Good afternoon and happy Mardi Gras, Capitol Hill and environs! It’s February 16 and we are still fenced off from the rest of the city. “Actually, THIH, we are not separated from the rest of the city by a fence,” you utter in that smug “actually” voice. And while it is technically true that we don’t have, say, a river separating us from the rest of town, our main east/west thoroughfares, Independence and Constitution, are still FENCED OFF and we need to come through Massachusetts Avenue in the north or underneath 695 in the south, thereby pushing neighbors to very nearly come in through NoMa and Southwest, respectively in order to get out or get back into our neighborhood. Please don’t trample symbolism with nitpicking. We all need to stay mad together.
Speaking of staying mad together, reader and neighbor Elizabeth Held wrote an opinion on the real and symbolic repercussions of a fenced-off Capitol. “Our presence was a demonstration that the government is — or at least should be — of the people, not separate and apart.” USA Today.
Another first-person look at how fear and terror have made security worse and more alienating– this time, examining a little-remembered threat from almost 40 years ago. The Atlantic
In case you missed last week’s town hall hosted by Eleanor Holmes Norton, you can watch it here. Some of you have expressed your frustration with the town hall, and especially with the comments from United States Capitol Police Assistant Chief Chad Thomas, whose lack of directness struck many as patronizing and not transparent. (WUSA-9
Delegate Norton just sent out a response she received to her request that Capitol Police communicate better with the community. It seems USCP may be amenable to adding their activity to DC Alerts. Norton Press Release
Incidentally, USCP leadership has been given a vote of no confidence by their own. The Executive Board of the USCP union voted overwhelmingly against their leadership last week. WJLA
This piece by the Washington Post on an MPD officer who took his own life a week after the riot hurts deeply. Suicide is rarely the result of a single traumatic event: the article examines the toll and the censure that police have been subjected to especially in this past year.
Jonetta Rose Barras takes a look at the efforts to defund MPD in a careful and multifaceted way. The DC Line
IMPORTANT: If you’ve been frustrated by the traffic, crashes, loss of life and overall car-centric culture along H Street NE, ANC 6A and 6C are hosting a special joint meeting tonight at 7 p.m. Read more about the meeting here and connect here via WebEx.
If you think that DC needs more transit equity, please sign this petition here.
Two city blocks spanning 2 million square feet, filled with living spaces, cafes and amenties catered toward residents and not so much toursts– that’s the behemoth coming to Buzzard Point starting 2022. Whoa. Washingtonian
A new podcast from WAMU, Through the Cracks, examines the disappearance of Relisha Rudd back in 2014.
If you are a DC parent, please consider signing an important petition drafted by the Ward 6 parent organization. The PARCC test (an acronym standing for Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) is a standardized test administered every spring at DC Public Schools. This year, however, administering the test would serve very little purpose: Not only does the PARCC necessitate additional staff, who are in short supply at all schools; it takes away valuable teaching time in the classroom; but testing children on subject mastery seems cruel in light of the fact that we’ve all been working hard at simply thriving this past year. Sign the petition here.
If you, like me, miss Metro a whole lot, this new study might make you feel a little better: the air down there is really rather bad and replete with fine particulate matter, and Capitol South is one of the dirtiest stations in the northeast. Ew. NYU Langone Health
Parting Joy: Dr. Jill Biden picked up some Valentine’s treats at the Sweet Lobby and we all near lost our minds. The Hill
Via Twitter, it’s infuriating to see places like the Teamsters, the National Association of Letter Carriers and other buildings still holding on to plywood. This series of tweets by user @calidream1029 reminds us that plywood, fencing and other coarse security measures only serve to keep our anxiety up but otherwise accomplish very little.