Several people wrote themail with useful information about how to
appeal unwarranted and unjustified increases in their real estate
assessments. If you're ready to appeal, the messages below have the
links you need, and the tips that are necessary to make the links
actually work for you. If you still think that assessments are based on
actual individual property evaluations, you can disabuse yourself of
that notion by reading Peter Craig's description of how assessments are
really done: http://www.dcwatch.com/columns/craig.htm.
Good luck, and get to work.
Don't stop with the assessment postings, however. This issue is
chock-full of news about what's happening in DC and its government that
you won't get anywhere else.
Appeal Real Estate Assessments Without Running
Elizabeth McIntire, email@example.com
Contrary to the experiences of Zinnia and Ann Loikow with respect to
getting appeal forms and information, these are available online. They
are, however, buried deep in the web site of the Chief Financial
Officer, under “Taxpayer Service Center” - Information - Real
Property Taxes at http://cfo.dc.gov/etsc/main.shtm.
The appeal form may be printed from the page at http://cfo.dc.gov/services/tax/property/how_to.shtm
by clicking on Real Property Assessment Administrative Appeal
Application* (PDF format).
The Real Property Tax database search is linked on the following
or directly at http://www.taxpayerservicecenter.com/RP_Search.jsp?search_type=Assessment.
You may just enter an address — you do not need to know the lot and
square. If you enter the square # only, it gives you a list of all the
properties in the block and their total assessments. Click on the left
of each listing for more details, and there is a button at the bottom of
that page, “Property features” which lists the characteristics
the assessor believes pertain to that property — year built, square
footage, hardwood floors, central air, fireplaces, etc. There is also a
separate search engine for property sales http://cfo.dc.gov/services/tax/property/database.shtm
For the first stage of appeal , one choice is to do it over the
phone. So, aside from filling out the paper form and finding some way to
mail it, hundreds of us could conceivably wreak havoc downtown without
getting out of our pajamas — the wonders of technology!
Step-by-Step to Appeal Your Assessment
Bob Andrew, firstname.lastname@example.org
See one-page guide on www.foxhall.org/Appeal.htm
with things to be knowledgeable about: comparable sales and assessment,
in your neighborhood, for your house type a.k.a. use code. The web page
has links directly to the Office of Tax and Revenue sales and search
databases, your appeal rights and to download the appeal form as PDF. In
addition to looking at assessed value, do your homework first on what
CFO's office have listed about your own house, to make sure there are
not mistakes in description (particularly square footage, but note that
includes basement area even if unimproved).
If you run short of time to appeal by April 1, 2002, it can be faxed
into 442-6796, but that number may get very busy this week! It would be
safer to mail your package into Real Property Tax Admin - Appeals
Section, PO Box 176, Washington DC 20044. (Check http://www.foxhall.org/Appeal.htm
for a list of what to include with your appeal).
File That Appeal, The Database Is Easy to Use
It is easy and convenient to use the city's database. Go to http://www.cfo.dc.gov.
When that page comes up, click on taxpayer service center under the
services category. Then, when the services page comes up, click on real
property tax database search. Then click on search real property
assessment database. You are almost to where you want to be.
Finally the page you need. Only enter the square number. Do not enter
any other information. Click on search. The next screen that comes lists
all the properties in the square. You can get details on any property.
You can go between properties by using the forward and reverse signs on
your screen. This avoids starting from the beginning each time you want
details on each property. I was not able to download the form. It was
available at my neighborhood library as promised.
It's easy. It's fun. Appeal now.
Ann Loikow, email@example.com
Thanks to help from a reader of themail who did some research on my
problem of not being able to get any information off the online DC
property assessment database. It looks like the problem may be in the
process of being fixed. He thought the problem might be that I use
Netscape as a browser, and the database seems to only work well with MS
Internet Explorer, although nothing on the District's web site tells you
this. For the past two years, I would try to search the database and
would just get bounced back to the home page for the agency. I had sent
E-mails to the webmaster for the site, but got no help solving the
problem. I E-mailed Councilmember Jim Graham on a related issue and also
mentioned this problem. He contacted Suzanne Peck and below is her
[The response was essentially that the Office of the Chief Technology
Officer would work with the Office of Tax and Revenue and the
contracting site host, Accenture, to resolve the issue and to make sure
that the site worked with all common browsers. — Gary Imhoff]
Getting Assessment Appeal Info
Mark Eckenwiler, eck[nospam]@ingot.org
Contrary to Ann Loikow's otherwise well-founded lamentation about the
latest real property assessments, DC government has made it easy to get
the info and forms needed to file an appeal. The appeal form is at http://cfo.dc.gov/services/tax/property/how_to.shtm.
As for getting assessments of neighboring properties, see http://www.taxpayerservicecenter.com/RP_Search.jsp?search_type=Assessment.
You can search by street address or sq./lot. For up to 200 summary
records at once, enter only a square number or a neighborhood (e.g., Old
City I) and sub-neighborhood. Using the OTR web site, I've compiled the
data I'll be submitting with my appeal.
NOTA BENE: It took me forever to figure out that your browser must
(for no good reason) allow cookies in order to use the database query
form. Note also that MS Internet Explorer seems to work better than
Netscape (at least if you want to search by sub-neighborhood).
Property Tax Appeal Form Available on the Web
Peter Luger, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sylvia, thanks for sending me the information. It sounds like a
rather detailed process to appeal the assessment by April 1st. I wish I
had the time, I'd certainly do it. It's going to become very difficult
to survive in this city. I guess they're trying to get rid of us. But
the strong always survive! (smile). We have to continue to think and
plan. I guess I had better add money to my escrow for taxes so my
mortgage won't go up that the end of the year. See you when you get back
from Florida. Brenda.
Assess Appeals Yourselves
Jeffrey Hops, email@example.com
On the record: A propos of real property appeals, DC's Board of Real
Property Assessment and Appeals (BRPAA) is looking to fill five empty
slots for commission members. These positions are mayoral appointments,
with the consent of council. Candidates must be district residents, and
have a professional background in either law, real-estate, or property
appraisal. The candidates must also be able to hear appeals during
regular business hours for at least a part of the day, so the candidates
would need to have a flexible schedule. The sooner we get these slots
filled, the more quickly 2nd level appeals can be processed. It also
pays $25/hour — not a gigantic amount, but something. Interested
parties should call the Chair, Libby Kavoulakis, at 727-6860 for more
information on the responsibilities of the position and on the
I used to be the Public Information Officer for the Tax Department,
and it bugs me to hear people rant about the Evil Elected Officials
Raising Taxes Through Assessments. In most cases, it really isn't that
insidious, folks. The way assessments work is this: appraisers inspect
properties and assign a value to them based on the recent sale price of
similar properties. Assessments go up because people with similar
properties have sold them for more money. When homes in our block have
sold for $30,000 more than the asking price they had when we looked at
buying them three years ago, I can see why our assessment has gone up.
Not a lot of smoke and mirrors going on.
The National Capital Service Area and Property
Michael Bindner, firstname.lastname@example.org
Let me add that District property taxes service the District's
general obligation debt. As part of the District budget, the ultimate
authority for this debt is Congress, so the property taxes you are
appealing are to service a debt that District citizens do not have the
final authority in contracting. I suggest that whether you appeal or you
pay, when you correspond with the District Government on this issue
include a short note that you are doing so under protest against this
The NCSA is significant, because under Evans v. Cornman (1970),
the residents of it have the option of registering to vote locally
(although most vote in their home states). If DC were to either gain
statehood or retrocede those residents have the option of claiming
presidential voting rights under the 23rd Amendment. Unless this
amendment is repealed at that time, the powers that be must be careful
to redraw the boundaries of the NCSA so that this does not occur.
Finally, as the National Capital Planning Commission holds
jurisdiction over the enclave, it should be invoiced for the value of
District services provided to it, with credit granted for any Defense
impact aid or Dept. of Interior Payments in Lieu of Taxes received.
Under the Home Rule Charter, the President is authorized to reimburse
the District for any excess costs. Of course, the various Mayors and
CFOs have been negligent in doing so -- although they were likely not
aware that the NCPC was the Presidential agent in this matter. Now that
the District has a billing address, it should submit a bill — a very
large bill which includes all services less payments provided since FY
On Friday, the House Subcommittee on the District of Columbia held a
public hearing on government's use of video surveillance cameras and the
issue of privacy versus security. The testimony at that hearing is
available at http://www.dcwatch.com/issues/privacy.htm.
At the hearing, it was learned that video surveillance cameras are
rapidly proliferating in the District, especially since September 11. In
the District government, the Metropolitan Police Department currently
has thirteen cameras; DC Public Schools and the Metro subway system have
more than two hundred cameras each; and the DC Department of
Transportation wants to establish a network of seven hundred
street/traffic cameras. All of these cameras will be linked to MPD's
central command center. In the federal government, the National Park
Service will establish 24-hour video surveillance cameras to monitor
public areas in and around the Washington Monument and the Jefferson,
Lincoln, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Vietnam Veterans, and Korean War
The American Civil Liberties Union and most citizens first learned
about MPD's surveillance cameras, which were already in place, from a
February 13 article in the Wall Street Journal. There was no
prior notice or consultation with citizens or even with elected
officials. Currently, there are no standards, rules, or policies in
place regulating the use of surveillance cameras by MPD or the National
Park Service. The Council has adopted emergency and temporary
legislation requiring Chief Ramsey to issue regulations governing the
cameras and to submit the regulations to the Council for a public
hearing and approval (http://www.dcwatch.com/council14/14-566.htm).
And on Tuesday, the DC Federation of Citizens Associations will have a
public meeting on the issue. See the Events listing by Ann Loikow below.
In an unrelated issue, at the February 12 hearing before the
Council's Committee on Government Operations, DC's Inspector General
Charles Maddox testified that his long overdue investigation into Mayor
Williams secretive fundraising schemes would be completed by the end of
March. Seven days and counting, if you believe it.
The St. Coletta Imbroglio
Jim Myers, email@example.com
To date, the controversy over the granting of free use of DC General
land to St. Coletta of Greater Washington seems to have roused little
interest away from the immediately affected area on eastern Capitol
Hill. That circumstance may change with new reports of behind-the-scenes
congressional staff intervention in the "planning process"
that was supposed to give the public a say in the future use of the
former DC General land. Various objections to the St. Coletta's deal
were raised during the six planning meetings held in February and March.
Some objections involved the apparent unwillingness of St. Coletta's
give an inch in the planning process. Instead, St. Coletta's wanted its
four-plus acres — roughly two city blocks — next to the
Stadium-Armory Metro stop, 100 parking spaces, etc., and the
Alexandria-based school refused to budge on any of this, openly claiming
its clout in Congress gave them the land, etc., virtually as a matter or
St. Coletta's, which plans a school for 275 students with moderate to
severe mental retardation, autism and secondary disabilities (and
projects five group homes on DC General land, as well) is also the
beneficiary of several earmarks in recent DC and HUD appropriations
totaling $3 million or more. In March 22 open letter to St. Coletta's
Executive Director Sharon Raimo, I raised the standard open-government
objections to earmarks, but I also noted another drawback that is coming
into play in the St. Coletta's case: “People will talk. Since you
haven't won this particular funding in open competition, people will
note that your husband is Counsel to Minority Leader Gephardt or that
you have friends like Susan F. Brita. And they'll even ask, Who is Susan
Brita? We now know that Alexandria resident Susan Brita is Staff
Director for the Minority Democrats on the Subcommittee for Economic
Development, Public Buildings and Emergency Management of which Eleanor
Holmes Norton is a member. We have also heard from various sources that
this same Susan Brita placed a Feb. 20  phone call to District
Office of Planning Director Andrew Altman. Apparently, she happened to
catch him when he was meeting with Council Member Sharon Ambrose and
members of her staff and the planning staff, as well. So there are
various accounts of what transpired — of how upset Altman got at this
intervention on St. Coletta's behalf.
“Brita, we are now told — even in public meetings — essentially
told Altman that either the District would give St. Coletta's the land
it wants, and where it wants, or DC can forget about the transfer of
Reservation 13. Brita said — according to the accounts now circulating
— that draft legislation had already been written which would give St.
Coletta's the land it wants — and DC could forget about the rest.
Forgive us, but that idea sounds more like a threat than an endorsement
of home rule. Do House Democrats still want to run DC like they did in
the old days? Now, we don't know if this was a momentary aberration on
Brita's part or on whose behalf or behest Brita actually called Altman.
Maybe, she does such things as part of her job. Perhaps, she regularly
writes legislation on her own and gets it through Congress. How are we
to know?” Sadly, this discussion of St. Coletta's is getting far
afield from the needs of special education children who are among the
real aggrieved parties in our world. But still, the District's pathetic
dysfunction in education should not be cause to throw other principles
of open and accountable government out the window.
Four Buildings on DCGH Site Are on National
Register of Historic Places
Carolyn Curtis, firstname.lastname@example.org
I have contacted the National Park Service re: the Gallinger Hospital
and Reservation 13. There are four buildings on Reservation 13 that were
entered in the National Register of Historic Places in 1989. They are
buildings Number 20, 21, 22, and 23. I have the documentation that they
sent to me and will be most happy to get you a copy of this information.
I spoke with Edson Beall of the National Park Service at 343-1572, who
provided me with the information and documentation.
At the meeting held on March 20, 2002, there was much public
sentiment regarding having a public hospital on the grounds and much
inquiry into how and why St. Coletta's got the prime space on the
grounds. When questioned about the fact that there were historical
buildings on the grounds, Mr. Altman stated that they still needed to
look into it. How is it that I can find out this information very easily
and the Office of Planning, after being questioned about this by Ms.
Cropp in December, still don't know if there are historical buildings on
Mayor’s Housing Budget
Janet W. Brown, JanetWBrown@igc.org
I thought Mayor Williams and Jack Evens were conspiring to postpone
implementation of the Housing legislation. Well, they may indeed be
conspiring, but it's not to postpone, but to cut the appropriation for
the Housing Production Trust Fund by half. The Mayor's proposed budget
is now out. What he has done is to cut the “dedicated” funds (15
percent of the real estate transfer tax and the recordation fees) to
only 7.5 percent of these sources. If he and/or the Council can do this
any time they want it for something else, it makes a mockery of the
dedicated funding. The other parts of the legislation, mostly tax
abatements for middle and upper income residents, will go forward on
schedule — which will cost the city in revenues next year. The Mayor
has also failed to put into the Housing Production Trust Fund the funds
raised through the sale of vacant houses under Title VII of the Housing
Act (that covers the homestead program), which amounts to another $8
million. So the $30 million that should go into the Housing Production
Trust Fund will be only $11 million instead.
The Mayor is going back on the deal that he made just two months ago.
I think we have not been dealt with honestly. On March 9th he publicly
bragged about the legislation before two different audiences,
specifically promising the funding at his budget meeting with citizens,
in response to my question. That afternoon, at the official signing of
the housing act, he thanked the housing activists that worked so hard
for his bill. Oh, the cynicism of it all. I think he doesn't like the
Housing Production Trust Fund now that it gives priority to really
low-income families, especially to renters. Once again, DC's budget
problems are being solved at the expense of the most vulnerable of our
citizens. It was the low-wage workers who lost their jobs after 9/11.
Now they will be paying the price again — in the budget cuts in
affordable housing, Interim Disability Assistance, and a host of other
Call and protest: the Mayor's office, email@example.com;
Deputy Mayor Eric Price, 727-6365; Steve Green (mayor's chief housing
person), 727-6822; Council Members (don't forget Cropp and at-large),
main number 727-8000.
Mayor Proposes Eliminating Aid for Low-Income
Residents with Disabilities
T.J. Sutcliffe, So Others May Eat, firstname.lastname@example.org
In his 2003 budget, the Mayor proposes eliminating a small but
critical program called Interim Disability Assistance, or IDA. Readers
of themail will remember IDA from recent announcements about program's
implementation. IDA is a new public benefit that provides short-term
financial support to low-income DC residents with disabilities, while
they are waiting to receive federal SSI “disability” benefits. IDA
is endorsed and enthusiastically supported by 111 community-based groups
from across the District.
Supporters had succeeded in seeing IDA partially funded with $2.15
million in 2002. This allowed the Department of Human Services to start
IDA in February and assist up to 1,120 persons per month. Over 500
individuals have already applied for IDA, and approximately 5,000 are
estimated to need IDA assistance annually. An estimated $7 million in
local funds would assist all persons in need; after federal
reimbursement, the net IDA budget would be approximately $5 million. The
Mayor's budget provides no funding for IDA in 2003. Public assurances
had been made earlier this winter that cuts to human services would come
out of agency operating and fixed costs, with no impact on essential
direct services like IDA. IDA supporters and outraged residents are
asked to call and write to Councilmember Sandy Allen, who has championed
the program in the past, and urge her to find funds to save IDA in 2003
(724-8045; 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 408; WDC 20004).
Marion Barry Target of Racism of the Washington
Arthur H. Jackson Jr., email@example.com
The Washington Post reported on Sunday March 24,2002 that
former Mayor Marion Barry was accused, and not charged with drug
possession. The facts surrounding this story are clear. How did The
Washington Post find out about the accusation and, if the former
Mayor was not charged, why was there a story? Unreleased polls will show
Marion Barry leading all contenders for the Council at Large race by a
wide margin, and the Washington Post is practicing racial
politics by targeting an influential African American leader. Marion
Barry would not allow any Mayor of this City to close our city's only
public hospital and, one year later, announce a developer's plan to
build hundreds of upscale townhouses on the site.
East of the River needs and deserves an At-Large Councilmember to
work with Ward 7's Kevin Chavous and Ward 8's Sandy Allen to fight for
the people. And to demand the DC Democratic Party start addressing real
issues of concern to present and longtime residents of our city. In the
past four years, we have build more new housing in Ward 8 than any other
ward in our city. Then why are so many families homeless and roaming
Martin L. King Avenue, SE? And the waiting list for public housing has
nearly doubled since Mayor Barry left office. And local small
disadvantaged business enterprises continue to be locked out of private
development contracts in East of the River. Marion Barry created the
office which was created to encourage use of small, minority and women
As an African American elected official, I call upon the Washington
Post to end its racist attacks on black elected officials and
activists to cover the poverty and pain caused by federal interference
in our right of self-governance by creating an unjust and unfair control
board. And the Washington Post needs to report how Marion Barry
visited the volunteers, firefighters, and police officers at the
Pentagon after the attack on America, and how he toured the disaster
grounds. While I have refrained from issuing a public endorsement of any
candidate for City Council at Large in the fall Democratic Primary,
these kind of racist dirty political tricks, will only cause me and
other progressive democrats to seriously consider endorsing Marion Barry
for City Council at Large. This story by the Post has caused
hundreds of telephone calls to my office expressing anger over both the
timing and substance of the Post Story.
Left Holding the Bag
Ed T. Barron, firstname.lastname@example.org
It looks like Mayor Williams has been played the chump by the champ.
Mike Tyson used the District to get a license to box by making the
District think that he would have the fight held here. Now Mayor
Williams is left holding the boxing bag as Mike Tyson takes his fight
P.S. Mayor Williams: Don't spend any District monies on promoting the
District as the location for the 2012 Olympics. New York City has a lock
on that event.
A Positive Note on the DMV
Yoma Ullman, Ullman724@aol.com
This week I went down to C Street to renew my driver's license. I got
there at about 8 a.m. on Wednesday and found a long line waiting. Once
inside the dreaded room, our line was made orderly between velvet ropes
and four people at the reception desk handed out forms and information.
I was out in less than an hour, but don't think it was completely
trouble-free. I asked the unsmiling young woman at the counter to please
use a number other than my Social Security number on the new license.
She didn't say a word, just typed things into her computer and sent me
on. My new license turned out to have that Social Security number on it
anyway. The nice woman behind the cameras said I should take it back to
the same counter and it would be redone. The same young woman did it,
without question, but also without smile, apology, or any acknowledgment
of a human being requesting service to which she had every right. So,
the surroundings are hugely improved, and I'm truly grateful, but work
remains to be done on service.
A great story about the current state of the DMV for all of those
that missed it: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A55731-2002Mar20.html.
Are creatures wild if they are “confined to their natural
habitat?” Sometimes I think I was born on a different planet. If a
deer stumbled into our neighborhood someone was likely to shoot it and
have it for dinner. In DC we outlaw guns, pay someone to “confine”
animals to “their natural habitat” and pay someone else to feed the
malnourished deer. Things that make you go hmmm.
And to think I grew up in that “liberal bastion of thought”
Massachusetts just 15 years ago. Have times changed that much?
Newcomer’s Handbook for Moving to
Mark David Richards, 16th Street NW, email@example.com
Here is good news. The 3rd Edition of Newcomer's Handbook, by
Mike Livingston, is a dramatic improvement over the 2nd Edition. Newcomer's
went from among the worst of 26 guidebooks to among the best in covering
many of DC's sociopolitical issues. In January 2000, Cherith Richards
Avery and I conducted a content analysis of popular tourist guidebooks
for visitors to DC. We checked for coverage of forty pieces of
information related to DC's sociopolitical status and relationship with
the federal government: http://www.dcwatch.com/richards/000126.htm.
We set a high bar. The best guides (Michelin and Rough)
covered 12 of 40 elements. The previous edition of Newcomer's didn't
cover any of the forty. A quick tab of the new edition shows it covers
14 of 40 elements, so it now ranks as the best for at least touching on
the issues. (Be aware that some other guides may have made changes since
our evaluation; I am not certain.)
Newcomer's Handbook is double the size of the previous
edition, and there's a good reason. In our 2000 evaluation, we examined
the number of neighborhoods mentioned (not quality of discussion) for
114 DC neighborhoods. The best guide on this measure — Washington
Historical Atlas — mentioned 40 areas. Newcomer's Handbook
previously mentioned 18. Livingston doubled the number, up to 41. He
clusters DC into 14 bounded neighborhoods within which are 27 unbounded
sub units (total of 41 neighborhoods mentioned). He shows 17 bounded
neighborhoods West of 16th Street and 10 ones East of 16th Street.
Anacostia is treated as a single area, all of East of the River. For
each bounded area, the guide gives information about: Web Sites, zip
codes, post offices, police station, emergency hospital, libraries,
public high school, government, parks, community resources, and public
transportation. There is a brief description of each area. The guide
also covers the suburbs of Maryland and Virginia in equally detailed and
similar way. It has a calendar of a "Washington Year," and
sections on cultural life, helpful services, green space, places of
worship, volunteering (Stand Up for Democracy Coalition is listed), and
quick getaways-among other items.
As you can see, Newcomer's offers tons of information. Even themail
is mentioned: “It's the digital equivalent of the cracker barrel at
the general store — a place to chat with neighbors, share reviews of
neighborhood businesses, swap advice about dealing with city
bureaucrats, and debate current events in the community.” I always
like to see more rather than less coverage of DC history and a local
history timeline. The Newcomer's Guide is not really the place to
go for history (Washington Historical Atlas and The Guide to
Black Washington are much stronger as that is their primary focus)
or for interesting graphic design (it's hard to beat Michelin).
But, it gives a great Reading List, with titles sorted by Washington
Area Guides, DC History, Biographies and Memoirs, Children, and Fiction.
In my quick read of Newcomer's, I found a few inaccuracies: (1)
“the majority of the population has always been so-called
minorities” (maybe, if you count Irish and Germans...) (2) “South of
Florida Avenue, the land between the Potomac and Anacostia rivers was
mostly swamp, now filled in and paved over;” and “...Pierre L'Enfant
hired to turn a 69-square-mile expanse of swamps and hills into a
capital city of broad, tree-lined avenues and panoramic views” (this
myth has more than nine lives), (3) Jefferson fired L'Enfant (it was
Washington), and (4) “In 1846, Congress agreed to let Arlington
residents hold a referendum to choose whether their county would remain
in DC or be 'retroceded' to Virginia; retrocession won” (in fact,
Alexandria City was included in the referendum, but not Alexandria
County/country; residents of Alexandria County protested retrocession).
Considering the dramatic improvements to the 3rd Edition, the problems
seem minor. This is a winner. Thank you Mike Livingston for taking the
initiative and producing a product that DC can be proud of. Bravo!
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS
Ever since the Office of Tax and Revenue mailed out real property
assessments earlier this month, I have received numerous calls and
letters from shocked, confused, and frustrated citizens. Many have
questions about how the Office arrived at their proposed assessed value,
how to appeal their assessment, and where the 25 percent cap comes in.
In response to these concerns, I will be holding Town Hall Meetings in
three of the areas that have been hardest hit by the rise in assessed
value. At each meeting, representatives from the Board of Real Property
Assessment and Appeals will be on hand to answer general questions about
the appeals process and specific questions about individual assessments.
The deadline for citizens to appeal their assessment for tax year 2003
is Monday, April 1st.
All citizens are invited to join me at one of the following meetings.
For more information, please call my office at 724-8064. Ward 2, Foggy
Bottom/Georgetown, Monday, March 25, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m., West End Branch
Public Library, 1104 24th Street, NW (at L Street, NW), large meeting
room. Ward 6, Capitol Hill, Wednesday, March 27, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m.,
Northeast Branch Public Library, 330 7th Street, NE (at Maryland
Avenue), 2nd floor meeting room, Ward 1, Columbia Heights/Kalorama,
Thursday, March 28, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m., Mount Pleasant Branch Public
Library, 3160 16th Street, NW (near Lamont).
March 26 Federation Forum on MPD Surveillance
Ann Loikow, firstname.lastname@example.org
As part of its regular monthly meeting, the Federation of Citizens
Associations of the District of Columbia will sponsor a public forum on
the DC Metropolitan Police Department's (MPD) surveillance camera
program on Tuesday, March 26 at 7 p.m. at the Sumner School at 17th and
M Streets NW. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton will open the forum
and discuss her proposed “Open Society with Security Act,” which
calls for a dialogue on how the United States should meet its security
needs without sacrificing fundamental liberties and constitutional
Jeffrey Rosen, an associate professor at the George Washington
University Law School, legal affairs editor of The New Republic,
and author of “The Unwanted Gaze,” will discuss the British
precedent for the use of general population surveillance cameras,
privacy concerns and privacy law. Chief Charles Ramsey of the MPD (or
another senior police official) will discuss the Department's current
and proposed camera system, its effectiveness, and the Department's
proposed policy guidelines on the use of surveillance cameras, which are
expected to be released prior to the meeting. Chief Ramsey promised the
DC Council at the Judiciary Committee's February 22 oversight hearing
that the Department would develop policy guidelines on the use of
surveillance cameras within 30 days. The Federation's March 26 meeting
should be one of the first public meetings at which these guidelines
will be discussed. Johnny Barnes, Executive Director of the American
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) for the National Capital Area, will address
the ACLU's concerns about the MPD's surveillance camera program and the
proposed policy guidelines.
The Federation of Citizens Associations of the District of Columbia
was organized March 5, 1910, and is one of the District of Columbia's
oldest citywide citizen organizations, whose membership consists of 39
citizen and civic organizations representing neighborhoods from all over
the District of Columbia.
Children’s Bazaar and Flea Market
Susan Ousley, Slousley@aol.com
Clothes, books, toys, games, uniforms, furniture, sports equipment!
Lunch deals, bake sale, beverages! Saturday, April 13, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.,
Peoples Congregational United Church of Christ, 4704 13th Street, NW.
For more information, call 829-5511. Sponsored by parents of Junior Girl
Scout Troop 1451 to support troop trip to Savannah , GA.
A change in the terms on which the Avalon Theater may be leased has
brought a much improved prospect for reopening the Theater as a movie
house. Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson sponsored a meeting in her
office last Thursday with Doug Jemal and a number of community
representatives. The negotiation resulted in a challenge to Avalon
Theater Project (ATP), enthusiastically accepted, to bring a proposal to
Douglas Development by June 21. At that time, ATP is to offer a sound
business plan, with partners and funding accounted for. If all is in
place, Jemal has pledged to sign the lease with a lease rate that makes
operation of the theater feasible.
An open house for volunteer and supporters will be held in the Chevy
Chase Community Center on Wednesday, April 3, at 7:00 p.m. The latest
Avalon news will be reported, a discussion of needed action will take
place, and opportunities to volunteer to take part in this important and
challenging effort will be presented. The job is large and will need
Under Occupation: A Palestinian Teach-In, will be held on Tuesday,
March 26, at 7:30 - 9:30 p.m., at Unitarian Universalist Church in
Reston, 1625 Wiehle Avenue, Reston, VA 20190. Speakers: Barbara Wien and
Issam Khoury. If you are curious to learn first hand about the situation
in Palestine and the facts about U.S. involvement in the conflict please
come to this community meeting. There will be plenty of time for
questions and answers. Refreshments will be served.
Barbara Wien just returned from a dangerous and hair-raising trip
into the middle of the bloody conflict between Palestinians and
Israelis. She has an important perspective to share. A long time peace
activist, she published her first book on peace education at the age of
24, which sold over 10,000 copies and went into a sixth edition. When
she was just 27, she led an international delegation of 300 labor union
presidents to El Salvador to try to stop the killing of trade union
activists by the army's death squads. She holds a B.A. in International
Relations from American University's School for International Service
and has done graduate work at City University of New York in Comparative
World History and Economics. She earned a teaching certificate from
Columbia University Teachers College. Issam Khoury is a Palestinian
refugee, born and raised in Kuwait where he lived until he was displaced
again by the Iraqi invasion. He moved to Cyprus where he graduated from
high school. He came to the States in 1995, and completed his Bachelor's
Degree in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies from Virginia
Tech in 1998. He obtained his M.A. in Arabic Literature from Ohio State
in 2001, and currently lives in the DC area. He is a member of SUSTAIN,
AL-AWDA, and other grassroots activist organizations. For more
information write email@example.com
Furniture for sale: dinette set (tabletop is dark solid wood with
black iron legs and four matching black chairs), white IKEA bookshelf,
black IKEA sofa table, black matching coffee table and end tables, black
leather foot stool, black wood swivel TV stand, short black bookshelf
(30 X 36), brown wood 7-drawer dresser (free if you can move it!),
telephone stand, and more. All prices negotiable (some stuff free).
Everything must go ASAP!
CLASSIFIEDS — RECOMMENDATIONS
Computer Guru Highly Recommended
Laurie England, LEng20007@aol.com
After spending over four hours in vain to fix a computer problem,
including calling tech support at Apple and Adobe as well as trying to
troubleshoot the problem myself, I was ready to go out and buy a new
computer. But then I remembered seeing an ad for “Mac the Knight.”
After leaving a distressed message on a voice mail, I got a call back
within minutes. Dave Felton came to my rescue the next day at noon.
Right on time, Dave arrived with his diagnostic CDs and immediately went
to work. Less than fifteen minutes later, my computer was working and I
was back in business. If you ever are stranded with a problem on a Mac
or PC, I highly recommend that you call Dave at 703-447-7323.
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