Published on: Wednesday, April 1, 2020 News

A Message from Mayor Stewart on Taking Care of Each Other. Taking Care of Yourself.

The current health crisis impacts all of us. To face it, we need each other’s support, patience, and compassion, which requires taking time to take care of yourself. As we enter the upcoming week and continue check-in and care for others in our community, make sure you are also checking-in and caring for yourself.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) provides great resources. Here are some things they suggest you can do to support yourself:

  • Take breaks from watching, reading, or listening to news stories, including social media. Hearing about the pandemic repeatedly can be upsetting.
  • Take care of your body. Take deep breaths, stretch, or meditate.
  • Try to eat healthy, well-balanced meals,
  • exercise regularly,
  • get plenty of sleep,
  • and avoid alcohol and drugs.
  • Make time to unwind. Try to do some other activities you enjoy.
  • Connect with others. Talk with people you trust about your concerns and how you are feeling.


This week my daughter Bridget and I took some time together to try a new recipe – 45-minute pretzels. We want to share the video with you.

Please let us know how you are caring for yourself.

Back to helping others.

This week the City staff has been hard at work ensuring essential services continue and putting in place new programs to provide assistance to those in need.

Three items I want to highlight this week:

  • Takoma Park Citywide Small Business Mini-Grant Program: The grants provide emergency assistance to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The City will issue grants of up to $3,000 per business for their immediate needs. Residents can donate here and businesses can apply here.
  • Programs online for all ages: The library has been recording storytelling and Circle Time, which you can catch on Facebook and YouTube; the Recreation Department has started a new series, Recreation Approved Resources, you can check out on Facebook, and transport yourself to amazing places all over the world, and Takoma Arts programs are online! If you know of any friends or neighbors without wifi access please check out this information from Comcast. They have made all their hotspots in public places available and free to the public. You can find a map here at the locations in the city.
  • Phone a Neighbor: We are up and running. Feeling like you want to do more to help your neighbors during this public health crisis? Sign up for the Rec Dept’s “Phone a Neighbor Program”. We are looking for seniors who want to receive occasional phone calls and the residents who can volunteer to make them. To sign up please email or call Ms. Paula at 240-687-4132.

The staff has also updated the COVID-19 information page on the City website. Please check it regularly as information is changing.

The City Council continues its work during the crisis.

We will have our second virtual meeting on April 1 which will be broadcast on all the usual channels — on City TV (RCN – Ch. 13, HD Channel 1060; Comcast/Xfinity – Channel 13; Verizon Fios – Channel 28), on the City Council Video Page of the City Website; on YouTube, or on Facebook.

You can check out the agenda here and sign up to join the virtual meeting to give public comments. This is a first for us so please be patient as we try it out this week and hope to improve upon it in the future.

On April 6th the City Manager will present the FY 2021 budget. Please stay tuned for ways the public will be able to ask questions and engage in the budget process this year. As we consider our budget this year, we will be discussing the impact and costs to the City of the COVID-19 crisis and how we must react in the short term, as well as plan for the future of our community. More to come in the upcoming weeks on the budget!

Please remember as we go through the next few weeks and months to take care of each other and to take care of yourselves. Our community needs each and every one of us working together to face the crisis before us.

TkPk Together.