Monthly Archives: May 2011

Restoration Society Weighs in on Redistricting

Restoration Society Weighs in on Redistricting

by Larry Janezich

On May 31st, Elizabeth Purcell, President of the Capitol Hill Restoration Society, sent the following letter detailing reasons for keeping Ward six intact, to members of the Redistricting Subcommittee and copied all members of the City Council.

PO Box 15264

Washington, DC 20003-0264

Councilmember Michael Brown

Councilmember Jack Evans

Councilmember Phil Mendelson

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20004

May __, 2011

Subject: Redistricting

Dear Councilmember Brown, Councilmember Evans and Councilmember Mendelson:

The Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) is a community organization of some 1,000 members.  For more than 50 years CHRS has worked to promote and protect all aspects of the well-being of greater Capitol Hill.

The statute on redistricting, DC Code § 1-1011.01, refers to equal Ward populations within a plus or minus 5% deviation range.  The current population of Ward 6 is within 5% of one-eighth of the DC’s 2010 population of 610,723 and no adjustment of the Ward 6 boundaries is required.  The redistricting statute also requires “the promotion of a rational public policy, including but not limited to respect for the political geography of the District, the natural geography of the District, neighborhood cohesiveness, or the development of compact and contiguous districts.” That public policy is expressed in the statutory provision that allows a greater than 5% deviation in Ward populations and is a controlling guideline in any redistricting decision.  In making decisions on redistricting CHRS urges the Council to be guided by neighborhood cohesiveness.

Our community, which includes Hill East and Rosedale, share common concerns and common problems on transportation, public safety, and economic development.  These concerns are best addressed by having the entire area within one Ward, with one councilmember, one Ward DDOT planner, one Ward city planner, etc.  Our community already has one major development project east of 17th Street, SE: Reservation 13.  The entire Capitol Hill community wants a successful development there, one that will be an asset to greater Capitol Hill.  The future of RFK Stadium, also east of 17th Street, SE, will also affect everyone on Capitol Hill.  As someone involved in community affairs who has lived one block from 17th Street, SE for over 20 years, I know that the best way for us to make progress is to remain as one Ward.

Thank you for your consideration of this letter as the redistricting process moves forward.


Elizabeth Purcell

President, Capitol Hill Restoration Society


Chairman Kwame R. Brown                

Councilmember Michael A. Brown      

Councilmember Jack Evans                  

Councilmember Phil Mendelson           

Councilmember David A. Catania                  dcatania@

Councilmember Vincent Orange                    vorange@

Councilmember Jim Graham                           jgraham@

Councilmember Mary M. Cheh                      mcheh@

Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr.                 hthomas@

Councilmember Yvette M. Alexander            Yalexander@

Councilmember Muriel Bowser                      mbowser@

Councilmember Tommy Wells                        Twells@

Councilmember Marion Barry                        mbarry@

Comments Off on Restoration Society Weighs in on Redistricting

Filed under Uncategorized

This Week …

Tuesday, May 31 – ANC 6B Executive Committee meets at 7:00pm at 703 D Street, SE.

Wednesday, June 1 – The new Transportation Committee holds an organizational meeting at 7:00pm, 703 D Street, SE.

Wednesday, June 1 – Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee meets at 7:00pm in EM North Hall.

Watch for reports on these meetings, to be posted on emmcablog.

Comments Off on This Week …

Filed under Uncategorized

CHPSPO Prevails on School Decision Despite Committee Plan to Divide Ward Six

CHPsPO Prevails on School Decision Despite Committee Plan to Divide Ward Six

by Larry Janezich

On May 24, CHPSPO Voted to oppose dividing Ward Six at 17th Street and move Elliot-Hine and Eastern High into Ward 7.  The preliminary map released on Wednesday night shows a division of Ward Six at 17th but the retention of the two schools in Ward Six.  The CHPSPO position stated below was released early Wednesday. 

Vote Against the Proposal to Divide Wards 6 and 7 at 17th Street from Benning Road to Barney Circle

As members of the Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization (CHPSPO), we are voicing our extreme concern about the D.C. Council’s consideration of the proposal to divide Wards 6 and 7 at 17th Street from Benning Road to Barney Circle which would effectively move Eliot-Hine Middle School and Eastern High School from Ward 6 to Ward 7.

We are opposed to this move because of the impact it would have on our neighborhood cohesiveness and the community’s efforts to strengthen our neighborhood public schools.

CHPSPO started over six years ago, at a time when some Capitol Hill public elementary schools were bursting at the seams and others were woefully under-enrolled. A group of active parents from each school joined together to share common concerns and great accomplishments. It quickly became clear that our shared interests far exceeded any superficial differences.

CHPSPO has established a strong record of working to support our neighborhood’s schools. The School Libraries Project, a $2.4 million public/private partnership with the DC Public Schools that renovated eight public school libraries on Capitol Hill was CHPSPO’s first success at supporting our neighborhood schools. This was followed by efforts to start 3 and 4-year-old programs at our elementary schools, and most recently a proposal to strengthen the middle schools. DCPS has said they want to replicate the community-driven process started by CHPSPO in wards across the city.

With the success of our elementary and middle schools and the renovation of Eastern, the Ward 6 public schools are becoming the schools of choice for families in Ward 6. Currently, many of the Ward 6 elementary schools feed into Eliot-Hine Middle School and then to Eastern High School. Splitting up Ward 6 would create a misalignment between the school feeder patterns and the political oversight of the schools.

Building on the academic gains Eliot-Hine has achieved, under the leadership of Principal Willie Jackson, is the cornerstone of CHPSPO’s — now DCPS’s — Ward 6 Middle Schools Plan. Our neighborhood schools have become a community. Drawing a political line at 17th Street removes Eliot-Hine and Eastern from our community at the very moment that our success at the elementary level is poised to spread into Eliot-Hine and Eastern High School.

We strongly encourage the D.C. City Council to keep the close, successful community that is Ward 6 intact and look to other less drastic solutions to realign the city’s ward structure. This proposed redistricting undermines the democratic representation we deserve and expect, and jeopardizes the progress being made to attract families back to the DC public schools.

Signed by the following on 5/24/11

Suzanne Wells, Tyler Elementary School

George Blackmon, Maury Elementary School

Elizabeth D. Festa, Maury Elementary School

Sandra Moscoso, Montessori @ Watkins/Logan

Rachel Klein, Ludlow Taylor Elementary School

Sherry Trafford, School Without Walls

Isabella Harris, Brent Elementary School

Clayton Witt, Stuart-Hobson Middle School

Barbara Riehle, Montessori @ Watkins/

Logan Heather Schoell, Maury Elementary School

Shahna Gooneratne, School Within School at Peabody

Comments Off on CHPSPO Prevails on School Decision Despite Committee Plan to Divide Ward Six

Filed under Uncategorized

Scenes From The Rally To Save Ward Six

Councilmember Tommy Wells Addresses Crowd at Eastern High

To view photos, please visit our Facebook Page by clicking on the link, lower right.


Filed under Uncategorized

ANC6B09 Commissioner Flahaven Calls for Rally To Save Ward 6

ANC6B09 Commissioner Flahaven Calls for Rally To Save Ward 6

The following announcement was released Saturday by Flahaven.

For many years, our Capitol Hill community has united in an effort to grow, and has succeeded — developing from a few blocks in the shadow of the Capitol into a vibrant, productive neighborhood. Today, the Hill not only encompasses the foundations of our nation’s history, but also includes Eastern Market, many bustling restaurants and businesses, successful schools, and beautiful parks… stretching all the way to the Hill East Waterfront. Now, the DC Council’s redistricting plan is threatening to erase all of this hard work — by moving a significant portion of Hill East and its Waterfront into Ward 7.


Join your friends and neighbors for the Rally to Keep Capitol Hill Together Tuesday, May 24, 2011. 5:45 p.m. — meet at Lincoln Park (plaza at 13th & East Capitol Sts. SE). Be ready to march to the Rally for Ward 6!

Contact DC Councilmembers on the Redistricting Subcommittee by Wed, May 25, 2011. Call or email the Councilmembers below to let them know your concerns:

• The schools, businesses, and community organizations on the Hill are tied together. Ward 7’s distinct neighborhoods have different priorities and interests.

• After all the work we have poured into improving schools (like Eastern High School), they will fall into the hands of a Councilmember who will struggle to represent them from across the river.

• Don’t let us become a community divided. If “contiguous” and “compact” are keywords to redistricting, Capitol Hill and Hill East fit the bill — keeping neighborhoods like ours intact should be a key part of the process.

Michael Brown (I-At-Large), Co-Chair Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), Co-Chair.  Phone: 202-724-8105 Phone: 202-724-8058 Email: Email:

Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large) Phone: 202-724-8064 Email:

If you have questions, contact Brian Flahaven, ANC 6B09 Commissioner, at or 202-658-9447.

To learn more about the redistricting issue, visit DC Council’s redistricting website for additional information on the process: Keep Hill East united with the rest of Capitol Hill in Ward 6


Filed under Uncategorized

CHRS Board Moves to Help Establish New Historic Districts in Hill East – Will Consider Spending $25,000 to Complete “Beyond the Boundaries” Project

CHRS Board Moves to Help Establish New Historic Districts in Hill East

Will Consider Spending $25,000 to Complete “Beyond the Boundaries” Project

by Larry Janezich

At Tuesday night’s Capitol Hill Restoration Society (CHRS) Board meeting, the body agreed to a motion to consider adding to its 2011 budget, an amount up to $25,000 for a contextual study of the area south of H Street, NE, and east of 13th Street, down to the Anacostia River.  This is the Hill East area lying outside of the Capitol Hill Historic District.  The motion passed unanimously, by voice vote, with one board member, realtor Chuck Burger, abstaining.

This “context statement” would be the last step necessary to complete the CHRS “Beyond the Boundaries” project.  Volunteers have completed a survey of the area, compiling a huge amount of information including pictures and descriptions of every building in over 100 squares (square blocks).  EHT Traceries, the architectural history firm, was contracted to add archival information to the survey results and create a database of the information.

The process going forward involves hiring an architectural historian from a list maintained by the Historical Preservation Office, (Traceries?) who will pull together the cultural, demographic, religious, etc., data and write a “context statement” documenting how this neighborhood – or neighborhoods within the area – came about.  The estimated cost to produce the context statement is $20,000.

Once this is complete, any organization such as an ANC or a civic organization within the area which desires to set up a historic district can come to the CHRS and have, as Chair Beth Purcell put it, “a historic district in a box.”

Nomination for historic district status requires submitting extensive documentation to the Historic Preservation Review Board (HPRB).  CHRS will have the information needed, and while it will all be “in a box,” it will have to be reassembled in the form required for consideration by the HPRB.

The effect of agreeing to the motion will be to bring the proposed $25,000 expenditure before the board when it formulates its budget for 2011 in July.  The board will have to vote again on whether to recommend the expenditure to the full CHRS membership for approval at the September CHRS membership meeting.  The 2011fiscal year will begin October 1, 2010.

Earlier this year, Traceries recommended that an area in near-Northeast adjacent to the H Street commercial corridor, roughly between 2nd and 15th Streets, and from H to F Streets, NE, become part of the Capitol Hill Historic District.  (See 2/16/2011 posting below).  It seemed to be the consensus of the CHRS board on Tuesday night that it does not expect neighborhoods in the “Beyond the Boundaries” area to join the Capitol Hill Historic District, but rather, to form their own historic districts.  A majority of those within a neighborhood must support historic status for that area.  In 2010, the Barney Circle neighborhood seemed well on its way to becoming a historic district.  This became a campaign issue in ANC6B09, and when an ANC candidate who opposed historic district status for Barney Circle was elected by a large margin last November, the historic district nomination was put on indefinite hold by the HPRB.


Filed under Uncategorized

City Council’s Redistricting Committee to Vote on New Plan May 26 – Plan “Probably” To Be Made Public May 25

Redisticting Committee Members Phil Mendelson and Jack Evans Meet with Near SE/Navy Yard Residents Monday NightNear SE/Navy Yard Residents Meet with Councilmembers on Redistricting

ANC6B09 Commissioner Brain Flahaven (rear) at Monday night's meeting

City Council’s Redistricting Committee to Vote on New Plan May 26

Plan “Probably” To Be Made Public May 25

by Larry Janezich

Councilmember and Redistricting Committee member Phil Mendelson announced the schedule for consideration and voting on the new DC redistricting plan to about 80 residents of Ward Six Monday night.

The Redistricting Committee will meet on Thursday May 26.  Mendelson said, “at that point, there will be a plan the Committee can adopt.   Asked when the plan would be available to the public, Mendelson said, “probably on the evening of May 25.”  The three-member committee will vote to approve the plan.  That vote will be followed by a public hearing on Thursday, June 2, where public input will be solicited.  That testimony will be taken into consideration on Tuesday, June 7, when the City Council’s Committee on the Whole will vote on the proposal.  The City Council’s final vote on the plan will likely come on June 21, but could possibly come during the Council’s July session on July 14,

The Redistricting Committee is comprised of Councilmembers Michael Brown, Jack Evans and Phil Mendelson.  Mendelson, for the most part, repeated remarks he has made before in other Ward Six redistricting meetings.  He reiterated that the change is a change in political boundaries, with minimum effect on parking, no effect on school or historic districts, and no likely effect on city services.  Despite the crowd’s adamant opposition to changes in Ward Six, Mendelson stated, that “east of the river has to be moved to west of the river,” that is, part of Ward 6 has to become part of Ward 8.  The options are Rosedale, Near Southeast/Navy Yard, or Southwest.    Both Councilmembers emphasized that they are still mulling the options and they are not inclined toward any of them at this point.

Councilmember Jack Evans, also attending the meeting, explained that once the Ward map is redrawn, each councilmember sets up a Ward District Committee to get people in the ward together to redraw ANC single member districts.  The districts will be based on the 2010 census figures and contain about 2,000 voters each.  The wards will report back to the Redistricting Committee by October, and a final vote on ANC redistricting will occur by the end of the year.

Tonight’s meeting was held the Capper Seniors Building, south of Southeast Freeway.  Councilmember Michael Brown, co-chair of the DC Council’s Subcommittee on Redistricting, will attend another meeting on redistricting in Hill East, Wednesday, May 18, at 6:00pm.  The meeting will take place on the DC General/Reservation 13 site at Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA), Karrick Hall (Building 17), 1900 Massachusetts Avenue, SE.  Karrick Hall is the tall building. The closest Metro station is Stadium-Armory; use the south exit between C Street, SE and Burke Street, SE.  This meeting came about as the results of the efforts of ANC Commissioner Brian Flahaven and a group of Hill East Residents who visited Councilmembers last week to oppose moving any part of Hill East out of Ward Six.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Week Ahead

Tuesday, May 17. 

Capitol Hill Restoration Society Board of Directors Meeting.  Capitol Hill Townhomes, 750 6th Street, SE, second floor.  6:30pm

Watch for emmcablog report on Wednesday morning.

Comments Off on The Week Ahead

Filed under Uncategorized

Scenes from Sunday’s Literary Hill Bookfest – Eastern Market

Mid-day crowd of browsers fill the North Hall

More of the scene

Capitol Hill author Louis Bayard signs a copy of The School of Night

Bonny Wolf, author of Talking With My Mouth Full

Spike Mendelsohn, Capitol Hill chef and author

Diana McLellan, author of The Girls: Sappho Goes to Hollywood

Diana McLellan addresses Literary Hill Bookfest audience on her recent work - at right, Maggie Hall, Bookfest organizer

Inspired? Join Capitol Hill Writers Group. Send your name, genre, writing background, and what you hope to get out of the group to:

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Fact of the Matter Is This – More ANC6B News

Commissioners Confer Before Meeting (L-R) Commissioner Campbell, ANC6B Chair Neil Glick, Commissioner Flahaven, Commissioner Green. Foreground: Commissioner Frischberg. Rear: Commissioner Garrison

More ANC6B News

by Larry Janezich

ANC6B Commission Grants Liquor License to DC-3

Patrons who have been grumbling that they need a beer to wash down the premium hot dogs served at DC-3 on Barracks Row will only have to wait a week or two for relief.  ANC6b voted to support DC-3’s application for a license to sell wine and beer by a vote of 8 – 0 with Chairman Neil Glick abstaining.  DC-3 will only serve beer, though the license allows wine.

Fusion Grill To Expand Outdoor Café Into Shakespeare Theater Space

ANC6B approved the addition of 12 tables to Fusion Grill’s outdoor café.  The tables will be located in the space in front of the Shakespeare Rehearsal Theater, adjacent to the restaurant.

Antennas on Hanes Building at 8th and Pennsylvania Avenue

The Commission requested HPRB to delay consideration of Verizon’s application for installation of 15 telecommunication antennas on the building until June because HPO failed to notify the Commission of the request in time for them to act on it.

Special Call Meeting Likely on New Eastern Market Governing Authority

ANC6b will likely sponsor a special call meeting with Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee (EMCAC) to deal with legislation to create a new governing authority for Eastern Market.  Councilmember Tommy Well’s office hoped the new legislation would be available by the end of April, but it appears to be behind schedule.

ANC6B  to Move Offices to Hill Center

The Commission hopes to move its offices into The Hill Center in early July.  ANC Chair Neil Glick has toured the new facility and surveyed the available office space.  The management of the new facility expects to take delivery of the building from the contractor by June 23.

ANC6B Transportation Committee Gets Geared Up

Chair Oldenburg of the new Transportation announced that Commissioner Garrison has agreed to be Vice Chair of the Committee.  The first meeting will be at the Southeast Library on May 31 at a time to be announced.  The second meeting of the committee has been scheduled for June 16, also at the Library.  Oldenburg said that the agenda for the May 31 meeting will be available by May 24.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized