By: Carlo Massimo
ANC 1B’s November 1 meeting came to order at 6:42. Commissioners Jerry Johnson, Sedrick Muhammad, and Robb Hudson were absent.
- Michelle Garcia, director of the Office of Victim Services and Justice Grants, spoke at the meeting. OVS represents crime victims and citizens returning from incarceration. Garcia told the ANC about the private security camera incentive program — which offers all residents, renters and buyers, homes and businesses rebates or vouchers for security camera installation. The offer is for at least $200 and up to $500, or $750 for businesses. Garcia also reminded ANC 1B that DC’s Victim Hotline is available 24/7 by phone, text, or online chat. It gladly takes photos.
- Silvia Garrick of the Office of the People’s Counsel introduced OPC and some of its current campaigns. Many complaints surfaced about DC Water; OPC has not yet taken action, pending a DC Council vote, nor can it make in-depth investigations beyond the specific allegations in a formal complaint. For Washington Gas, OPC has secured a two year moratorium per user on rate rises. Garrick then addressed third party service suppliers, who have lately been scamming residents, particularly elderly residents, into switching services. Garrick made it clear that no one needs to switch service providers. Any claim to the contrary should be reported to OPC immediately. Finally, Garrick spoke briefly about Verizon’s new Fios service. Anyone who wants to keep their copper phone wiring can, without a problem.
- Patrick Nelson introduced Gregory Wagg of the Opportunities Industrialization Center of DC. OIC started in 2014 as a partnership between Howard University and some private stakeholders to train HVAC tradesmen in the Shaw area. OIC now offers courses in a number of trades, with a retroactive scholarship payable upon course completion, so that no one who finishes training need pay. The program takes about 50 students per three year course. Applicants must come from a 1.5 mile radius of OIC’s office at 2323 Sherman Ave NW. Headquarters are in Southeast.
- Amy Grossnickel of the National Symphony Orchestra told the Board about NSO In Your Neighborhood, which brings classical music performances to neighborhoods around DC. NSO will be in Shaw and Columbia Heights in January.
- District Bridges is holding several events this month and next, including a Small Business Saturday event after Thanksgiving, a tree lighting at the Petworth Metro, and a gala on December 1.
- Consent Agenda (October minutes, Q4 report, treasurer’s report, ceremonial naming of Anthony Bowen Way, Mosaic annual payment, executive committee resolutions to encourage tolerance and repurpose land in ANC 1B territory) all APPROVED.
- Executive Committee: when DC General closed, the Mayor ordered short term family housing units in every Ward. The architect’s draft design for 2500 14th St NW has just been released. It was designed to fit into the neighborhood aesthetically and offer dignified living for its residents. Apparently it looks a little like an office building at the moment, which people don’t like.
- ABR Committee: Brooklyn SA’s petition was APPROVED, although Comm. Green looked a little hesitant.
- Transportation Committee: Grimke School. This is a longstanding project at the corner of U, Vermont, and 9th Streets NW, in conjunction with the African American Civil War Museum and led by DDOT. There will be green space, bioretention, ADA compliant entrances, all as one cohesive space from school to museum. Motion to support was APPROVED, under condition that the sidewalks be brick or something handsome like that.
- Transportation Committee: Vision Zero Task Force. Traffic deaths are rising in DC, so the ANC approved the motion. It isn’t clear whether the task force will remain a task force or become a subcommittee, but the group will convene in either case.
- Economic Development Committee: Theft from autos is still rampant in Wards 1 and 2. Visible items in a parked car will draw thieves like roaches to a cheese rind. MPD promised more patrols at the 14th St park, but commissioners seem doubtful that coverage has actually increased to any noticeable degree. The winter holidays and package/parcel season is coming, and package theft is up. Several thieves have been busted through security video footage — another reason to take advantage of the District’s security camera rebate program.
The end of year report is coming up for ANC1B and will be discussed next meeting. The meeting adjourned at 7:43. For more information about ANC 1B, you can visit its website.