PRESS ALERT — Ward 2 Candidates Asked to Oppose McMillan Park Giveaway

———- Forwarded message ———
From: SaveMcMillan ActionCoalition <>
Date: Thu, Feb 6, 2020 at 1:43 PM
Subject: PRESS ALERT — Ward 2 Candidates Asked to Oppose McMillan Park Giveaway

Ward 2 Candidates Asked to Oppose More Taxpayer Money for McMillan Redevelopment Project

Feb. 6, 2020 — For immediate release

Washington, D.C. – In preparation for Thursday’s Ward 2 City Council candidate forum sponsored by the Sierra Club, the Save McMillan Action Coalition (SMAC) is tweeting all the candidates to ask if they will “oppose more taxpayer money for the current McMillan plan.”

McMillan Park is a 25-acre green space located at Michigan Avenue and North Capitol Street in northwest Washington that is on the Register of Historic Landmarks. The park is the subject of continuing court suits as the adjacent community seeks to thwart plans by developers for a massive development there that would increase vehicular traffic by 20,000 additional vehicle trips daily, in addition to other environmental concerns.

The tweet to Ward 2 candidates describes how the DC Government is paying for planners, architects and other pre-development costs, including at one point, a Baltimore public relations firm to “neutralize public opposition.” As of 2015, DC had paid $78 million to the developer, according to the New York Times (June 23, 2015).

The tweet includes a nine-point list outlining what’s wrong with the current plan, including environmental, transportation and historic preservation problems and the lack of truly low-income housing in a project that will be built entirely on public land.  It also points out that the temporary stay granted by the D.C. Court of Appeals regarding an illegally-issued City demolition permit now offers a “fresh start window for an innovative, pro-environment, pro-community project with real affordable housing.”

“Now is the time to ask for big commitments,” said SMAC organizer David Schwartzman. “Under DC’s new Fair Elections campaign funding program, large and corporate donations are disallowed. The city matches qualified local contributions of $50 or less, and all declared Ward 2 candidates so far are participating. These candidates should not feel beholden to big donors like the city’s favored developers. We hope to see evidence of that in the candidates’ responses.”


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