Last night, ANC 6B approved the creation of a Hill East Task Force by a vote of 6-4. Commissioners Francis Campbell (6B10), Dave Garrison (6B01), Norm Metzger (6B03) and Kirsten Oldenburg (6B04) voted against the task force.
The purpose of the new task force, which I jointly introduced with Commissioner Jared Critchfield (6B06), will 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 development issues are addressed;
- Provide a way to engage more Hill East residents in ANC 6B to address their specific concerns;
- Recommend ways ANC 6B can support development efforts in Hill East.
Commissioner Critchfield and I debated whether to propose the creation of a committee or task force. In the end, we decided to propose a task force for two reasons:
- By creating a task force, ANC 6B is not limited to selecting only one resident per single member district to serve on the task force. A committee would have been subject to the one resident per SMD limitation.
- Since a task force must expire after one year unless it is renewed, we thought a task force might be a compromise that could gain the support of our fellow Hill East colleague Commissioner Francis Campbell. The first year would be a trial period. Unfortunately, Commissioner Campbell still did not support the task force.
While I’m eager to start organizing the new task force, I am disappointed that Commissioner Campbell “vehemently opposed” its creation. His main objection is the inclusion of Reservation 13, which he views as an issue that primarily impacts his district. While Res. 13 is in Commissioner Campbell’s district, I strongly believe the impact of its eventual development (or lack thereof) will be felt across Capitol Hill, particularly in neighborhoods east of Lincoln Park. It is hard to imagine a Hill East Task Force that does not discuss arguably the biggest development issue facing Hill East.
Additionally, all commissioners, including the four that opposed the Hill East Task Force, routinely weigh in on issues facing Eastern Market even though it is not located in their districts. Reservation 13 should be treated in the same way. I do hope that Commissioner Campbell eventually agrees to play an active role on the task force.
I want to thank Commissioners Carol Green (6B07), Neil Glick (6B08), Ivan Frishberg (6B02) and Brian Pate (6B05) for supporting the task force. And a big thank you to my partner in this effort, Commissioner Critchfield, and to all of the Hill East residents who attended last night’s meeting and/or offered their support.
I’ll post my full recap of last night’s 3+ hour meeting in the next day or so. In the meantime, please post your comments and suggestions on the Hill East Task Force below.