Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Open Letter to W6TF from Commissioner David Garber (6D07)

David Garber, the ANC Commissioner for 6D07 (Near Southeast) asked the W6TF to post this open letter to the blog:

As Commissioner for 6D07, which encompasses the Nationals Stadium, the Navy Yard, The Yards, Yards Park, Canal Park, Capitol Quarter and the rest of the Capper Carrollsburg redevelopment, as well as the high-density residential and commercial areas between South Capitol Street and 2nd Street SE, my district is likely to be one of the most affected by ANC and SMD redistricting. I currently represent roughly 3,300 residents - which is a number that is growing every day. As most of you know, the neighborhood is vastly changed from what it used to be at the last redistricting.

During the ward redistricting process, my neighborhood rose up in support of staying with Ward 6. In addition to enjoying the growing number of amenities in our own immediately-defined neighborhood, my constituents shop on Pennsylvania Avenue and Eastern Market, eat on Barracks Row, play in Garfield Park, and feel that as development continues in Near Southeast that the scar of the SE/SW Freeway is not as much of a physical boundary as it appears from an aerial perspective. We have also noticed (with much excitement) that Capitol Hill residents are starting to enjoy the amenities that we have in our neighborhood. The general sense is that the more my district develops, the more seamless the connection between the older neighborhoods of Capitol Hill and the redeveloping area south of the freeway will become.

I fully support the majority of my constituents who want to have a say in the areas north of the freeway where they eat, shop, and play every day. Although we are, for the most part, a neighborhood of new buildings, I have heard over and over again that the reason people move to Near Southeast is because of its potential as an exciting waterfront neighborhood and because of its proximity to more established neighborhoods and commercial corridors on Capitol Hill. As much as we are similarly scaled and share interests with the Southwest community, residents of Near Southeast simply do not associate with that community in the same way they do with Capitol Hill. Although South Capitol Street is planned to become a more approachable boulevard and development on its sides will surely unite the Southwest community with my district, we should be basing our redistricting recommendations on where the connections are now.

Additionally, of the residents of Near Southeast that have provided testimony - both in written letters and in person - all have made very clear their desire to keep Near Southeast together in one ANC. The townhouse residents of Near Southeast do not want to be split off from the ANC that is helping to shape the higher-density residential, commercial, and waterfront development of the neighborhood outside their front doors (as was suggested in the Fengler plan).

Please keep my constituents' testimonies in mind when making your recommendation. Of the plans put forth, and based on the desire of most of the residents of Near Southeast that have spoken up both privately and publicly on the matter, the Pate quadrant plan (which, if you are not familiar with it, creates distinct commissions in SE, SW, NW, and NE) does most to unify the Near Southeast neighborhoods with the neighborhoods it identifies with most. The quadrant plan also makes sense from an outsider's perspective. It is easy to understand and follows common-sense lines.

Thank you all for your hard work during this redistricting process.

David Garber, Commissioner, 6D07


  1. I agree with David completely. I live at 100 I Street SE (Axiom apartments), and I identify with the Hill. We go to Garfield Park with the kids, we eat on Barracks Row & Pennsylvania Ave, and walk to Eastern Market. The only time I go to Southwest is to go to Safeway; and soon enough there won't even be reason to go there.

    I would love it if our neighborhood would stay in one piece, and be in one ANC area aligned with Capitol Hill.

    Thank you -

    Beth Avery
    100 I Street SE
    Washington, DC 20003

  2. Thanks, David. I live in 6D07 and agree completely with what you've said here.

  3. Agreed, David - and to that end, I put forward a suggested map which I think goes a long way toward accomplishing all of that, provided we're given flexibility on the ANC sizes to achieve the true efforts of giving local political control to relevant constituencies.

  4. David Agree, and I also liked Andrew's map as well. As a CQ Resident splitting the SE Riverfront area will do more harm than good.

  5. I agree with David too. As a CQ Resident, I want to remain with the rest of Near Southeast. Really like Andrews plan as well!

  6. Where ever Near-SE goes or stays it needs to stay together. It is not a pawn piece for others to dictate what they want to see or support or not-support and leave others out(townhomes, Canal Park & Yards Park vs condos/apartments). While we are connected to other neighboorhoods under the freeway or across the street to the west we are one neighborhood with very distinct boundaries and should remain as ONE within an ANC.

  7. The question is really what is best for those in Near Southeast. Are they to be a small part of a large 6B or a large part in a smaller 6D. Will they have any effect on what is happening on Capitol Hill? Will the people on Capitol Hill care what is happening on the Anacostia Waterfront? At the same time it IS important to the people in Southwest that the new development in Near Southeast and the SW Waterfront be done right. It IS important to the people in SW that both areas get more stores, amenities and attention from the city. That is not going to happen to Near SE if they are tied to Capitol Hill. Those of us in near SW and SE worked together to stay in Ward 6. Now we need to work together in the local ANC. It is best for all of us that way.

    Donald Flanders