City tosses membership question back to Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee

EMCAC met last on June 26th in the North Hall of Eastern Market.

City tosses membership question back to Eastern Market’s Community Advisory Committee

by Larry Janezich

Last week, Chuck Burger, Membership Committee Chair of the Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee asked the Office of Attorney General (OAG) for a legal opinion on whether a newly incorporated organization has standing to apply for a seat on the Advisory Committee.  Word came down Tuesday from OAG that it was up to EMCAC to determine whether an applicant is qualified.

Burger, told CHC, “We will be moving ahead and I have requested that they [the new organization] deliver bylaws, incorporation papers and any additional relevant information to our Membership Committee…  We will examine and review and make a recommendation to EMCAC.”

The organization in question is newly incorporated as of January, 2018, and has adopted the name of a now defunct organization which is entitled by city statute to a seat on EMCAC – the Eastern Market Preservation and Development Corporation (EMPDC).

At issue, Burger says, is whether adopting the name of a defunct organization entitles the new organization to the legal rights which have been accorded to the original organization, and whether the applicant meets the statutory requirements for membership on the Advisory Committee.

The representative of the original incarnation of that body has continued to occupy an EMCAC seat without a sponsoring organization, benefiting from inertia and a change in the statute that eliminated term limits for EMCAC members.

Here’s a link to CHC coverage of a press conference held by organizers of EMPDC in July of last year:  http://bit.ly/2IGgDzY

4 Comments

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4 responses to “City tosses membership question back to Eastern Market Community Advisory Committee

  1. John

    “Benefiting from inertia” is a phrase that could be used to describe most of Eastern Market and its vendors.

  2. Craig D'Ooge

    For years, the city turned its back on the Market which was only kept alive by the families that subleased space there in the face of the city’s indifference. My understanding is that the city still won’t grant them long-term leases, and is trying to impose huge short-term rent increases.

  3. Joe Snyder

    I am an arts/crafts vendor at the market. The original Eastern Market Preservation and Development Corporation (EMPDC) was founded by a very fine lady, ANC Commissioner in the 1990’s, and long time market supporter. Her life changed, she move away, and EMPDC charter lapsed. A rather nice man with an informed point of view has continued to be seated as EMPDC representative in the years since.

    A group of individuals with an agenda well known to the market participants has managed to revive the lapsed corporate charter and take the name EMPDC. These individuals have been perceived by long time vendors as particularly hostile to the weekend arts/crafts market, as opposed to pedestrian street closures on Saturdays and Sundays, and as showing a special talent for sewing discord among constituent elements that form Eastern Market. It seems to many of us that the reconstituted EMPDC, with no relationship to the original, is a sort of legal form of identity capture, however coilingly clever.

    The Eastern Market Act in DC Code should be amended to delete the defunct EMPDC, at very least, out of respect for the original. There is precedent for this, City Council revised the law to delete another seated organization in 2004. All I can say is: Council Member Charles Allen, please help!!

  4. Ben Berger

    I’ve lived a couple of blocks from EM for more than a decade. The stagnation won’t end until they rotate almost everyone out. The outside produce is more and more coming from stores that serve restaurants, dressed up to look like it’s from a local farm. The offerings inside NEVER CHANGE! Same everything every week. The outside vendors sell the same stuff, EVERY WEEK.

    I’ve taken my business elsewhere and it was hard because I was such an EM fan.

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