Mayor Bowser joined ANC7D virtually on Tuesday night from Skyland Town Center in Ward 7
ANC 7D’s April Meeting Featured Mayor Bowser
by Hilary Russell
Posted April 13, 2023
DC mayors have rarely graced ANC meetings. The ability to dial in facilitated Mayor Bowser’s attendance at 7D’s April 11 meeting, where she outlined her almost $20-billion budget proposal now before Council and answered myriad questions. Her participation may reflect the fact that 7D is a large, new ANC within Councilmember Vincent Grey’s purview, extending from 15th Street on the Hill to the Maryland border and encompassing Reservation 13 and the RFK campus.
A later presentation at this meeting by architects of Phase II of the Hill East Redevelopment Plan for Reservation 13 underlined 7D’s important role with respect to Mayor Bowser’s goal of attracting thousands of new residents and visitors to the city, given that plans includes a Marriott hotel, about 2000 housing units, 60,000 square feet of retail space, and a one-acre central park and playground that will memorialize, respectively, Robert F. Kennedy and Relisha Rudd. For a timeline and more details on the development of Reservation 13 Phase II see CHC’s December 2022 report here: https://bit.ly/3HRNIX3
The Mayor stated that her budget proposal reflects reductions in city revenues and “cost growth,” but no additional taxes. She highlighted investments in schools, childcare, infrastructure, and broadband improvements and maintained that her proposed budget fully funds the Police Chief’s request for 4,000 officers and “the whole spectrum” of violence prevention.
Closer to home, she noted that her budget supports another full-service grocery store at the Capitol Gateway at the intersection of East Capitol and 58th Streets, and the streetcar extension along Benning Road. She acknowledged “tough decisions” on transportation with respect to Circulator buses but didn’t add that the Eastern Market – L’Enfant Plaza route is one of three eliminated by her proposal. And she didn’t reference the prospects for free Metro bus service.
Commissioners posed a raft of questions on community issues, most of which centered on public safety and transportation. They itemized incidents and complaints, including high-profile shootings and carjackings in specific locations; dangerous intersections (e.g., at East Capitol and 16th); illegally parked and fraudulently licensed vehicles; and a need for more integration between violence interrupters and the “safe-passage” workers attached to schools.
She did not address a question on plans for the RFK stadium and the level of community engagement in this process, though noted later the key role of Events DC and its priorities and promised to meet with a community member enthused about adding a skate park to the campus.
Mayor Bowser was back on the Hill the next morning (Wednesday the 12th), outlining her budget proposal and the goal of increasing DC’s downtown residents and tourists for a gathering in Union Station’s great hall that kicked off Jazz in Bloom, a series of concerts at the station organized by DC’s Office of Cable TV Film Music and Entertainment. Concert dates announced so far are Wednesday, April 26 and Thursday, April 27. Watch this space for more information.