BATES CIVIC ASSOC. MEETING- August 1, 2004 7PM
Jim, my ANC, started the meeting and passed out the Agenda. Well Council member Harold Brazil was listed first but was to appear around 8pm.
5th Police District cops were in attendance but not on the agenda. They spoke first as they were still cleaning up from a shooting that had occurred 2 hours earlier at 111? Q Street. Apparently the gangs on the unit block of O and the unit block of Q, have no love. There was one shooting victim. If you know anything, call the police.
Also in attendance was the peanut gallery, ready to ‘harrumph’ and make disrespectful noises while speakers speak. Well there were two in the gallery, one being the usual Ms. K. As usual she complained about calls she made to the police about the drug dealing outside her door and she commented twice during the meeting that she was going to bring the matter to John Ascroft. Okay you are now certifiably nuts. John A don’t give a ____ about this area of DC unless the drug dealers are funneling the money to foreign terrorists. She also complained about what DCRA wasn’t doing. DCRA is not a police department or function.
Other complaints were on police response times. 2 hours in one case. Mainly the problem was over on Bates where there was an altercation that REALLY needed police intervention and the police failed. On the other side, some folks mentioned how they were pleased with the police response of 10-15 minutes. Different experiences for different people.
There was one incident of note that is on going. There is a suspected arsonist on 3rd St. who is squatting on vacant property. A house somewhere on 3rd caught on fire recently. Neighbors have called in the suspected arsonist but apparently the problem is that the police cannot arrest him. The issue is trying to pen the issue of trespassing on the fellow. Neighbors cannot claim trespassing, only the owner, and the owner has not been there in person to say, “this person is trespassing.” Then there is the issue of squatters rights. This topic went on for a while and I am still slightly confused.
Then a fellow, long time resident of Bates, spoke up about all the complaining and wondered about what happened to ‘community’ and how he didn’t know anyone at this community meeting. Well this brought out the good. A white couple mentioned how after an incident (fire?), how neighbors they didn’t even know came out to offer support and how the response of the community made them feel very welcomed. Another attendee mentioned how she knew the gentlemen starting this thread of converation, since he was this high. Ms. M mentioned neighborhood gatherings she and others have organized for neighborhood improvement. I mentioned the work individuals are doing on my block for improvement. Jim mentioned how the neighborhood is stabilizing.
Art of the 5th District Police Citizen’s Advisory Council talked about the need for citizen participation and block captains.
Mr. Dugger fo the North Capitol Collective, Inc. a family services group was talking about a future program focusing on fathers when I stepped out.
At 8:10 Harold Brazil had not shown up.
As of this morning John Ascroft has not addressed the needs of our area. Methinks it will be the same way next month as well.