“Chuck Brown Day is coming and it’s going to be GREAT!”

by Prince Of Petworth August 17, 2015 at 12:25 pm 31 Comments


Thanks to those who forwarded from ANC Rep Nolan Treadway:

“Chuck Brown Day is coming and it’s going to be GREAT!

Since Wednesday there has been a lot of buzz about Chuck Brown Day, scheduled for Saturday, August 22 at Chuck Brown Memorial Park. It seems to have begun with a Facebook event for the concert which had approximately 3000 RSVPs as of last week. While there are legitimate concerns about planning for an event of this size, it is important to understand that these RSVPs are not solid confirmations and in our social media-driven world, that number is nearly meaningless.

That said, there are legitimate concerns regarding crowd control, transportation, public safety, general noise and clean-up. I have been talking to many officials from DC Government since late Wednesday and I have concluded that the District of Columbia government is prepared to handle Chuck Brown Day. This will be a popular event, but I believe August 22 will be a fun day for our neighborhood and for DC. I can offer more detail about the plan in the section below. But know that I support this event and am very confident it will go smoothly.

I also want to be sure to note that when this idea was first raised at an SMD meeting at Langdon Rec Center several months ago, there was unanimous support at the meeting for this event and I believe the community continues to generally support Chuck Brown Day. I continue to support Chuck Brown Day at Chuck Brown Memorial Park on August 22, 2015.

If you have questions or concerns about anything here, please don’t hesitate to reach out to contact me online or even on twitter, @ANCNolan. Everyone is interested in this event going well and if you’ve got feedback we can use prior to the event, we would welcome it.

Notes and details of a recent planning meeting for Chuck Brown Day:

Transportation, Parking

District Dept of Transportation

20th Street NE will be closed, probably Franklin to Rhode Island Ave.
Four intersections around the park staffed with DDOT personnel.
There will be 2 tow trucks in the neighborhood on call to tow illegally parked cars (ie blocked driveways) and an additional 15 parking enforcement officers in the neighborhood.
DDOT will be parking cars on the athletic field at 24th and Franklin and they are looking to confirm more of the parking lots in the area.

Dept of Fire & EMS; Metro Police Dept; Dept of Parks & Recreation

Fire and EMS will have first aid support on 20th Street.
Park rangers and other DPR staff will be on hand to assist.
MPD is still determining exact numbers but are engaged in this process.
There are dozens more additional volunteers working the event in various capacities that will be on hand
Trash, Clean-up

Dept of General Services and Dept of Public Works

Department of General Services will have staff to collect trash in the park during and after
Department of Public Works will be on hand to remove trash from outside the park – and neighboring yards – after the event.
Street sweeping to occur by end of day on August 22.
Stage and Performance Details:

The show was originally 3 bands for four hours, but out of concern for neighbors it has been reduced to a 2 hour program and just the one band performing (Chuck Brown Band).
The stage will be set in Chuck Brown Memorial Park plaza and it will be active from 4-6pm on Saturday, Aug 22.”

  • anon

    “The show was originally 3 bands for four hours, but out of concern for neighbors it has been reduced to a 2 hour program and just the one band performing (Chuck Brown Band).”
    I’m sure this will magically stop neighbors from objecting. Such a shame they conceded this and won’t get any political benefit for doing so.

    • anon

      +1 seriously, a few hours of outdoor music on a weekend is not a big deal. you live in a city.

      • Woodridge Resident

        Yes, we live in a city. Thanks for the obvious point. However, how many other neighborhoods and their residents are just simply expected to put up with an outdoor concert of this potential magnitude? We purchased our home because we enjoy the quiet, neighborhood atmosphere that Woodridge provides.

        Moreover, I personally objected to the fact that there had been no plans expressed for crowd control, parking, trash pick-up, etc. It appears my concerns were well-founded, as they have only now decided to announce any plans at all. My concerns were not aimed at the loud music. I’d encourage you in the future to think before posting something you know nothing whatsoever about.

        • Also a Woodridge Resident

          Congratulations. You bought a house. You own that house. If the city wants to do something with your property and you don’t like it, feel free to pitch a fit.
          You don’t own the neighborhood. Or the rest of the city. Plenty of neighborhoods have its events. No neighborhood is free of complainers like you. Yet still we have to function as a city. Stop trying to get together with a few friends and then unilaterally imposing your vision of the neighborhood on the rest of the neighborhood and city.

          • anon

            as someone who lives in an area with a lot of recent crime, I’m all for any community event which gets people doing something other than shooting other people. Events like this allow people to celebrate a common interest/heritage/community. This event appeals to a wide variety of ages and races and geographical origin. It is a good thing.

        • woodres

          Are you sure you didn’t buy in the neighborhood because it was cheaper here than in Reston, where you’d presumably prefer to be? Except even Reston Town Center has live music events, because this is the type of thing that happens in modern places where most people actually enjoy being.
          I bought in Woodridge because I knew that someday soon, the reversal of decades of neglect would edge further east and fun things like this would start happening in this neighborhood. Get used to it or move.

          • anonymous

            Oh brother- another “if you don’t like it, move to the suburbs,” but with a twist. I’m not getting the vitriol aimed at this person (or the others who have expressed concerns about this event). Not everyone who lives in the city needs to agree on how city life is done. We don’t and we won’t, so let’s have a little respect for those with opposing viewpoints.

          • Woodridge Resident2

            Oooooof you all got out on the wrong side of the bed this morning. I think all anyone was saying is that they are fine with the event going on, but they want to make sure proper precautions are in place.

            And I’d have to say that someone who bought in Woodridge was not merely picking it over Reston. That is a pretty random comparison.

            Commenters like Also a Woodridge Resident and Woodres are why I choose not to read comments on blogs like this.

          • textdoc

            +1 to anonymous 3:00 pm. Seems like some of the posters are suggesting that anyone who has any concerns about an event — scale, cleanup logistics, etc. — is just a massive killjoy and that’s all there is to it.

          • woodres

            I’ll take back my overly emotional and arbitrary Reston comments, but the sentiment persists. People need to stop trying to control their neighborhoods and crying victim. Other neighborhoods have events too.
            I don’t think this was about logistics. That’s just something they say. The actual demands floating around before were unrealistic to the point where the event would have to be canceled for them to be satisfied (roping off the park, metal detectors, ticketing). There were also many claims that there was something fundamentally or innately not policeable about the neighborhood that made it a bad candidate.
            Don’t let the rhetoric about logistics fool you.

          • Your comments only serve to illustrate how often people to fail to realize that perception of “control” always depends on which side of the fence you’re gazing over.

        • anon

          They didn’t release details of their security and cleanup until everyone complained, but that’s no reason to think they didn’t have one.

          • woodres

            Yes. Maybe they did not want people complaining about the road closures all week in advance.

          • sigh

            So, according to anon and woodres, city officials should not have to be transparent with the details of their plans earlier in the process because they might have to hear complaints or concerns from residents?

          • woodres

            I’m saying that the city can’t possibly detail every single action anyway. I wouldn’t fault them with being selective about what they disclose about an event ahead of time to minimize unrelenting and unreasonable complaints.
            My major objection is to the claim that the complaints actually yielded a plan that didn’t otherwise exist, a claim for which there’s no evidence. Police security and DPR cleanup were part of the deal from day one.

          • anon

            spot on, woodres.

          • sigh

            But the city received complaints anyway with the selective approach they took… so why not be transparent early on with the details? If, as you imply, that the city had most details of the plan figured out from day one, why not be more proactive with getting the information out there, especially to the residents who live nearby? When Pepco does utility work in a neighborhood that may affect individual homes, they leave notices on the doors/in mailboxes to give residents a heads up. I don’t think its unreasonable for the city to do the same thing for the houses adjacent to the park in order to inform them of a free concert and the related road closures, etc. The notice could be a one-pager with the pertinent details of their plan and a number or email address for folks to direct any further questions.

          • anon

            This might not be completely unreasonable to implement as a policy someday, but it’s far more effort than I’d currently expect today.
            The residents agreed to the event contingent on MPD and DPR involvement and only sought the ostensible follow-up after a facebook with 3k RSVPs freaked them out. How many facebook RSVPs should have triggered the flyering of residents, exactly?

          • anon

            @sigh… but did people ask about the plans or did they just complain? The district doesn’t “publicize the plans b/c what’s the point. “Come to this event, we will ahve live music, trash cans, and police”… no, we, as a city that is mostly functional, know that a big event needs trash cleanup and police presence. Do you get upset when a new building doesn’t advertise that they have sewer and sanitation services? No, b/c it is assumed that that is part of the permit.

        • anon

          12:38 anon here —- I live in a neighborhood that sometimes has large events. Most neighborhoods do. Some have parades, some have concerts, some have festivals. That’s part of living in an urban environment. As I said, a few hours of music are not a big deal. There is no reason that this event should have been shortened b/c of neighbor complaints.

          I’d encourage you in the future to think before putting words into people’s mouth. The comment was solely about the duration of the music.

          Also, on a side note, DC hosts many large events all the time. I think we’ve got security and trash and the like down pretty well. This is part of the permitting process, and was probably already planned for (but not announced… i mean, really, who announces that they will have trash pick up when promoting an event).

          I’d also encourage you in the future to actually do some research and read the permit for a large event prior to attempting to raise a public fuss over what is likely nothing.

        • anon

          pretty much every other neighborhood. H St Festival. Palisades Parade. Adam’s Morgan Day. Funk Parade. Marine Corps Marathon. Clarendon Day. Barrack’s Row…..

    • Eponymous

      Agreed. The city needs to stop giving in to unreasonable people. Scale back a development project, they’ll still sue. Shorten a free public event (you know, one of the fun things that make living in the city worthwhile), they’ll keep screaming until their eyes bleed. Grant a liquor license, they’ll protest. It’s pointless to try and make them happy.

      • anon

        What they want is pretty simple: absolutely no disruption to their lives whatsoever while the rest of the city grows to supply them with jobs and amenities. Giving these people a park was a terrible public investment.

        • anonymous

          Exaggerate much? Why all the vitriol for a person who had some legitimate concerns about the originally proposed event (apparently legit enough to cause the city to revamp the terms of the event)?

          • anon

            did they actually revamp beyond shortening the duration? Any public permit requires security, cleanup, etc. Those concerns were better directed via a friendly inquiry with the permitting offices rather than a tirade on a public forum.

          • textdoc

            IIRC, someone was expressing these concerns on a neighborhood listserv and someone ELSE forwarded the listserv posting to PoPville.

          • woodres

            Actually, textdoc, the original letter forwarded to PoPville went out to the local ANC, Councilmember, and MPD Commander, as well as the mayor, in an attempt to escalate her concerns as much as digitally possible. Here is the to field copied from the email:
            nolan treadwell ,
            Kenyon McDuffie ,
            [email protected]” ,
            [email protected]” ,
            [email protected]

          • woodres

            that did not copy right since it had less and greater signs, but you get the point

          • textdoc

            Fair enough… but it sounds like the person who expressed her concerns was copying councilmembers, etc., seeking action… not seeking exposure per se.

          • anon

            But the letter was phrased in such a way that it assumed that there would be no MPD or trash pickup. The first step would be to inquire whether or not these are part of the permit, not to assume they aren’t and raise hell.

          • woodres

            Nevertheless, this was a city event in a city park, and this blog is frequented by a good deal of city residents who pay city taxes. So her attempts to shut down the event (dressed up partially in concerns about logistics) were certainly fair game for discussion here. The fact that it was intended to occur quietly or in an echo chamber of like-minded neighbors doesn’t make it better, given that the end result affects us all to some degree.


Subscribe to our mailing list