In Memoriam: Mark Dixon, Neighborhood Activist

Mark Dixon confers with an MPD officer.

Mark Dixon, long time ANC commissioner (2002-2012), former Chair of ANC6C and neighborhood activist died on January 23rd at Washington Hospital Center of complications from quadruple by-pass heart surgery. A viewing was held at Mount Airy Baptist Church and a Homegoing Service was held for friends and family on February 2nd..

His family was at his side at his passing. According to former ANC commissioner and friend, Keith Silver, Dixon had struggled with poor health for the past year and remained in the hospital after his surgery on December 19. He is survived by his daughter Marqita; two sons, Marcus and Curtis; and five grandchildren, as well as a sister, Margaret Vaughan and three brothers, Paul Holmes and Adrian and Grayson Dixon. Dixon was 70 years old.

Dixon was recently re-elected to the newly created ANC 6E06, a central part of the newly gentrifying residential areas of North Capitol St, including the NOMA neighborhood. Dixon, a life-long District resident was known for his tireless work in the community, especially at Sursum Corda and Temple Courts, and for his skillful balancing of the interest and concerns of those new arriving residents to his ANC District as well as his unstinting and relentless representation of those long term residents who had lived through more difficult years. Dixon, a retired District government worker, attended Theodore Roosevelt HS and graduated from St Augustine College in North Carolina in 1971.

Dixon was intensively involved with PSA 101 working with MPD toward improved public safety. He was a volunteer at the Gospel Rescue Mission working to train ex-offenders for work and with the Mount Vernon Triangle CID efforts to promote and sustain viable businesses. According to Silver, Dixon organized cookouts and trips to the Nationals game for the youth of Temple Courts and Sursum Corda.

A fixture at the National Night Out event celebrating crime-free streets and neighborhoods Dixon was a congregant at Mount Airy Baptist Church. Nancy Rosen, former Chair of CAC, details an arm’s length list of community efforts led by Dixon and concludes : “He had his hands in all of those pots.” Rosen wistfully recalls that Dixon loved to “hand dance” and never missed a Thursday night at his favorite club.

District One Commander Daniel Hickson worked with Dixon on community policing issues in a neighborhood that struggled with poverty and change. “Nothing he did was about Mark. It was about his community.” says Hickson. “He was just a huge presence. It doesn’t do justice to say he was an advocate He got things done. He built up good will and was able to reach out in many directions to get things done.

“Ward Six Councilmember Tommy Wells fondly recalls Dixon forcing him to come to every single Wednesday meeting for over two years to show his commitment to the Sursum Corda community after the closing of Terrell JHS and Walker Jones ES. Dixon maintained pressure for a K-8 school with a recreation center and computer lab, convinced it would benefit the community’s long term interests. “You had to prove to Mark that you were going to be there with him. He was really tough, said Wells.”

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