June Membership Meeting

Monday, June 3

7:30 PM

International Student House

1825 R Street NW


Join the June meeting and you will have the opportunity to hear from Shawn Townsend, DC's new Director of the Mayor's Office of Nightlife & Culture often referred to as the "Night Mayor". As Director, Townsend serves as the point of contact between DC Government, the nightlife industry, and District residents.


Shawn works with the 15-member Commission of Nightlife, comprised of government, private-sector, and community representatives and has been invited to talk about his role managing Washington, DC’s growing and developing after-hours economy and managing the balance with the needs of neighbors and community safety. Bring questions and concerns, a Q&A session will follow his presentation.


Our meetings are always free and open to the public. Bring a friend or neighbor.

Grant to Address Homeless and Affordable Housing in Dupont Circle

The Dupont Circle Citizens Association (“DCCA”) is seeking proposals for one or more grants from 501(c)(3) organizations addressing homelessness or affordable housing in the Dupont Circle neighborhood. A total of $100,000 will be awarded at the direction of DCCA to nonprofit(s) that are working to ameliorate these issues. Funds will be assigned to one or more project(s) and are expected to be awarded in the Fall.


Click here to read the Request for Proposal and submit an application online.

Historic Preservation

Our April meeting included a presentation on historic preservation laws and principles by Steve Callcott, Dupont Circle resident and Deputy State Historic Preservation Officer for the District of Columbia


Click here to download a PDF document that shares the District's online resources for planning, permits and preservation.

Press Release

For Immediate Release

March 14, 2019

 

Contact:  Robin Diener, President Dupont Circle Citizens Assn, 202 431-9254, president@dupont-circle.org

                Marina Streznewski, President, Foggy Bottom Assn, 202 441-3744, mstreznewski@gmail.com

 

Two Ward 2 Civic Groups Join Call for DC Council to Investigate Jack Evans

 

In a joint letter to DC Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, two Ward Two civic groups -- Dupont Circle Citizens Association and Foggy Bottom Association – issued support for the appointment of a special DC Council committee to investigate allegations of unethical actions surrounding Ward Two Councilmember Jack Evans. The groups also asked that Evans be removed from chairmanship of the Finance and Revenue Committee, as well as from the Judiciary Committee, pending the outcome of any investigations.   The full text of the Associations’ joint statement is as follows (click here to download letter):


"The Dupont Circle Citizens Association and the Foggy Bottom Association are deeply troubled by the allegations and recent news reports concerning the conduct of Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans. The integrity of our government is fundamental to our democracy. Given the questions raised regarding CM Evans, we support the appointment of a special committee by the DC Council to investigate the allegations and the Council taking appropriate action based upon the findings of the investigation. Given the seriousness of the allegations, we also urge the Council to remove temporarily CM Evans from the Judiciary Committee and the chairmanship of the Finance and Revenue Committee pending the outcome of the investigation."

Reduce Reuse Recyle

Ever been unsure about which items can be recycled, or which items are considered too hazardous to put in your trash bin? Zero Waste DC quickly answers your questions with its What Goes Where tool.


Visit the What Goes Where Tool and type in the name of the item you have a question about, and information will be provided on how best to dispose of it in the District.  Or have some fun and test your local recycling knowledge with the interactive DC Waste Sorting Game.

Masonic Development Update

On Thursday November 29, the DC Historic Preservation Review Board heard testimony about the residential development project planned by the Masonic Temple for its rear lot at S and 15th Streets directly behind the Temple. Public sentiment reflected by those who gave testimony was critical of the massing and size of the design by architectural firm Hickok Cole for developer Perseus, and found overall compatibility with the historic neighborhood lacking. Witnesses noted that the project as now planned will block views of the Temple from 15th Street. Designed by architect John Russell Pope, and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Temple was intended to be seen from all sides, and features a dramatic rounded apse on the back. HPRB asked the developer to look for a way to preserve views and consider allowing public access to the entire exterior.


Witnesses also raised questions about two below-grade levels planned for habitation, another two levels of underground parking, the effect of traffic on the highly used two-way 15th Street bike lane, infrastructure pressures, underground water issues, and loss of green space.


No witness spoke in favor. Developer Perseus said many were in support of the project but did not attend due to "emotion" in the case. Several comments on Twitter seemed to find notable that many witnesses were apparently age 65+.


HPRB member Chris Landis commiserated with the community about the loss of green space but seemed to indicate the opportunity for "designation" had passed. HPRB members concurred with witnesses about some of the shortcomings of design. They asked for lowering the floor heights by one foot each, modifications to the window bays, and alternative treatment of the building's corners. HPRB Chair Marnique Heath instructed developer Perseus to refine the design, return to ANC2B and HPRB for approval, and to respond to the issues raised by the public.


HPRB also noted that some of the issues raised were political in nature and beyond its purview. DCCA had written to HPRB prior to the hearing requesting a postponement in view of conflicting information received regarding the need for and status of legislation pending before DC Council for a $22 million tax abatement for the project. Former Councilmember John Ray of Manatt Law representing the Temple told DCCA members at our November meeting the project as planned could not move forward without the abatement, while Adam Peters for developer Perseus said the abatement was not needed for the project to proceed. Communications Director Joe Florio of Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans' office (the Temple is located in Ward 2), told me that his office knows of no intention to move the legislation forward, and time is running out for the 15 days notice required of a hearing. Mr. Florio also said there were no grounds for last minunte emergency legislation. Sponsor of the legislation, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyon McDuffie, was quoted in the Washington Post saying the bill is dead. It expires on Dec 31, but can be reintroduced thereafter.


Robin Diener, President 


Click here Watch the HPRB hearing. Download and read DCCA testimony by board member Lance Salonia  and review the WashPost article about project and the article about below grade dwelling by GGW.


Good Will Organizing

For ten years, I’ve worked on Dupont’s House Tour. You’d think it would get easier. The fact is House Tour is a heavy lift. Ten homes, a major institution or two, with a sculpture garden or gallery thrown in, not to mention 150 volunteers, is a lot to organize. Every year we think we get started earlier but nonetheless find ourselves still worried at the eleventh hour, until magically things fall into place.

 

Actually, it’s not magic. It’s the good will of everyone who lives here and just crazy loves the place. There are coffeehouses to gather in for chat both on and off line, outdoor cafes where fellow passersby are hailed and well met, the proximity of shops, schools, parks, yoga studios, the Phillips Collection, the hardware store, the transit options, the walkability, the trees! It’s a village here in the middle of the nation’s capital, complete with our own aging-in-place organization—The Dupont Circle Village.

 

One of our homes this year is an example of how to downsize from a 3-story Victorian to an apartment house, and, while not “in place,” it’s just around the corner, and historic. Other grand homes on the tour include a mid-century modern built after the 1968 riots and 40 bank loan applications. Not to be missed is the architecturally renewed BarCode with its glass cube addition.

 

More modest (and adorable) homes also appear on the tour. Most folks don’t know that Dupont Circle is DC’s most densely-populated neighborhood. Apartment buildings were built long ago, along the streetcar lines—now bus routes. Dupont today benefits from the planning of yesteryear—yes, the L’Enfant Plan. While developers fight preservation throughout the country, District residents nominate new districts for protection (in 2018 alone Bloomingdale and Kingman Park received designation) and still the city grows. Historic districts like Dupont Circle are part of the city’s draw and an example of good planning.

 

Another exemplar of good planning is Karol Stanley, this year’s House Tour chair. No one is better organized or more cheerful about it. Working with her has been a pleasure and an honor. If you meet her along the tour today please thank her and implore her to help us again next year.

 

Finally, as always, we want to let you know where your money goes.The Tour is the Dupont Circle Citizens Association’s only fundraiser. Like all civics, DCCA serves as a voice for member concerns: education (the search for a new school chancellor), transportation (revitalizing our midcentury metro, incorporating new transit modes) and ending homelessness (including support for the public restroom initiative). Locally, we work on rat abatement, maintain parks, and provide a monthly forum for information and cultural exchange as well as neighborly gathering.

 

I am pleased to welcome you to the 51st Annual House Tour. Do allow time to partake of the “gently-priced” happy hour at the Ampeer after the tour. Hop a free pedicab to get there!

 

Robin Diener, President

2018 DCCA House Tour Site

Thank you to DCCA friends, sponsors, and attendees for helping

make the 2018 Dupont Circle House Tour a success.



Education Update

By Robin Diener...


Encouragingly, two major city-wide consultations were undertaken this summer. First, David Grosso, Chair of the Education & Library Committee of the DC Council, sponsored eight “youth-led” Education Town Halls at neighborhood libraries, one in each ward. Later, three DC Public School Chancellor Forums were held under the auspices of the Mayor’s Office to gather input on priorities for selecting the next Chancellor.


TheYouth Town Halls

These gatherings featured high school students as panelists voicing their own opinions. Outside of the panelists, however, few students attended. Audiences of 20-25 per ward consisted of local officials, political candidates, teachers, and parents. Chair Grosso personally attended and introduced all 8 sessions.The student panelists had been recommended by local institutions at the request of Grosso’s committee. Traditional public schools and charters were both represented. All the students were open and straightforward. They were supportive of each other, as well. Sadly, the young people had little positive to report about their education or school life. Their biggest concerns:


Lack of resources – schools lack computers, library books, AP classes, art, music, foreign language, after schools clubs, and sports teams.


Suspension – guidelines are unfair or unclear.


Lack of teachers, especially male teachers– many teachers leave after a few weeks or months, never to be replaced, and substitute teachers fill in for the remainder of the year. Panelists said more male teachers are needed in communities with fewer father figures.


Violence – is pervasive in many schools.


Uniforms – where required, are expensive, disliked, and often the cause of suspension. Kids get sent home for wearing the wrong shoes.


The Chancellor Forums

These were organized as round-table discussions, similar to Mayor Bowser’sannual budget town halls.Many parents attended, as well as teachers and officials.Each table was asked to consider several questions. Comments from the tables were delivered by a chosen representative. Each of the three events attracted 100-150 people. I attended 2 of the 3 events.


Attendees agreed on these three qualities /skills in a new Chancellor:


1) Visionary – inspiring yet pragmatic. “Something different needs to be done” but Chancellor must be able to articulate “how we get there.” Vision must center onequity and provide holistic and family oriented approach with wraparound services. Make all schools high performing – with the goal to abolish the lottery.


2) Teacher Committed – an administrator should have teaching experience and demonstrated teacher empathy with a goal to ensure trust.


3) DC Knowledgable – many felt strongly that first-hand experience of DC’s culture, geography, economic pressures and local political landscape is a priority.


My personal takeaway from the Youth-Led Town Halls was that these young people, and by extension countless others,have been cheated of the learning outcomes afforded by a stable and effective educational environment, such as they (and we) are owed by public education. The Chancellor Forums were forward focused and felt far more positive. However, they did not concretely address any of the problems raised by the kids in the earlier town halls. As far as I know, there was no cross pollination.


Read more about the three Chancellor Forums here:

https://ourschools.dc.gov/page/engage

Look for "Forum Notes PDF" in the far column under Materials .


Identify your priorities for a Chancellor in this survey:

https://dcgov.seamlessdocs.com/f/ChancellorSearchSurvey


Join or Renew Your DCCA Membership Today!


DCCA membership is open to residents, businesses and supporters of the Dupont Circle neighborhood

according to the Association's Bylaws. Benefits include discounts from Preferred Merchants, community

service events and social get-togethers!

 

Returning members, please click log into your profile above with your email address and password.


New members (or if you have not created a membership profile), please click here to join.


To join or renew by mail, please download our 2018 Membership Application Form and mail it to:

DCCA, 9 Dupont Circle, NW 20036.



Supporting Our Community



DCCA Community Grant Applications
 
DCCA makes grants from funds raised by the annual House Tour for the activities and projects of local organizations that further DCCA’s mission. Examples of recent DCCA grants include those to neighborhood organizations that serve individuals who are homeless or have mental illness, such as Charlie’s Place and Green Door, grants for programs and events to Dupont Circle Village and Dupont Festival, and a grant to the Ross Elementary School PTA for playground equipment.
 
DCCA’s Community Grants Policy and Grant Application Form are now available on the DCCA website. Applications for grants to support an organization’s ongoing activities are due by December 1st for consideration for funding at the Board of Director’s meeting in January.  Organizations may also submit grant applications for one-time events or needs throughout the year. The Board will act on such applications on a rolling basis, with decisions typically provided within two months.

2017 Cherry Blossoms by Phil Carney

Founded in 1922 in a townhouse at 1767 P Street, to promote and protect the interests of the residents, the Dupont Circle Citizens Association (DCCA) is the premier civic and residential organization in the Dupont Circle area.

DCCA brings neighbors, including residents, businesses and non-profit organizations, together to improve the quality of life in an active and diverse urban neighborhood. It holds membership meetings 9 times each year, which are open to the public, runs the Dupont Circle House Tour, resolves neighborhood issues through its committees, donates to local causes, and incubates innovative projects.


Dupont Circle Citizens Association | 9 Dupont Circle, NW | Washington, DC 20036

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