January 8, 2019
Commissioner Clarence Lee opened the ANC 5D meeting with a customary word of prayer and off they went. The 30 plus constituents that attended the meeting at 371 Morse Street N.E. covered a lot of ground in a little over 90 minutes. Vowing to stay on task and on point the agenda moved forward aggressively.
This is but a snippet of the topics covered.
The standing presentations included the Public Safety Report by Officer Moore. Although he reported that the numbers were pretty similar to previous reports there was a noticeable emphasis on the West Virginia Avenue are. That may have been due in part to a recent spike of crime in that area as well as a murder in the 1400 block. The handling of how information on that crime was handled sparked a brief contentious debate between a constituent and a commissioner.
Moore was followed by representatives of the Executive Office of the Mayor, Dominique Chestnut and Ward 5 Councilmember McDuffie, Silas Grant. Grant spoke of McDuffie’s Racial Equity resolution. The resolution is designed at providing racial equity for all D.C. employees. Grant reported a series of training sessions that the councilman’s office has attended in this area. The training will be required for all D.C. employees.
Sidon Yohannes, Attorney, and David Bloom presented their request for a letter of support for a stipulated liquor license at Union Market. Yohannes and Bloom were quick to point out that they are taking over space in the market that the prior business had a liquor license. Constituents asked a number of questions on expansion, safety, and security with respect to the establishment. Yohannes and Bloom stressed the fact that La Jambe will only seat 12 patrons with no plans for expansion. Commissioner Lee encouraged residents to go take a look at the space.
It was during the election of officers that the true spirit and tone of this newly seated group of commissioners came through. “Unity”, is the word newly re-elected Chairman Lee replied when asked how he would lead this group of commissioners. Several constituents chimed in with whether this meant that the meetings would stay on point and focused. Lee took the opportunity to highlight how the current meeting was being conducted while Commissioner Blacknell strongly emphasized that meetings will stay on focus and on time.
Other topics of discussion included:
- A new meeting calendar consisting of 10 sessions as opposed to the usual 12 with the stipulation that special meetings can be called at anytime
- Meghan Murphy spoke of the need to support the Crummell School initiative to bring a community center to this space. This battle has been going for the past 4 years. “This is why I ran for Commissioner”, said Commissioner Ryan Linehan. We need more community space in Ivy City. We need job training, we need a library, we need a rec center he went on to say.
- David Krucoff was the last speaker for the evening. Krucogg spoke briefly of his “retrocession” plan for the District. Retrocession is an incorporate all of the areas excluding monuments and federal buildings into Maryland. This is touted as “The only feasible solution for DC Voting Rights and Home Rule”.
If this was the opening session of the newly elected ANC 5D Commissioners, we are in for a very active and potentially productive year. Either way, The DC Voice will be there to keep you informed.