Archive for March 2018

What Kind of Washington Do You Want? March 29th Ward 1 Candidate Forum Focuses on the Comprehensive Plan

March 28, 2018

The DC Grassroots Planning Coalition has partnered with other local organizations to organize a Ward 1 Candidate Forum for this Thursday, March 29th, beginning at 7 pm. The Forum will be at Busboys and Poets on 14th Street. It should be a good opportunity to learn more more about what the Comprehensive Plan is, how it impacts every neighborhood and resident, and why this election matters. More details about the forum can be found here.

Currently, the Office of Planning and the DC Council is in the process of updating the Comprehensive Plan. I’ve been deeply engaged in these efforts beginning in 2017 when I submitted 64 amendments to the plan in the areas of:

  • Land Use
  • Transportation
  • Parks and Open Space
  • Arts & Culture
  • Historic Preservation
  • and many more.

Following the DC Council’s March 20th marathon 13+ hour hearing I also submitted written testimony, which all can read my testimony here.

 

I think this is an important time when we as a city need to figure out what kind of city we want to be. While the stakes are high and the challenges are great, I have confidence that we can get to where our city needs to be by working together.

Friends of the Soldiers Home Announces Sixth Annual Spring Fling

March 25, 2018

According to the Fiends of the Soldiers Home Website, the 2018 Spring Fling will be on Saturday, May 5th. See flyer below.

Overview from DPR Basketball Meeting (Tournament is On) and Thoughts on DPR

March 9, 2018

On Wednesday March 7th, representatives from the Department of Parks and Recreation met with neighbors to discuss the annual Ty Hop Basketball Tournament. The basketball tournament has been held at the rec center since 2002, with no tournament in 2016. It was clear from the start that DPR is committed to continuing the tournament, but are open to feedback on days of the week, times, and length of the tournament (six weeks instead of 8 weeks?). Unlike years past, this year they are focusing the tournament for ages 15 years and younger instead of ages 24-40.

DPR has stated that they will organize a follow up meeting in 3-4 weeks to continue to work with the community on additional details for the tournament.

As in years past, the meeting centered on the need for a public safety plan in the community and concerns about gun violence. This is something that all in attendance who spoke up stressed — whether they were in favor of the tournament or not. Disappointingly, while MPD officers attended the meeting, they largely observed and offered very little, event when asked directly for their input.

The meeting, which began at 7 pm and wrapped up around 8:30 or so, was at times heated and emotional — with some citing the tournament as a valuable experience that helps bring people together and break down racism and bias — to others expressing concern that directly or indirectly gun violence has occurred around and near the rec center during tournament times and that no one should have to teach their children to duck and cover — and others still expressing that the tournament has a long history in the neighborhood and that those who have moved to the neighborhood need to accept that this is part of the community and to not push it out.

In my opinion, DPR can do a better job when it comes to working with the community to organize events. Here are three areas where I believe DPR has dropped the ball.

  1. An annual basketball tournament is fine and should be a community building event, however DPR continues to strike me as focusing only on being responsible for what happens on their property and relying on the community or MPD to control what occurs off their property. Technically, this may be where the responsibilities are, but we need to have a collaborative and integrated public safety approach for events that draw larger numbers of participants for longer periods of time. This is no different than other large events in the city whether it be the Funk Parade or a city festival.
  2. DPR repeatedly stated the longevity of the tournament as its justification for its continuation. As the tournament continues to have a large number of participants I can agree a basketball tournament still has value. However, the neighborhood has also changed a lot since 2002 when the tournament first began. Park View is far more diverse with many young families that equally value other activities. DPR needs to change and adapt along with the community — meaning that basketball should no longer be the only event at the Rec Center. Today the Rec Center needs to do this with a diverse summer program of actives. I don’t see DPR taking the lead on this.
  3. DPR needs to listen. Neighbors do advocate for activities they would like to see at the Rec Center in addition to what is offered now. For the past couple of years parents have repeatedly asked for the small children’s pool to open earlier on Saturday, and I sent Directer Anderson a letter to that effect from ANC1A last year. Similarly, when former Mayor Fenty and Councilember Graham first proposed to renovate Park View Rec Center’s baseball field with a new artificial turf baseball field in 2010, I pointed out that no one in the neighborhood played baseball and led neighbors to push for neighborhood servicing improvements which were delivered in 2012. DPR’s failure to listen before they make decisions sets up a contentious and divisive process before their first conversations with the community even occur. This needs to stop.

Ultimately we need a DPR that is a true community partner. One that is responsive, one that is engaged, and one that values the diverse and ever changing needs of every neighborhood.

Meeting on Summer Basketball in Park View Scheduled for Wednesday, March 7th

March 4, 2018

At the request of Department of Parks and Recreation representatives, they will be at the March 7th Park View UNC meeting to discuss the summer basketball tournament that has been held at the Park View Recreation Center in years past.

The meeting will be held at the Park View Recreation Center, and begins at 7 pm. See flyer below.

First Friday Tomorrow — Screening of Movie “City of Trees”

March 1, 2018

Tomorrow is the next First Friday on Georgia Avenue, from 6 pm – 9 pm. First Friday’s celebrate the small businesses in our neighborhood and allow neighbors to enjoy all they have to offer from food and drink specials to books, yoga, etc., fun and live music and art. For the list of participating businesses check here and look for the First Friday posters in store windows. Also, on Friday look for First Friday chalk marks in front of participating businesses.

This month, there are a few “special events” for Friday worth highlighting and a kid friendly activity all around the “theme” for Green Spaces including green spaces for dogs.

Green Spaces — “City of Trees” movie screening
Green spaces are an important part of our lives and DC neighborhoods and they contribute to our health and well being. DC documentary film makers Meridian Hill Pictures (meridianhillpictures.com) will showcase a story about green spaces,  community and the efforts of DC’s “Washington Parks and People” (washingtonparks.net) in their documentary “City of Trees” (cityoftreesfilm.com). Meridian Hill Pictures is making the film available for a free community screening during First Friday. Come to Colony Club (www.colonyclub.com) at 3118 Georgia Ave NW, the film will start at around 7:30pm. Washington Parks and People will join the community for the event.

An example of the wide range of use of our green spaces will be a an installation by Noa Heyne (https://www.noa-heyne.com/) at the Bruce Monroe Site as part of CulturalDC’s “SPACE4: Mobile Art Gallery”.  Take a sneak peak from 5-7 pm on Friday before its official opening on Saturday. Thanks to District Bridges for making that connection.

Kid Friendly Activity
For kids, Walls of Books is going with the dog and outdoor theme and are hosting the author of “The Adventures of Prada Enchilada” (www.adckid.comwww.facebook/theadventuresofpradaenchilada) with interactive storytelling that the kids will enjoy. (And Walls of Books has some “treats” for the parents as well in addition to the opportunity to stock up on some winter/spring reads)

With so much available on Friday night, there’s no need to stay home. Come out and have a great time!


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