Archive for the ‘Community’ category

MPD’s Third District Has Successful Coat Drive, Still Time to Donate!

February 6, 2018

This year, the Metropolitan Police Department’s Third District organized a coat drive that resulted in 140 articles of clothing, including gloves, mitts, shoes, and coats which were distributed to those in need and to residents in Faircliff, Urban Village, and Park Morton. The inspiration for the coat drive was Third District Officer Barry Eastman who was killed in a car crash in September 2017. Officer Eastman worked the midnight shift and he would distribute coats to the homeless or those in need, largely unknown to anyone other than his coworkers on the midnight shift. When he passed officers he worked with explained what he did to others at MPD. This year, the Officers of the Third District organized the Winter Coat & Blanket Drive for the Homeless to honor the memory of Officer Eastman. Donations are being accepted until February 28, 2018 (details here).

(Residents with new winter coats at Urban Village.)

Junk & Jam in Columbia Heights on Saturday

September 22, 2017

This Saturday (September 23rd) is Junk and Jam in Columbia Heights, a day full of great community activities! It is a great chance to get out, meet people in the community, and help improve public safety by getting to know neighbors! The day begins with a multi-family yard sale that will stretch along Monroe Street from 16th Street to Sherman Avenue starting at 10 AM on Saturday, September 23rd. Afterwards, there is a Community Engagement Event starting at 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM on the Columbia Heights Civic Plaza (the fountain @ 14th & Park). It will feature FREE live music, a variety of District agencies, and neighbors!!

Music will be provided by our very own local talent: Cosmic Music Collective, Jim Fey, and Nebraska! While enjoying great music, come by and visit with District agencies and civic groups to learn more about the services our city has to offer. Meet with representatives from: Washington Metropolitan Police Dept. 3D, District of Columbia Office on Aging, Department of Energy & Environment, and MORE!!

The flyer is below:

National Night Out is Tonight — Meet Neighbors and Police in the Community

August 1, 2017

Tonight is National Night Out (NNO), an annual event sponsored by the National Association of Town Watch. It takes place on the first Tuesday in August annually. Each year, the Metropolitan Police Department actively participates in National Night Out by rallying community members throughout the District of Columbia to join with neighbors and police officers in their PSAs to be a part of this annual event. Each police district organizes a location to assemble. Park View is split between the Fourth District and Third District, though the Third District event is closest to attend.

The National Night Out campaign involves citizens, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, businesses, neighborhood organizations and local officials from 9,500 communities from all 50 states, US territories, Canadian cities and military bases worldwide. The details and flyer below are for the Third District event.

When:  Tuesday, August 1, 2017
Where: Bruce Monroe Park (3000 Georgia Ave NW)
Time:    5 pm to 7 pm

WAMU Features Mt. Pleasant’s Woodner — and How It and the Neighborhood has Changed over the Years

June 28, 2017

A view of the Woodner through the center of a round patio and staircase in the back of the building.
Tyrone Turner / WAMU

This morning I awoke to hear this WAMU feature on Mt. Pleasant’s Woodner Apartment building and its history. I found it to be an interesting history on how life in the building, and the surrounding Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights neighborhoods, have changed over the years. The article touches upon segregation, gentrification, and the impacts that change has on a neighborhood.

While the focus of the feature is on the Woodner and Mt. Pleasant, I find that the story is relevant to all Ward 1 neighborhoods and well worth the listen.

First Friday Launches in Park View on May 5th

May 4, 2017
The lower Georgia Avenue businesses are launching First Friday tomorrow, on May 5th, from 6-8 pm. This will be a monthly recurring activity with a growing number of businesses offering specials, highlighting DC artists and musicians. Check out the First Friday Facebook page for more details and a list of participating businesses.

First Friday is organized by Georgia Avenue Thrive, which is partnering with the Petworth Arts Collaborative on this with a vision for a vibrant First Friday from Upshur to Euclid in the hopefully not too distant future.

Georgia Avenue Winter Fest a Resounding Success

December 7, 2015

Winterfest 2(Setting up at the beginning of the day.)

By all accounts, the 1st Annual Georgia Avenue Winter Fest was a success. Roughly 1,200 attended the event. While the idea and initial drive to organize this event began with the Georgia-Lamont Avenue Task Force with the help of the Luray – Warder Neighborhood Association, in the end this was a real grass roots effort with too many individuals and organizations to name. In the holiday spirit, it was a community coming together that made this event possible. Even so, the holiday trees were made possible with the help of Annie’s Ace Hardware, the Park Morton Residential Council were instrumental in assisting with the donation of a Christmas tree to the Park Morton community, and Zuckerman Gravely Properties provided use of the building (See Facebook page).

I stopped by at the beginning of day as things were getting started and I’m told it only got busier. I was particularly happy to see some of our locale food vendors there as well. I noted both Eatsplace and Kangaroo Boxing Club were there and wouldn’t be surprised  if there were others I missed.

The Police’s Third District also sent out the following announcement later in the day:

On Saturday December 5 at the old Murry’s grocery store 3400 Georgia Ave NW, members of the community came together to organize the Georgia Ave Winterfest. One of the organizers Jennifer Kuiper invited MPD to bring the Horse Mounted Unit and meet and greet residents. Lt. Mark Hodge of PSA 302 made arrangements for Officer Robin Szewczyk of the Horse Mounted Unit to attend. In attendance were CM Nadeau, Gabriel Rojo from the Mayor’s Office, Rashida Brown ANC, Audra Grant of Luray Warder, Sylvia Robinson of the ECAC, and John DeTaye of CSC.

There were food, drink, information tables, DJ, and other services being offered ranging from DC Government to non profit agencies.

Congratulations to everyone who organized the event and pitched in to make it a success!

Winterfest(Photo from MPD-3D Yahoo Group)

Post updated 8:01 am

Community Park Morton Redevelopment Meeting Well Attended

November 17, 2015
Neighbors filling in the gymnasium of the school auditorium.

Neighbors beginning to fill in the gymnasium of the school auditorium.

Last night’s community meeting focused on the redevelopment of Park Morton was well attended, with community members overflowing the gymnasium at the Bruce-Monroe @ Park View school. The meeting was set up into two parts. The first was an introduction by New Communities Director Angie Rodgers, who spent about 45 minutes bringing everyone up to date on the history and events leading up to the present discussions centered on redeveloping the Park Morton community. Some of the details were a refresher to those that have already attended previous meetings, but Rodgers stated that it was important for everyone to have the same information.

Among the details that were shared were the New Communities commitment to 1:1 replacement housing for Park Morton, the right of Park Morton residents to return and stay in their community, the commitment to creating a mixed income community, and the importance of building replacement housing first.

While there were outbursts from some residents from time to time, these were at a minimum and largely occurred when Rodgers was giving an overview on the history and selection of the former Bruce Monroe school site as the build first site. The history included the razing of the school, the city’s longstanding intent to develop the site, and the creation of the temporary park. There was also a brief outline of the commitment to achieve multiple community goals on the site and the entire redevelopment project, have a mix of retail, housing, and park space, and a commitment to develop the park space first so that the community would not be without a park during the entire process.

After the introduction, attendees engaged in a series of break out groups. There were eight groups in the gymnasium, and due to the number of engaged neighbors attending the event, two additional groups were formed and organized in the school’s auditorium. Each group focused on three questions — these being 1) What do you like about your neighborhood?, 2) What would you like to see in the future?, and 3) What is your biggest concern or area you’d like to focus on?

After each group discussed these questions, they reported out to the entire assembly. Several central themes emerged.

What do you like about your community?

Many of the groups reported that they liked the walkability of the neighborhood, its access to public transportation, its residential character while being close to other parts of the city, and its diversity of race, income, culture, and age. Other qualities that were mentioned were the neighborhood’s history and that the neighbors looked out for each other.

What would you like to see in the future?

Cleaner streets, lower crime, better schools, and improved parks were mentioned in response to this question, as were fewer vacant or blighted buildings and an increase in small businesses along Georgia Avenue.

What is your biggest concern or area you’d like to focus on?

It was not surprising that some of the concerns focused on a desire to see the development proposals that DMPED had received for the redevelopment of Park Morton, or that some residents continue to be concerned about the future of the temporary park at Georgia and Irving. There continued to be concerns related to the community engagement for the redevelopment process and some continued to advocate for the inclusion or use of different vacant parcels along Georgia Avenue. Residents of Park Morton expressed concerns with displacement or the possibility of having to move multiple times rather than once. There was also a concern voiced by some that there isn’t a more detailed plan to review.

The meeting ended with more questions than answers, though Director Rodgers stated that the goal of the meeting was to listen to the community and gather questions to be answered in future community meetings. To that end, she stated that the next community meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 1st, at 6:30 pm and will be held at the school. There is also a community meeting scheduled for Saturday, December 12th, beginning at 10 am and also to be held at the school. The next Steering Committee meeting is scheduled for December 1oth and will be held at the Park View Rec Center.

Lastly, it was announced that a new Web site has been set up where neighbors can stay up to date on upcoming meetings and meeting minutes, which is and where more official notes from these meetings will eventually be posted.

Documentary Exploring Changing U Street, Columbia Heights, & Petworth Screening This Weekend

October 5, 2015

DogParks & CoffeeShops: Diversity Seeking in Changing Neighborhoods (Trailer) from Sonya Grier on Vimeo.

Thanks to Borderstan for the heads up on this, the documentary DogParks & CoffeeShops: Diversity Seeking in Changing Neighborhoods is part of the Reel Independent Film Extravaganza at the Angelika Pop-up Theater at Union Market this coming weekend. The filmmakers will also hold a free screening and discussion of the film at the Northeast Neighborhood Library at 330 7th St. NE at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 10.

This film is based on research that explores diversity-seeking, community, and consumption in neighborhoods undergoing urban revitalization. In a study of three neighborhoods in Washington, DC, it finds that differences in resources, cultural norms and cultural preferences lead to tensions among some residents and perceived exclusion from consumption opportunities for others.

Borderstan has much more information on this film for those interested in learning more and planning on seeing the film.

Mapping Historic Segregation in Washington DC Resource Now Available

June 18, 2015

It is impossible to fully understand Washington’s neighborhoods without a good understanding of the housing segregation that once held sway here. It is a legacy that in many ways shaped the city, which in turn still has an impact today. This makes it all the more critical to understand this past.

Historians Sarah Shoenfeld and Mara Cherkasky have begun to document this history in maps. Their Mapping Segregation in Washington DC effort is a public history project documenting the historic segregation of DC’s housing, schools, playgrounds, and other public spaces. To date the project has focused on racially restrictive housing covenants. Racial covenants had a dramatic impact on the development of the nation’s capital decades before government-sanctioned redlining policies were implemented in cities across the country.

The interactive Website is now live, and free to explore here. Shoenfeld and Cherkasky’s work is far from finished, and only reflects information they’ve been able to gather so far.

Restricted Housing DC(Details showing Restrictive Covenants in the Park View area.)

Humanitini: DC’s New Americans? Thursday, May 21, at The Coupe

May 20, 2015

DraftFlyer1Here’s a local opportunity to participate in the Humanities Council of Washington, DC’s Humanitini Program. On Thursday, May 21, the next program will be held at The Coupe in Columbia Heights. The program is free and runs from 6:30 to 8:00 pm, though registration is requested.

Thursday’s program will focus on New Americans, and leads in with the question How long will the enclave of immigrant communities such as DC’s Ethiopian, Chinese and Greek communities retain their unique identities in wake of so much historical assimilation and displacement?

Following are the details from the Humanities Council Web site:

At the turn of the 20th century, Washington, DC was a patchwork of European immigrant communities representing a wide array of nationalities and ethnicities. Like most east-coast metropolitan areas, there were Irish, Italian, German, Greek, and Jewish enclaves, each with relatively insular cultural traditions and self-sustaining economic systems. But at various points over the ensuing five decades these communities would become shadows of their former selves, leaving traces scarcely visible to the casual streetscape observer.

In more recent years, other previously vibrant immigrant communities have become increasingly diffuse. The Chinese community’s cultural predominance in the Chinatown neighborhood hinges on the programming and awareness conducted by the Chinatown Community Cultural Center and the dwindling population of the Wah Luck House. Adams Morgan, Columbia Heights and Mt. Pleasant, once bastions of the DC’s Central American culture, have experienced a dramatic exodus to the Maryland and Virginia suburbs. The Washington, DC metro area is currently home to more people of Ethiopian descent than any city outside Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia. The core of this community is a small portion of the Shaw neighborhood sometimes (controversially) known as “Little Ethiopia.”

How long will these communities retain their unique identities in wake of so much historical assimilation and displacement? Have ethnic enclaves in other cities experienced so much fluidity, either nationally or globally, or is the phenomenon unique to Washington? How are historians, anthropologists, and other scholars working to preserve the cultures of extant immigrant communities while reclaiming those that have been rendered invisible?


Moderator  – Jill H. Wilson, Senior Research Analyst, Brookings Institute

Panelists: Christine Warnke, Ted Gong, Olivia Cadaval, Quique Aviles, Ana Rodriguez, Trymaine Lee

%d bloggers like this: