PRESS ALERT: Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie Pressed on Shifting Funding to Demolish McMillan Park

Contact: Linwood Norman,, 202-656-3012

Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie Pressed on Shifting Funding to Demolish McMillan Park to the Urgent Needs of Residents Impacted by the COVID-19 Pandemic; McDuffie Not Replying to His Constituents Again

Washington, DC
— A group of Ward 5 DC constituents has opened a dialogue with Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, their representative on City Council, about defunding the city’s plan to spend almost $100 Million dollars to demolish and redevelop the 25-acre McMillan site at North Capitol Street and Michigan Avenue, NW.

See the letters and responses here:

The Ward 5 constituents point to the thousands of DC residents impacted by the pandemic through loss of jobs, inability to maintain their current housing, and in many cases their inability to obtain unemployment assistance. Also, at the present time, this is occurring when local health officials are alarmed by an uptick in the number of new COVID-19 cases in the District.

During the budget hearings in July, the Ward 5 Councilmember pushed against the call by his constituents to defund the demolition of McMillan Park in the FY2021 DC Budget by issuing a statement but only after intense pressure from neighbors who wrote letters urging him to support Black residents seeking equity in the project.

McDuffie’s response said he had long supported the “thoughtful, fiscal and socially responsible development at McMillan” and that he is “dismayed by the protracted development process.” McDuffie reportedly lives on North Capitol Street, across the street from the park.

See the letters and responses here:

The neighbors’ have replied to McDuffie’s letter with specific questions that include:

  • Is it “fiscally sound” for DC taxpayers to pay $100M to demolish the historic structures of McMillan Park in order to build luxury condos that will generate overwhelming traffic and air pollution in an area already known for high asthma rates for Black children and elders?
  • Why is McDuffie not acknowledging and fully taking into account the virtually certain displacement of many struggling Black families that will occur as a result of this redevelopment project?
  • Is it equitable to build a medical complex on the McMillan Park site while across the street, there are three existing medical facilities (including Washington Children’s Hospital) as compared with virtually no medical facilities available to residents living east of the river in the Anacostia area?
  •  By McDuffie’s own words in his response to constituents, what is considered “thoughtful” about the city’s current plan to essentially give away the open green space of a historically registered park in order to build high-rise condos that fail to include truly affordable housing for families?

See the letters and responses here:

The letter, sent and signed by many long term residents, some who have lived for 50+ years in McDuffie’s Ward 5 district, points out that constituents favor a sound and supportive development at McMillan, but that the “protracted” development process is due to continuing legal concerns on how the city has sought to collude with developers to proceed with the proposed development.

Specifically, Dr. Sharia Shanklin, a 25 year Bloomingdale resident requests that McDuffie recognize his passion and expertise, which has led to significant changes in equitable Human civil rights is consistent with providing justice for our community members quality of life. Green space improves mental, physical, and emotional well being, which is essential in these innovative times.

Councilmember McDuffie has not yet offered any more insights as to his position since his constituents replied with additional questions more than two weeks ago.



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