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1350 Pennsylvania Ave, NW

ANC6B10 Commissioner Denise Krepp is a resident of Hill East. PoP-Ed. posts may be written about anything related to the District and submitted via email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail please include PoP-Ed. in the subject line.

Ed. Note: The Post also published an editorial on this subject, ‘D.C. has gone too far on criminal-justice reform’

DC Council and Violent Crime

Over the weekend, The Washington Post published an article about legislation under review by the DC Council that enables individuals convicted of rape and murder to be released early from prison. Instead of helping rapists, DC Councilmembers should be asking why the Department of Justice isn’t prosecuting rapes occurring in Washington, DC; why millions of DC tax dollars are being spent on sexual harassment settlements; and why DC agency employees who commit sexual harassment are still employed.

Currently, DC law enables judges to reduce prison sentences for crimes committed by individuals under the age of 18. There are no disqualifying crimes. The law simply states that the individual must served 20 years in prison.

Until recently, judges reviewing petitions for early release were required to consider the nature of the crimes committed. The DC Council removed that requirement from the law in January 2019.

Now, the DC Council wants to expand the early release policy to individuals who committed crimes under the age of 25. And again, there is no limitation on crimes. An individual can commit rape and receive early release if that individual was under the age of 25 when the crime occured. Read More

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example photo of curb extensions from the DDOT proposal

“Dear PoPville,

I know many readers have been following the city-wide conversation about making our streets safer to prevent the kinds of senseless pedestrian and cyclist deaths we’ve been even more attentive to since the tragic deaths of Dave Salovesh and Abdul Seck.

One of the places we have a chance to make some real improvements right now is Bloomingdale. Already this year drivers have killed two pedestrians on North Capitol Street, and residents are nervous it’s only a matter of time before something similar happens on the pedestrian-heavy 1st Street NW. Despite being a residential road, commuting cars cut through and speed through the stop signs to catch the lights at the intersections of 1st and Florida and 1st and Rhode Island. Just last week covered a violent crash right in this area on Tuesday that spilled onto the sidewalk. Read More

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Cycling in D.C. was written by Joel Hoard. Joel lives in Adams Morgan.

PoP-Ed. posts may be written about anything related to the District and submitted via email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail please include PoP-Ed. in the subject line.

“Eight years ago when I had just started riding a bike in D.C., I found a slip of paper inside a candy wrapper. On it was a quote by H.G. Wells: “Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of mankind.”

I’m 36 years old, and I love bikes. I ride them. I build them. I fix them. I talk about them to anyone who will listen. I ride to work. I ride to the grocery store. I ride to my friends’ houses. Sometimes I ride to nowhere in particular just because I love it.

I also love Washington, D.C. This is my home. I’ve lived here for 11 years, and I have no plans to leave. I’ve biked across all four quadrants of this city countless times. Seeing the place I love by bicycle is perhaps the simplest joy in my life.

But sometimes riding in this town sucks. For every leisurely ride around the Mall, there’s a driver speeding through a red light to shave 30 seconds off his morning commute. For every Saturday morning ride through Rock Creek Park, there’s an Uber driver swerving into a bike lane to drop somebody off or a car door flinging open. With cars clocking in at an average weight of 4,000 lbs, when one hits a cyclist, it’s clear who’s going to win. And if you open a car door or swerve in front of us, you might as well be a brick wall. We don’t stand a chance.

On September 24, Tom Hollowell was killed as he rode his bike to work when a driver sped through a red light and hit him. Read More

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Yukia Hugee, lives in North East and is part of the It’s Time DC coalition.

PoP-Ed. posts may be written about anything related to the District and submitted via email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail please include PoP-Ed. in the subject line.


Photo by PoPville flickr user DCbmyers

Ed. Note: You can read “The DC Council will vote Tuesday on legislation that would place severe restrictions on short-term rentals in DC.” posted yesterday here.

Commercial Airbnb Hosts Add Strain on Single Mothers Across D.C.
By: Yukia Hugee, single mom and Northeast D.C. resident

Safety is a main concern for any mother. This concern is only heightened for a single mother, like myself, that lives in a hustling and bustling city like D.C. and is safety is always one of the main concerns I have for my young family and I. Consequently, knowing the members of my community that surround me, work near my home, and protect my neighborhood is very important to me as I raise my children in our vibrant city.

That is why I am so disheartened to see my community unwrapped by commercial operators running illegal hotels that are creating a revolving door of strangers who don’t have an attachment to our community.

That isn’t creating a safer neighborhood for me or my family – it’s breaking it down. Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user dullshick

Jim Havard lives in Hill East. PoP-Ed. posts may be written about anything related to the District and submitted via email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail please include PoP-Ed. in the subject line.

Open Letter to DC Communities and the DC Council
By Jim Havard

DC Short-Term Rental Legislation – An Allowance Should be Made for “Plus One” Properties, Without “Caps”

The DC Council will vote Tuesday on legislation that would place severe restrictions on short-term rentals in DC. The bill on the table would, among other things, ban any short-term rentals from properties outside of the primary residence, and limit owners pursuing short-term rentals when away from primary residences to 90 days a year. To be clear, the primary impact of this legislation for DC would not be to regulate some big corporation (like AirBnB or VRBO); rather, it would be to cripple short-term rental small businesses in DC, including those owned by local people – like widows, seniors, and parents with challenging medical conditions – who are renting out their small “plus one” properties in an effort to make ends meet. These folks should be allowed to keep their businesses; this bill is too restrictive and should be amended. Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Erin

Ed. Note: A case to Vote No on Initiative 77 will be posted at this time tomorrow.

By Melissa Boteach and Eliza Schultz

We, like many of our fellow D.C. residents, have seen the “Save Our Tips” signs all over town. As anti-poverty advocates and researchers, we take seriously the argument that we should listen to people who are directly affected by a given policy. There are many well-intentioned people who plan to vote against Initiative 77 – the ballot initiative that would phase out the sub-minimum wage earned by tipped workers by 2026 – because they know servers, mainly in higher-end restaurants and bars, who are against it.

But we also know many servers (in D.C. as well as in the eight states that don’t have a separate tipped wage) and can tell you that a big reason you’re not hearing a lot of voices from tipped workers in favor of Initiative 77 is due to fear of retaliation. Workers are literally walking into their places of employment bombarded with signs saying “Save Our Tips” – even right above where they clock in. Publicly speaking out when you’re already economically insecure and need the job is difficult.

The debate in D.C. over 77 has been riddled with misinformation and one-sided arguments, funded by a corporate campaign that is paying tens of thousands to consulting firms so that they don’t have to pay their workers more.

To that end, we wanted to share some facts on 77 with you: Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Miki J.

PoP-Ed. posts may be written about anything related to the District and submitted via email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail please include PoP-Ed. in the subject line. The following was written by Paul Williams, President of Historic Congressional Cemetery, and Kelly Carnes, cemetery staffer and yoga instructor.

Last weekend, Washingtonians missed out on one of the hottest yoga trends to date: goat yoga. Historic Congressional Cemetery, which has hosted eco-goats twice and a weekly yoga program, was denied the opportunity to bring goat yoga to the District by the DC Department of Health.

The event, previously schedule for July 22, would have featured three classes in which 10 baby goats joined the yogis on their mats to romp, play, crawl, and cuddle while the yogis practiced a gentle (mostly seated) sequence designed to educate them about the specific physiological traits that make goats unique like their incredible balance and fortified digestive system. Educational materials were integrated into the previous eco-goats visits too and each event brought hundreds of new visitors to the cemetery, raising awareness and funds to help preserve this iconic local landmark.

The DC Department of Health’s reasoning? Director LaQuandra Nesbitt claims that the yogis and goats pose a danger to each other, even though this style of practice has been embraced all over the country, including Louisville, Kentucky where she was the leading public health expert before taking her post in DC.

What does the goat’s farmer and caregiver, Mary Bowen, think of the excuse that yogis could potentially fall on and injure goats? In her own words the excuse is “ridiculous,” as is the notion that the cemetery would need to hire a wildlife expert to be on hand for any such event. News flash, DoH, goats are not wild animals! In fact the domestication of goats begins 10,000-11,000 years ago!

Supposedly there is also a “no touching” policy barring any interaction with livestock lest it lead to zoonotic disease transmission, and yet, when it was brought to the Department of Health’s attention that the Mount Vernon BID is hosting their annual petting zoo in Mt. Vernon square on July 29, they knew nothing about it. I guess we should all go into quarantine-mode for the impending goat-flu that is about to bring Washington to a screeching halt. Read More

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Pablo Raw

PoP-Ed. posts may be written about anything related to the District and submitted via email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail please include PoP-Ed. in the subject line.

“Free Wi-Fi For All of DC

Brandon Todd
Council of the District of Columbia, Ward-4
Chair, Committee on Government Operations

Today, I will be introducing the Wi-Fi Task Force Act of 2017. This bill would create a task force to provide comprehensive policy recommendations on how the District can efficiently provide free wireless internet access thru the construction and operation of a municipality broadband network. Communities across the United States are already successfully operating municipal broadband networks and it is time for the District to foster the development of advanced broadband facilities and services for our communities, residents and visitors.

The District government has forged ahead with inclusive and diverse policies such as increasing the living wage, the minimum wage and expanding the Marion Barry Summer Youth Program with the aim to improve income equality for all District residents. A municipal broadband network providing free wireless internet to the entire District is the next step. Read More

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library-police

Joshua Louria lives in Mount Pleasant in ANC1D01.

PoP-Ed. posts may be written about anything related to the District and submitted via email to princeofpetworth(at)gmail please include PoP-Ed. in the subject line.

I didn’t think the Mount Pleasant ANC could get any worse, and then a shouting match erupted between two commissioners at the November meeting. The Library police had to break it up. This time they were fighting over a resolution to support paid family leave. Jack McKay had vigorously opposed the resolution in 41 emails to ANC commissioners, arguing that “it will please some constituents to pass a motherhood resolution that advises that there be a Paid Family Leave program, of some sort. But that’s a done deal, and therefore a pointless exercise” (In fact the Mayor and the Post editorial board are trying to kill the legislation). Read More

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“Dear PoPville,

If anyone who lives along upper 14th Street haven’t already seen this video, it’s worth taking a look.

It’s shocking that four men could plan a homicide at a busy gas station, visibly put guns into their pants, run an entire block, murder someone, and flee the scene without being caught.  We haven’t seen anything this brazen along these few blocks in years, probably since 2010.  I suspect some of your readers may think this sort of incident is common on the 3400-3600 blocks of 14th Street, but it most certainly isn’t.

This incident was a result of less aggressive policing along this stretch, the elimination of undercover vice, and, in my view, a lack of interest among our politicians in upper 14th Street.  I emailed Councilmember Nadeau about this; I explained that I believe the problem is the growing tolerance of the crack cocaine trade and a lack of pressure on MPD to have more of a presence in this area.

I told her that I believe her agenda that so often concerns national progressive issues isn’t going to help us prevent homicides.  Her office’s response to these sorts of emails has often been that the meager money she’s secured for Clean Teams and a Main Street program, or that a federal law closing the gun show loophole, will have the effect of interdicting homicides in Columbia Heights.  Invariably, her office lists her accomplishments or refers us to her newsletter. Read More

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