City Council Chair Mendelson Briefs ANC7D at March Meeting

City Council Chair Phil Mendelson made the final redistricting decisions which kept Hill East together as a part of Ward 7’s newly ANC7D. An alternative plan would have made Hill East part of two Ward 7 ANCs.

City Council Chair Mendelson Briefs ANC7D at March Meeting

by Hilary Russell and Larry Janezich

Posted March 15, 2023

A rare ANC appearance by Council Chair Phil Mendelson kicked off a full agenda for the March 14 meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 7D, formed in 2022 as part of the redistricting process.  He highlighted several issues of interest to the commissioners and many Capitol Hill residents:

  • His priorities are restoring proposed cuts in school funding and ensuring funding for free bus service scheduled to start in July.
  • Following Congress’ vote to overturn the Council’s Criminal Reform Bill the next steps are unclear. Whether there is another hearing will be up to Councilmember Brooke Pinto, who now chairs the Judiciary Committee. The Council may wait until there’s a Democrat majority in the House before re-passing the bill and sending it back.
  • The Fraternal Order of Police opposed the Council’s Criminal Reform Bill and the Policing Reform Bill (now before Congress) and hired a lobbyist to work against them.
  • The Police Force requires at least 500 new officers. The Council funded the Mayor’s request for new hires but there aren’t enough applicants. The DC Police Academy is only half filled with trainees.
  • Though a 2022 Council bill outlawed school-funding cuts, reduced funding is projected for schools, including for some with growing enrollment.
  • The comment period on the City’s 2024 budget, to be released on March 22, will end the last week of April.

Regarding other agenda items, Commissioners welcomed and asked pointed questions of DC Government representatives. These included Francis Campbell, new Constituent Services Coordinator of Ward 7 Councilmember Vincent Gray, along with high-ranking Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers in two of the three police districts within ANC 7D’s boundaries.  Other meeting participants updated commissioners on the DC Department of Transportation’s (DDOT) plans for an Arboretum bridge and trail, the new lottery system for DPR summer camps, the renovation of the Triangle Park at 17th and C Streets, and the upcoming Events DC quarterly meeting about the RFK campus on March 27.

Single-member district reports, allocated one minute each, included Commissioner Brett Astman’s announcement of a $1.25 million grant to renovate the Kingman Field Dog Park at 14th Street and Tennessee Avenue, NE; concern expressed by Commissioner Brian Alcorn about deferred maintenance at Eastern High School; and Commissioner Siraaj Hasan’s opposition to DDOT’s planned replacement of the Lane Place Pedestrian Bridge over DC 295, which he characterized as “a bridge to nowhere” and “fiscally irresponsible.”

ANC 7D’s commitment to diving deep into big issues and engaging constituents in those they deem to be most important was captured by a presentation by Commissioner Marc Friend.  He outlined five committees that will meet monthly (starting in late April), each co-chaired by an ANC 7D resident and a commissioner, which will discuss, analyze, and recommend resolutions, letters of support, and grants to the ANC, and organize neighborhood events


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2 responses to “City Council Chair Mendelson Briefs ANC7D at March Meeting

  1. Wendy Blair

    This report is much too succinct. Every item mentioned gives rise to urgent need for fuller explanation. Every single item is jam-packed with politics about which one can only guess what we need to be concerned about. Dramatic. Suspenseful. Top marks for précis-writing. But an F for explaining what you are really talking about.
    And I am an admirer of both writers!

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