I just read the article on the DC Students Speak website which outlines the problems they have had in Georgetown with the local civic associations. The post addresses the issue of the role of the civic associations in DC and who they actually represent.
This hit me close to home because I often wonder about this in the Edgewood community. From attending community meetings and talking to some people in the community it seems while some are oblivious to the existence of Edgewood Civic Association (ECA) there are others that seem to think it is an important part of community. In concept I believe that civic associations are a great tool for a community if used and run correctly. The ECA last year had less than 40 members which is only 0.4% of the community that they claim to represent. (Full disclosure: I am a member and have been for 3 years although I do not agree with everything that they do and do not feel welcomed at all times.) The ECA has boundaries which include the neighborhoods of Edgewood and Eckington which is roughly 10,000 people (per 2000 US Census could be more now). The ANC frequently takes into account what the civic associations have to say on a matter before them and developers come to them for letters of support. I think that it would be just if when the associations present or offer support to a project they include a membership total number instead of stating they represent the entire community. What do you think?