. (Last updated April 2, 2018)
The Bottomless Mimosa, (Last updated November 30, 2017)