ANC 6A Report

The ANC acknowledged Roberta Weiner, a former Hill Rag reporter, who contributed to the success of the ANC and often took meeting minutes. She passed on June 18. 

 

“The Crime Is Getting Out of Hand”

Commissioners expressed their dissatisfaction with city services for the lack of adequate response to community issues, namely the DC Department of Transportation (DDOT) and the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD). ANC Chair Phil Toomajian (6A05) originally brought up the issue with regard to a request to DDOT for a sidewalk re  pair near Sherwood Recreation Center on G St. NE. Concerned for the welfare of children and elderly residents living nearby, Toomajian brought up the problem almost two years ago but the sidewalk has remained in disrepair. His remark came combined with concern over recent violent incidents in the area and instances where security cameras were ineffective. Toomajian called the level of police attention to the area “inadequate.” Commissioner Sondra Phillips-Gilbert (6A07), addressing similar concerns in her single-member district, declared that “the crime is getting out of hand.” After a murder committed in Rosedale, she stated, residents felt unsafe because they did not feel a strong enough police presence.

The ANC brainstormed ideas on ways to make sure that city agencies were hearing concerns of community members. They unanimously approved sending two letters, one to the Department of General Services (DGS) and another to MPD, to address the issue. Additionally they proposed meetings between city agencies and commissioners, as well as larger meetings for community members to express their concerns regarding city services.

 

Something Major at Miner Elementary

Parents and representatives from the Community Outreach Committee presented a proposal from the DC Immersion Project for a Mandarin language immersion program at Miner Elementary School. With this new program students would spend half of their instruction time learning in Mandarin. Studies have shown that such programs improve student attendance and test scores while making children more interested in school. Similar programs at other schools in the area have long waitlists for students..

Commissioners discussed the program and stressed the need for community dialogue and parent involvement. Although many parents support the initiative, they claimed to have trouble getting in touch with the administration at the school. Phillips-Gilbert expressed concern that because programs like this are so popular, a Mandarin immersion program at Miner Elementary would push neighborhood students out of the school in favor of students from other parts of the city. The ANC moved unanimously to send a letter of support for the program. Omar Mahmud (6A01) was not present or voting for this motion.

 

Old Gibbs School Construction Update

Representatives from Monument Academy and Community College Prep provided an update on construction at the old Gibbs School building, which will house Monument Academy’s fifth- through eighth-grade students and will have space for Community College Prep’s continuing education students. Completed construction included a new roof, new windows and doors, and asbestos removal. The remaining work was largely on the inside of the building, although they would be building roof screens and a retention pond. 

Community College Prep, which provides Microsoft Academy training, will be holding events in August to make community members aware of what they do. Additionally Monument Academy will be hosting a trash clean up at the Gibbs site followed by an open house allowing community members to tour the school. 

 

Support for Mia’s Coffeehouse Sidewalk Cafe

The ANC heard a request for support of a sidewalk cafe at Mia’s Coffeehouse in the public space at the corner of 15th and A Streets NE. Mia’s Coffeehouse would be required to use the sidewalk cafe space only from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. during the week and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends. The business would also be required to regulate noise coming from the sidewalk cafe.

Neighboring residents came out to show their support for Mia’s Coffeehouse and its sidewalk cafe proposal. Despite slight confusion over the establishment’s current licenses, the ANC approved a letter of support unanimously. Mia’s Coffeehouse provided use of their space to the ANC for this July meeting.  

 

Other Actions and Announcements 

Naomi Mitchell, representing the office of Councilmember Charles Allen (D-Ward 6), announced that the councilmember along with Yvette Alexander (D-Ward 7) and Elissa Silverman (I-At Large), will be hosting a back-to-school event at DC General Hospital for families in the shelter. The event will take place on Aug. 15 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They welcome all volunteers and contributions.

The ANC voted unanimously to protest a request from Da Luft Restaurant & Lounge on H Street that would change its alcohol beverage license from a CR to a CT license. The change would allow the business to be able to sell alcoholic beverages without reporting food sales.

The ANC voted unanimously to support Ben’s Chili Bowl’s application for public-space use regarding the panda bearing the establishment’s logo that now sits at the corner of 10th and H Streets NE. 

Commissioner Mahmud, at the request of residents, asked the ANC to look into supporting historic designation for Wylie Street because of the “unique” architecture of the homes along that block. The homes were built for workers at the historic Washington Brick Machine Company.

The ANC unanimously supported a change in parking variance at Amazing Love Health Services, which provides physical and mental healthcare to the community. The change in parking variance would allow the facility to have fewer than the number of parking spaces required by zoning law.

Commissioner Chris Ward (6A03) was absent from this meeting.

 

Next Meeting

The next ANC 6A meeting will be on Thurs., Sept. 10, and will focus on education, specifically at ways to get parents and the community more involved with schools in 6A.