Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Guest blog posting: Taking back our neighborhood

Editor's Note: "Officially tired of the madness," Ajia Meux, Deanwood neighbor and former Deanwood Citizens Association president, has distributed this "Open Letter to Community Members."  To reach as many neighbors and stakeholders she asked Deanwoodenizen to post the message to her blog readers. 

Dear Community Members,

I am writing you this as not only the former president of the Deanwood Citizen's Association, but also as a resident of the community and a concerned citizen.  I am deeply concerned about the state of the Deanwood Citizen's Association.  Since I know there is power in numbers, I am reaching out to the larger community.  You need to be seen and heard!

In eight months time, the current executive board of the Deanwood Citizen's Association has managed to run the organization into the ground.  They have managed to alienate new members—members who showed vigor in wanting to work on behalf of the organization and their community and members who made it their mission to bring other community members to meetings now do not even come.  Committees to
address community issues are hand-selected and the information that comes from the committees is guarded.  Member opinion is not respected, issues are often tabled and never addressed and only the President and the Vice President seem to have any say so into decisions made.

Community visibility is nil and when DCA leadership is represented reports are that their behavior is unprofessional and aggressive.  For the last three meetings, there have been no minutes and no treasurer's report for the September meeting.  This is of particular importance because the current executive board is notorious for making up information and distorting truth.  We did not receive minutes for June's meeting or July's meeting.  I did not see anyone recording the meeting tonight [editor's note: Monday, September 27, 2010].

The former president, Sylvia Brown, ANC7C04 was an amazing DCA president.  She spent much time building Deanwood's reputation in the community and informing ALL residents of the process by which change can come when we work together as ONE COMMUNITY.  I made it my mission to represent DCA to ALL residents, spending countless hours going door to door to invite not just home owners, but ALL COMMUNITY MEMBERS to be engaged in the civic process.  It is important that DCA be used as a vehicle for the entire community to progress, not monopolized by a few who use it as a means of control.

I own my home in Deanwood and have been a resident of the community for four years.  I pay taxes on my property AND in the community through sales tax.  I shop at Deanwood businesses.  I am (and you are) just as much a stakeholder in this community as our next door neighbors who have been in the community for 30+ years.  This polarizing attitude of the current leadership has to stop!  Have you ever been called about an "emergency meeting" or any meeting for that matter?  Have you received a flyer?  Has anyone from DCA ever stopped and knocked on your door?  Anyone ever ask your opinion about ANYTHING happening?  I am begging you to come to a DCA meeting [fourth Monday, 6:30 p.m., 1350 49th St. NE] and challenge this current board.  I do not plan on running for office again, but PLEASE consider running.  It's time that we represent this community like others represent theirs—in a way that is clear, professional, respectful, diplomatic and that serve the interest of EVERYONE.
This is a drastic measure, yes I know.  But I am tired of meetings full of shenanigans and petty arguments when our community is in crisis and on the brink of transition. Someone has to grab the reins.  These folks are out of control.
Ajia Meux
5000 Block of Sheriff
Deanwood Resident

Monday, September 27, 2010

MuralsDC completes second Deanwood site

After fits and starts the second MuralsDC project in Deanwood is complete!  MuralsDC is an initiative from Jim Graham, Ward 1 Councilman and chairman of the Council's Committee on Public Works and Transportation.  MuralsDC is a multi-agency effort to combat illegal graffiti, called tagging, on locations prone to the activity.  Utilizing organizations and youth from the impacted neighborhoods the thought is that taggers are less likely to tag a spot where they have crafted an artistic vision.  The program also helps channel and legitimize graffiti artistry. 

The first Deanwood site done under the direction of arts organization Ward 7 Arts Collaborative is at A-1 Grocery located at Division Avenue and Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue.  Words Beats Life led the development of the newest site, A&S Grocery, at Sheriff Road and 48th St.  Juan Pineda was lead artist and proposed several Deanwood icons for the rendering, including the Carver School (now IDEA Public Charter School), Nannie Helen Burroughs, and the trolley car that ran along Deane Avenue (now Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue).

A&S Grocery (4748 Sheriff Rd. NE), site of second Deanwood MuralsDC

Words Beats & Life draft of MuralsDC Deanwood site. 

Student apprentices; student in forefront Jean Martinez is lead student artist.  

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Passive Solar House Site Warming

Thanks to the immediate neighbors, stakeholders, and neighbors in greater Deanwood who came to the site warming at Gault Pl NE for the 2011 Solar Decathlon.  Here's an article from local real estate blog, DCmud.  Big shoutouts to the students and faculty of Parson, Milano, and Stevens!  Kudos to Habitat for Humanity for Washington, DC and the District's Department of Housing and Community Development for recognizing the innovation and replicability of solar housing when developing affordable housing.  Here are a few photos.

Kent Adcock, Executive Director, Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC
Laura Briggs, lead faculty member, Parsons Design School
Immediate neighbors attend the site warming & get information about the Deanwood Solar House

Friday, September 10, 2010

Deanwood Gets Love from Ward 7 Neighbor

I couldn't write it any better!  Life in the Village writes up Marvin Gaye Park's recent press hits that coincide with the one-year anniversary of the playground installation at Marvin Gaye Park's Foote Street node. 
Watch out for great things from the neighborhood and the "little park that could." Check out All Things Deanwood!.

Photo courtesy: http://medlibrary.org/medwiki/List_of_neighborhoods_of_the_District_of_Columbia_by_ward

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Deanwood's Energy Revolution Continues

The slots have been filled with innovative teams to compete in the biennial international 2011 Solar Decathlon.  Our beloved Deanwood's stake is clear--we will have an energy-efficient, modern and AFFORDABLE housing unit.  The Parsons team with help from the District Department of Housing and Community Development and Habitat for Humanity of Washington, DC have selected an ideally situated two lot area on Gault Place, just off Nannie Helen Burroughs and abutting the Marvin Gaye Park trail.  The school along with neighbors, guests and other celebrants will gather on Sunday, September 12, 2:00 p.m. to mark this milestone in the development and construction of EMPOWER HOUSE!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Deanwood Community Center & Library Open House: You've Heard About it Now See It

The Deanwood Community Center & Library has been the pawn in the political game of the DC Mayor's race.  The Center has been name dropped in the Fenty go-go songs.  Gray has tauted the Center as part of his portfolio of successes as Ward 7 Councilmember.  Most recently, new DC beat reporter, Freeman Klopott, wrote about the push and pull

NOW YOU HAVE YOUR CHANCE TO SEE THE CENTER UP CLOSE, MEET THE STAFF, SEE THE NEIGHBORS WHO ACTUALLY USE THE CENTER.  I didn't realize how big a deal this open house will be.  I regret I'll miss it but PLEASE DEANWOOD RESIDENTS TAKE TIME TO PARTICIPATE.  All age groups of the neighborhood need to and must have their voices heard!