Councilmember Tommy Wells Awarded His Very Own Brickie

Tommy Wells stands among his staff of past and present as Charles Allen thanks him for his service to Ward 6. Photo: Madeleine Deason

Councilmember Tommy Wells received a special award at the Eighth Annual Livable Walkable Awards at the Atlas Performing Arts Center last Wednesday night.

Wells started the awards eight years ago as a way to recognize residents of the Ward 6 who are making a difference in the community.

“I think communities need to come together to celebrate themselves,” said Wells. “It’s a great way to show commonality and common purpose for a great place to live together.”

The nominations for the awards come from community members. Wells reads them all and selects the winners, Wells’ spokeswoman Julia Robey Christian said.

The Livable Walkable Awards are also known as Brickies because they are, well, bricks. The face of the brick has a small plaque on it.

“You’re not going to see any award where the awardees are handed a brick,” Wells said.

This was Wells’ last Livable Walkable Awards as Ward 6 councilmember. Charles Allen, Well’s chief of staff, will take over the position in January.

Towards the end of the event, Allen called up to the stage all of Well’s current and former staff to help him present a special award to Wells.

The special award is a new Livable Walkable Award, made especially for Wells, called the Public Servant Award.

Allen said that he and the other staff were proud of Wells’ public service and contribution to the community.

“I dare you find someone else who has left this big of a mark in eight years on the council,” he said.

Allen also confirmed that he will continue the awards. “There will be a ninth,” he said.

Wells said he is confident that he is leaving the ward in good hands and is ready to move on to the next stage of his career.

He said that the fun part about being on the council was being able to do events like this and give back to the community. “I will miss that part.”

Other Awards

The Community Organization Award was awarded to the Capitol Hill Community Foundation, a non-profit that has directed more than $6.2 million for projects and grants to strengthen the Captial Hill community. The foundation was founded by Steven L. Cymrot who died last week.  The foundation’s Grants Committee Chairman Stephanie Deutsch said, “I think if there’s one thing we all got from Steve, it was that sense of sharing, and that sense of joy, that isn’t it wonderful to be able to do something to help make your community stronger.”

The Neighbor Award was awarded to John E. Hill, a community activist from the Rosedale neighborhood. He formed the Gale/Kramer St./Rosedale Civic Committee with several of his neighbors and contacts DC agencies to request needed services for his community. Wells said that since he was elected in 2007, Hill has always been “relentless on behalf of his neighborhood.”

The Business Award was awarded to Dr. Matthew Antkowiak and Dr. Chris Miller of Atlas Vet, a full-service veterinary hospital on H Street. They have a loyal local client base and have grown from six to 30 employees in 2 ½ years. “The community support is why we’re successful,” Antowiak said.

The Public Service Award was awarded to Officer Tyrone Hardy of the Metropolitan Police Department, First District. He has been with the department for more than 25 years and helped shut down over 100 crack houses in the city. Hardy said “we’re not going to stop” working hard to make a safer community.

The Civic Pride Award was awarded to the Arena Stage, a not-for-profit theater known for their theatre in the round. They have also co-sponsored the DC Job Fair with Tommy Wells for three years. “It’s such a powerful experience when you see thousands of people lined up” to attend the job fair, Wells said.