Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B is back from summer recess! Join us for our September Regular Public Meeting on Monday, September 23rd at 7 pm at the 4th District Police Station (6001 Georgia Ave, NW). The draft agenda is included below.

We have a number of important issues on this month's agenda, including a presentation regarding Metro Transit Police policies for questioning and detaining minors in response to a
letter sent by ANC 4B06 Commissioner Tiffani Nichole Johnson, ANC 4B01 Commissioner Evan Yeats, and myself regarding an incident involving handcuffing a minor at the Fort Totten Metro Station. You can read the Metro Transit Police response here. At-Large Councilmember Robert White has called for a public roundtable on Metro Transit Police tactics for policing minors. More here.

In addition, ANC 4B06 Commissioner Johnson is introducing a resolution following agency failures that resulted in two deaths from a devastating house fire on Kennedy Street. More here. Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4D has led this effort and will be voting on a similar resolution (their agenda is available here), and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4C passed a similar letter last week.

ANC 4B07 Commissioner Geoff Bromaghim is introducing a letter to Douglas Development urging them to reject a proposed federal facility for unaccompanied minors in Takoma at a property owned by the company. The facility would be located in the EF International space at 6896 Laurel St, NW, within the jurisdiction of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B. Mayor Muriel Bowser, Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd, Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, Takoma Park Mayor Kate Stewart, and the Old Takoma Business Association, among others, have taken actions and spoken out against the proposal. More here.

I will be introducing a Resolution in support of the Second Look Amendment Act of 2019, which would allow (but not require) incarcerated individuals who committed their offenses before the age of 25 to petition for release after 15 years’ incarceration based on their rehabilitation. More here. Additional information here and here. The legislation was introduced or co-sponsored by nine Councilmembers and has the support of Attorney General Karl Racine and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety and Justice Kevin Donahue. Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen held a hearing at which 197 public witnesses testified in support. I strongly support this legislation based on neuroscience regarding brain development and the effects of traumatic childhood experiences, as well as Supreme Court precedent limiting the imposition of extreme sentences on juvenile offenders. You can read the draft resolution here.

If you have questions about any of the agenda items, please feel free to reach out.
The Commission's updated website will be live this month. You can see a recording of the last meeting in June courtesy of DC Compass here, and community member Julie Lawson's live tweets from the June meeting here.

Neighborhood Updates

*4th/Cedar/Blair Intersection Improvements: Construction for this intersection improvement project has started! We have held several community meetings to share the full set of plans and to discuss the scope of work, timeline, and transportation management plan. The project website is available here. More information is available here and here. An abbreviated version of the plans are available here.

*Maintenance, Safety, and Programming at Takoma Recreation Center: In response to several public safety incidents at or near the Takoma Recreation Center and other area recreation centers, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B sent the following letter of inquiry to the District's Department of General Services, Department of Recreation, and Metropolitan Police Department regarding violence interruption services, as well as youth-focused programming at and maintenance of recreation centers. In addition, we held a walk through with representatives from Mayor Muriel Bowser's office and Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd's office. We received the following response to our letter and are considering possible additional follow up in October. Please contact me and the other Commissioners to share any concerns.

*Heavy Trucks on Residential Streets: Following repeated reports of heavy trucks along Aspen Street, NW (a residential street with limitations on heavy trucks), Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B submitted a letter of inquiry requesting information regarding approved routes for heavy trucks, current statistics on enforcement, and details regarding additional enforcement. We received the following response, which does little to address these concerns. Representatives from the Metropolitan Police Department will be at our September meeting to address questions on this issue.

*Rock Creek East I Livability: The District Department of Transportation has issued final recommendations as part of the Rock Creek East I Livability study. The area includes Single Member District 4B02 and upper Ward 4. More details, including the final recommendations, are available on the
Livability website.

*Walter Reed Dog Park and Playground: Planned amenities for the Walter Reed site include two dog parks and a playground located near the existing entrance at Butternut Street, NW. More details from the recent Walter Reed Community Advisory Committee meeting are available
here. The Walter Reed development team will tentatively present at the Commission's October meeting on these issues.

*DC Public Schools Volunteer Mobile Unit: Are you interested in volunteering at a neighborhood school? Whittier PTA, Takoma PTO, and Wells Middle School have teamed up to bring the mobile fingerprinting unit to our neighborhood to facilitate the background process to volunteer at a DC public school. Appointments are available on October 11 from 12 to 4 pm at Wells. To participate, you must complete several steps in advance. Please visit this form to sign up and learn more. Email if you have any questions.

*Whittier Community Work Days: Whittier will be hosting community work days on September 28th and October 5th from 9 am to 12 pm. Community members are welcome to attend and contribute to a variety of projects, and volunteer clearance is not required since the projects are not in the classroom. Support Whittier through its Amazon wishlist, available here, and by purchasing a school t-shirt for $10 from the PTO.

*Updates on the 4th Street Commercial Corridor: Donut Run has received all of its permits and construction is starting, with an anticipated opening date of early 2020. S&S Liquors is hoping for an October 2019 opening. Horace and Dickie's will be serving brunch starting this Saturday.

New & Notable
What's happening in local government?

Check out these DC Council legislative and other updates.
  • In the ongoing Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans ethics saga, news broke that Councilmember Evans threatened Metro officials' jobs in an effort to conceal his ethics violations, showing he is not just unethical, but also a bully. More here. Following significant public pressure for the Council to conduct its own investigation, the Council eventually voted to hire a law firm to investigate Councilmember Evans. But the Council's investigation has stalled as the result of his private consulting clients' refusal to talk to the investigators. More details regarding the messy process here
  • new report says the Washington region needs to add 374,000 housing units by 2030 to address the shortage of affordable housing. Mayor Muriel Bowser has expressed the goal of creating 36,000 new units by 2025, of which one-third would be affordable. This is a small fraction of the need at only 0.03 percent. More here. Furthermore, the DC Housing Authority's recent plan to address a $2.2 - $2.5 billion backlog of public housing repairs addresses only a portion of public housing units that require urgent upgrades. More here. Frankly, this is a crisis. But, at least the DC Council has introduced legislation to extend rent control in the District. More here.
  • Reporter Jeffrey Anderson dug into the peculiar procurement process (or lack thereof) behind the District's no-bid, $215 million sports betting contract with Intralot and its subcontractor Veterans Services Corporation. More here. Additional reporting here.
  • Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd introduced the Domestic Workers Protection Act of 2019 to extend the District's labor and employment protections, including minimum wage, overtime, and family medial leave, to domestic workers. More here
  • Excellent reporting from Joshua Kaplan on the lack of jury trials in criminal matters in the District and efforts by the US Attorneys Office to undermine DC Council legislation requiring such trials in contravention of the NEAR Act. More here
  • Following reports of elevated lead levels in the poured-in-place surfaces at several DC Public School playgrounds and concerns over heat and hardness, the DC Council's Committee on Facilities and Procurement will hold a roundtable on environmental hazards in recreational spaces using synthetic materialsGeneral information and background is available here. More information on the hearing here
  • Following a letter signed by dozens of Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners and a community letter asking for information about sexual assaults and harassment in public schools, At-Large Councilmember Robert White has introduced the Sexual Harassment Data Collection and Reporting Amendment Act to track sexual harassment complaints within DC government and to require agencies to report sexual harassment complaints. More here.
Are you interested in or following pending legislation or a city-wide issue? Send me an email, and I will include updates in this newsletter.

SMD 4B02 Office Hours
*Next Office Hours: Thursday, September 19, 7-8 pm, 715 Van Buren St, NW

Let's chat about the neighborhood! Join me on Thursday, September 19th from 7 - 8 pm at 715 Van Buren St, NW, for monthly office hours for Single Member District 4B02. Please RSVP here. If you need accommodations or would like to schedule another time to meet, please email me at or call me at (202) 821-6333.

My next office hours will take place on Thursday, October 10th - please note the change from the 3rd Thursday of the month to the second Thursday of the month.

Upcoming Community Events

There's lots going on in the neighborhood! Check out the following community events:
  • Thursday, September 19, 8:45 am - 1:30 pm, Ward 4 Goes to the DC Statehood Hearing at the Rayburn House Office Building.
  • Friday, September 20, 9 am - 4 pm, PARK(ing) Day 2019 at 5503 Colorado Ave, NW. *More here.*
  • Saturday, September 21, 11 am - 3 pm, Taste of Brightwood at Beacon Center (6100 Georgia Ave, NW).
  • Sunday, September 22, 1 pm, Takoma Park Farmers Market Annual Pie Contest at SDA Church Lawn (corner of Laurel and Carroll Aves).
  • Sundays, September 22 - October 27, 10 am - 1 pm, FreshFarm Farmers Market at Walter Reed (1010 Butternut St, NW). *This market accepts SNAP/Food Stamps and WIC/Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program benefits and matches what you spend with Matching Dollars. For more information, visit their Food Access Page.*
  • Sunday, September 22, 3 - 5 pm, Family Friendly Service Event - Trail Mix for Martha's Table at Takoma Village Cohousing (6827 4th St, NW). *Special thanks to Francy Stilwell and Takoma Village Cohousing for assisting in organizing this event and providing a welcoming space.*
  • Saturday, September 21 - Sunday, September 22, Takoma Sidewalk Sale at various locations.
  • Tuesday, September 24, 7 - 8:30 pm, Ward 4 Democrats Action Planning Session at Emery Recreation Center (5701 Georgia Ave, NW).
  • Wednesday, September 25, noon, East Rock Creek Village Lunch Bunch at Nile Restaurant (7815 Georgia Ave, NW). *Please RSVP to or by phone or text to (202) 656-7322. Service members may request a ride.*
  • Wednesday, September 25, 5 - 9 pm, Taste of Uptown at various locations.
  • Saturday, September 28, 11:30 am, Takoma Mini-Pitch Grand Opening at Takoma Recreation Center.
  • Saturday, September 28 - Sunday, September 29, Takoma Yard Sales. *Check Takoma listserv for details.*
  • Thursday, October 3, 6:30 pm, DC Democratic Party General Body Meeting at District Department of Employment Services (4058 Minnesota Ave, NE). 
  • Saturday, October 5, 10 am - 2 pm, Open Streets DC (Georgia Ave, NW from Barry Pl, NW to Missouri Ave, NW). *More here.*
  • Tuesday, October 8, 7- 9 pm, Brightwood Community Association Meeting at St. John United Baptist Church (6343 13th St, NW).
  • Thursday, October 10, 6-8 pm, Ward 4 Education Alliance Meeting at MacFarland Middle School (4400 Iowa Ave, NW).
  • Thursday, October 10, 6:30 pm, Shepherd Park Citizens Association Meeting at Washington Ethical Society (7750 16th St, NW).
  • Saturday, October 19, 8 am, Shepherd Park Citizens Association Fall Planting at Ledo Pizza (7435 Georgia Ave, NW).
  • SAVE THE DATE: Friday, October 25, 5 - 8 pm, 3rd Annual Spookyville Halloween Party at Our House (715 Van Buren St, NW).
  • Check the Police Service Area map and Fourth District meeting schedule for details about boundaries and upcoming meetings with the Metropolitan Police Department.
Know of other neighborhood events? Send notable events my way for inclusion in upcoming email newsletters.
You can always contact me:
Phone: (202) 821-6333
Facebook: @Erinfor4B02
Twitter: @Erinfor4B02

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