Sunday, February 28, 2010

March SWOT meeting, 3/19

Join the more than 50 organizations, associations, businesses, and residents who have come together to address service gaps for our fellow Ward 1 residents.   The next meeting is being held March 19 from 9:00 - 11:30 am.   We will continue the work on housing resources and data and have a added a few short presentations on timely and pressing issues.

Please be sure to RSVP by March 17 to swotdc (at) gmail (dot) com so we are sure to have enough materials and food for attendees.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Support an alternative use for Bruce Monroe

How do you feel about a giant asphalt parking lot bounded by Georgia Avenue, Irving Street and Columbia Road?

If you think that an alternative use of Bruce Monroe is more desirable than the plan to make it into a parking lot, then be sure to check out   This site includes a petition to "stop the lot", meeting announcements, and other opportunities to weigh in and take action in support a "greener, more community- and youth-oriented use that will serve the neighborhood instead of detracting from it."   (Go here for more on Stop the Lot.)

Georgia Avenue development - two meetings this week

The task force will next meet on February 22 from 6:30 - 8:30 pm at the Emergence Community Arts Collective at 733 Euclid Street NW.   At this meeting, the Research Committee will present summaries of the existing plans for Georgia Avenue; other committees will also report and, of course, new business discussed.   The meeting agenda is online.   Those unable to attend may listen in via conference call at 1-270-400-1500 and using access code 759818.   The handouts are also online here and here (PPT).

And later this week, the community will meet with Ward 1 CM Jim Graham and representatives from the Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development to discuss the current activities and priorities for Georgia Ave.   The meeting will be held on February 24 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm at Bruce Monroe School at Parkview Elementary Auditorium, 3560 Warder Street NW.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Programa para padres de familia/Parenting classes in Spanish

Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative and the Tubman Elementary School Parent Resource Center are offering parenting classes in Spanish.   The classes are being held on Saturdays from 10:00 to 11:30 am beginning on March 6.   They will run through May 1.   Child care and refreshments will be provided.   For more information or to register, call Athena at (202) 319-7599.
Programa Para Padres de Familia

Reminder: February 19 SWOT meeting

A friendly reminder that the next SWOT meeting is being held February 19 at 9:00 am.   More info here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Short-term use of Bruce Monroe meeting February 16

Sylvia of the Emerging Community Arts Collective/Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force does it again!   She has reminded us that the meeting on interim planning for Bruce Monroe, originally scheduled for the week known as Snowmageddon, has been rescheduled for February 16 at 6:30 pm at the Cesar Chavez Public Charter School at 770 Kenyon Street, NW.

The meeting is being convened by Ward 1 CM Jim Graham.   The purpose is to discuss ideas for a short term use plan for the old Bruce Monroe site.   He is looking to stakeholders for ideas on how to best use the space during the interim period.

"Kojo In Your Community" live in Ward 1 February 23

Kojo In Your Community is back with live community-based conversations out of the studio and in the neighborhoods.   Kojo Nnamdi kicks off the latest series in Ward 1 on February 23 at 6:30 pm at All Souls Unitarian Church.   Word is that Penny Griffith, Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative ED, will be one of the show's featured panelists.   So go to All Souls for a lively and open dialogue about the issues of the day.   The live broadcast will be taped on location and aired on WAMU 88.5's The Kojo Nnamdi Show.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Healing Hearts Support Group/Amigas del Corazón

WEAVE's support group for survivors of domestic violence start March 18.   The group is an opportunity for individuals to connect with other DV survivors, share stories, and encourage each other in new directions.   Participation is free but registration is required.

Grupo de terapia para sobrevivientes de la violencia doméstica.   Conectar. . . Sanar. . . Crecer. . . es posible.   Este grupo es gratuito y confidencial.

Healing Hearts March 2010

Grupo de Apoyo March 2010

Neighborhood newsletter a collective project

The February edition of the Pleasant Plains Neighborhood Network News, itself a collaborative effort to "build an active, vibrant, compassionate and prosperous neighborhood that we will all be proud of", features several examples of collaborative, collective initiatives to improve the community.   One example is the story about the Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force.   Another example is the article "How Society Impacts Our Youth. . . " by Courtney Steward (Mentoring Works2) and Del MCfadden (Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative).

The newsletter is produced with a small budget and distributed door-to-door to 1,300 residents and businesses by the youth of Mentoring Works2 and the ECAC.   Residents and businesses can help support this community newsletter in numerous ways.   Chek them out by going to this site to buy ad space or the ECAC to make a tax-deductible donation to the ECAC, noting that the donation is for the PPNN.

Neighborhood greening grant proposal deadline nearing

Washington Parks & People is awarding mini-grants for projects focusing on the health of the community, youth involvement, and butterfly habitat.   The deadline for proposals is February 23 and all applicants are encouraged to attend one mini grant briefing (February 16 and 17).

Washington Parks & People is particularly interested in community and neighborhood greening projects in underserved areas with the potential for the greatest impact.

More information is on the Washingtoon Parks & People website.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Solution-Focused Brief Therapy Training in March

Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative is offering an essential training for front-line staff:   Solution-Focused Brief Therapy.   The training will be held in March.   Details in the flier below.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Seniors and snow removal

The Office on Aging is coordinating snow removal for seniors 60 and older and persons with disabilities; direct requests to (202) 724-5622 or (202) 724-5626 and give name, address, age, and if person has medical needs.

Green Team Takes Snowmageddon Down

For more than 20 hours during the recent snow storms, the Columbia Heights/Shaw Family Support Collaborative’s Green Teams took on the snow, clearing curb cuts, sidewalks, and bus stops.   More than that, though, Green Team members allowed people to get out of their homes safely, to connect with others, to help others.

Some of what the Green Team did:

  • Saturday:   11 GT members targeted U street wheel chair ramps, sidewalks, and bus stops.   They put in five hours in blizzard conditions and cleared the ramps from 14th and U to 9th and U.
  • Sunday:   13 GT members targeted Columbia Heights 14th Street corridor. The weather conditions were better and they succeeded in clearing wheelchair ramps, sidewalks, and bus stops from 14th and Spring Road to 14th and Park Road.   In the five hours on the job, residents and businesses complimented the team members on the job they were doing, the service they were providing, in the community.
  • Monday:   Shaw from 9th and U Street to 9th and S Street and 7th and Florida Avenue to 7th and S Street was cleared by about 20 team members.   They cleared wheelchair ramps, sidewalks, and bus stops.   Again, lots of compliments from community members.
  • Tuesday:   Many more Green Team members worked on Kennedy Street and Georgia Avenue.   The nearly 30 members worked for seven hours clearing wheelchair ramps, sidewalks, and bus stops.   Compliments were common from neighbors.   Representatives from the mayor’s office stopped by to observe these hard working individuals.   Ward 4 CM Muriel Bowser also stopped by.

Our hat is off to our Collaborative colleagues who braved the blizzard to make the sidewalks safer for us all!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Help the city address the digital divide

Plan on spending 8:30 am - 12:30 pm on February 26 at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center for DC's first-ever Community Broadband Summit (DC-CBS).   At the Reagan Building, you will join area residents, businesses, community-based organizations, and thought leaders to address the city's digital divide.

According to third annual Speed Matters survey of Internet speeds by the Communications Workers of America (CWA), the District ranks 10 out of 53 (the states plus DC, Puerto Rico, and USVI) in the organization's download speed list.   Not so surprising is the breakdown by zip code of download speeds in the CWA DC report.

Certainly, the digital divide is not all about speed.   So what is it about, then?   The most simple definition is this:   The term digital divide refers to the gap between those who have access to electronic and information technology and those who do not.   It is sometimes couched as an urban versus rural dispartity or socio-economic level difference.

You don't have to be a tech expert to contribute to this event.   In fact, some of the sponsors of the event (DC Public Library, Department of Parks and Recreation, and Department of Employment Services) are not experts in technology.   Your participation is needed precisely because the city is interested in increasing all parts of digital literacy -- from ensuring all residents have equal access to the Internet to making sure that computer training and affordable hardware is widely available and affordable.

So be sure to take the short survey and register for this free event.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

February SWOT meeting, February 19

Join service providers, civic associations, elected officials, government staffers, and others at the next "Next Steps" Meeting of Strengthening Ward One Together on February 19 from 9:00 - 11:30 am at Columbia Heights Youth Club (1480 Girard St NW).

We took what you said at the January kickoff meeting to create the agenda.   So, the event will feature a presentation from an affordable housing expert and more breakout groups!   Details about the event, including how to RSVP, are in the flier below.


Saturday, February 6, 2010

Comments sought on city plan for senior citizens

Did you know that of the 78,320 residents of Ward 1 in 2006 5,270, or 7%, were age 65 or older? (a)   Did you know that in 2000, 9% of the poor in Ward 1 were age 65 or older? (b)    That means that 1,418 residents had an annual income below $8,350 for a household of one or $11,250 for a household of two. (c)

This is why it is so important that the public review and comment on the draft District of Columbia State Plan on Aging for Fiscal Years 2011-2013.   The Office on Aging is seeking public comment as required under the Older Americans Act (P-L 109-365) amended in 2006.   The plan is directly linked to the receipt of federal funds, reported to be more than $6 million.   According to the Office on Aging,

The plan serves as a blueprint on how the Office on Aging will spend the funds for the next three years.   The goals of the plan are to: (1) increase the health and social supports for older residents to enable them to stay in their own home longer; (2) through education, outreach, and advocacy, empower older persons and stakeholders to make more informed decisions about services that impact on quality of life and long term care outcomes; and (3) expand programs and improve coordination, enhance services and outreach to older persons and older persons with disabilities, who are vulnerable and at-risk concerning safety and health access issues.

Comments on the plan are due to the Office on Aging by March 31.

The Office on Aging's questionnaire for family and caregivers is another tool the office is using to gather input.   That is available by going online or calling Anne Williams at 741-5887.

(a) Data from Caliper Corporation via the Office of Planning
(b) Data from the Office of Planning; Census 2000 data

February 13 TPS workshop for Haitians

Catholic Charities' Immigration Legal Services is hosting a February 13 workshop on Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Haitians pursuant to the recent change made by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, a division of the federal Department of Homeland Security.   (See this prior blog post for more information.)

Details about the event where Haitians will receive application assistance are in the fliers, below.

Flyer on HaitianTPSWorkshopDCFeb13 ENGLISH

Flyer on Haitian TPS Workshop DC Feb 13 FRENCH

Friday, February 5, 2010

Domestic violence workshop postponed

The MPD Fourth District domestic violence workshop rescheduled for February 6 has canceled until further notice due to the winter storm.    Should you require information about domestic violence (non-emergency), contact Officer Chante Brodie, chante (dot) brodie (at) dc (dot) gov.

Updated winter emergencies info sheet

The DC Access to Justice Commission has just updated its winter emergencies contact information sheet; the new version is below.   And check back here for the forthcoming flier in Spanish.
Winter Emergencies Contact Info

Thursday, February 4, 2010

February 5 data meeting cancelled

In anticipation of bad weather on Friday, February 5, we have canceled the data meeting.   If you are interested in data and want to participate in this important work, contact Jess Quaranto, 518-6737 or jquaranto (at) chsfsc (dot) org.

Seminar by MPD vice units is learning opp for youth services providers

On Tuesday, February 23 from 7:00 - 9:00 pm, MPD will hold a public vice seminar.   The purpose of the event is to share the successes of MPD's vice units and to educate the public about the ongoing drug issues plaguing the city.

Khaleedah Harris, director of C.O.I.N.N.S., urges nonprofits serving youth to attend this meeting -- to learn and to be part of the solution.   Read more about the event and Khaleedah's take on how the public can best use the opportunity in the document below.


Data meeting 2/5

2/4/10 10:00 pm UPDATE:   The February 5 meeting has been canceled in anticipation of inclement weather.

On Friday, February 5, the Ward 1 data subcommittee of the Strengthening Ward One Together initiative will meet to discuss projects raised at the January meeting.   The meeting will be held at the Thurgood Marshall Center (1816 12th St. NW) from 1:00 - 2:00 pm.   We will be finalizing a Ward 1 fact sheet, editing the service provider needs/assets survey, providing updates on the service provider inventory project and discussing other possible next steps.   Please email Jess Quaranto at if you are interested in attending.   All are welcome.

A new use for Bruce Monroe

ECAC's Sylvia Robinson shared this information on an electronic discussion list:   On Wednesday, February 10 at 7:00 pm at Cesar Chavez Public Charter School, 770 Kenyon Street, NW, Ward 1 CM Jim Graham will hold a meeting to discuss ideas for a short-term use plan for the old Bruce Monroe site.   The CM is seeking ideas on how to best use the space during the interim period.   It is a very large space with lots of potential for good use.   There are also lighting and security concerns that come with empty lots that will also be addressed.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Recap of criminal justice forum

On January 25, the Northwest Columbia Heights Community Association held a Criminal Justice Public Forum to discuss crime and prevention.   As the meeting notes demonstrate, the forum was a huge success.   High-level government agency representatives attended and interacted productively with community members.

Park View UNC meeting, February 3

The February 3 Park View United Neighborhood Coalition meeting will feature guest speaker Cecilia Jones, President of the Northwest Columbia Heights Community Association (NWCHCA).   Ms. Jones will speak about community safety, emphasizing the Neighborhood Watch Program as structured in NWCHCA.   To be better prepared for this important topic, read this fact sheet about NWCHCA's Neighborhood Watch Program.   Copies will also be available at the meeting.

The meeting is at 7:00 pm at Park View Recreation Center, 693 Otis Place, NW.

Important info for nonprofits regarding volunteers

Volunteers are an integral part of many nonprofits located in Ward 1 and serving Ward 1 residents.   If your organization is one that uses volunteers, then this publication from the DC Bar Pro Bono Program is for you.   This document describes what a waiver of liability is and whether they are necessary for your organization.   Please note that nothing about the preparation of this publication or sharing of it on this blog constitutes legal advice.
DCBar Alert--Waivers of Liability for Volunteers

Monday, February 1, 2010

February 20 community beautification event

Join Mentoring Works2 and Howard University students at the February Community Beautification Event on February 20.   Direct questions, concerns, or comments to Courtney Stewart, (202) 232-4669.MW2CommunityBeautification0210

Domestic violence workshop

Domestic violence is an issue affecting thousands of DC residents in each year.   The DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence (DCCADV) reports that in 2005, 4,948 people were served at the two Domestic Violence Intake Centers in the city – Superior Court and a SE Washington satellite center.

Of the 2,556 intake center clients who indicated residency, only 6% indicated they resided in Wards 1, 3 and 6 (and outside DC).   Still, 6% is too many.

MPD’s Fourth District is sponsoring a domestic violence workshop, "Hope, Learn, and Heal", on February 6 from 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.   More information about the workshop is in the flier, below.

Domestic Violence Flier