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Federation of Citizens Associations of the District of Columbia

Federation News

Volume 9, Issue 10, June 2003
3710 S Street, NW, Washington, DC 20007
(202) 338-5164 phone/fax

June Is Federation Election Month
New District of Columbia Flag?
Metro Fare Increases
DC Neighborhood College
Hand Dancing Defined
Rationalization of New Computer Capabilities Ordered
Breaking New Ground: Associations Sponsor Musicale
Officers and Board
The 2003 Awards Banquet
GW University Stealth Move on Campus Police Jurisdiction Goes Overt
Federation Board of Directors
Palisades Fourth of July Parade
Federation Assembly Meeting Dates


Tuesday, June 24, 2003
7:00 p.m.

Federation Election

Other Business

The Charles Sumner School
1201 Seventeenth Street, NW

(at M Street) 


The Federation will hold its annual election of officers and Board members at the June 24 Assembly. Several outstanding new candidates join with incumbents in office to comprise — if elected — a formidable array of civic talent, ready to assume Federation leadership.

Officer Candidates are:

Carroll Green (Manor Park), President;
Ann Loikow, Esq. (Cleveland Park), 1st Vice President
Laura Richards, Esq. (Penn Branch), 2nd Vice President
George Clark, Esq. (Forest Hills), Secretary
Allen Beach (Chevy Chase), Treasurer

Board Member Candidates (10):

Robert Andrew (Foxhall)
Ann Renshaw (Chevy Chase)
John Batham (West End)
Sally MacDonald (Woodley Park)
Dino Drudi (Michigan Park)
Kay Eckles (RAC)
Guy Gwynne (Burleith)
James Jones (Crestwood)
A.L. Wheeler, Esq. (Oldest Inhabitants)

As in all Federation elections, a complete slate of officer and Board candidates is formed in advance of the election meeting. This is to ensure that there is a candidate ready to stand for every position. Nominations will be invited from the floor, as always. Anyone is free to nominate himself, as desired. Do you wish to form a second slate of candidates? Feel free, and maybe it will be swept into office.

All delegates are urged to attend the Tuesday, June 24 session. In addition to the election, there are a number of important items of business that need to be addressed, so that a speaker will not be present.

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Delegates had a first glimpse of the proposed new DC flag at the May banquet, when Association of Oldest Inhabitants historian Nelson Rimensnyder demonstrate a large model of the proposed emblem. For the record, the present DC flag has three red stars over two red stripes on a white background. The new proposed flag would have "No Taxation" and "Without Representation" superimposed on the stripes and "DC" below them. Judging from crowd reaction, acceptance was not particularly forthcoming.

The prevailing opinion seemed to be expressed by one commentator, "They would make a sign out of the flag." Another noted, "That's better to carry as a parade sign than to fly."

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The Metro board voted on June 19 to raise fares for buses and trains and for parking. Base bus and Metro fares go from $1.10 to $1.20. Parking rates will increase to $3.00. Reserving a monthly parking space will go from $65 to $95. There will be no rail-to-bus paper transfers. These increases, the first in eight years, hopefully will serve to offset the anticipated huge deficit in the 2004 District budget.

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The DC Neighborhood College, like those of other cities, is a constructive new program designed to help civic and neighborhood leaders and community organizations create sustainable communities. The college is a six-month program of learning, consultations, workshops, and seminars in a variety of neighborhood settings on subjects such as zoning, development, diversity, regulations, computers, and more. In April 2003, 24 community leaders were graduated as the inaugural class, including Allen Beach, delegate to the Federation from the Chevy Chase Citizens Association. The next class is now being organized for fall 2003. Applications can be made to DC Agenda, 1825 K Street, NW, Suite 710, Washington, DC 20006. Tel. 202-223-2598.

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Readers noted in the May issue of the Newsletter that in April the City Council legislated hand dancing as the official dance of the District of Columbia. In response to inquiries, subsequent research reveals that hand dancing is not a patty-cake movement done to music, but normal ballroom dancing, with an updated name, in which partners maintain contact with each other. This is distinguished from trendier modes such as (formerly) the Twist, current separate-movements-while-facing, and break dancing — which is less mutually tactile still.

So many Washingtonians, like persons who discover they have been speaking prose all along, have in fact been hand dancing unawares, but needed the City Council to point out the matter.

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On May 16, in Resolution 15-98 the City Council noted: "Sec. 3. It is the Sense of the Council that the Mayor use the resources available, including those of the Chief Technology Officer, to correct a computer linkage problem among the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Department of Public Works and the Metropolitan Police Department with respect to the Out-of-State Automobiles Program by July 8, 2003, so that nonresidents who are parked in non-restricted, legal spaces and who have proven their legal residence elsewhere do not continue receiving unfair duplicate citations, which are making this valuable program look like a $100-a-pop revenue generator. If the computer linkage problems are not remedied by July 8, 2003, the Council will consider other options."

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The Hillcrest-Palisades Partnership invites everyone to the "Musical Extravaganza" and reception Saturday, July 12, at 2:00 p.m. at the MLK Main Library at 901 G Street, NW. Featured will be choral works, rhythm-and-blues, jazz, folk, and classical selections. This is one more of the two-community partnership's trans-city activities, sparked by Federation delegates Alice Stewart (Palisades) and Miles Steele, III (Hillcrest). Backers of the July 12 event are the Palisades Community Fund, the Hillcrest Community Civic Association, and the DC Commission on Arts and Humanities. The impetus for such joint actions comes from two associations deciding to enter into a loose sister-community partnership, and to collaborate on projects of mutual or general benefit, and can be arranged by just about any associations. It's something to consider.

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Patrick H. Allen, Esq.
Citizens Association of Georgetown

John C. Batham
West End Citizens Association

Allen E. Beach
Chevy Chase Citizens Association

Mary Bresnahan
Spring Valley Court Citizens Association

Francis M. Clarke, III
Cardozo-Shaw Citizens Association

Dino J. Drudi
Michigan Park Citizens Association

Kathryn A. Eckles
Residential Action Coalition

Carroll Green
Manor Park Citizens Association

Guy Gwynne
Burleith Citizens Association

James H. Jones
Crestwood Citizens Association

Ann Loikow
Cleveland Park Citizens Association

Jane McNew
Capitol Hill Citizens Association

Miles Steele, III
Hillcrest Civic Association

A.L. Wheeler, Esq.
Association of Oldest Inhabitants

Barbara Woodward-Downs
Citizens Association of Georgetown

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was the predictable blowout, and easily measured up to past years' events. In keeping with the traditional format, an impressive color guard entered the hall first, with flag and banners amid the full house of delegates and guests. At the call for "Present Arms," the thoroughly civilian attendees stood to recite the Pledge of Allegiance. In the following MC introductions, Federation-defended former BZA Commissioner Ann Renshaw received an ovation, and the cutting-edge Hexagon Club political cabaret proceeded to take over, to the evident delight of the audience. In a departure from past years, the 2003 banquet speaker was not a political personality, such as the mayor, but rather Washington's foremost preservationist movement leader, Mr. James Goode. His speech resulted in delegates feeling improved and informed on the District's architectural past and present rather than, as usual, updated on political events and movement on the civic scene.

This year's awardee Washington achievers were: 1) recently retired Corporation Counsel attorney Lutz Prager, who spearheaded the successful Corp Counsel-cum-citizen defense in several courts of a revolutionary BZA effort to regulate community-impacting behemoth George Washington University. 2) Kathryn Sinzinger, crusading independent editor and founder of the feisty weekly newspaper The Common Denominator. 3) Guy Gwynne, activist and general nagger of the Federation. And 4) Patrick Allen, Esq., outstanding Georgetown attorney who devoted numerous hours of legal work to the attempted founding of the Federation Legal Aid Foundation. Lutz Prager received a seldom-accorded (by the usually staid delegates in assembly) standing ovation, cheer-led by the boisterous Foggy Bottom table. It was a great time.

Attendees deserve kudos for thinking quickly on their feet concerning association-specific table seating. The banquet committee had neatly arranged for tables of eight, nine, and ten persons, as reserved. In the event, the military mindset of Officers Club staff prevailed, with the total number of guests being divided by ten, and the number of tables for ten being set up accordingly. The resulting upset of neat aggregation by identified table ended with some catch-as-catch-can table-seating shopping, and new acquaintances among table occupants. According to one quick-mover, "That was fun. We ought to do it every year."

Next May (2004) the Federation will mark its impressive 94th anniversary at the awards banquet. See you there.

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Foggy Bottom Association vigilance has encountered the newest effort toward further university encroachment in the embattled neighborhood: a move to legalize private campus police enforcement activities in the area. FBA president Ron Cocome has defined the matter proactively for general use and desired city action. The issue? "Omnibus Public Safety Agency Reform Amendment Act of 2003 " — Bill 15-32.

A multi-point communiqué by Mr. Cocome notes:

"Buried deep within an otherwise sound piece of legislation is a provision that bodes ill both for our Foggy Bottom neighborhood and the city as a whole. Title X of the above-cited proposed legislation — Campus Police Force Cooperative Agreements — is one of the most potentially dangerous provisions to come before the Council in a long time. It should be struck from this legislation.

"One of the most basic roles of our government is to provide for equal protection of citizens under the law — all District residents are entitled to protection by the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the courts. Title X of this bill would result in turning that constitutional right on its head and denying that fundamental right to students and non-students alike living both on-campus and near campus.

"In addressing this issue with staff in the offices of some Councilmember, I found that many were of the impression that this legislative concept simply provided for jurisdiction-sharing and duty relief of our MPD by the George Washington University Police Department (GW UPD). That is the stated intent, but, I assure you, it will not be the effect of this legislation!

"Jurisdiction-sharing between the University Police Department and the MPD is already taking place through an "understanding," without the benefit of law. As part of Bill 15-12, the Judiciary Committee is not planning to formalize, rather than abolish, this ill-conceived policy. In fact, the GW UPD is quietly replacing the MPD not only within the ever-growing campus area, de facto as well as de jure, but also in University buildings, which are used predominantly by students (and by a smattering of non-student residents as well), outside of the campus.

"The GW UPD is a private security force beholden to GWU without the experience and training of our MPD. GW's UPD has a policy and a history of protecting student wrong-doers so that the University — which pays UPD's "salary" — will not lose any tuition paying undergraduate students. This means, incredibly, that student offenders, as a part of their hefty tuition, buy immunity from District law.... [A] sampling of recent GWU crime reports . . . includes some very serious offenses.... [I]t appears, based upon current practice, that the University's goal is not to protect the community — or even its own students — from law-breakers, but rather to protect the University's financial interests by shielding student law-breakers from the consequences of their acts.

"If a less-privileged young person, not protected by a $40,000+ tuition insurance program, and in an off-campus District neighborhood, commits a crime, he or she deals with the MPD and the courts. When the UPD investigates on campus, rarely do the MPD or the courts become involved. For example, when you read most UPD crime reports you see that the case either was closed or that the incident was referred to the Student Judiciary system. That is hardly the same justice that would be meted out to another young offender not protected by GW student status.

"All of these concerns have been voiced to the Committee on the Judiciary; none has been addressed. With minimal notice and almost no input from residents and in a rush to accommodate those supporting this egregious exemption — in this case the Consortium of Universities — this very dangerous and legally questionable provision has advanced. It should go no further.

"One of the most troubling aspects of this proposed legislation of which you should also be aware is that Title X specifically exposes the District to liability for this private security force. If any cases are pursued against the UPD or if UPD officers are found liable when acting under this proposed legislation, it will be District taxpayers who ultimately foot the bill."

The bill was scheduled for Council markup in May. Owing to scheduling of other legislation, the May date has reported to have been moved to September. Delegates with an interest in this proposed bill and the principle it embodies should contact City Council members and the Mayor's office.

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At its June 12 meeting the Federation Board of Directors:

  • Discussed Zoning Commission Case No. 03-09-___, which involves a provision that would allow historic properties of a certain size, in residential zones, as offices for nonprofit corporations. The proposed move is intended to deal with "white elephant" properties, including schools.
  • Voted to support the renomination of Ms. Betty Noel as People's Counsel and to draft a letter to the Mayor. An Association alert will be issued when support it needed at a City Council confirmation hearing or earlier.
  • Reviewed candidates for Federation officer and Board positions.
  • Reviewed four alternatives concerning the Rock Creek Plan, including regulations for Beach Drive. Voted for Option B.
  • Discussed aspects of 2003 and 2004 annual awards banquets.

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The 37th annual Palisades Citizens' Association's Fourth of July parade will take place — rain or shine — on Friday, July 4. The old-fashioned neighborhood parade attracts participants and spectators from throughout the Washington area, including families, politicians, and local business people. The parade begins at 11 a.m. at the corner of Whitehaven Parkway and MacArthur Boulevard, NW. The parade will proceed along MacArthur to the Palisades Park and Recreation Center at Sherier and Dana Places, N.W.

As in past years, the parade will include a wide range of participants, from neighborhood children on decorated bicycles to elected city officials, as well as the Washington Scottish Bagpipe Band, the Georgetown Lions Club, Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of DC, the DC Different Drummers marching band, the Association of Oldest Inhabitants, the DC Fire Department Engine Company 29, the United Horseman's Association, clowns, and vintage cars. Balloons and candy are handed out along the parade route. The festivities conclude at the Palisades Recreation Center with a free picnic of hot dogs, juice and watermelon. Prizes, provided by local businesses, will be awarded. Categories include "Most Creative Child," "Best Group," "Best Decorated Vehicle," "Best Decorated Bicycle," "Most Creative Adult," and "Best Decorated Pet." At the park youngsters can enjoy the state-of-the-art playground and spray area, as well as horseback rides, clowns and two moon bounces.

For information call (202) 363-7441. (From the Glover Park Gazette)

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Federation Assembly Meeting Dates

There will be no monthly assembly meetings in July and August 2003. The next post-June election meeting will be on Tuesday, September 23. The Federation Board will be summer meetings at the discretion of the new president.

July, no meeting
August, no meeting
Tuesday, September 23, 2003

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