SPCA Co-Hosts Three At-Large DC Council Candidate Forums

The Shepherd Park Citizens Association, the Chevy Chase Citizens Association, and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3G/4 co-hosted three at-Large DC Council candidate forums. (Voters may choose two candidates for At-Large Council.) They were held on September 10 and 23 to accommodate the large number of candidates. Of the 24 candidates, 17 chose to participate in the forums. Videos of the At-Large Candidates’ forums are now available on YouTube.  Here are the candidates who participated and links to each of the one-hour videos.

Session #1 (Marcus Goodwin, Christina Henderson, Ed Lazere, Jeanne Lewis, Vincent Orange, Monica Palacio, Robert White, Ann Wilcox) —  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Jp_qE-e_Vg.

Session #2 (Claudia Barragan, Markus Batchelor, Calvin Gurley, Kathy Henderson, Chander Jayaraman, Alexander Padro, Marya Pickering — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztVeZFlX0lE.

Session #3 (Eric Rogers, Will Merrifield): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R0fLKY8u914.


Crime Prevention

In 2020, our community had a rash of thefts from cars. We strongly advise residents and their guests and contractors to leave NO items of value in their cars, even during daytime hours. The SPCA has worked with police to step up patrols, which are still ongoing.

We encourage everyone to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity to 911 immediately.  Follow these links for crime-prevention tips:

SPCA Meeting Recap

Many thanks to all of the neighbors that came out this past Tuesday evening in the extremely cold weather!  We had a great presentation and discussion from DC Water about the lead pipe replacement program. The flyer that was distributed during the discussion is attached.  This program is extremely generous and residents can replace their lead pipes for FREE when DC Water conducts the water main replacement or repairs. 
Also, ANC 4A03 Commissioner Steve Whatley provided updates from the ANC regarding Children's Hospital and Walter Reed and distributed an ANC Map outlining ANC4A's boundaries
The SPCA membership voted to change quorum from 7 board members and 2 officers to a majority of board members and 2 officers. Thank you!!!
This past week, the Washington Post and the Washington Business Journal announced that Virginia Tech University would be establishing a biomedical partnership with the Children's National Hospital campus at Walter Reed. Also, Urban Turf posted an article about the Arts Park and Dog Park at Walter Reed.  More to come on Walter Reed...for at least another 19 to 20 years...
According to a WUSA 9 segment and a recent study, DC has been named the most gentrified city in the U.S. by the percentage of eligible neighborhoods that experienced gentrification. While a combination of forces can intensify or accelerate gentrification, one particular force is land-use policies. This coming Tuesday, you are encouraged to attend the Ward 4 Comprehensive Plan Community Meeting. If you are not able to attend (and even if you are), please email CM Todd to encourage him to continue to request more time for the community and ANCs to review the proposed changes, which are outlined in over 1500 pages!!!  But, CM Todd is only one voice. You can also email or call Chair Mendelsohn and the at large Councilmembers as well. 2020 elections are approaching quickly and everyone should have their voice heard in how and where the city guides growth and change!

Settlement agreement with Betty's Gojo

The Shepherd Park Citizens Association has reached a "settlement agreement" with Betty's Gojo, 7616 Georgia that will allow it to serve alcoholic beverages.

These pacts used to be known as "voluntary agreements," but some businesses grumbled that they weren't entirely voluntary.

Betty's persisted about the late hours it wanted to keep: opening until 2 a.m. on weeknights and 3 a.m. on weekends. So the SPCA incorporated a number of clauses into the agreement to mitigate deleterious effects to Georgia Avenue and nearby neighbors. These include a last call a half-hour before closing, human and recording security; no-loitering signs, a ban on use of microphones, amplifiers or sound systems for live music performances, and a further occupancy restriction from 49 maximum to 40.

Some of the details, even though agreed to between SPCA and Betty's, were changed by the D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulatory Administrations, and one stipulation was thrown out altogether. But SPCA and Betty's agreed to the modifications. I have not seen a finalized version of the agreement from ABRA, but the SPCA can enter into good-faith talks with Betty's if violations are suspected or reported, and SPCA also retains all its rights to lodge complaints to the ABRA.

Representatives of Betty's have said they would like to conduct a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony at the July 31 picnic, and that they will become platinum business members of the SPCA. I am hopeful that both the SPCA and Betty's can work through any sticky wickets, and that this experience will give SPCA more savoir-faire when more requests to open alcohol-serving establishments on Georgia or Eastern inevitably crop up. 

I want to give much credit to Ed Atkins, an SPCA board member, and ANC commissioner Dwayne Toliver, who took the SPCA's concerns and crafted the language in the settlement agreement. This could not have been possible without them.

Mark Pattison

SPCA president



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