Wilmington City Council Newsletter September 17, 2021

City Council Proclaims Hispanic Heritage Month 

The Latin American Community Center (LACC) President & CEO Maria Matos, Board of Directors, and staff members joined Wilmington City Council President Ernest “Trippi” Congo, 5thDistrict Council Member Bregetta Fields, Council Members At-Large Maria Cabrera and James Spadola, and other elected officials and community members at the 300 block of North Harrison Street in Wilmington, Delaware on Friday, September 10th, 2021, to proclaim Hispanic Heritage Month with a press conference.

From September 15th to October 15th our nation celebrates Hispanic Heritage Month. The United States began observing Hispanic Heritage Week on Sept. 15th in 1968 to honor and appreciate the contributions Hispanics made in every part of American life, and most importantly to celebrate the anniversary of independence for Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The celebration was expanded to a month in 1988 in order to honor all Hispanics and Latin-Americans from Spanish-speaking parts of the world.

Wilmington City Council presented two resolutions, one in English and one in Spanish, to the LACC in honor of the generations of Hispanic Americans who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. Our very own City Council Member At-Large Maria Cabrera is the first elected Hispanic Woman on Wilmington City Council who is serving her second term.

The Latin American Community Center is the largest multi-service agency for Latinos in Delaware.  The agency provides a broad spectrum of services, from early childhood education to specialized programs for seniors.  Services are offered along a continuum of care to meet the community’s diverse needs and promote an enhanced quality of life.

Photos by Yesenia Taveras, Wilmington City Council Director of Communications.

3rd District News

In an effort to reduce criminal activity and energy consumption, 3rd District Council Member Zanthia Oliver sponsored the first “Light Up the Eastside” Event in Partnership with East Side Civic Association and The HELP Initiative, Inc. on Wednesday, September 15, 2021. Over 300 Energy Efficient LED Lights were installed to residents homes with outdoor fixtures.

Light Up the Eastside is designed to improve public safety by providing residents in high-risk places for criminal behavior during nighttime areas within the City of Wilmington with Dusk to Dawn Energy Efficient LED lights for their front porches. Council Member Zanthia Oliver sponsored the event in an effort to ensure that residents within the third district have LED lights outfitted within their neighborhoods, and to beautify and create safer neighborhoods. You can view our featured video produced by our government access channel, WITN22, here.

5th Anniversary of our 3 Fallen Firefighter Heroes

Wilmington City Council would like to take this opportunity to pause and reflect on three of our very own firefighters who lost their lives 5 years ago. On September 24, 2016, our Wilmington Fire Department lost Captain Christopher M. Leach, Lieutenant Jerry W. Fickes, Jr. and Lieutenant Ardythe Denise “Ardy” Hope to a house fire attempting to save the lives of others they believed to be trapped inside. As we look back on that day, we are reminded of the families, coworkers and friends who lost three of our bravest firefighters who gave the ultimate sacrifice. The house was demolished by the fire and the lot remained vacant. It was during that time that Wilmington Firefighters Union, Local 1590, sought to secure the property located at 1927 Lakeview Road as a permanent memorial to the fallen heroes who gave their lives for the City they loved. Let us take a moment on September 24th to remember the sacrifices, honor the lives, and most importantly acknowledge the contributions Captain Christopher M. Leach, Lieutenant Jerry W. Fickes, Jr. and Lieutenant Ardythe Denise “Ardy” Hope made to our City and to the Wilmington Fire Department. A Lakeview Memorial Dedication Ceremony will take place on Friday, September 24, 2021, at 1pm to honor our fallen heroes.

Assistance for Residents and Businesses Affected By Hurricane Ida

More than 200 people were rescued after the Brandywine River reached record levels during Hurricane Ida. Photo courtesy of the Wilmington Fire Department.
As many as 275 property owners were directly impacted by the devastating storm and floods following Hurricane Ida. More than 200 people were rescued after the Brandywine River reached record levels, and our community came together to donate food, clothing, water and household items to those living in homes that were flooded by the Brandywine River. Thankfully no major injuries were reported.As we continue to work to recover from the aftermath of Hurricane Ida, Mayor Mike Purzycki and the City’s emergency management team today issued updated information to further assist residents and businesses affected by Hurricane Ida. The information is being issued in partnership with the Governor’s Office, the Delaware Emergency Management Agency (DEMA), and the Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS). On-going support services includes the following:

  • The City of Wilmington Funding for Homeowners, homeowners who are still experiencing problems with certain essential services, including plumbing/mechanical work for the restoration of gas service, electrical inspections, damage to HVAC systems, hot water heaters, and electrical panels must contact the City by calling the 3-1-1 service line to check if eligibility requirements are met and to make arrangements for needed funding.
  • Team Rubicon, a national disaster response organization made up of volunteer military veterans, is bringing teams of volunteers from across the United States to Wilmington to assist residents directly affected by Hurricane Ida in conjunction with the City’s Emergency Management Office. For at least another week, trained volunteers will help homeowners who lack insurance, or are underinsured, with services such as mucking out, tarping, moisture control, mold mitigation, and more. To request assistance, homeowners are urged to call the new toll-free Crisis Cleanup Hotline at 1-844-965-1386.
  • The WRK Group – The Teen Warehouse, REACH Riverside and Kingswood Community Center – will be collecting and distributing food and other supplies to the community this week.  Donations will be distributed from The Warehouse’s food pantry, located at 1121 Thatcher Street, until 6:00 p.m. today, Friday, September 17, and Saturday, September 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The group is no longer accepting clothing donations, though monetary donations are still being accepted. Donate today at reachriverside.org/donate.
  • DEMA’s Flood Cleanup Assistance Program, funded by the state’s Emergency Management Resilience Fund, will provide cleanup services for qualifying households through the Milford Housing Development Corporation.  These services may include: mucking, removal of damaged drywall, moisture control of affected areas, minor structural repairs, and insurance deductible assistance. Residents should apply for DEMA’s Flood Assistance Program by calling: 1-844-413-0038. Eligibility includes those living in single households earning less than $52,000 per year, with a higher limit for families. Individuals will also need to show proof of residency in the area outlined here: Along the East side of Northeast Boulevard to 17th Street, from 17th to Bowers, from Bowers to E. 12th Street, from E. 12th Street to Pullman and from Pullman to Northeast Boulevard.
  • The City of Wilmington Crisis Cleanup Hotline is offering a toll-free Crisis Cleanup Hotline (1-844-965-1386) to serve as a clearinghouse for all the muck out, tear out, and water removal needs of those directly affected by the remnants of Hurricane Ida. Residents needing assistance can be connected with local volunteer groups that may assist with: cutting fallen trees, removing drywall, flooring and appliances, tarping roofs, and mold mitigation. The Crisis Cleanup Hotline will remain open with extended hours until Friday, October 1, 2021. You can click here for more details.
Wilmington City Council expresses their heartfelt thanks to the Mayor, Governor, City Officials, First Responders, Public Works personnel, DEMA, DHSS, the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and State and local agencies for joining forces to provide assistance. Your efforts and commitment to helping Wilmington residents recover during these historic times truly shows that we care, and that we are all in this together.
Media Contact: 
Yesenia Taveras, Wilmington City Council Director of Communications
 302-576-2585 | ytaveras@wilmingtonde.gov
City Council Website: www.wilmingtoncitycouncil.com
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