ANC 5C 01 February 2011 Report

FEBRUARY 7, 2011
by ANC5c01 Commissioner Bradley Thomas

The last meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 5C (which covers the western third of Ward 5) took place on Tuesday, January 18, 2011, in the Social Hall of Trinity University.  All twelve commissioners of ANC5C were present.  The first order of business was the election of officers for the 2011-2013 term.  The election produced the following results:

Chairperson:    Commissioner Ronnie Edwards-who represents Single Member District 5C11.
Vice Chairperson:       Silas Grant-who represents SMD 5C09.
Recording Secretary: Hugh Youngblood-who represents SMD 5C03.
Corresponding Secretary:       J. Jioni Palmer-who represents SMD 5C08.
Financial Secretary:     John Salati-who represents SMD 5C04.
Treasurer:        Gigi Ransom-who represents SMD 5C12.

Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. administered the oath of office to those persons.

A number of housekeeping chores were next on the agenda and I will make available the minutes of the meeting to anyone who so requests.  The action item I raised which directly affects our SMD was the issue of the outstanding request for speed calming devices to be installed on P Street between North Capitol and Third Streets, N.W. I pointed out that whereas our civic association submitted a citizen’s petition with the required number of signatures and ANC5C, in July of 2009, passed a resolution calling for the city to install speed bumps, to date, no written response has been received and verbal responses have varied between “yes, it’s possible” to “no, it can’t be done.”  I requested, and the commission voted without opposition, to extend an invitation to the District’s Department of Transportation to send a representative to the February ANC meeting to answer questions about the status of our request.  Since then, Corresponding Secretary Palmer has submitted, based on my draft, a letter to DDOT asking for a representative to be present on February 15, 2011.

I wish to encourage as many B.A.C.A. members as possible to attend the ANC meeting next week, Tuesday, February 15th, at 7:00 p.m., at the Summit at St. Martins, 116 T Street, N.E., Washington, DC 20002.  A copy of the draft agenda for that meeting (which is subject to change) is attached to this report.  Members of the community at large will be permitted to speak or to ask questions during the ACommunity Concerns@ portion of the agenda.  One of the items on the agenda for next week is the confirmation of the establishment standing committees and the appointment chairpersons to head those standing committees.

The ANC met in executive session last week and proposed the establishment of five, and possibly six, standing committees.  They are, Bylaws, Communications & Technology, Finance & Grants, Economic Development, Public Safety and perhaps Legislative Policy, Health & Government Affairs.  I have been tapped to chair the Economic Development Committee.  A formal vote on the establishment of those committees and the nominees to chair them will take place at next Tuesday’s ANC meeting at the Summit.

Last Monday, January 31, 2011, B.A.C.A. President Giovanni Bonilla and I represented our community on a public safety walk-through of the northeast corner of our Single Member District.  The walk-through, spurred by the recent shootings and armed robberies in that area, was well attended.  In addition to myself, there were five other Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners from 5C present, Commissioners Pinkney, Youngblood, Clark, Edwards and Ransom.  Led by Councilmember Thomas, we started at the site of the well publicized shooting a new resident of our community near the bus stop at Florida Avenue and North Capitol Street.  Mayor Gray was in attendance as were Chief Lanier and Commander Greene of the Metropolitan Police Department, Nathaniel Mines, Investigator with the Department of Public Works, and several other persons representing D.C. government agencies and civic associations.  We proceeded down North Capitol Street to Bates Street, went west on Bates to First Street, south on First to P Street, east on P back to North Capitol and north on North Capitol back to the starting location.  Along the way, we stopped to enter the establishments of several local merchants where Mayor Gray gave assurances that his administration is committed to both public safety and economic development in our community.

In line with the success of the walk-through last Monday, and giving credit for the suggestion to Commissioner Sylvia Pinkney of our neighboring SMD 5C02, I want to propose to organize a public safety walk-through of our entire Single Member District.  I suggest that for the first such walk-through, we do it on a Saturday morning, setting aside 60 to 90 minutes to go block by block and alley by alley, pointing out problem spots and making suggestions for improvements.  I will endeavor to arrange for the presence of a representative from the police department, the Department of Public Works and any other agencies we might feel would be helpful.  If we are unable to cover the whole Single Member District in one walk-through, we could divide the district in half and cover one half on one Saturday morning and the other half maybe 3 or 4 weeks later.  I suggest, for the first walk, the last Saturday in February or the first Saturday in March.  Out of that walk-through, we might decide that there is a need to do a night-time walk-through on another date.

I have continued to meet with Commissioner Sylvia Pinkney and other residents of the Bates and the Hanover Area Civic Associations regarding the disposition of the Cook School in the unit block of P Street.  I will defer to Commissioner Pinkney for the latest update on this issue since the school is actually situated in her SMD and she has taken the lead on this project.

Finally, I would like to form a focus group or advisory cabinet so to speak, composed of one resident from each block in our SMD.  The purpose of the group would be to gather feedback and suggestions related to each individual section of our district so that when I go to ANC meetings, I am truly speaking for the whole SMD.  This group would not replace the civic association but would supplement it by going into every nook and cranny of our district and rooting out information that doesn’t make it to B.A.C.A. because of time conflicts or whatever reason.  If you would be interested in being the eyes and ears of your block for this purpose or if you can suggest a neighbor, please sign up on the interest sheet.  Again, I’m looking for just one person from each block so we get a group that’s representative yet manageable.

That’s my report.

Bradley A. Thomas
telephone:  (202) 670-0151

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