At the May 13th meeting of Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6C, the commission voted to support a $3,000 grant to the Ward 6 Mutual Aid Network (W6 MAN) made through the auspices of Hill non-profit Serve Your City DC, which acts as a hub for the organization. W6 MAN representative Pranav Nanda, who appeared at the meeting, said that the organization was created by volunteers to safely aid their neighbors during the COVID crisis, working alongside partners such as SYC DC but also Brotha’s Huddle and Momma’s Safe Haven.
Since the start of the pandemic, Ward 6 Mutual Aid has distributed $15,000 worth of groceries, more than 1,000 masks, 81 laptops and over 1,000 fliers providing crucial public health information to vulnerable populations.
The funds will go to support the work of the organization in providing device and internet access for online learning, as well as masks, PPE and essential supplies to residents of Ward 6. The organization has plans to open a Mutual Aid Network pod on H Street NE to supply groceries, masks and hygiene items to neighbors in need.
Grants Committee Chair Victoria Lord said that Gottleib Simon of the DC Office of ANCs (OANC) sent a memo to commissioners saying that many restrictions to grant-making are temporarily lifted due to the COVID emergency in order to encourage ANCs to help citizens through the emergency. In particular, Lord said that OANC has relaxed the rule that the ANC cannot provide funding for items that are provided by other District agencies.
If you wish to volunteer or need support through the COVID-19 crisis you can email Ward6MutualAid@gmail.com, or call the Ward 6 Mutual Aid hotline between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. at 202-683-9962. Financial donations to the effort can be made at ServeYourCityDC.com.
Charles Allen on Budget, COVID Response
Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen (D) appeared before the commission to discuss the District’s response to COVID-19 as well as planning for the June 2 Primary Election. The Mayor’s Order of May 12th extended the Stay-at-Home Order until June 8. Less noted was the fact that the order requires that residents wear masks when they cannot maintain a six-foot distance from other people.
On public space, Allen said he brought the issue of street closures to the District Department of Transportation (DDOT) multiple times over the past months. Allen and Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh (D) are working together on temporarily closing some residential streets to cars because the narrow sidewalks throughout much of the District make social distancing difficult. Allen suggested that DC Council would discuss how to open more space at their meeting May 19.
“People are walking in the middle of the street just to give each other space,” Allen said. “We need to do a better job.”
Allen said that as of May 12, 50,000 DC residents had requested ballots to vote by mail in the June 2 Primary, about half the number of voters who voted in the 2016 Primary Elections. He emphasized that people should request mail-in ballots, adding that the usual 20 early voting centers will act as the only in-person voting sites, open between May 22 and June 2. Three in-person sites are in Ward 6, at King Greenleaf Recreation Center (201 N St. SW), Sherwood Recreation Center (640 Tenth St. NE), and Kennedy Recreation Center (Shaw, 1401 Seventh St. NW).
Allen said that COVID concerns had pushed the Mayor’s presentation of the budget back to May 18. The fiscal year ends in September, and Allen said there will be a more than $700 million hit to the budget over the next three or four months. That will require years of recovery, Allen said. But he added that he does not think an ‘austerity budget’ is the answer. However, he said cuts are necessary, and so District residents and DC Council will have to pick and choose what to postpone or delay.
The budget hearing schedule is very condensed. Allen chairs the Committee on Judiciary and Public Safety, which has 42 agencies. He said he has been given 12 hours to conduct hearings. The public can call and leave testimony via voicemail, which can be transcribed. There is also an option to leave video testimony or email. Allen will conduct his Ward 6 Budget Town Hall virtually the evening of June 4 but had no further details at the time of the meeting. Visit www.charlesallenward6.com to learn more.
In Other Business
The commission voted to support a grant of $1,328.36 to Peabody Elementary School to support the maintenance of the schools’ gardens, which have been recognized by the National Wildlife Foundation. The funds will be used to replant species, maintain the garden and label plants. Teachers will also acquire insect hotels which would be placed in homes of teachers and watched virtually to teach children about the insect life cycle.
The Commission voted unanimously on consent to:
- Protest a liquor license application for Pho Viet Restaurant (333 H St. NE)
- Protest a liquor license application from Farmbird Restaurant (625 H St. NE) in pursuit of a Settlement Agreement (SA)
- Support a letter to DDOT requesting the installation of an all-way stop sign and crosswalk at the intersection of Seventh with A Street NE, as well as an all-way stop sign at Seventh Street at C Street NE due to safety concerns of immediate neighbors
- Submit comments to DDOT about the installation of protected bicycle lanes on K Street between First Street NE to Seventh Street NW (the portion in ANC 6C), drawing attention to the turn from K Street onto First Street, safety under the railway bridges, the interaction with existing and proposed nightclubs on the Unit block of K Street, and for the inclusion of bike boxes and bollards at the places where bike lanes meet one another
- Supporting a request for a sidewalk extension on both the M and 12th Street NE sides of NoMA Harris Teeter (1201 First St. NE) during the public health emergency, as well as a letter to DDOT Director Jeff Marootian supporting Allen’s request to close residential streets as well as to consider a temporary maximum speed of 25 mph during the public health emergency
- Support an extension to a Planned Unit Development (PUD) at 111 Massachusetts Avenue NW, across the street from the Single Member District (SMD) represented by Chairperson Karen Wirt (6C02).
- Support a revised Board of Zoning Adjustment (BZA) amendment at 22 M St. NE. The applicant had voluntarily revised the application to seek a variance from a provision related to vertical separation between an animal care and boarding facility with the residential areas of the building
- Support a Historic Preservation Application (HPA) for concept approval of a three-story addition and alteration of roof line at 630 Lexington Place NE.
All members of ANC 6C were present at the May 13 meeting: Christine Healey (Secretary, 6C01), Jay Adelstein (6C03), Mark Eckenwiler (Vice-Chair, 6C04), Joel Kelty (6C05), Treasurer) and Drew Courtney (6C06). Due to technical difficulties Karen Wirt (Chair, 6C02) listened to the meeting but did not participate.
ANC 6C usually meets at 7:00 p.m. on the second Wednesday of every month (except August) in the ground floor conference room at the Heritage Foundation (214 Massachusetts Ave. NE).
The next meeting of ANC 6C is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 10. In the wake of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, DC Council passed emergency legislation March 17 making it possible for ANCs to meet virtually or not at all during a public health emergency, ANC 6C is meeting via Webex. For the most up-to-date information and links to join meetings of the ANC and its committees, visit anc6c.org.