Thanks to all the readers who forwarded this email:
Caribbean Carnival, a cultural festival that has been happening annually for 19 years, was enjoyed by many thousands this year, but was also the subject of much debate. The shortened route, financial issues, and aggressive police tactics sent mixed messages to Carnival organizers and the community. Several fights that occurred raised safety concerns from the community. Councilmember Graham, Councilmember Bowser, the MPD and the Mayor’s office have publicly expressed their desire to see the Carnival continue and the full route restored but there are serious issues that must be overcome.
The Georgia Avenue Community Development Task Force has invited Councilmember Jim Graham (on travel but sending a representative), Councilmember Bowser (unconfirmed), MPD Chief Lanier (confirmed), and DC Caribbean Carnival Director Loughton Sargeant (confirmed) to our next meeting on Wednesday July 27th at 6:00pm at the G II Restaurant and Lounge at 2632 Georgia Avenue (corner of Georgia and Fairmont) to discuss the issues that occurred at this event and ways the community can be more involved in its planning and execution.
For background on some of the issues regarding this year’s Carnival, you can listen to a Town Hall meeting on the Carnival conducted Saturday July 16th broadcast live on WPFW. The archived show can be heard by going here and scrolling down to “Caribbeana” broadcast on Saturday, July 16, 2011 7:00 pm. The Town Hall was hosted by WPFW’s Gloria Minott, with panelists Paul Quander, Deputy Mayor of Public Safety and Justice, Councilmember Bowser, Councilmember Graham, MPD Assistant Chief Lamar Green, Claude Barrington of the DC Caribbean Carnival and others.
Photo by PoPville Flickr user yostinator