Changing Our Ward Together

Ward 5 Advisory Council "Holds Formative Meeting Notes"

09 Mar 2012 11:18 AM | Anonymous

WARD 5 ADVISORY COUNCIL HOLDS

FORMATIVE MEETING NOTES

January 31, 2012

On January 31, 2012, a cross-section of Ward 5 civic, community and business leaders, university and hospital representatives came together for an organizational meeting of the Ward 5 Advisory Committee.  Its stated purpose was to form a non-partisan organization that is a network of stakeholders who identify and recommend solutions to policy issues vital the Ward 5 community.  The group of over 50 ANC Commissioners, Civic Association presidents, Executive Board members of the Ward 5 Democrats, representatives of youth, public service organizations and the Ward 5 Council on Education conferred to evolve a list of community priorities for consideration.

Members of the Ward 5 Advisory Council were resolute and of one mind in their determination to prevent Ward 5 from being marginalized, overlooked or becoming a dumping ground for unwanted projects, particularly during the interim period prior to the election of a Ward 5 Councilmember.  Participants broke into groups to deliberate on the most pressing issues in the Ward.  They decided to reconvene on Thursday, February 16 to discuss the District budget process.  The conclusions of break-out group are as follows:

Education:

•·        Secure at least one stand alone middle school in Ward 5.

•·        Secure consistently smaller class sizes citywide based on studies of student academic outcomes rather than on the amount of money spent per student

•·        Apply pressure to restore the citizen power to the School Board as a counter-weigh to the Chancellor and the Council.

Affordable Housing

•·        Institute lower property taxes for senior residents; and build multi-generational houses to stem the outflow into the suburbs;

•·        Assure continued rent subsidies and rent control

•·        Set lower income requirements “affordable housing” and increase the allocation to the Housing Trust Fund for the production of affordable housing

Public Policy

•·        Revise legislation to allow for an interim person the event a Ward Council position is vacated; re-open the Ward 5 Councilmember’s office to provide constituency services

•·        Enforce a moratorium on nude clubs and the creation of medical marihuana cultivation and distribution centers in Ward 5

•·        Monitor the budget process and the distribution of the budget surplus to assure Ward 5 isn’t neglected; secure funding for the Rhode Island Avenue Great Streets Project

Workforce Development/Jobs

•·         Fully utilize Phelps Vocational School by increasing outreach and educational programs for adults, as well as students, particularly for under-served residents; and enforce D.C. residency requirement on District-sponsored projects

•·        Provide meaningful incentives to small business such as tax credits to encourage employment of neighborhood youth; create a Ward 5 job incubator to provide employment readiness training/mentoring and exposure;

•·        Apply pressure to DOES to use the myriad funds to have to outreach to people in high unemployment areas; have a circulator bus to take residents to where the jobs exist.

Youth and Young Adults

•·        Institute major study on special needs children, including viability of creating a DC residential facility;

•·        Strengthen family services, create neighborhood fatherhood/ parenting training and launch a major campaign to help families counterbalance the competition created by negative images in pop culture;

•·        Redefine our family message; give youth exposure to successful people in myriad career fields; provide mentoring programs.

Economic Development

•·        Support small and medium-sized, neighborhood businesses by building relationships with major firms, universities and hospitals;

•·        Improve communications to business owners about beneficial programs, for example: H Street has a business improvement program that could also benefit businesses on 12th Street or Rhode Island Avenue.

•·        Encourage the District to leverage its resources to ensure major businesses and institutions purchase goods and services from Ward 5 businesses, since Ward 5 currently has 42 projects either in construction or in the pipeline valued at $8 billion, yet the local community has no benefit.

Public Safety

•·        Increase the presence of police in the neighborhoods, enhance community policing; and re-institute the PSA- Public Service Areas program;

•·        Re-vitalize neighborhood watch programs and programs that encourage residents to take responsibility and to work in synch with the police.

Health and Environment

•·        Support programs to reduce the skyrocketing levels of diabetes, hypertension and heart disease in our community; and to improved nutrition

•·        Eliminate the “bed tax” which overburdens local hospitals

•·        Do not close the United Medical Center, so that it doesn’t have an adverse effect on hospitals in and around Ward 5; and support creation of a Farmers Market.

Premier Community Development Corporation, Washington, DC


 

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