I’ve often been frustrated that ANC 6B does not spend a lot of meeting time on issues affecting residents on the eastern side of Capitol Hill. While 6B agendas have been dominated by issues such as retail mix on Barracks Row and the redevelopment of Hine Jr. High School, the commission has been less active recently on the Hill East Waterfront Project (a.k.a. Reservation 13), the future of Eastern Branch Boys & Girls Club and development near the Potomac Avenue metro station.
Next week, ANC 6B will consider a proposal that I’ve introduced jointly with Commissioner Jared Critchfield (6B06) to create a Hill East Committee for the commission. As proposed, the purpose of the committee would be to:
- Demonstrate ANC 6B’s clear commitment to addressing development issues facing Hill East, including Reservation 13, Pennsylvania Avenue re-development, Anacostia Riverwalk Trail completion, social services clustering at DC General Hospital and Eastern Branch Boys & Girls Club,
- Partner with city and city agencies to ensure that Hill East issues are addressed,
- Provide a way to engage more Hill East residents in ANC 6B to address their specific concerns. We envision the committee meeting quarterly at various locations in Hill East, and
- Recommend ways ANC 6B can support development efforts in Hill East.
For purposes of the committee, “Hill East” is defined as the area bounded to the west by 13th St. SE, to the north by East Capitol St. SE, and to the south and east by the Anacostia River. Committee members would consist of 1) all ANC 6B commissioners, and 2) interested residents (limit of one per single member district per the ANC 6B bylaws). I personally would like to see more Hill East residents as committee members, something that would be possible if the commission amends its bylaws or creates a Hill East Task Force instead of a committee.
An important note: This committee is not meant to duplicate the efforts of residents and community groups that have been active for years on Hill East issues. Instead, the committee will complement and assist these efforts by providing an additional platform for Hill East residents and community groups to weigh in with ANC 6B and city government. The committee will also help us make sure that both ANC 6B and city government are paying attention to the real needs and concerns of our neighborhood.
What do you think of this proposed committee? Feel free to post your comments and thoughts below and weigh in with your ANC 6B commissioner.