June Meeting Highlights Posted

Highlights from our June ECA meeting have been posted.

Members voted to submit a proposed letter to Councilmember McDuffie, Chair of the D.C. Council Committee on Business and Economic Development,  seeking enhanced regulation of Go-Puff and other last-mile delivery services.

We also flagged a few ways Eckington residents can make a difference:

  • Eckington Day is returning October 1, 2022
    • Volunteers can sign up for the following activities by contacting Dana Samuels: dana.samuels@gmail.com:
      • Outreach to local businesses/potential sponsors
      • Outreach to local news outlets and others who can spread the word about the event
      • Helping to staff the event for part of the day on October 1.
  • DDOT is looking for someone in Ward 5 to join its recreational trails advisory committee. The committee only meets twice a year, but it’s a great opportunity to get involved if you use and love DC’s trails–including the Met. Branch Trail. Please email us if you’d like to learn more about this opportunity!

Our July meeting will be Monday, July 11, from 7:00 – 8:30. We’ll be hearing from three prospective grantees about proposed projects to promote air quality, traffic safety, and improved ecosystems. We hope you’ll join us!

June 2022 Virtual Meeting Agenda

June 13, 2022 | 7:00PM-8:30PM

How to Participate in Our Virtual Meeting
Link: meet.google.com/ryy-qwco-bod 
Or dial: +1-219-654-2369‬ PIN: ‪149 080 474‬#

Agenda Items

ECA business — 7:00-8:00 pm

  • Voting item: proposed letter to Councilmember McDuffie, Chair of the D.C. Council Committee on Business and Economic Development, seeking enhanced regulation of Go-Puff and other last-mile delivery services.
  • Eckington Day is returning October 1, 2022
    • Discussion of possible changes/additions this year
    • Request for volunteers to assist with planning
  • Second round of ECA grants to be discussed and voted on at our July meeting. We’ve received 3 requests for funding, which is great!
  • Partnership with Shizuka (Zukes) Hsieh, Associate Professor of Chemistry Trinity Washington University to install air quality monitoring equipment at a private residence on 4th Street NE. 
    • Thanks to help from Shelley Vinyard, a member of CM McDuffie’s Ward 5 industrial land task force, we’re going to coordinate with a professor at nearby Trinity University to better understand air quality in our community. As we pointed out in a recent letter to D.C. officials, the city does not monitor ambient air quality in our part of Ward 5 even though that is where the city has chosen to concentrate most of its industrial land. 
  • Update on ANC Redistricting 
    • The boundaries proposed by the Ward 5 task force are final. Councilmember McDuffie did not support a new ANC single member district in northeast Eckington. It has been disappointing not to be able to count on our Ward councilmember’s support in confronting sources of pollution in our community–and this push was a part of that fight. Fortunately, Ward 5 will have a fresh start next year–remember to vote in the upcoming democratic primary! (View the responses to the ECA’s candidate questionnaire here!)
    • Eckington and Edgewood will be part of the new seven-member ANC 5F. Eckington will be represented by four commissioners, one of whom (5F04) will represent residents in Edgewood too. Eckington’s new SMD boundaries are pictured below
New Eckington single member district boundaries
  • Small updates
    • DDOT is looking for someone in Ward 5 to join its recreational trails advisory committee. The committee only meets twice a year, but it’s a great opportunity to get involved if you use and love DC’s trails–including the Met. Branch Trail. Please email us if you’d like to learn more about this opportunity!
    • After 4 years serving as ECA President and Treasurer, respectively, Conor and Neil are going to be stepping down from those roles at the end of this year. The ECA elections in November are going to be an important opportunity to bring fresh energy to the association. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Conor if you’re interested in running for office this fall.     

Updates from the offices of elected representatives and community members — 8:00-8:30 pm

Upcoming Meetings & Events

May 9, 2022 Virtual Meeting Highlights

Decisions Taken

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.

Highlights

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.
  • 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.

Upcoming Meetings & Events                                                         

Eckington Civic Association calls for safer bike facilities on Q and R streets

Today, the Eckington Civic Association sent a letter to DDOT requesting safer east-west bike facilities between the Metropolitan Branch Trail in Eckington and points to our neighborhood’s west. Despite being critical bike routes, Q and R streets are not the low stress bike routes that they should be.

The dangers to cyclists on this corridors are apparent in Eckington. 9 cyclists have been injured on R street in the last five years. Just last week, a cyclist suffered major injuries after being struck by a vehicle at R street and Harry Thomas Way NE. A further 6 cyclists have been struck on the unit block of Florida Avenue. According to DDOT’s North Capitol Street project team, the intersection of R street and North Capitol Street is among the most dangerous intersections in the city–not just the North Capitol Street corridor. 

The ECA’s letter can be viewed in full here.

Individuals who wish to support this effort can sign onto a petition that is being organized by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association.

Eckington civic leaders and organizations call for DOEE to make significant changes to Fort Myer’s asphalt plant permit

On May 17, 2022, Eckington civic leaders and organizations sent a letter to District officials calling on the D.C. Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE) to make significant changes to the permit for the Fort Myer asphalt plant located in Eckington at 5th and V streets NE. The letter (a pdf of which is available here) was drafted by the Eckington Civic Association (ECA) and signed by the ECA, ANC 5E03 Commissioner Denise Wright, former ANC 5E03 Commissioner Hannah Powell, and Eckington Parks and Arts.

The letter calls for common-sense limitations on the asphalt plant’s operation, including restrictions on hours and days of operation, restrictions on the plant’s operation when air quality is poor, and assurances that Fort Myers will address longstanding issues with odor, dust, noise, and truck traffic nuisances. The letter also calls out DOEE and city leadership for their failure to install permanent equipment to measure ambient air quality nearby, despite the fact that Ward 5 is home to the vast majority of D.C.’s industrial facilities and activity. Finally, the letter notes that Eckington’s neighbors in Brentwood likely have similar concerns about a separate Fort Myers asphalt plant and requests that representatives of the Brentwood community be involved in conversations with the District and Fort Myer.

“The Mayor and the D.C. Council have chosen to concentrate industrial activity in Eckington and across Ward 5 with little regard to the residents, school children, and trail users who are most impacted by air pollution, heavy truck traffic, and other harms created by that activity,” said Conor Shaw, President of the Eckington Civic Association. “Residents have tried to work with District agencies for years to address these harms to little effect,” Shaw continued. “It is long past time for DOEE and Eckington’s elected representatives to ensure that Ward 5 residents are better protected from harms created by Fort Myer’s operations in Eckington.”

The ECA looks forward to working with Commissioner Wright, Eckington Parks & Arts, Fort Myer, DOEE, and our elected leaders to limit and reduce the environmental harm caused by the Fort Myer asphalt plant in Eckington.

Responses to Eckington Civic Association’s Ward 5 Councilmember candidate questionnaire

On May 11, 2022, the Eckington Civic Association (ECA) distributed a questionnaire to all of the candidates on the ballot for Ward 5 Councilmember in the upcoming June 21, 2022 democratic primary. The ECA does not endorse candidates for political office, but we hope that Eckington residents will find the responses we received helpful.

Three candidates submitted responses. We are sharing them in alphabetical order by last name:

Kathy Henderson

Faith Gibson Hubbard

Zachary Parker

Many thanks to Kathy, Faith, and Zachary for completing the ECA questionnaire!

May 2022 Virtual Meeting Agenda

May 9, 2022 | 7:00PM-8:30PM 

How to Participate in Our Virtual Meeting
Link: meet.google.com/ryy-qwco-bod 
Or dial: +1-219-654-2369‬ PIN: ‪149 080 474‬#

Agenda Items

Guest Speaker: Matthew Graves, US Attorney for the District of Columbia – 7:00-7:20 pm

  • Mr. Graves requested the opportunity to address the civic association. He will make brief remarks and then take questions from members. 
  • Mr. Graves’s office has jurisdiction over all adult criminal offenses in D.C., including prosecutions brought in D.C. or federal courts. 

ECA business — 7:20-8:00 pm

  • Voting item: proposed letter to the District Department of Energy and the Environment re: the Fort Myers asphalt plant and associated concerns 
  • Voting item: proposed 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. 
  • Voting item: proposed questionnaire for Ward 5 council candidates
  • Update onANC Redistricting 
    • The Council Subcommittee on Redistricting has informed us that ECA’s proposed changes to the Ward 5 ANC map will not move forward without support from Councilmember McDuffie. They have not received that support yet. Please contact Silas Grant (sgrant@dccouncil.us) at Councilmember McDuffie’s office to let him know that you support a ANC single member district in Northeast Eckington
  • Other updates:
    • Eckington Day will be on October 1 – Save the Date!
    • Farmers Market will be taking place at Tanner Park on Thursdays from 3-7pm

Updates from the offices of elected representatives and community members — 8:00-8:30 pm

Upcoming Meetings & Events

ECA April Meeting Notes Posted

Highlights from our April ECA meeting have been posted.

During this call:

  • Members voted YES to provide a grant to resident Sianna Boschetti to construct a Little Free Library near Tanner Park.
  • Members voted YES for the ECA to prepare and submit a letter advocating for changes to the proposed ANC redistricting map.

We also flagged the following ways that members can contribute to the community:

  • Submit questions for inclusion in our Ward 5 Councilmember Candidate Forum. We are hoping to convene a candidate forum at our next meeting; be in touch (eckingtoncivic@gmail.com) to suggest questions or flag topics that you’d like us to raise during the moderated discussion. On the call, members raised issues including a vision for Rhode Island Ave transformation and development; air quality; gunshots/ghost guns; enforcement of no-truck zones; policy accountability; environmental and green space priorities; traffic safety; and noise/safety issues with local dirt bikes and the GoPuff warehouse.
  • Save the date – October 1 – for Eckington Day 2022! Stay tuned for more details!
  • Help get the word out about the next round of ECA Grants – we’re accepting applications until June 6 for grants of up to $1,000 that would improve the environment and health for Eckington residents; promote community engagement; provide skill building, education, mentorship, civic engagement, or other community-building activities for Eckington youth; and/or promote safety on Eckington’s roads and sidewalks.
  • Consider serving as an ECA officer in 2023. Although elections are not until November, this is a great time to get your questions answered! Check out descriptions of the different roles and responsibilities, and get in touch (eckingtoncivic@gmail.com) if you have interest or questions.

Check the notes for more – including several upcoming events.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Monday, May 9, 7:00 – 8:30 p.m. Hope you can join us!

April 2022 Virtual Meeting Agenda

April 11, 2022 | 7:00PM-8:30PM 

How to Participate in Our Virtual Meeting
Link: meet.google.com/ryy-qwco-bod 
Or dial: +1-219-654-2369‬ PIN: ‪149 080 474‬#

Agenda Items

ECA business — 7:00-8:00 pm

  • ECA Grants – Taylor Kennedy, ECA Vice President
    • Presentation, vote – application for grant to create Little Free Library – Sianna Boschetti
    • Announcing new grant application period – applications due June 6
  • ANC Redistricting – Conor Shaw, ECA President
    • ANCs stand for Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. Individual commissioners are elected from within single member districts (the different color boundaries you see below), and these commissioners have considerable power to help shape zoning, permitting, and other items that shape our community. DC is currently going through its redistricting process, which happens every ten years, and is based on the population counts of the most recent census. Each single member district is supposed to have approximately 2,000 residents, and the target range is roughly 1900-2100. The Ward 5 redistricting task force has proposed creating a new ANC that would be composed of Eckington and Edgewood (labeled 5F in the Arcgis map
  • Update on New York Avenue NE Roadmap – Conor Shaw, ECA Roadmap
  • Eckington Day – Dana Samuels, ECA Vice President
    • Exploring tentative dates: Sept 24, Oct 1, Oct 8
    • Are there other events that we should avoid or link to?
  • Eckington resident experiences with last-mile delivery services (e.g., GoPuff) – Brandt Witt, ECA Vice President
  • Objectives for May ECA Ward 5 Councilmember Candidate Forum – Daniel Agold, ECA Vice President
    • Issues, concerns, questions to be included in moderated session?

Updates from the offices of elected representatives and community members — 8:00-8:30 pm

ECA March Meeting Notes Posted

Notes from our March 14, 2022 ECA session have been posted.

Please see the notes for a number of updates from the ECA and our elected representatives including:

  • letters from the ECA to local officials
  • updates from Councilmember McDuffie’s office related to budget requests, public restroom pilots, upcoming budget hearings and more
  • updates from Eckington neighbors, including upcoming volunteer clean-up events as well as a Spring planting event in the Eckington/Langley Community Food Forest.

Our next meeting will be held on Monday, April 11, from 7:00 – 8:30.