Most Southwest residents and visitors recognize the Southwest Business Improvement District (SWBID) by the “men and women in blue” you see around the neighborhood. The team sweeps the curbs, removes trash, plants new trees, adds new neighborhood planters, and works daily to keep our community clean and safe.

Although “clean and safe” is a common motto for all BIDs, the SWBID team does so much more for the Southwest neighborhood. A BID is simply a tool used to help stakeholders collectively plan, fund, and implement projects and supplementary services in their community. It is up to each BID and its stakeholders to determine what that means for their community.

The SWBID team works on projects that bring excitement, activity, and pride to Southwest DC. They work with neighbors to host events like MarketSW, Duck Drop, Sunday Suppers, Light Up SW, and Pocket Change. At their offices on Fourth St. SW, they also convene stakeholders and energize community groups on a range of topics including transportation, hospitality, building management, and the arts.

And those men and women in blue are the SWBID’s neighborhood ambassadors. “The ambassadors are the face of the SWBID, and we couldn’t have asked for a better group” says Steve Moore, executive director of the SWBID. “They take tremendous pride in making Southwest a great place to live.”

Beginning next month, The Southwester will introduce you to the ambassadors. The first article will focus on Terence Matthews, the first person to be hired by the SWBID. Matthews grew up in this neighborhood, so he brings a special love of Southwest to his job.

By: Donna Purchase

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