- On Tues., Oct. 27, Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen will host a Community Public Safety Meeting at 7 pm at Friendship Chamberlain Public Charter School (1345 Potomac Avenue SE – across from Harris Teeter). Councilmember Allen has invited Chief Cathy Lanier and First District Commander Jeff Brown to discuss how MPD is addressing the recent increase in violent crime on Capitol Hill.
- On Wed., Oct. 28, ANC 6B’s Hill East Task Force will discuss the future of the RFK Stadium site from 7-8:30 pm at St. Coletta of Greater Washington (1901 Independence Ave SE). Ed Lazere, executive director of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, will present data on stadiums and cities. The task force will also discuss the recent community meetings on the Events DC RFK Study.
- ANC 6B’s October meeting is tonight (10/13), 7 pm at the Hill Center. Meeting materials are available at www.anc6b.org. The commission will be considering raze permit requests for 1620-1622 E Street SE, a letter to Mayor Bowser on the Events DC RFK Stadium Redevelopment study and a resolution on homelessness.
- The Homeless Children’s Playtime Project, a great nonprofit organization that works to provide playtime and learning opportunities for children living in temporary housing, is currently constructing a new preteen and teen space at the DC General Family Shelter. While they have plenty of volunteers signed up to help with the construction, the Playtime Project is still raising funds for the new space. You can donate or learn about other volunteer opportunities on the Playtime Project’s website.
- This Sat., Oct. 17 is the 15th Annual Renovators House Tour, an event that raises funds for the Capitol Hill Cluster School. The tour, which goes from 10 am – 4 pm, kicks off in my Single Member District (6B09) with stops along Kentucky Ave SE and E Street SE. You can purchase tickets for the tour at http://renovatorshousetour.org/.
- In case you missed it, the Washington Post had a great feature article on Historic Congressional Cemetery!
Some important news for residents who use the Stadium-Armory Metro station. In the aftermath of last week’s substation fire, WMATA has announced that it will reduce service to the Stadium-Armory Metro station beginning on Tues., Sept. 29. During weekday rush hours (5-10 am, 2-7:30 pm), the Stadium-Armory Metro station will only be served by Blue Line trains. All Orange and Silver Line trains will pass through the station without stopping. Normal service to the station will resume once the substation is rebuilt and back online, a process that, according to WMATA, is “estimated to take more than six months.”
On Sept. 28, Councilmembers Charles Allen (Ward 6) and Yvette Alexander (Ward 7) sent a letter to WMATA asking the agency to reconsider its decision to implement service cuts at Stadium-Armory. And Commissioner Denise Krepp (6B10) and I plan to ask ANC 6B’s Executive Committee to send a letter to WMATA asking the agency to reverse the cuts. Hopefully, WMATA will reverse this ill-advised decision.
Events DC will host a second community meeting to seek feedback on its RFK Stadium Redevelopment Study this Wed., Sept. 30, 6-9 pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center (801 Mount Vernon Place NW). Note that the meeting will take place in the West Salon on the street level.
As I mentioned in my recap of the first community meeting, there is little support for a new NFL Stadium in the neighborhoods surrounding the RFK Stadium site. By dubbing this second meeting a “citywide” meeting and holding it downtown, Mayor Bowser and Events DC expects (or “hopes” may be the better term) to hear more support for a new NFL stadium.
We had a great turnout for the first meeting and need a similarly strong turnout for the downtown meeting. Please plan to attend all or a portion of the Sept. 30 meeting. Your participation will help ensure that DC residents have a say in the future of this valuable, waterfront site.
On Sept. 16, Events DC held the first of two community meetings to seek input for its RFK Stadium Redevelopment Study at St. Coletta of Greater Washington. More than 150 residents attended the meeting and had a chance to share their thoughts and ideas on how to the develop the roughly 180 acres that make up the RFK Stadium campus. Here are my key takeaways from the meeting:
- There is little support for a new football stadium – Attendees voiced overwhelming opposition to a new NFL stadium on the site. Not one of the 8 breakout groups recommended a new football stadium at the site and many noted that such a use would provide little benefit to the city. And Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen made it clear that he believes there are better uses for site than a stadium.
- Plenty of great non-stadium alternatives – From an amphitheater to youth athletic fields to museums to mixed-use development to waterfront park space, there was no shortage of great potential uses offered by attendees. One key message – we need to activate this site now, not wait on a plan that may never materialize.
- Events DC has had no contact with the Washington NFL team – Representatives of Brailsford & Dunlavey, the consulting firm hired by Events DC to conduct the study, shared a list of all of the organizations/institutions they had interviewed so far. While most of the organizations were sports-related, one organization was missing – the Washington NFL team. Apparently, the team has chosen not to engage in the Events DC study which means…
- The Mayor’s Office is leading negotiations with the Washington NFL Team – As I learned last week, Mayor Muriel Bowser wants a new football stadium at the RFK site and views the Events DC study as the back-up plan. And she has apparently cut Events DC out of her negotiations/communication with the Washington NFL team.
- Setting up a City versus the Neighborhood Dynamic – While Events DC deserves credit for listening to the community at this meeting, it is clear that they support a stadium at the site. Events DC representatives parroted Mayor Bowser’s argument that the site was large enough to accommodate a stadium and numerous other uses. They also said that while the views of neighbors are important, they need to take a citywide and regional view of the site, noting that their second community meeting on Sept. 30 is designed for residents across the city. Their assumption (or hope) is that most city residents have vastly different views of a stadium at the site than neighbors.
- The study results are important – Though Mayor Bowser and Events DC want a stadium, the study is still critical. When completed, it will present a number of alternatives, including feasible non-stadium alternatives that can be shared citywide and with the DC Council.
- Residents are paying attention – It was fantastic to see such a strong turnout for this meeting. We recognize that the RFK Stadium site represents such a huge opportunity for both our neighborhood and the city and will fight hard to make sure it is not squandered.
If you attended the meeting, post your comments or reactions below. And mark your calendars for the citywide meeting on Wed., Sept. 30, 6-9 pm at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center.