February has been a busy month, and I've spent much of it focusing on transportation issues. I joined up with Rachel Maisler (Handlebars DC), Greater Greater Washington, and Coalition for Smarter Growth to ask elected officials, advocates, and residents around DC to take a week-long transportation challenge - Transportation BINGO. Our goal was to get more people to experience the strengths and weaknesses of DC's buses and other transit systems.

The challenge ran from January 28 to February 4, ending on Bus to Work Day, which coincides with Transit Equity Day and honors the birthday and legacy of Rosa Parks. The bingo card encouraged folks to use buses and other public transportation, rewarding players for taking different types of trips by bus and other public transportation, including multi-modal (bus and metro), bus transfer, bike on a bus, express bus, and more.
Our aim was to have elected officials, who legislate and drive policy related to public transportation, get out of their cars and experience the bus. And we got great buy-in, including Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen, Takoma Park Councilmember Kacy Kostiuk (Ward 3), Eleanor Ory (candidate for DC Shadow Senator), Jordan Grossman (candidate for DC Council, Ward 2), Patrick Kennedy (candidate for DC Council, Ward 2 and an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner), several DC Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners, and many residents. You can read more about TranspoBINGO here and here.

I have always loved the bus, and participating in the challenge both reminded me of the wonderful aspects of riding the bus (like seeing the city and chatting with neighbors) and made clear the challenges of getting around by bus (including slow speeds, infrequent buses, and crowding). Notably, WMATA is proposing to cut service and increase fares in its recent budget, including on several heavily-used lines. Commissioner Evan Yeats (4B01) and I have introduced a Resolution against WMATA's Metrobus service cuts and fare increases for this month's Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting.
Join Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B for our February Regular Public Meeting on Monday, February 24th at 7 pm at the Metropolitan Police Department's 4th District Headquarters (6001 Georgia Ave, NW). The draft agenda is included below and available on our Commission website. This month's agenda includes several presentations, including a presentation from Congressowman Eleanor Holmes Norton, a presentation from a District Department of Transportation Safety Specialist, and a presentation on the latest iteration of the proposed development at 300-308 Carroll Street, NW, and 325 Vine Street, NW.

In addition, I am introducing a Resolution establishingHousing Justice Committee that will (1) review proposed developments within the Commission area to consider leverage points to maximize affordable housing; (2) review proposed legislation and agency action related to homelessness and affordable housing, and advocate for mechanisms to increase and expand deeply affordable housing; and (3) host educational events and town halls within the Commission regarding topics related to affordable housing. I will be recruiting members over the next few weeks! Please send me an email at with a short statement of interest and any related experience with housing issues if you are interested in being considered for this Committee.

Neighborhood Updates

*Public Safety in the Neighborhood: Ward 4 - and the District as a whole - has seen a rash of gun violence, with recent incidents in Brightwood and Petworth. Jonah Goodman, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner in Single Member District 4C10, wrote a detailed analysis, including proposed solutions, available here. Our last Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting brought to light the issue of the Getaround app being used to steal cars. You can read more here and here. Residents throughout the area have also noted increased thefts from cars. You can see the Metropolitan Police Department's tips to reduce thefts from cars here.

*Takoma Dog Park Construction Update: The Takoma Dog Park had been scheduled to be completed by Halloween of 2019, and then faced uncertain delays due to a contractor and/or stormwater management issue. But, there is good news! Construction is set to begin on or around March 9th, and will include the dog park, removal of some dead trees, and new paved pathways and lighting (which our Advisory Neighborhood Commission previously requested via

*Takoma Aquatic Center Maintenance Updates:  The Takoma Aquatic Center recently re-opened following annual scheduled maintenance. The Commission has been informed of the following fixes: the HVAC has new filters and a missing bracket was replaced; the hole under the sink in the men’s locker room has been fixed and an access panel has been installed; the missing tiles in the women’s locker room have been repaired; the ventilation system in the weight room was fixed; and a treadmill is being refurbished and will be delivered to the site. The Commission is following up regarding outstanding issues raised in our Letter of Inquiry and during our walk-through with representatives from the Mayor's Office and Councilmember Todd's office.

*Takoma & Whittier Education Campuses - Opportunities for Support: Takoma Education Campus is gearing up for their Annual Online Auction (from April 26 - May 10), and the parent teacher organization is looking for donations and sponsors. You can help right now by donating a gift card to a local business (whether your own business or simply one you love) or by donating something more personal - past donations have included a weekend stay at the donor's vacation home, a handmade wooden cutting board, personalized in-home wine tastings, homemade fudge, school spirit kits, and more! No donation is too small! Sponsors contribute a minimum of $100 and have their logo added to the school's auction website and included in their advertising efforts. For more information or to discuss a donation idea, please email And don't forget to bid once the auction opens on April 26!
Takoma has an upcoming tour and information session for prospective families on February 29 at 10 am. Whittier Education Campus has an upcoming open house on April 11, 10 - 11 am. You can support both Takoma Education Campus and Whittier Education Campus through their Amazon wishlists. Takoma's is available here, and Whittier's is available here.

*Walter Reed Development Updates: A new daycare will be opening at Walter Reed. Primrose Schools is opening in the Vale, a 301-unit apartment building located at the corner of Georgia Ave, NW, and Aspen St, NW, and is one of the new mixed-use buildings at the Parks at Walter Reed. They plan to serve about 200 children aged infant to 5 years. More here.

*4th Street Commercial Corridor Updates: The last information I received was that the Clinic and retail spaces (Turning Natural and Lost Sock) at the Takoma Theater are scheduled to open in February 2020. I will keep everyone informed with any updates. I have heard some of the businesses are facing challenges due to the intersection construction, so please take advantage of Love Your Local month and patronize our beloved local shops. And check out this great write up of Angel Anderson of the Spice Suite for her small business success and work she has done to support other Black-owned businesses.

New & Notable
What's happening in local government?

Check out these DC Council legislative and other updates.
  • Disgraced former Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans is running for his seat again. Let's talk hubris, neighbors. I'm shocked and also not shocked that after all 12 of Mr. Evans' former colleagues voted to expel him, forcing his resignation, he decided to run for his seat again. And he's using public financing to do it. Don't get me started on the underlying misconduct, which included conflicts of interest, as well as the time and resources spent on ousting him from office. All I can say at this point is let's hand him a resounding loss. Call all your friends in Ward 2 and encourage them to vote against Jack Evans. More here, here, and here.
  • In a truly shameful spectacle, five Councilmembers voted against emergency legislation to keep Washington Metropolitan, an alternative high school, open. Mayor Bowser and the DC Public Schools Chancellor had slated the school to close, based on supposed lack of academic progress and low enrollment. At-Large Councilmember Robert White, Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau, and Ward 8 Councilmember Trayon White, with the support of every member of the State Board of Education, introduced emergency legislation to keep the school open temporarily to prevent these students from falling through the cracks. During the Council hearing, Chair Mendelson shamefully punched down, saying the school was not one we could be proud of. I appreciate Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen's response that he is proud of these students for their advocacy, and I prefer to hold our elected leaders accountable for our years'-long failure to adequately fund, resource, and support this school. (As I'm writing this I'm crying all over again. These students deserve so much more and better from us.)
  • Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau introduced legislation to ensure DC Council review of DC Housing Authority Plans to demolish / dispose of public housing. More here. This seems like a positive effort given the current state of public housing in the District (more here and here), and considering the Housing Authority's plans for its own property, which include scrapping 70 units of deeply affordably housing for the site and $14 million for developers to allow the Authority to lease back its headquarters. More here and here. You can also see Morgan Baskin's excellent coverage of the DC Council hearing on the Housing Authority's transformation plan here.
  • Metro Transit Police was exposed for holding a weekly contest to encourage arrests and citations, prompting DC Council Oversight. More here. This reporting followed yet another incident of Metro Transit Police handcuffing a 13-year-old for "horseplay." More here. While the Metropolitan Police Department recently issued a new policy limiting the practice of handcuffing children 12 and under (you heard right, that's new), Metro Transit Police has no such equivalent. More here. Our Commission has strong words for Metro Transit Police, with Commissioners Evan Yeats (4B01) and Tiffani Johnson (4B06) introducing a Resolution that we have no confidence in Chief Ron Pavlik and asking he be fired.
  • The Way Home Campaign released its budget requests for ending chronic homelessness. You can read more about the funding requested for permanent supportive housing and homeless prevention and diversion programming, which would end chronic homelessness for 1,800 individuals and prevent 2,150 individuals from entering homelessness, here. Housing is a human right. Instead of engaging in the cruel practice of sweeping our homeless neighbors and de-humanizing them, let's provide them housing. The Fair Budget Coalition also released its Budget Report, available here.
  • At-Large Councilmember Robert White introduced legislation that impose stricter standards on the DC government to test and remediate public playgrounds for lead. This proposed legislation follows efforts that began in our neighborhood following testing that revealed elevated lead levels on playgrounds at area schools. 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, March 19, 7-8 pm, 715 Van Buren St, NW

Let's chat about the neighborhood! Join me on Thursday, March 19th from 7 - 8 pm at 715 Van Buren St, NW, for monthly office hours for Single Member District 4B02. You can 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.

Upcoming Community Events

There's lots going on in the neighborhood! Check out the following community events: 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

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.

Paid for by Erin Palmer, 715 Van Buren St, NW, Washington, DC 20012.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Erin for ANC 4B02 · 715 Van Buren St NW · Washington, DC 20012-2660 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp