From: SaveMcMillan ActionCoalition <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, Dec 24, 2020 at 9:06 AM
Subject: PRESS RELEASE: McDuffie Ignores Ward 5 Residents’ Request for Meeting About Asbestos Health Risks at McMillan Park — Complaints may be filed with Board of Ethics and Government Accountability; Independent Auditor; and Inspector General
To: SaveMcMillan ActionCoalition <firstname.lastname@example.org>
December 24, 2020
Contact: Linwood Norman, email@example.com
McDuffie Ignores Ward 5 Residents’ Request for Meeting About Asbestos Health Risks at McMillan Park
Complaints may be filed with Board of Ethics and Government Accountability; Independent Auditor; and Inspector General
Councilman Kenyan McDuffie has failed to respond to a dozen constituents’ request for a meeting about potential asbestos-related health and safety risks at McMillan Park. They repeated their concerns in a December 23 letter to McDuffie, which read in part:
“We have sent you and your staff a number of emails to request a meeting about potential health and safety hazards regarding the possible demolition of McMillan Park. While we understand your position is in favor of privatizing the public park land for luxury residential and commercial development, clearly you must also want the project to be done safely if it proceeds.”
Ward 5 residents first reached out to Councilmember McDuffie’s office on this issue more than a month ago. Subsequent follow-up emails with his office have not been answered.
A recent engineering assessment, entered as court evidence, indicated the McMillan concrete water filtration system was likely built with asbestos. If so, the City’s plans to develop the 25-acre park site without proper asbestos testing — and as appropriate, containment and clean-up measures — would pose severe health hazards to neighbors and the many others dependent on the nearby city reservoir, located across the street from the park.
McDuffie has not responded to constituents’ concerns that the Mayor’s Office repeatedly failed to provide documentation on whether asbestos testing has been conducted and whether appropriate mitigation plans are in place if needed.
“If McMillan Park’s 1.3 million cubic feet of concrete is demolished and removed, sending dust and debris into the air and into the nearby water reservoir, the health and safety threat for our entire community could be catastrophic,” said Melissa Pefers, who lives near the park.
“Our councilman is showing no interest in these concerns, despite the fact that he reportedly lives across the street from the park.”
McMillan Park is a registered historic public site located at North Capitol Street NW and Michigan Avenue NW. Tremendous controversy – including several active court cases — surrounds the redevelopment plans for the park, as tax dollars are being used to fund developers’ plans to acquire the land, demolish most of the park’s historic assets, and build 2+ million-square-feet of luxury residential, office and retail space, and a recreation center. www.savemcmillan.org/corruption
During the 2020 Budget hearings, McDuffie brushed aside requests from Ward 5 residents that tax dollars budgeted for the park’s demolition should instead be allocated for more pressing needs serving residents during the pandemic.
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