PRESS UPDATE: Save McMillan Park Action Coalition
Contact: Linwood Norman, SMAC.DC@gmail.com, (202) 656-3012
McMillan Park Supporters Gather To “Kill the Inside Land Deal” by DC City Council; Complaint Letter Asks AG Racine To Step In
Washington, DC — On Saturday, August 31, more than twenty-five McMillan Park supporters gathered to protest the Mayor’s illegal demolition underway at this historic landmark on the National Register of Historic Places.
The holiday-weekend gathering was a mere fraction of thousands of McMillan Park supporters who previously signed a petition for the DC Council to preserve the 25-acre park located at Michigan Ave. and North Capitol Street.
The McMillan Town Center project, which would permit the demolition of up to 90 percent of the park in order to carve up the land for massive commercial use, has been flawed with irregularities — including the developers who have contributed to the Mayor’s election campaign and using tax payer dollars to hire a PR firm to “neutralize public opposition.”
Citing the need for open competition, the D.C. Auditor urged the D.C. Council in 2015 to competitively rebid the entire McMillan project in this scathing letter to the D.C. Council Chairman. See the Washington Post article about the City Auditor’s concerns about the project.
“Once again in her rush to take action, the Mayor is overlooking the reality of the situation, given her strong desire to reward the project’s developers who have contributed money to her,” said Mary Bolton, member of DC for Reasonable Development. “We had no choice but to go to our elected Attorney General, Karl Racine to defend the process of law that protects our special landmark.”
Park’s historic landmark includes irreplaceable features such as
underground water filtration vaults and the surface landscaping designed
by Frederick Law Olmsted, Jr. The District of Columbia acquired the open park from the Army Corps of Engineers in 1986 after the underground water purification facility was decommissioned.
On August 31, McMillan Park supporters painted a large banner that said “Save McMillan, Our Central Park” and “Kill the Inside Deal” which was placed at the park’s construction entrance to prevent construction crews from continuing to destroy the park’s turf and the domes of the park’s underground waterworks.
“We took the streets because Mayor Bowser is tearing down our green space and doing so illegally,” said Jimmie Boykin, a supporter of the Save McMillan Park campaign, who has lived on North Capitol Street since the 1960’s. “We want our park reopened so my family and I can go up there and look at all the downtown monuments and breathe clean air.” Mrs. Boykin’s sentiments match that of Mrs. Ella’s story of McMillan Park.
Today, September 3, 2019, McMillan Park defenders attempted to visit DC’s Attorney General Karl Racine at his office. They left a letter and complaint asking for his intervention. Park supporters await a response while illegal demolition activities continue at the site.