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Federation of Citizens Associations of the District of Columbia

Federation News

Volume 3, Issue 7, April 1998

White House OMB Director to Address Federation Banquet
Bicentennial Celebration Plans
Franklin D. Raines – A Brief Biography
Making Our Votes Count: Coalition for a Better Community Seeks More Partners
And on a lighter note . . . .
Congressional Leadership Meeting
D.C. Subcommittee Holds Education Hearing
School Trustees' Outreach Efforts
Officers and Board
President's Report
The District's New Top Cop: Charles Ramsey
CBRF's: Still Challenging Residential Communities
HUD Dollars Flowing into City Projects Again
Key Contact Information

Thursday, April 9 - 6:30 pm

78th Annual Awards Banquet

Guest Speaker:

The Honorable Franklin D. Raines
Director, Office of Management and Budget

Fort McNair Officers' Club
Fourth and P Streets SW

Main gate officers will direct you to the Clubhouse;
parking is available.


A very special event is in store for Federation delegates, members, and guests at the 78th Annual Awards Banquet next week.

Our guest speaker is the Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, Franklin D. Raines. Responsible for the preparation of the President's $1.7 trillion budget, Raines has to balance the competing demand for resources in all Executive Branch agencies.

To District residents, he is known as the point person for the President's initiatives on D. C. issues. Seen as the architect of the Federal "revitalization plan" that brought new resources to the District, Raines negotiated through the tripartite concerns of the Congress, the District's officials, and the White House.

We have asked Director Raines to share with us his sense of what has been accomplished thus far for the District and what he envisions as the keys to a stable future for the District and all of its citizens. We look forward to hearing what the White House plans for D.C's future.

We will also be presenting awards to persons or groups who have made special contributions to the District and to its neighborhoods. This year awards will be presented to the League of 8000 for their citywide work on solid waste problems, to members of the Corporation Counsel's office for their work in defending residents and their property rights, to the National Building Museum for its outreach and its community service, to Pastor Frank Senger for his leadership in the greater Hillcrest community, and to Colby King, editorial writer at The Washington Post, for his continuing dedication to the people of the District and the democratic process.

These three institutions and two individuals are among those who make the District a better place for everyone who lives, works, or visits here. At a time when the "living community" of Washington is all-but- invisible, their work is all the more remarkable.

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On display in the ballroom at Ft McNair will be plans for the renovation of the Langston Golf Course that will be part of the District's Bicentennial Celebration in the year 2000.

The graphics show how the course will be renovated, with the creation of a family-centered facility and a competition-standard course. Private resources are being identified to accomplish the project as a Bicentennial Legacy project.

The Nation's Capital Bicentennial Celebration, of which the Federation is a member, is also planning or coordinating a range of activities for the full year, starting with First Night/Washington activities on the eve of the new year 2000.

The President's Day Federal holiday has been established as a national day of celebration for the founding of our nation's capital in Washington, D.C.

Other events will include a sailing of tall ships and historic vessels in June, linked with a waterfront maritime museum.

International festivities will celebrate linkages of this capital with the countries that offered special allegiances during the founding years, as well as nations for which the American democratic experience has had more recent impact.

For individual communities, heritage tourism and trails will be encouraged, making a living history part of the life of the District's many neighborhoods.

Other capital projects will include a National Visitors' Center at the Washington Monument, a Frederick Douglass Memorial Garden on the Anacostia, and creation of Freedom's Flame at the Capitol.

Materials will be available so that Federation members can learn more about the Bicentennial and the many ways in which they can become more involved.

NCBC can be reached at 338-6222.

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Franklin D. Raines: A brief biography

The OMB Director has traveled a road of great accomplishment since his birth in Seattle. His higher education was at Harvard, earning both his B. A. in government from the College and his J.D. from the Law School. He continued as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University's Magdalen College.

His first White House tour was as Assistant Director of the White House Domestic Policy staff and then as Associate Director for economics and government at OMB. He subsequently became a general partner at the investment banking firm of Lazard Freres & Company in New York City, and then joined Fannie Mae as its vice chairman, overseeing legal, credit policy, finance, and corporate development functions.

Raines has served on the board of directors of several major corporations, foundations, and public service organizations. He presently serves as Chairman of the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government; he was formerly President of the Board of Overseers of Harvard University.

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Making Our Votes Count: Coalition for a better community seeks more partners

Because this year's local elections will have such consequences for the District for many years to come, a coalition that includes both local Federations and the League of Women Voters has been formed with three goals:

  1. to keep the electorate of the District of Columbia better informed,
  2. to make candidates aware of community concerns, and
  3. to hold elected officials to their campaign promises.

The Coalition will hold neighborhood meetings to develop an agenda of community concerns, and it will conduct pre-primary candidate forums, with additional forums before the general election in November.

Community organizations are being asked to consider sponsoring a neighborhood workshop in May or June to identify local voters' concerns that relate to the offices that will be on the ballot this fall.

In July, there will be a city-wide forum for Mayoral candidates and another for Council Chair and At-large candidates, at which candidates will be asked to address the neighborhood-generated concerns. At the end of September, other city-wide forums for Mayoral candidates and for At-large Council candidates will be held.

To plan for this series of events, the Making Our Votes Count coalition will have a special program for neighborhood leaders on April 25 and 29. Attendance at either session will secure an election handbook and a guide for neighborhood voter education workshops. The planned program includes: briefings by Matthew Watson, former D. C. Auditor, and Barry Campbell, former Mayoral Chief of Staff; Tom Sherwood of News Channel 4 will offer his reporter's perspective.

April 25 - 9:30 to 1 1:30 am. First Baptist Church, 713 Randolph (at New Hampshire) N.W.; Metro Bus 62, 64, and 70 (on-street parking).
April 29 - 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. New York Avenue Presbyterian Church, 1919 New York Avenue NW; McPherson Square and Metro Center stops on the Metro.

The project is nonpartisan, and it will neither support nor oppose any candidate or political position. The Coalition is especially eager for organizations in Wards 2, 4, 5, and 6. Contact Elinor Hart at 387- 2966, or work through Miles Steele at 582-7832

Dates for this fall's elections are: September 15 - Primary; November 3 - General Election.

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And on a lighter note ...

A wrap-up edition of Newsweek carried the following item (honestly, no one is making this up).

When told by a reporter that the White House has no plan in case of alien invasion, and that the Pentagon's official response is that anyone who sights an alien should call "local authorities," Washington, D. C. Police Department spokesman Kenny Bryson said: "[The Pentagon] told you to call us? Aw, c'mon, you've got to be kidding. What are we supposed to do, write them a ticket?"

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Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton will hold a Community Leadership Meeting on Monday, April 6 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 2318 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

Norton asks for feedback on D.C. transportation funding, including reopening Pennsylvania Avenue, Anacostia River funding, Congressional intern programs, the D.C. Democracy Bill, and a new tax proposal the Congresswoman is offering.

This is an excellent forum for bringing additional concerns to the Congresswoman's attention, and groups seeking her attention to community concerns should take advantage of it. The entrance to Rayburn HOB is on South Capitol between Independence and C Street SW; it is on the Metro Orange and Blue Lines' Capitol South stop.

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On Friday, April 3, Chairman Tom Davis of the Government Reform and Oversight Committee's Subcommittee on the District of Columbia will hold an oversight hearing on the District of Columbia Public School Academic Plan. Three "panels" of witnesses will address the current status of an academic plan to improve student achievement. Issues would include curriculum, infrastructure, teacher certification, promotion policies, and academic goals and objectives.

The first panel will include Patricia Harvey of the National Center on Education and the Economy, Marlene Berlin of the Ad Hoc Parents Coalition, and Delabian Rice-Thurston of Parents United.; the second panel will include Council Chair Linda Cropp, Joyce Ladner of the Control Board, and Bruce MacLaury of the Emergency Board of Trustees.; the third panel will include Julius Becton and Arlene Ackerman.

The hearings will begin at 9:30 a.m. in Room 2154 of the Rayburn House Office Building. Anyone may attend. These are fine occasions to "buttonhole" those for whom you have questions.

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The appointed school Board of Trustees is reaching out to the community, seeking forums at which to hold discussion with District residents about plans for educating the District's schoolchildren – and plans for Board of Education facilities. Groups that have expressed frustration with the accessibility of the emergency Trustees can take advantage of this outreach.

Groups interested in having speakers should contact the Trustees' Director of Communications, Gloria Murray, at 724-8580, or write to 415 12th Street NW, Suite 1107, D. C. 20004.

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Officers and Board

Patrick Allen, Citizens Association of Georgetown, 337-8760
Gracie Baten, Shepherd Park Citizens Association, 882-6162
John Batham, West End Citizens Association, 628-3527
Allen Beach, Chevy Chase Citizens Association, 362-2239
John Brown, Southwest Community Council, 479-4658
Larry Chatman,
16th Street Heights, 291-7381
Dino Drudi, Michigan Park, 526-0891
Kay Eckles, Residential Action Coalition, 265-5961
Guy Gwynne, Burleith Citizens Association, 338-5164
William Scheirer, Kalorama Citizens Association, 232-8827
M. R. Peggy Snyder, Chancery Court, 338-1972
Miles Steele III, Hillcrest Citizens Association, 582-7832
Alice Stewart, Palisades Citizens Association, 364-1505
Al Wheeler, Oldest Inhabitants of DC, 337-00340
Barbara Zartman, Cloisters in Georgetown, 337-6505

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President's Report – Barbara Zartman

The March meeting of the Federation saw a strong performance by the District's  new Chief Management  Officer, who was accompanied  by DCRA head David Watts and DPW head Cellerino Bernardino and other members of the District administration.

Camille Barrett showed an already strong appreciation of the District's enforcement service shortcomings, and offered to work with the Federation and its members to make the system work better. The extensive impact of historic preservation on residential communities seemed to be a new impression, and Barnett was open to the suggestion that the U. S. Attorney's civil division take over responsibility for enforcing the Federal laws of historic preservation.

A functional division of responsibilities seems to be evolving between Barnett and Chief Financial Officer Anthony Williams, as illustrated by discussion of the Convention Center and its costs. Barnett deferred such questions to Williams' office for analysis; Williams had just the day before told the Committee of 100 that he was undertaking such an analysis.

We can hope that this talented team finds the right balance – and the right creative tension – to allow each of them to use individual his or her skills to find answers to the financial and management problems that have plagued the District for too long.

These two appointees – and soon a new chief of police – have tremendous power to affect the quality of life in the District over the next several years. We wish them every success-- under whatever evolving form of governance we find in our near future.

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The District's new top cop: Charles Ramsey

Federation President Barbara Zartman served on the citizens' advisory committee that reviewed qualifications for the new chief of police for D. C. Mayor Marion Barry.

Charles Ramsey, deputy superintendent of the Chicago Police Department, was the unanimous choice of the advisory group.

Much has been made in the media about the impact of the withdrawal of the New Orleans chief and the role of Senator Lauch Faircloth.

Federation members can take some comfort from the fact that Chief-designate Ramsey was a very impressive candidate, Chief Pennington notwithstanding. The media's handling did Ramsey a disservice in making him seem like the only remaining alternative to the in-house candidate, Acting Chief Sonia Proctor.

Ramsey impressed even the Pennington advocates; he came within a hair's breadth of being named Chicago's chief. He showed the committee great strengths, including independent thinking about community policing, youth services, computerization of police information systems, the needs of victims of domestic violence, the special concerns of ethnic and minority populations, and the needs of the gay community.

And Senator Faircloth has disavowed any comments about federalizing the District's police force, or interfering with the independent selection process.

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CBRF's: Still challenging residential communities

The District's Zoning Commission extended its hearings on community- based residential facilities – CBRFs – until April 6 in order to accommodate parties on both sides of the issue. Organizations are urged to sign up with the Office of Zoning (727-6311 ) to testify about the impact of regulations that would allow limitless development of community facilities in R-4 and higher zones.

Communities would receive no notice of the siting of such facilities, and the Zoning Administrator is even allowed to keep confidential information about the occupants of the CBRF. Among those scheduled to testify FOR such regulations is Phil Feola, a zoning attorney with Wilkes Artis Hedrick & Lane, the large law firm with whom many community organizations have had adversarial experiences in the past. The District is being pressed to adopt these regulations by the Department of Justice, which threatens legal action if the consent agreement is not implemented.

The National League of Cities is seeking Congressional relief from the HUD/Justice standards, which would treat residents of CBRFs as "families" and give them matter-of-right entitlement to any property that could be occupied by a family, with a definition that would allow up to 15 persons in such a "family."

Included in those who would be entitled to accommodation in such facilities are recovering substance abusers, which can include former prisoners convicted of violent crimes. Juvenile delinquents serving sentences are protected under the fair housing law's familial status protections.

The NCL, acknowledging the responsibility of residential communities to accept persons in need of institutional housing, nonetheless presses for protection of residential character and security (especially for poorer neighborhoods, which bear an unreasonable share of these facilities) and protection of citizens' First Amendment right of free speech (persons speaking against these group facilities have been sued by HUD).

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HUD dollars flowing into city projects again

It should not seem so remarkable, but it is. Federal community assistance dollars have started to flow again for development of housing and neighborhood development in an orderly program tied to specific goals. Grants and loans totaling $70 million were announced this week for projects in six target areas:

East of the River
New York Avenue
U Street/Columbia Heights
Georgia Avenue
H Street
South Capitol Street

In addition, more than $15 million was made available for city-wide activities, including $4 million for tenant assistance programs, $4 million for homestead properties, $4 million for home-purchase assistance, and $2 million to the Community First Bank for equity investment and for loans and technical assistance for small businesses.

In the specific community areas, monies will assist creation of new affordable housing, rehabilitation of community centers and recreation facilities, signage and storefront renovations, and development studies. The Shakespeare Theatre $370,000) and the Corcoran Gallery ($100,000) also received grants for renovation of facilities, including making them handicapped accessible.

Richard Monteilh, Director of the D. C. Department of Housing and Community Development, reported these grants after a year's suspension, occasioned by HUD's complaints of disorder in the city program.

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Mayor 727-2980
Chief Financial Officer 727-2476
Zoning/BZA 727-6311
HPRB 727-7360
City Council 724-8080
Committee agendas 724-8554
Legislative services 724-8050
All are at 441 Fourth Street NW, One Judiciary Square
ABC, 727-7375, 1614 H Street, NW
DPW, 939-8000, 2000 14th Street, NW
Control Board, 504-3400, One Thomas Circle
School Board, 724-4222, 415 12th Street, NW
Fine Arts, 504-2200, 441 F Street, NW
NCPC, 482-7200, 801 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Room Phone Fax Principal Staff Aide
Chair Linda W. Cropp (at large) 704 724-8032 724-8085 William Rumsey, Jr.
Sandy Allen (Ward 8) 712 724-8045 724-8055 Ron Dennis
Sharon Ambrose (Ward 6) 718 724-8072 724-8054 Vicky Wilcher
Harold Brazil (at large) 701 724-8174 724-8156 Mary Rudolf
Kevin P. Chavous (Ward 7) 705 724-8068 724-8097 William Wright
David Catania (at large) 720 724-7772 724-8087 Linda Bumbalo
Jack Evans (Ward 2) 703 724-8058 724-8023 John Ralls
Charlene Drew Jarvis (Ward 4) 708 724-8052 724-8120 Audrey Duff
Hilda H.M. Mason (at large) 702 724-8064 724-8099 V. Nadine Daniel
Kathleen Patterson (Ward 3) 709 724-8062 724-8118 JoAnne Ginsberg
Carol Schwartz (at large) 706 724-8105 724-8071 Joan Lankowski
Frank Smith, Jr. (Ward 1) 710 724-8179 724-8109 Ann H. Hargrove
Harry Thomas Sr. (Ward 5) 707 724-8028 724-8076 Diane Romo

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The Federation of Citizens Associations
of the District of Columbia
requests the pleasure of your company at its
78th Annual Awards Banquet
on Thursday, April 9, at 6:30 o'clock
at the Fort McNair Officers Club

Special guest speaker

Franklin D. Raines
Director of the Office of Management and Budget
The White House

30 Dollars
Rsvp: (202) 338-5164
Fourth and P Streets, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20319

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