All about the Edgewood Neighborhood of Washington, DC

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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

ANC and Big Bear: What it means to Edgewood!!

After reading the tweets, blogs and this article and comments about the Big Bear Cafe presentation at the ANC 5C meeting I felt compelled to write. I first moved here a couple of years ago at the end of the summer and not long after we had elections. Upon voting I noticed the ANC commissioner race and the fact that there were mostly only one person running for the position in each area. I deemed them not important and moved on with my life. After volunteering and getting more involved in my neighborhood I have come to understand the importance of the ANC. While it is only May we are coming upon another election year and I am urging all of us to get involved with who become our new ANC commissioners.

As demonstrated by the current situation with Big Bear obtaining a temporary and permanent liquor license the ANC plays a role in what development comes to our community. If you want to see new development, restaurants and neighborhood bars than you want to elect someone that will represent your views over the next two years. That's right two years! Thinking ahead now will help the Edgewood neighborhood have ANC commissioners in place when we have new restaurants and neighborhood bars come to our area as we gather more development. The Rhode Island Station, Artspace Lofts and Chancellor's Row townhouses are already under construction which should bring more interest in investing in the Edgewood neighborhood. Let's make sure we have ANC commissioners that represent what we want for our neighborhood. As election time approaches let's come together and get the right representation for Edgewood that focuses on smart development and change instead of fighting it.

One thing that really hit me was all the concern from the commissioners and residents that have been here a long time about the alcohol and its effect on the community. I am not even going to get into the argument about whose opinion matters more - those that have been here longer or not - because I believe if you live here you matter. But, I do have to ask the commissioners and long time residents where they were when all of the liquor stores were allowed to open. On the corner of Fourth and Rhode Island NE there are more than 5 places that sell alcohol and by the bottle. In my opinion we should be more concerned about these types of places than restaurants and neighborhood bars. Why didn't they fight these establishments?

Right now we can do something to support the change in Bloomingdale and that is to write your commissioner and Anita Bonds and let them know what you want to happen with Big Bear Cafe. If the whole ANC 5C makes the decision then we can support the decision we want as well. I have already written to Ms. Farmer and Ms. Bonds in support of Big Bear.

Here is the information for finding your ANC:


ANC 5C website

You can write to Anita Bonds at these email addresses: or


  1. I have to disagree with you on this post. I think that the current ANC commissioners that have boundaries in Edgewood have been open to new development for the most part. A lot of the issues with the development in Edgewood stem from how Catholic U and St. Paul’s College have received tax breaks from the city and federal government for years and years then decide to sell portions of there land to developers without penalty. Then after the land is sold they offer very little in community amenities.

    I think the Edgewood commissioners have a different issue on there hands then Bloomingdale commissioners. The Edgewood neighborhood has one of the largest crime rates in PSA 501, a horrible piece of crap of a rec center, a growing senior population and a inventory of unsold houses that continues to grow. I would hope that the people voted to elect or stuck with commissioners that have the experience and skill set to address these issues. The development that is begining in the community won’t succeed and flourish unless the profiler of other issues is actively addressed. And developers know this that’s why every project so far is being sold as Brookland.

    It’s sad to say that while the community has seen some change it hasn’t quite turned the corner yet. I hope people in Edgewood take a honest look at the community now and the potential it has and votes in people who can transform the hood. What might help is your blog showcasing some realistic looks into what the community is like, what problems it has and day to day life. This will help people to realize the issues, get active, find out what’s important and make a sound concrete decision come election time.

  2. The point of my post was voting in ANC commissioners that support what you want to see in the community and that the ones in ANC 5C affect all of the area so we should support what we want in nearby neighborhoods as well.

    I agree that Edgewood has other issues and I would love to know where you get your statistics for crime and housing because I think it would be interesting to post those and their trends for everyone to see. Please let me know where I can get the numbers to share.

    But, I think smart development will help many of the issues - filling empty houses and storefronts will bring more people to the area. Then you would have more eyes on the streets and a larger tax base to draw from for services.

    As for the current ANC reps in Edgewood I have only met one in two years - Silas Grant. He is great I agree and regularly comes to Edgewood monthly cleanups and community meetings. I have never seen mine and I think that is a problem.

    If the ANC 5C can do something about crime, empty housing stock, the rec center and a growing senior population I would love for the current ones to start working on those issues!! I would be happy to do my part!

  3. Your post clearly suggests that people should vote in commissioners that will focus on bringing in new bars and restaurants. A ANC commissioners first responsibility is there 2,000 person SMD. I would hope that people wouldn’t go and vote for a person based on the needs of another community. Not that there not important.

    "If you want to see new development, restaurants and neighborhood bars than you want to elect someone that will represent your views over the next two years."

    "Thinking ahead now will help the Edgewood neighborhood have ANC commissioners in place when we have new restaurants and neighborhood bars come to our area as we gather more development."

    Your words not mine. I would hope that the focus would be on some of the bigger issues facing the community now....

    You can get the crime stats from MPD, PSA meetings or a Edgewood Civic meet. Maybe you missed the news about the two youth that were gunned down in less than a year. The rash of robberies that took place 2 months ago. The constant use of the rec center for drug distribution and drinking. The ADW's, Stolen autos, and other crimes that have stacked the PSA 501 stat sheet for years.

    And as far as seniors I'm sure your aware of the Edgewood towers that has a building that is dedicated to seniors alone. Most of the residents that live in the community our seniors or youth.

    Not to defend the current group of commissioners because they ALL have there faults, but I have seen every Edgewood commish at multiple community meetings over the years. And actively trying to better the community. They are volunteers we can’t expect them to make every cleanup or knock on new residents doors. However if people think there commish is doing a lowsey job there are elections.

    I respect your point of view, I just feel like the post was a bit out of touch.

  4. The post was about a specific issue that being the Bear Bear Cafe and ANC 5C debate over the liquor license and what we could do to prepare for those debates when they are about Edgewood.

    With your comments it has spread to more issues with ANC and Edgewood which I think is a great discussion. I have heard about the two shootings and robberies I just wanted to get real numbers and not hearsay. I will ask the officers at the next meeting where to get the numbers for posting.

    I hear you on the issues - but what are the current ANC doing to help improve them?

    I think there should be higher standards for ANC reps since they did volunteer and hold a public office. I think all SMDs should have monthly meetings so when they go to their ANC meeting they know what their 2000 people want, need, concerns and how to vote to represent them!!!