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June 14 ECA Meeting Highlights

Highlights from our June 14 Meeting have been posted.

At this meeting, ECA members voted to approve the following:

We also flagged the following ways members can contribute:

  • Eckington Day: Saturday October 2, 2021 at Tanner Park
    • Save the date!
    • Tell your neighbors!
    • Interested in helping with planning or on the day of the event? Be in touch at eckingtoncivic@gmail.com.
  • Eckington’s nonprofit community bike shop, Gearin’Up, is looking for a new home. We are trying to assist. Please consider donating to help them with their move.

See the summary for other details about recent city budgeting, and updates from other neighborhood organizations and the Mayor’s office.

Eckington Civic Association comments on DDOT’s 65% Plans for Dave Thomas Circle

On June 15, 2021, the Eckington Civic Association (“ECA”)sent a letter to DDOT presenting comments on DDOT’s 65% design for the intersection of New York Avenue, Florida Avenue, Eckington Place, and 1st Street (“Dave Thomas Circle”). In the letter, ECA noted our appreciation for the elements of this design that reflect previous input from our members, including the addition of crosswalks, protected bike lanes that cross New York Avenue, new public spaces, and simplified, direct access between Eckington and NoMa. 

At the same time, the ECA expressed three outstanding concerns: 

  1. the 65% design fails to address dangerous vehicle speeds and in fact encourages higher vehicle speeds by including new designated turn lanes;
     
  2. the project does not adequately advance DDOT’s sustainability goals because it includes no improvement to bus service along Florida Avenue and fails to close gaps in the low-stress bike network; and
     
  3. DDOT has not made sufficient commitments for the maintenance of public spaces at the intersection or for the regular closure of Eckington Place NE and First Street NE to accommodate community events. 

In many respects, our feedback boils down to a simple point: We would like to see DDOT embrace the fact that this intersection lies at the heart of neighborhoods that are quickly becoming one of the most dense urban areas in the city. We hope that DDOT will take additional steps to make this space look, feel, and operate more like a city plaza and less like a suburban interchange.

These points are described in greater detail in the full letter, which is available here.

June 14 Virtual Meeting Agenda

June 14, 2021 | 7:00PM-8:30PM 

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

Join the Civic Association: Register here (it’s free)
You can also support the civic association by making a one time or recurring donation

Agenda Items

ECA business — 7:00-8:00 pm

  • Eckington Day (Dana Samuels, Ben Colbert)
    • Save the Date: Saturday October 2, 2021 at Tanner Park
    • What we’re working on: fun activities for all ages in the park, music, and more!
    • Discussion of and vote on allocating up to $2,500 of ECA funds to cover Eckington Day costs (some of which may be recouped from donations, fees for exhibitors)
  • Discussion of and vote on proposed ECA Comments re: DDOT’s 65% plan for Dave Thomas Circle 
  • Discussion of and vote on proposed joint Eckington and Bloomingdale Civic Association letter regarding study of North Capitol Street.
    • Many thanks to Eckington Parks & Arts’s Mark Galvan for his efforts to coordinate the ECA, BCA, and the Deckover Steering Committee.  
    • The Mayor’s budget includes $1 million for a study of North Capitol Street, including the feasibility of the deckover and other options for improving the corridor from Michigan Ave. to Mass Ave.
    • Note: we’re working with the deckover team on a special joint meeting (details & timing TBD)
  • Quick updates:
    • With your help, we succeeded in restoring one of two amendments to the comprehensive plan
    • In 2020, we requested funds to improve Harry Thomas Recreation Center. In this year’s proposed budget, Mayor Bowser allocated $19 million in DC’s Capital Improvements Plan in fiscal years 2024 and 2025 to modernize the facility.
    • This year, with the help of several partners, including Langley Elementary PTO, Eckington Parks, Ward 5 for All, and ANC 5E, we advocated for funds for a DC public library to serve Eckington, Edgewood, and Stronghold. In this year’s proposed budget, Mayor Bowser allocated $24 million for a neighborhood library to serve our communities (again, the money is allocated in FYs 2024-25).
    • The budget also contains significant investments in violence interruption programs, the subject of a letter the ECA transmitted this Spring to Mayor Bowser. It is not yet clear where the city will choose to expand violence interruption programs. 
    • We are planning to move ECA officer elections to November, a month in which our meetings have typically had higher attendance than December. We’ll use the last meeting of the year in December for a look back at the year’s achievements, set some goals for 2022, and have a party.
    • We anticipate returning to in-person meetings in September (but will hope to have a virtual participation option).
    • Eckington’s nonprofit community bike shop, GearinUp, is looking for a new home. We are trying to assist. Please consider donating to help them with their move

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

Upcoming Meetings & Events

  • Saturday, June 19: community cleanup with Eckington Parks & Arts
  • Thursday, June 24: Third Eckington Day Planning Meeting
  • Monday, July 12: Next ECA Meeting
  • The ECA will not be meeting in August
  • Monday, Nov. 8: ECA meeting including ECA officer elections for 2022
  • Monday, Dec. 13: End-of-year celebration

A PDF of the agenda is available here.

May 10 ECA Meeting Highlights

Highlights from the May 10 ECA Meeting have been posted. This meeting focused primarily on Eckington’s proposed amendments to the DC Comprehensive Plan, which were proposed by the civic association in 2017, received support from ANC 5E in 2017 and 2020, and were adopted by Mayor Bowser’s Office of Planning in May 2020.

Nevertheless, the Eckington Amendments were taken out of the Comprehensive Plan Act of 2021 by the D.C. Council in April 2021.

The Eckington Amendments would change the designation of industrial land that currently occupies a large amount of land in the eastern half of the neighborhood that is directly adjacent to the Metropolitan Branch Trail and the red line Metro stops. By changing the designation of this land from production, distribution and repair (“PDR”) to “mixed use”, our amendments would encourage and allow for more residential and commercial uses that would benefit Eckington by:

  • Offering opportunities to build new housing, especially affordable housing
  • Promoting environmental justice by encouraging property owners to phase-out sources of pollution like the asphalt plant and construction lots for diesel vehicles
  • Providing opportunities to expand city services and bring jobs and neighborhood-facing businesses to Eckington.

We’re asking members to help follow up by contacting DC Councilmembers by May 18 to ask that they reinstate our Amendments. Please see the meeting highlights for more background information as well as contact details for the councilmembers.

May 2021 Virtual Meeting Agenda

May 10, 2021 | 6:45PM-8:30PM 

How to Participate in Our Virtual Meeting
Click this link: https://meet.google.com/gjz-apmz-zmq 
Or dial: +1 402-724-0051 PIN: 276511751#

ECA brief updates — 6:45-7:00 pm

  • Eckington Day (Dana Samuels, Taylor Kennedy, Ben Colbert)
    • Save the Date: Saturday October 2, 2021 at Tanner Park
  • DDOT presenting latest Dave Thomas Circle plans on May 17 (Conor Shaw) 

SPECIAL ITEM: Discussion of Eckington’s Comprehensive Plan amendments — 7:00-8:30 pm

  • An presentation and update on the Eckington’s Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan from ECA President Conor Shaw (7:00 – 7:30 PM)
    • Eckington’s proposed amendments to the Comprehensive Plan were proposed by the civic association in 2017, received support from ANC 5E in 2017 and 2020, and were adopted by Mayor Bowser’s Office of Planning in May 2020. 
    • Nevertheless, the Eckington Amendments were taken out of the Comprehensive Plan Act of 2021 by the D.C. Council in April 2021. 
    • Our amendments would encourage residential and commercial uses of the industrial land that currently occupies a large amount of land in the eastern half of the neighborhood–directly adjacent to the Metropolitan Branch Trail and the red line Metro stops. 
    • Background materials on Eckington’s Comprehensive Plan Amendments:
    • We are asking Councilmember McDuffie and Chairman Mendelson to reinstate our amendments in their entirety, and we need your help convincing them to do so.  
  • Comments from and Q&A with Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (7:30 – 8:00 pm)
  • Comments from and Q&A with D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson (8:00 – 8:30 pm)

A pdf of our agenda is available here.

Join the Civic Association: Click HERE to register

Resident memberships are free, but we welcome donations HERE.

ECA Asks Chairman Mendelson and Councilmember McDuffie to reinstate Eckington’s Comprehensive Plan Amendments

Today, the Eckington Civic Association (ECA) sent letters to D.C. Council Chair Phil Mendelson and Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie asking them to reinstate Eckington’s Amendments to the Comprehensive Plan Act of 2021.

The letters explain that Eckington strongly supports adding desperately needed new housing to maintain our neighborhood’s affordability and diversity and that the decision to drop the Eckington Amendments from the FLUM directly contradicts the wishes of our community.

Simply put, the Chair’s decision to drop the Eckington Amendments at this late stage, despite the support of the Eckington Civic Association, ANC 5E, Office of Planning, and Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie (and the absence of any on-record opposition) is an example of the “exclusionary and inaccessible” process that the Council Office on Racial Equity found objectionable in its Racial Equity Impact Assessment of the Comprehensive Plan Amendment Act of 2020.

Eckington’s Metro- and trail-adjacent properties are precisely where D.C. must add more housing if the city is going to achieve its affordability, equity, and environmental goals. Furthermore, the continued concentration of Production, Distribution, and Repair (PDR)-designated land in Wards 5 and 7 poses “racial equity issues,” as the Chair has acknowledged in discussions about this Comprehensive Plan. But by dropping these amendments, the Council will perpetuate those issues until the next planning cycle.

Our letter to Chair Mendelson is available here.

Our letter to Councilmember McDuffie is available here.

Please contact us at eckingtoncivic@gmail.com for any inquires regarding these letter.

April 12 ECA Meeting Highlights

Highlights from the April 12 ECA Meeting are now online.

The meeting covered planned testimony and comments on proposed developments in the neighborhood, takeaways from the ECA’s recent forum on public safety and violence prevention, and more.

We flagged three things that residents can do to help:

  1. Share key resources with neighbors
    • The “Stronger Together by Assisting You” (STAY DC) program will provide $350 million in COVID-19 relief for those at risk of not paying rent or utilities on a residence. Renters and housing providers can apply for rental and electric, gas and water bill assistance at stay.dc.gov. Applicants can call the STAY DC Call Center at 833-4-STAYDC.
    • Opportunities for youth activities: Summer Employment Program; DC Parks & Rec programs; Gearin’ Up Bicycles.
  2. Help us restart Eckington Day in 2021– first planning meeting on April 27 at 6pm (likely to be virtual, but there is a chance we’ll meet in the park). Please contact us at eckingtoncivic@gmail.com to get involved.
  3. Contact taylor.eckingtoncivic@gmail.com to join the next small group discussions on Public Safety and Violence Prevention.

Eckington orgs ask Mayor Bowser & CM Trayon White to fund a DCPL branch library

On April 14, the Eckington Civic Association, Eckington Parks & Arts, and the Langley Elementary PTO sent a letter to Mayor Bowser requested that $20 million be earmarked in the FY 22 budget for a new DCPL branch library to serve Eckington, Edgewood, and Stronghold. As the letter explains, DCPL has identified our communities as falling in a service gap, and the fast pace of development in our community means that the city needs to act quickly to secure a location that is transit and trail accessible. 

A pdf of the letter is available here.

Many thanks to our wonderful partners at Eckington Parks & Arts and the Langley Elementary PTO for joining the Eckington Civic Association in making this request.

April 12, 2021 Virtual Meeting Agenda

April 12, 2021 | 7:00PM-8:30PM 

How to Participate in Our Virtual Meeting
Click here: https://meet.google.com/ozv-bcof-puj Or dial: +1 304-918-0851 PIN: 984925849#
Join the Civic Association:
Click HERE to register. Resident memberships are free, but we welcome donations HERE.

Agenda Items

ECA business — 7:00-8:00 pm

  • Preview of ECA Zoning Commission testimony re: South RIA development (Daniel Agold)
  • Vote on ECA Comments on Draft Environmental Impact Statement for DC-Baltimore Maglev (Conor Shaw)
  • Quick updates (Conor Shaw)
    • Help us restart Eckington Day in 2021– first planning meeting on April 27 at 6pm (likely to be virtual, but there is a chance we’ll meet in the park)
    • ECA yard signs, flyers, and (possibly) shirts coming your way soon  
    • Langley ES and Eckington Parks & Arts joined our letter advocating for funding of Eckington/Edgewood DCPL Library to Mayor & relevant D.C. councilmembers. 
    • All-way stop signs coming to intersections of Quincy Lane (the Eckington Yards “woonerf”) and Eckington Place as well as Quincy Lane and Harry Thomas Way.
    • DC Water Northeast Boundary Tunnel construction sites are starting to approach completion. Check out D.C. Water for information.
  • Public safety & violence prevention updates (Taylor Kennedy)
  • Vote on ECA letter supporting CM McDuffie’s budget request for additional investments in violence prevention (Conor Shaw, Taylor Kennedy, Silas Grant)

Updates from community leaders — 8:00-8:30 pm

Upcoming Meetings & Events