The LeDroit Park Civic Association held officer elections at Tuesday’s meeting. The members at the meeting voted unanimously to elect the following officers:
- Golda Philip, President
- Eric Fidler, Vice President
- Marc Morgan, Secretary
- Donna Morris, Treasurer
Mr. Morgan, the association’s president for the past two years, was looking for a new person to fill the role of president. Mr. Morgan, you may recall, is also our ANC commissioner and will remain involved in neighborhood affairs.
Earlier today DDOT installed LeDroit Park’s first Capital Bikeshare station. The station is located at the south entrance of the Park at LeDroit at Third and Elm Streets NW. This station fills a conspicuous hole in the city’s bikesharing map. The station was scheduled to be installed last fall, but delays from the Montréal-based supplier and confusion as to which District agency controlled the park meant that nothing happened until today.
As for the last bit of confusion, we give special thanks to residents like Mr. Hamilton and our ANC Commissioner Marc Morgan (1B01), who pushed the city to resolve the issue and install the station this month.
Here is the map with the location of the new station.
LeDroit Park Civic Association President and ANC 1B01 candidate Marc Morgan has confirmed that our neighborhood is on the short list to receive one of the 15 new Capital Bikeshare stations this fall. The station will likely go at the Park at LeDroit on the Elm Street side.
The District and Arlington continue to buy stations and expand the system, filling in more gaps throughout the densest parts of both jurisdictions. Sure, we don’t quite match the richly bespeckled station density of Montréal or Paris, but local annual budgets include capital line items to purchase more stations.
Despite the fact the system is approaching its second birthday, many news outlets misunderstand the purpose of the system. The annual fee of $75 allows subscribers to rent the bikes at no additional charge for an unlimited number of 30-minute trips.
The 30-minute free period— there’s a charge for longer trips— is supposed to discourage riders from taking out the bikes for hours on end. In fact, the intended purpose is not joy-riding around town, but to facilitate trips that are slightly too long to walk and slightly too short for driving or transit.
For instance, I find CaBi to be to most convenient way to get between LeDroit Park and Dupont Circle. No need to wait for buses or trains, no need to transfer at Gallery Place, no need to hunt for parking.
Stations already exist near LeDroit Park, at 7th and T Streets NW and at First Street and Rhode Island Avenue NW. The new station will finally put LeDroit Park on the CaBi map.
Marc Morgan, currently the President of the LeDroit Park Civic Association, is running for the ANC seat that covers most of LeDroit Park. Mr. Morgan’s campaign kicks off tomorrow, Wednesday, August 22, from 6 pm to 9 pm at Shaw’s Tavern (6th Street and Florida Avenue NW). Everyone is welcome to attend.
Local notables in attendance include our current commissioner, Myla Moss, who has chosen not to seek reelection, and Patrick Mara, who is the Ward 1 member of the State Board of Education. Come on out, meet your neighbors, and meet the candidate.
The event is open to the public.
Marc Morgan, President of the LeDroit Park Civic Association, is running unopposed for ANC 1B01, the seat that covers most of LeDroit Park. Myla Moss, our current ANC commissioner, has decided to retire from the seat she has held since January 2005.
Since I serve as Mr. Morgan’s campaign chair, I will share with you reasons you should vote for him in November.
For the past two years, Marc Morgan has served as President of the LeDroit Park Civic Association and has worked to bring the residents of the neighborhood together by hosting a mix of social activities and informational programs. Additionally, Mr. Morgan has been a strong advocate for the neighborhood by lobbying District agencies, including the DC Housing Authority, DC Water, and the District Department of Transportation, to better respond to problems facing residents in LeDroit Park.
For example, Mr. Morgan coordinated meetings between the residents of the Kelly Miller apartments and the DC Housing Authority to address crime, building deterioration, and youth engagement.
Last fall Mr. Morgan also coordinated the first annual LeDroit Park Oktoberfest, a neighborhood celebration that highlighted LeDroit Park’s diversity and offered activities for residents of all ages. Additionally, he has created a monthly neighborhood happy hour that provides neighbors an opportunity to meet and talk in a relaxed setting.
More recently, Mr. Morgan has work with the Metropolitan Police Department to address crime in LeDroit Park. Mr. Morgan continually pushes for increased police presence and responsiveness. Mr. Morgan also advocates measures to prevent crime and has consulted local residents and businesses to identify and report suspicious activity.
Within the next few weeks, he plans to roll out a new initiative that calls for increased police presence, identification of criminal hotspots, and crime prevention education in both LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale. The overall objective is to reassure residents that LeDroit Park and Bloomingdale are safe, thriving neighborhoods.
Outside of community activism, Mr. Morgan is the Director of Development for the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE), a non-profit dedicated to promoting the use of renewable energy.
There are few things the four candidates for the Ward One council seat agree on, but there’s one thing for sure: when asked which mayoral candidate they each endorse, all four candidates claimed to be undecided at this point.
At the Ward One Candidates Forum on Tuesday, all four candidates stated their cases for representing the ward after the upcoming election.
Jim Graham (D) spent the entirety of his five minutes as most incumbents do, listing his accomplishments since his first election in 1998. Specifically he listed the following:
- that he secured funding for the beautification of Anna J. Cooper Circle in 2003;
- that he supported the Mary Church Terrell House project;
- that he got the 400 block of T Street named Walter Washington Way, after the LeDroit resident who was also DC’s first elected mayor;
- that he was “part of the neighborhood mobilization” in response to the robberies at the LeDroit Park Market several years back;
- that he was able to get the city to restore and renovate the Williston Apartments at 236 W Street into affordable housing apartments;
- that he has helped get city money for the Howard Theatre for its pending revitalization;
- that he has secured tax abatement legislation to get UNCF to move to Shaw, despite others’ objections to the use of tax abatement to lure development; and
- that he supported from the start the effort to turn the now-demolished Gage-Eckington School into something other than an abandoned building.
During the question and answer session, Mr. Graham also stated his support for school vouchers.
When asked about small-business set-asides for city contracts, Mr. Graham expressed his disappointment with the lack of enforcement. The problem, he stated, was not with the laws, but rather with their enforcement.
Marc Morgan (R), a resident of LeDroit Park, announced his love of the neighborhood and focused a good deal of attention on crime and small business development. He asked how many people feel safe walking around at night. He said he wants to facilitate the improvement of the District’s small businesses, which serve as the best sources of local employment.
Mr. Morgan also announced his environmental credentials and the importance of reducing carbon footprints. Throughout much of the question and answer session, Mr. Morgan touted the value of leveraging public-private partnerships to accomplish various worthy tasks, such as environmental protection and energy conservation. When asked if he had held elected office before, Mr. Morgan responded that he had owned a chain of restaurants in Ohio and Arizona and that he served as an environmental official in Ehrlich Administration in Maryland.
Jeff Smith (D) brought photos and graphs for his speech, which he started with the complaint that Ward One has become less green and over-developed. He didn’t hesitate to mention that one of Councilmember Graham’s top staff members had been indicted on corruption charges and that the Metro, under Mr. Graham’s continuing tenure on the WMATA board, has suffered a catastrophic crash and subsequent loss of public confidence.
Mr. Smith held up graphs illustrating that Ward One leads the city in robberies and thefts and a graph comparing proficiency ratings for DC public school students versus their counterparts in Maryland and Virginia.
Beyond graphs, Mr. Smith also held up photos of various blighted spots in Ward One that he claims languish despite the glitz in Columbia Heights and U Street. The crumbling Howard Theatre was one of them.
Mr. Smith expressed cautious support of Michelle Rhee and charter schools. When asked how he would pay for his plans, he trotted out the usual response of better management of existing funds.
The evening’s final candidate was Bryan Weaver (D), who is currently an ANC commissioner in Adams Morgan. Mr. Weaver started off announcing that his campaign’s theme was to bring accountability and oversight to the District government, a hot topic lately. He criticized DCPS for improperly assigning teachers and called nearby Cardozo High School the “school of least resistance,” by which he meant the dumping ground of problem children. Nonetheless, he praised Michelle Rhee for making “great progress” and he cautioned residents to be patient about school reform.
Regarding the city’s falling revenues, he said that we need to restructure the District’s tax code and rethink how the city does business. He brought up the recent park construction fracas as a prime example of waste.
Weaver was the only candidate of the evening to express the concern that Ward One is headed for a widening income gap and that we would become a ward of the well-off and the poor.
What issues matter to you the most?
All four candidates for the Ward One council seat will speak on Tuesday night at the Ward One Candidates Forum in LeDroit Park. Candidates will speak to and take questions from the public. Everyone is encouraged to attend.
The candidates for office are Jim Graham (D), Marc Morgan (R), Jeff Smith (D), and Brian Weaver (D). Messrs Graham, Smith, and Weaver will compete for the Democratic nomination in September. Mr. Morgan is running unopposed for the Republican nomination so he will face the Democratic nominee in November.
Ward One Candidates Forum
Presented by the LeDroit Park Civic Association
Tuesday, June 22 at 7pm
Basement of the Florida Avenue Baptist Church
623 Florida Ave NW – enter at the back on U Street