Friday, October 15, 2010

Demystifying the Opera (for you & the kiddies)

DCOpera Event

The Washington National Opera is committed to engaging families East of the River and is asking for the help of change makers in the community to share this event with their neighbors.

Washington National Opera Family Look-In
The Kennedy Center, 2700 F St. NW (Orange Line "Foggy Bottom/GWU")
Saturday, October 16, 2:00PM
Registration:  $10 use "Source Code DCCAH"

Do you have questions? Feel free to email Michelle Pendoley @

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Deanwood's Urban Turf Profile

Deanwood: A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders

"It’s easy to get disoriented in Deanwood. Exit the Metro station and walk past the gleaming new recreation center, and the neighborhood quickly takes on a foreign tone. With its hills and one-story frame houses, it’s not a stretch to imagine you’re wandering around a rural community somewhere—one that isn’t particularly open to outsiders.

Located east of the Anacostia River and just inside the District’s northeast border, Deanwood has long been viewed as a community with a small-town atmosphere." Read the rest of the article

Weigh in on this blog on whether Urban Turf got it right along with your vision of Deanwood's future.

Deanwood Duplexes in 5000 Block of Jay St

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The transition begins...Gray Ward 7 Town Hall

A common saying in politics is, "Winning a campaign is easy.  The tough part is governing."  Noone doubts D.C. Council Chairman Vincent Gray, the presumptive mayor, has the ability to govern.  The doubt, or perhaps more appropriately the uncertainty, arises in how he will govern.  This uncertainty is made more stark when coupled with our city's horrendous budget constraints.

For neighborhoods like Deanwood, which went heavy for Gray, the asks are long and deep.  Dealing with basic quality-of-life needs like improved schools, public works services, and police presence are important.  Just as important, though, is implementing a meaningful community economic development plan.  For greater Deanwood neighborhoods our community economic development is wrapped in the multi-year Lincoln Heights/Richardson Dwellings New Communities Initiative (LHRDNCI).  The LHRDNCI hinges on a cross-section of government and private invesments, including human capital and infrastructure, to create mixed-income, sustainable development sites.  Private developers have already downgraded some of their plans on account of the economic downturn.  These developers must have a comfort level from government but also in my opinion they need a gut-check and must be strongly prodded by government to plan for the best and build the best in spite of the current economics.

Gray campaigned on a birth-24 education system that includes real-life employment skills.  It is my contention that that campaign promise can be implemented and accomplished in greater Deanwood.  Breaking up the silo mentality of the private sector is a step.  However, a bigger and more treacherous step is corralling residents, both long-time and new arrivals, to forget perceived slights and defuse flashpoint rhetoric and come together to push for innovative community revitalization--dusting off the so, so, so many development plans for far northeast Ward 7 and get it done.

While the presumptive mayor's heart may be in Ward 7 he has to govern from 30,000'.  The opportunity to make a campaign promise and slogan a model and reality is in greater Deanwood--if the presumptive mayor sets the tone and empowers (demands?) Ward 7 residents (in some cases guide to stage left) to organize effectively to communicate our message, our needs, and our wants ourselves

"How will the presumptive mayor govern?"  Significant returns on investment for the public and private sectors hang in the balance.

vgray ward7 townhall

The Ward 7 town hall is moved to Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church, 3000 Pennsylvania Ave. SE.  Please allow for significant travel time (WMATA or car) due to the Pennsylvania Avenue Great Streets project construction.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Walk With: Sylvia Brown, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, Deanwood - Housing Complex - Washington City Paper

A Walk With: Sylvia Brown, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, Deanwood - Housing Complex - Washington City Paper

For someone who follows Twitter fairly closely, Sylvia Brown—@ANC7c04—is an outsized presence. She nudges councilmembers and narrates press conferences, corrects journalists and vents about the latest political outrage.

Turns out Brown is a large presence in real life, too. She’s tall, basketball player tall, though the resemblance might also have been due to the track pants and sneakers. Brown ... immediately pointed out something I’d never noticed before: The Lederer Youth Garden, which has dozens of small plots for children, complete with a beehive.

“It’s a hidden gem,” she says.