Archive for the ‘Community Involvement’ category

Salvation Army Seeking Comments on Future for 3335 Sherman Avenue Facility

March 17, 2017

The Salvation Army is beginning planning for redevelopment and an upgrade of its Sherman Avenue Corps facility located at 3335 Sherman Avenue, NW (southeast corner of Sherman and Morton). A representative of the Salvation Army was at the March meeting of ANC1A to share some information about this, and stressed that they are at the very beginning stages of this process. As such, they are seeking  comments and input from the community on the facility, its services, and programming for the updated Sherman Avenue Corps. They are also seeking general information on respondents’ knowledge of the Salvation Army.

This is a great opportunity to learn more about the Salvation Army and provide opinions on the future of their facility right here in the neighborhood (Survey available here).

Arrest Made in Casa Ruby Vandalism/Assult, Casa Ruby Seeks Donations for Repairs

March 14, 2017

Vandalism of door at Casa Ruby

On Sunday at around 2 pm Casa Ruby — located at 2822 Georgia Avenue — was vandalized and the perpetrator engaged in a verbal altercation with a staff member working at the center. Casa Ruby is a drop-in center and advocacy organization for transgender women which was founded in 2004 by Ruby Corado. As the subject left the building, he threw a brick at the door causing damage.

On Monday, March 13, pursuant to a DC Superior Court arrest warrant, Andrew Cook of Southeast, DC, was arrested and charged with Felony Destruction of Property. He was additionally charged with Simple Assault and Threatening to Kidnap or Injure a Person.

I can’t thank MPD enough for their support of Casa Ruby and swift response, but Casa Ruby also needs help in repairing the damage. A gofundme campaign has been set up “to help raise enough money to help Casa Ruby get better security doors as to keep everyone inside safe and make them feel safe.  The transgender community and especially our youth really need our help right now.”

Please consider supporting Casa Ruby to help them repair damage and upgrade their safety.

(Ruby Corado (center) of Casa Ruby)2

Two Bruce Monroe @ Park View Families Facing Deportation Proceedings — Assistance from Community Being Sought

March 9, 2017

I’ve been informed that two families with children enrolled at the Bruce Monroe @ Park View Elementary School are currently facing deportation proceedings and are approaching the community for help. A fundraiser has been started to raise money to provide legal representation to the families who are currently in deportation proceedings. As of last night, 45% of the $10,000 goal had been raised.

Local charities are not taking new cases, but attorneys willing to represent the families for a reduced fee have been found. The organizers are asking for help from the community. Any money not spent representing these or other families in deportation proceedings will be donated to the CAIR coalition and CARECEN in equal parts.

Love March Planned for Georgia Avenue on Saturday, March 11th

March 8, 2017

On Saturday, March 11th, a group of DC community members who are interested in celebrating and promoting diversity in our neighborhoods have scheduled a Love March that will run down Georgia Avenue from Emery Recreation Center to the African American Civil War Memorial.  You can learn more about the march on the Love March Website. Below are March details from the site.

March/Rally Date
Saturday, March 11

Starting Point Location
Emery Rec. Center, starting at 10:30am

Mid-Point Rally
Bruce Monroe Park, 12:30pm

Ending Rally
U Street/African Civil War Memorial, 1:30-2:30pm

Park View Cleanup Scheduled for Saturday, March 4th

March 1, 2017

Georgia Avenue Thrive will hold its next neighborhood cleanup this Saturday March 4 at the corner of Georgia and Newton.

This is a really special clean-up  as its DC Thrive’s one-year anniversary of launching these cleanups.

Yoga Heights is giving a 10% discount to all volunteers. It’s fitting to have them as a sponsor this month as they sponsored the very first
cleanup a year ago.

park-view-cleanup-1-year

Columbia Heights Budget Engagement Forum Well Attended

February 28, 2017
Full house at the Feb. 27th Budget Engagement Forum.

Full house at the Feb. 27th Budget Engagement Forum.

The third and final budget engagement forum was held last night (2/27) at the Columbia Heights Education Campus and was very well attended. The meeting was organized as a series of round tables, each with a facilitator. The goal of the discussions were to come to some consensus on how much of the Districts operating dollars should be allocated to six key areas — Housing; Public Safety; Government Operations; Retirement Costs & Other; Jobs & Economic Opportunity; Education; and Health & Human Services (chart below shows current allocations).

Each participant was given a form with the budget areas and asked to allocate $100 to each of the six areas to show their priorities. After this exercise, the same information was discussed in each group with the highest allocation documented on a separate sheet. In my group adding these number up came up with a total of $140 ($40 over budget). This followed with the group then discussing how to reduce allocations in some areas to balance the total to $100.

Overall, to me, the most value in the exercise was listening to each participant explain why there were giving some categories higher allocations than others. I advocated for money for Education because teachers have not had raises or even cost of living increases in a while and because parks and recreation improvements also fall under the education umbrella. One member of my group was advocating for decreasing the public safety allocation as they see the police as reacting to crime rather than addressing causes of crime (which may be addressed through other budget areas).

While the forums can help the Mayor decide how much of the budget needs to go to these priorities, the real opportunities to advocate for specific needs will be at the coming DC Council budget oversight hearings.

budget engagement chart(Chart from budget engagement forum presentation showing current allocations to budget priority areas.)

Columbia Heights Initiative Holds Meet & Greet with Area ANCs to Talk Main Streets

February 27, 2017

main-streets-meeting(Participants from Main Street/ANC meet & greet. From l. to r.: Brad Gudzinas (1B02), Sharon Farmer (1A07), Christine Miller (1A05), Brianne Dornbush (Columiba Heights Initiative), Kent Boese (1A08), Jack McKay (1D03), and Zach Rybarczyk (1A03)).

On Saturday, February 25th, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners from Columbia Heights, Park View, and Mount Pleasant were invited to meet with Brianne Dornbush of the Columbia Heights Initiative and discuss the new Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant Main Street that was recently awarded to the Initiative. The Main Street is still in its early stages of organizing, so much of the conversation centered on how to share information, how to have the local ANCs work with each other and the Main Street, and suggesting priorities on where the Main Street could focus its efforts in the coming year.

One issue that was discussed was how to brand the main street, as Columbia Heights/Mt Pleasant Main Street is long. I suggested that a possible name could be the Mid-city Main Street as Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant are located within the Mid-city element of the Comprehensive Plan.

Another issue that was discussed was how to bridge the gap between Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant. Whether on Park Rd or Irving Street, the two business areas of the Main Street do not abut. The gaps between the business areas don’t encourage pedestrians to continue from one area to the other unless one already has a specific purpose in mind. Here, I suggested that public art could be one way to unite the areas, much like Capitol Hill did with their Alphabet Animals project a couple years ago.

Among the other issues that were mentioned was the relationship between the area Clean Team and the Main Street. Currently, they are two separate efforts that cover roughly the same area. In other main streets, the clean team is under the umbrella of the Main Street which helps with organization and ensures that both efforts are serving the same area. Several participants were of the opinion that the two should be combined in Columbia Heights/Mt. Pleasant too.

It will be interesting to see how the newest Main Street effort evolves and what its first projects will be. Future opportunities are sure to be scheduled soon to continue the networking and collaboration that are necessary for a thriving neighborhood Main Street.


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