Civic Association Members voted
- YES to send this letter to the District Department of Energy and the Environment re: the Fort Myers asphalt plant and associated concerns
- YES to send this letter to the District Department of Transportation calling for safer bike facilities between the Metropolitan Branch Trail and Shaw, Dupont Circle, and other points to Eckington’s west.
- YES to send a questionnaire to Ward 5 council candidates. View the responses the ECA received here.
How You Can Help
- Share information about or consider submitting a concept for a small ECA grant for programs, projects, or activities focused on:
- Environmental, sustainability, or health improvements for Eckington residents
- Promoting community engagement and providing opportunities for neighbors to connect with each other
- Offering skill building, education, mentorship, civic engagement, or other community-building activities for Eckington youth
- Enhancing traffic, biking, & pedestrian safety
More information about concept requirements can be found on the website. Concepts are due June 6.
- For those who wish to participate in a restorative justice meeting discussing concerns about dirt bikes in the neighborhood, a meeting will be held on Thursday, June 2nd at 6 p.m. at Catholic University, Columbus School of Law: 3600 John McCormick Rd NE Washington, DC. The meeting will be held in Room 305. With questions or concerns, please contact Jullian Brevard, Chief Juvenile Section, Office of the Attorney General at Jullian.Brevard@dc.gov.
Guest Speaker: Matthew Graves, US Attorney for the District of Columbia
- Mr. Graves requested the opportunity to address the civic association. He has jurisdiction over all adult criminal offenses in D.C., including prosecutions brought in District or federal courts.
- Mr. Graves shared some reflections on the approach of his office:
- Only a handful of people are responsible for the majority of violent crime. It is the view of his office that the best path for creating accountability in the short and medium term is an intelligence-based approach focused on the few repeat offenders.
- Communities are an important source of information about what’s occurring regularly and can serve as witnesses or provide background on ongoing issues.
- Misdemeanor offences can be nuisance issues but can also have knock-on effects if not mitigated. Root causes are often substance abuse issues, mental health issues, or a combination of the two. Arrests lead to probation or some jail time, but nothing is done to address root causes, and frequently they return to the same misdemeanor/nuisance offences. For these cases, this office is seeking to address root causes in order to disrupt patterns, seeing services provision as an alternative to traditional prosecution.
- Q&A with residents included the following:
- What’s the processes for prosecuting felonies vs. misdemeanors? Felonies include an arrest, with the suspect taken into custody. At a first court hearing within 24 hours, the District Attorney’s office makes a recommendation about whether to detain the accused further. This is a high standard set by the DC code and is only pursued for violent crimes, or if the suspect was otherwise under probation at the time of the offense. Detaining someone creates the right for a hearing within 3 days where evidence must be presented to a judge, who decides whether the defendant can be detained until trial. If someone is detained, the trial typically happens sooner. For anything other than homicide or violent sexual assault, a trial for someone being detained will happen within 100 days, unless the defendant requests a continuance. However, felony cases involving suspects who are not being detained will take longer to get to trial. For misdemeanors, unless the person is violating parole, they likely won’t be detained. Defendants in misdemeanor cases do not have a right to a jury, so a judge hears the evidence and decides whether to convict or acquit. Misdemeanor offenses usually take 3-6 months to resolution.
- What is your view on Violence Interrupter programs? There is very good data on the value they can add. Looking at risk factors, there is good predictive info on who the next generation of violent offenders will be. Violence interrupters can work with these individuals to stop the cycle. It is important that they be trusted members of the community and therefore it is essential that they have independence from the police and prosecutors.
- What would help you to be more effective? What are the missing tools in the toolbox that policy could support? Most important is adjusting problematic old laws and avoiding new problematic laws. The DC Council is in the midst of massive re-write of the code for the first time since 1901. There are some things that are problematic which this office feels would undermine its work. For instance, the current revision package eliminates carjacking as a standalone crime; instead it would be treated as a robbery. It also eliminates all mandatory minimums. It is the view of the office that these deserve a reasonable conversation, but nuances are important. A car is an extension of the home, a potentially deadline weapon in itself. If armed carjacking is not its own offense, and rather is treated as armed robbery, the penalty would shift from a current mandatory max of 15 years to a penalty of 0 (with probation) – 8 years. This office believes a floor of 5 year minimum should be set for any offense with a firearm or imitation firearm.
- A note from Conor Shaw: Please remember that there are other perspectives on mandatory minimums. Many legal and D.C. criminal justice organizations advocate for the elimination of mandatory minimums because of their questionable efficacy in reducing crime and because of their disproportionate impact on the Black community.
- How are you taking on ghost guns? We have way more illegal firearms today than we did a decade ago. Some of this is due to trafficking but a lot of it is due to ghost guns. Ghost guns are responsible for a greater number of crimes than legal weapons. This office would consider it an aggravating factor; when considering the bucket of charges to be brought, the fact that someone possesses a ghost gun would be an argument for more serious charges for that individual.
- Questions about pending cases or other questions can be shared with Magdalena Acevedo, Community Prosecutor for the 5th District: Magdalena.Acevedo@usdoj.gov, 202/834-5146
- Eckington Day will be on October 1 – Save the Date!
Updates from the offices of elected representatives and community members — 8:00-8:30 pm
- Silas Grant, Senior Advisor, Office of Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie
- Following the shooting a few weeks ago at 4th & Rhode Island, will be doing a joint walk with Commissioner Wright tomorrow from 5-6 p.m.
- The Coucilmember is still reviewing comments from Ward 5 Redistricting Task Force. Also comments and testimony from the two hearings.
- Nokomis Hunter, Ward 5 Liaison, Mayor Bowser’s Office of Community Relations & Services
- Based on the Point in Time Count – the annual census on homelessness, the number of people experiencing homelessness has declined by 13.7% over the last year and by 47% since 2016.
- The Office of Gun Violence & Prevention’s Building Blocks DC Program has announced a number of grants for community organizations.
- The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development (DMPED) and 1863 Ventures announced the first round of investment recipients of the $1.25 million Inclusive Innovation Equity Impact Fund (IIEIF). A second round of opportunity has opened, with applications due on June 1.
- Other members of the community
- A Farmers Market will be taking place at Tanner Park on Thursdays from 3-7pm
- NoMa BID is hosting movies in Tanner Park in coming weeks. The posted schedule includes Mrs. Doubtfire (May 11, 8:20 p.m.), Cool Runnings (May 18, 8:25 p.m.), The Sandlot (May 25, 8:30 p.m.), Space Jam (June 1, 8:40 p.m.), and The Princess Bride (June 8, 8:45 p.m.)
- Bloomingdale Community Day will take place in Crispus Attucks Park on Saturday, May 21, 2022, 9am-3pm. Eckington neighbors are welcome.
- Eckington Parks & Arts is hosting a virtual community meeting on May 16 for members and prospective members.
Upcoming Meetings & Events
- First and third Saturday of every month: community cleanup with Eckington Parks & Arts
- Saturday, May 14 from 3 to 6pm: Langley Elementary PTO “make some noise” fundraiser at Metrobar
- Monday, May 16 from 7 to 8:30pm: Eckington Parks & Arts Quarterly Community Meeting
- Monday, June 6: Small grant concepts due to ECA
- Monday, June 13: Next ECA monthly meeting
- Saturday, October 1: Eckington Day!