PRESS ALERT JULY 14, 2020
Contact: Linwood Norman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 202-656-3012
Ward 5 Residents Ask CM McDuffie to Defund McMillan
Use Money for Public Health, Education and Housing Needs Facing Constituents Hardest Hit by COVID-19 Health Pandemic
Washington, DC – Ward 5 Residents including those living around McMillan Park are asking Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie to Defund the controversial McMillan Park redevelopment project.
An open letter sent to McDuffie asks the Ward 5 Councilmember to shift the $75.5M the Mayor proposed in the DC FY21 Budget to demolish McMillan Park and instead, use that money for Ward 5 projects such as providing public health services to fight the pandemic, making DC schools pandemic-safe for our students to return to, retrofitting the Crummell School for Ivy City residents and funding additional affordable, family-sized housing at the Brookland Manor redevelopment.
All of the residents making this request to McDuffie are Black and are resonating with the Black Lives Matter movement for promoting equity in all things DC, including critical and immediate needs caused by the pandemic.
In their letter to Councilmember McDuffie, eleven writers — Jimmie and Joanne Boykin, Cynthia Carson, Joyce Chandler, Guy Durant, Minnie Elliott, Maria Jones, Sebrena Rhodes, Sharia Shanklin, Neeka Sullivan, and Lorenz Wheatley — specifically ask him:
- To request his City Council colleagues to strike the $75.5 million now in the FY21 budget for the demolition/overdevelopment of McMillan Park and use the money for public housing repairs, rehabilitation of Crummell School, funding larger family-sized units at Brookland Manor, public health services, and retrofitting and staffing our schools to minimize virus spread so that our youth can return safely to the classroom.
- To act by Tuesday, July 21st when the Council takes its second vote on the FY21 budget.
The letter-writers are well aware that McMillan was an integrated open park, enjoyed by all until it was fenced off for security reason in WWII and never reopened. They are opposed to the DC Government’s plan for 2+ million sq. ft. of suburban-style housing, commercial and medical offices, some rising more than 120 feet. Offering very little affordable housing, the project will generate heavy traffic at the North Capitol Street/Michigan Avenue intersection and bring air, water, noise and possibly asbestos pollution to the surrounding community.
“It’s past time that Councilmember McDuffie paid attention to his constituents’ opposition to the current plan and therefore Defund McMillan. We want the money used to benefit Ward 5 human needs like livable public housing, much more family-sized units at Brookland Manor, and a rehabilitated Crummell School for the kids of Ivy City,” said Joanne Boykin, Ward 5 resident and McMillan Park neighbor. “We are particularly upset that McMillan has been made exempt from Councilmember McDuffie’s 2014 law that requires more affordable housing when public land like McMillan is disposed of by the DC Government.”
“We want McMillan developed by and for the community, not by and for heavily subsidized mainly out-of-town developers,” said Cynthia Carson, Ward 5 resident and McMillan Park neighbor. “This means adaptive reuse of the historic silos and caverns, keeping most of the open space, and taking into account the new requirements of a post-Covid-19 world.”
See Letter Below.