Columbia Heights Tivoli North Banner

tivoli, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

Well seems like some false information is being circulated.

From another email:

“Hi –

I am the chairman of ANC1A and the information you are giving out about a “Tivoli North” name change is in-accurate and being circulated to cause trouble in the neighborhood instead of having constructive dialogue. Please review the email I sent to form ANC Chair Dottie Wade on this issue. She has also sent me an email back stating that after reading my response to her she supports the banners. I’ve also attached the banner so you can see what the banner actually looks like. I don’t mind if a lot of opposition to this banner shows up tonight, I just don’t want them under the false impression that there is a neighborhood name change or anything like that.

Cliff Valenti”

22 Comment

  • As soon as you have to say you’re authentic you’re not.

  • But it still says Tivoli North on it and links to a Tivoli North website. I actually like the banner, but in a way it is still trying to rebrand the neighborhood. Am I wrong?

  • Well that clears things up! So we should be under the REAL impression that there is a neighborhood name change? Especially deliciously dada is the concept of “authentic and historic” (what, that exists, is not authentic, what that has ever existed, is not historic?)

    But I’m really excited becaue I’ve never heard reports of any crime, litter, juvenille delinquency, theft, mugging or crazy street corner racist preachers in “Tivoli North.” My goodness, what an ideal place to live! Although it will be a nuisance to have to go to the engravers to order new calling cards. But I always support banners. Lots of banners everywhere. Perhaps we need a banner law requiring at least one for every 3 square blocks? At least a neighborhood banner committee?

  • what a joke. whats constructive about the way this name change was handeled when a few in the with power fast tracked it against most residents wishes. Its a pathetic pet project. and the banner is the worst part. historic and authentic. LOL. you just made it up a few months ago!

  • I heard the name change was just an April Fool’s joke and there was just some suggestions that the area NORTH of the Tivoli would be considered Tivoli North, not the whole of Columbia Heights…

  • TiNo stand up!

  • Cool banner! How do we get banners installed on Georgia? We have some on New Hampshire but Georgia is busier and has the great streets thing going on.

  • Interestingly, the banners that were supposed to be put up on the DCUSA/Target building were never installed. You can see the metal poles sticking out of the facade at regular intervals where the banners were designed to be mounted.

  • I’m waiting for any banners to make 14th St feel safe. Or, wait, do I live in Tivoli South?

  • In response to Mr. T:

    I have thought the same thing about the banners that were supposed to be put up on the DCUSA building. I’ll e-mail the owners about it and see what response, if any, I get.

  • The emails on the ListServ have been pretty crazy, and pretty heated at points today. Certainly something CH residents are very passionate about, and not a supporter of any name change in the bunch.

    As soon as it became pretty obvious that there wasn’t an actual splitting of the community going on though (unless I’m missing something), things seemed to settle down.

  • PoP,

    My husband and I just returned from the ANC meeting where this very issue was discussed. After a resounding and vociferous disapproval from the community members of any banner with the name other than Columbia Heights in it, the ANC commission voted to withdraw their support for the banners. As such, the Tivoli North Business Association (the group that was offering to pay for the banners) said they would not support any banner that did not have their name in it.

  • Who is on the Tivoli North Business Association and what businesses are they associated with? Are they developers, retail establishments, restaurants?

  • @ColorMePetworth — GA Ave above Missouri has “Good Things Are Happening” banners. If you look here next to the “Main Streets” picture is a green rectangle with an exclamation point. That’s what they look like.

    And for the record, good things are not happening on GA Ave just above Missouri.

  • I too was at the ANC meeting, my first. I have no knowledge of any of the politics that may have driven anyone’s comments or actions, although I’m sure after this post that I will be enlightened quickly. So, for what it’s worth, here’s what I understand the facts to be:
    Tivoli North Business Association is just that, an association of the businesses along 14th Street between Irving and Shepherd. Because both Ward 1 and Columbia Heights end at Spring Road, the business association has the difficulty of promoting common cause — its local membership — across multiple jurisdictions. Hence they tried to come up with a name and a strategy that could cover businesses in both areas.
    I’m not entirely clear about the chronology of this because I haven’t yet read the minutes, but at the ANC’s February and March meetings (not attended, as I understand it, but most of the people who were in attendance last night), the business association put forward the idea of banners as a way to unite that stretch of 14th Street across both jurisdictions and to draw attention and traffic to those businesses. The ANC objected to the fact that the words Tivoli North were much larger than the words Columbia Heights and asked for revised designs with type sizes reversed, so that the words Columbia Heights would appear as the dominant message.
    Somehow word got around that the discussion was focused on changing the name of the entire neighborhood. (The first I heard of it was on April 1, and I actually thought it was an April Fool’s joke!) This was clearly incorrect information and I’m not clear how it got started, but it certainly drew a crowd.
    The main objections of the attendees last night appeared to be three: first, they didn’t know that this was going on and so were not able to provide input; second, we have all worked hard to brand Columbia Heights positively so why should we want to rebrand now; and third, the word Tivoli has a strong negative connotation and is objectionable as a neighborhood designation under any circumstances. And indeed the net result is that ANC support for banners with the words Tivoli North on them has been withdrawn, and the business association has indicated it is not interested in funding banners without their association name on them.

    (Please correct me if I have any of this wrong.)

    So here are my questions and observations about the meeting last night, as a first-time attendee:
    For attendees who said they didn’t know this was going on, how did you find out about last night’s meeting? Because that’s obviously the way the ANC needs to publicize its meetings in the future.
    I understand that last night’s attendance was well above normal. I look forward to seeing all of you at future meetings, now that you know when and where they are. We do have a lot of work to do in Columbia Heights on things like crime and youth development, and we could use everybody’s help.
    I talked after the meeting to Hector Gomez of The Tivoli North Business Association. The group does seem to have a legitimate interest in trying to help the small businesses along 14th Street, whatever anyone thinks of its efforts over the banner. Putting aside the question of any disappearing development money that might or might not have been designated for them (well worth a separate discussion), this seems like a great opportunity for all of us to collaborate with those businesses — perhaps meeting with the merchants to see what their needs are and then working together to try to help, etc. In that regard I was a little disappointed that last night’s comments were focused more on objections than on solutions, and I wish that just one of the objectors could have indicated in his/her comments some willingness to address the underlying problem — how to help those businesses.

    Thanks for reading this far.

  • BE SMART READERS. Who would want to rebrand Columbia Heights? It is like saying, “Let’s rename Adams Morgan, or as a matter of fact…let’s rename Georgetown.” PLEASE THINK FOR YOURSELVES. It seems the motive is to unify a commercial corridor currently separated by a PSA, ANC, and now, clearly, a neighborhood boundary of SPRING ROAD. BE SMART READERS. Street banners do not shield you from danger. However, they are used as a tool to bring attention to an area for improvement from its residents, businesses, and respective government agencies. BE SMART READERS.

  • After taking a look at who the businesses are and their goals, I feel sympathetic to them given that these days the words “Columbia Heights” are more likely to have an association with the metro station and the chain stores in DCUSA than to the mom-and-pop, largely Latin-owned businesses along 14th St north of the metro. I wonder if the community response would have been different if they had picked a name other than “Tivoli North” — how about something more reflective of the area it is trying to encompass and not trying to compete with any established neighborhood names, something like “Calle 14”? Ok I don’t know if my suggestion is any good, does anyone else have ideas to help these guys out?

  • Yeah I do feel a bit bad- i’m sure the business coalition is well intentioned, they just picked an awful, awful idea. If they focused on making this stretch of 14th street a more pleasant place to dine, shop and walk, let em hang any banner they want.

  • If you want to know where these rumours of renaming the neighborhood are coming from, turn on your TV. Check out NBC4’s story:

  • So all a person has to do is pass out an anonymous flyer with a lie on it, and then it gets into the news? I have gotten tons of emails on this subject today, yet there was never an agenda item or discussion about renaming anything, and we rejected any banner that did not say Columbia Heights on it back in March. Not only do we have some people who want to make trouble, but the media is helping them along….

  • Honestly, by far the BEST use of resources that these businesses, along with DCUSA and the businesses near the metro, could do is pool together funds for a highly visible van with take-no-shit private security guards who drive up and down 14th street during business hours from Irving to a little north of Spring. Police obviously are never going to do much to stop crime / be sufficiently visible to deter it, so a van with private guards that hooligans actually fear, that is ALWAYS driving up and down as a neighborhood patrol (and with a highly visible number that folks could call — so we know it would always arrive within a minute or two) would be by far the best expenditure that these businesses could make … it will pay for itself in less busted windows, more confident consumers (especially at night), etc.

  • As someone who has been involved with matters related this issue for years, I take a slightly different take. First the flyers were not “anonymous”. True there was no ANC agenda item to rebrand this portion of “Columbia Heights” to “Tivoli North” , but that was the intent of the sponsors of the banner. Although the ANC Commission did mitigate the impact of the branding effort at the March meeting, the was “no” public community process ever undertaked to discuss the concept ever. Had the banners not required an ANC letter of support, they would have gone up with the “Tivoli North” rebranding with “zero” community or ANC input.

    The money that would have paid for the banners came from the $2M “Columbia Heights Small Business Asistance Fund”. Fund projects required a community Townhall meeting which never occurred.

    The funds could have gone to items that would have made the corridor more appealing and save, in fact a portion did, “The Green Team” was funded for the purpose cleanup and eyes on the street. And there were discussions about using a portion of the funds to supplement police overtime foot beats. However, politics took precedence over best use and leverage of these funds. If ANC1A generates as much outrage over the politics that failed us as it feels over the flyers and are willing to hold those responsible accountable many of these more concrete things can still happend. And this sad banner incident can have a positive outcome.

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