It has been a busy February as our new set of Commissioners gets to work. Last month, we held our first ANC meeting with 6 (of 9) new Commissioners. And since then we've welcomed Tiffani Johnson as the Commissioner for Single Member District 4B06.

The Commission's new officers, as elected during our January Regular Meeting, are as follows:

Brenda Parks, Chair (ANC 4B04 Commissioner)
Alison Brooks, Vice Chair (ANC 4B08 Commissioner)
Geoff Bromaghim, Treasurer (ANC 4B07 Commissioner)
Erin Palmer, Secretary (ANC 4B02 Commissioner)

As I embark on my tenure as Secretary, I am committed to working through some of the challenges the Commission has faced in terms of how we get information to residents and ensure transparent and accountable action. We are working to update and improve the website, to be more timely in our distribution of agendas and minutes, and to improve the accessibility of our meetings. I welcome feedback in this effort, and I appreciate everyone's patience as we move forward to make all these (and other) improvements.

ANC 4B February Meeting
*Regular Meeting: February 25, 7 pm, 4th District Police Station
*Next Planning Meeting: March 12, 6:30 pm, 4th District Police Station

The Commission will hold its regular monthly meeting on Monday, February 25th at 7 pm at the 4th District Police Station (6001 Georgia Ave, NW). The draft agenda includes the following:
  • Presentation regarding Solar for All program in light of community interest during discussions regarding solar panels within the Takoma Historic District. More details here.
  • Presentation regarding a proposed residential development in the Takoma Historic District.
  • Presentation and Resolution regarding proposed development at 71 Kennedy Street, NW. More details here.
Please contact me with any questions or if you would like additional details. I am working toward posting both the agenda and the preceding month's minutes in my newsletters and on my website. In the meantime, you can check out live-tweets of the January Meeting from Julie Lawson here, and you can review my reflections from the meeting here.

Neighborhood Updates

*4th / Cedar / Blair Intersection Improvement: A representative from the DC Department of Transportation presented at the January 28th ANC 4B Regular Meeting regarding the scope and timeline of the intersection improvement project. The latest plans are available here. Their presentation, including additional details regarding the project's timing, is available here.

*Takoma Metro Crosswalk Improvements:  The DC Department of Transportation has committed to restoring the raised crosswalk by the Soupergirl during the spring / summer construction season. A special "thank you" to ANC 4B01 Commissioner Evan Yeats and ANC 4B07 Commissioner Geoff Bromaghim for working to accomplish this restoration.

*East Rock Creek I Livability Study: The DC Department of Transportation held its first public workshop for the
Rock Creek East I Livability Study earlier this month. The purpose of this neighborhood study is to identify opportunities to enhance community quality of life through transportation safety and access improvements for all modes within the study area. At this first public meeting,  DDOT introduced the project, shared data collection, and provided opportunities for participants to share existing concerns. You can submit comments by the February 22 deadline here

*Strange Smells at Walter Reed:
Over the last several weeks, neighbors have raised concerns over strange smells around Walter Reed. The DC Department of Energy and Environment has released an "Odor Source Investigation Plan," which includes a dedicated hotline to report odors in the vicinity, available here.

*Proposed Soccer Pitch at Takoma Playground: The US Soccer Foundation is proposing a soccer mini pitch at the Takoma Playground (on the location of the asphalt basketball court with one small basketball hoop, next to the community garden). A map showing the location is available
here. A community meeting will take place on Wednesday, March 6th, at 6:30 p.m. at the Takoma Rec Center, where you can learn more about and provide feedback on the project.

*Safeway Renovations: Safeway presented at the last ANC 4A meeting, detailing their plans to update the store. The changes include all new freezers and refrigerators (no more thawed and re-frozen ice cream treats!), new self-checkout kiosks, additional shelving, and upgrades to the beer and wine selection. More from DC NorthStar on the proposed upgrades

*Georgia Avenue Target Opening Soon: The Shepherd Park small-format Target at Georgia and Eastern is set to open on April 7th. More on the opening from DC NorthStar here.

*Proposed Development at 218 Cedar St, NW (7/11): Main Street Takoma announced plans to develop 218 Cedar Street, where the 7/11 is located, into 30+ condos and approximately 10,000 square feet of retail space. More details here. A subsidiary of the developer, Neighborhood Development Company, has been the subject of some controversy when tenants involved in a different project claimed they were being forced out of business. More here.

*Megan Vroman Selected as Principal for New North Middle School: Read more about Megan Vroman

Upcoming Events with Me
Next Office Hours: Thursday, February 21, 7-8 pm, 715 Van Buren St, NW
Cedar Street Cleanup: Saturday, March 23, 9-11 am, 4th & Cedar
DC Budget Advocacy 101: Sunday, March 24, 3-5 pm, 715 Van Buren St, NW

Let's chat about the neighborhood! Join me tonight, Thursday, February 21st from 7-8 pm at 715 Van Buren St, NW, for monthly office hours for Single Member District 4B02. Please RSVP here.

Let's Clean Takoma! Join neighbors for our next Cedar Street Adopt-A-Block Cleanup on Saturday, March 23rd, from 9-11 am. We will meet in front of the BP Gas Station (7000 Blair Rd, NW). This is a kid-friendly event and will include snacks and a post-cleanup play date at the Takoma Education Campus playground. This event is being coordinated in conjunction with Main Street Takoma, which will be hosting a cleanup and planting event at the same time to include the Triangle Garden at 4th / Cedar / Blair. Please RSVP here.

Learn DC Budget Basics! Join me on Sunday, March 24th from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. at 715 Van Buren Street, NW, for DC Budget Advocacy 101. Zach Weinstein, a Community Organizer with Jews United for Justice, will provide a brief presentation and practical tips on how residents can play an important role in the budgetary process. This event will include a play date for kids, as well as pizza and drinks for all attendees. 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.

New & Notable
What's happening in local government?

Check out these DC Council legislative and other updates.
  • Budget season has officially begun! Learn the basics and get involved by attending one of Mayor Bowser's Budget Engagement Forums. More from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute here. And learn about Ward 4 Councilmember Brandon Todd's budget priorities here.
  • The DC Council voted to fast track implementation of sports betting, skipping the competitive bidding process and allowing Intralot - the current operator of the DC Lottery - to become the sole provider. More here. Read At-Large Councilmember David Grosso's criticism of the deal here.
  • Hearings on DCPS Chancellor-Nominee Lewis Ferebee came to a close. More regarding fatigue with the process here.
  • Mayor Bowser and the US Attorney's Office for DC announced a change in prosecution for gun crimes from local to federal courts. More here, and criticism regarding the move here. Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen offers his criticism here, and At-Large Councilmember Robert White offers his criticism here.
  • Ward 1 Councilmember Brianne Nadeau introduced legislation to revoke the D.C. Housing Authority's status as an independent agency, to give the Mayor's Office and DC Council better oversight. More here. Some great reporting from Morgan Baskin on the deterioration of public housing stock here.
  • Community members balked when Mayor Bowser proposed reprogramming funds from Fort Dupont Ice Arena for HVAC repairs at DC schools. As many argued, including myself, residents should not have to choose between recreation and school facilities. It looks like funding for both is available. More here.
  • Mayor Bowser (finally!) appointed the members to the Maternal Mortality Review Committee. DC has abysmal maternal mortality rates, and like the rest of the country, they are highly concentrated by race. More here.
  • The DC Public Library is offering a digital survey to seek public input on their 10-year master plan. More here.
  • The Department of Energy & Environment is now offering a residential relief program for the Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge on water bills. Details 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.

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

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