Carolyn Steptoe speaks on issues affecting Ward 5 and the city at large.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Correlation Between 'Historic' Designation and Urban Development


Ward 5 Resident Asks Question to City Council Candidate
Carolyn Steptoe

(Email rec' 7/16/06; Response sent 7/17/06)

"Hello Ms. Steptoe,

I have read your statement on development in Ward 5, copied here below. What relationship does your vociferous opposition to making Brookland a historic district have to this current statement? What methods would you
use to implement your aims stated below?

Thank you, "

Hello Ms. ___________:
Thank you for your email. I am pleased to respond to your question.
My continued opposition to historic designation as the primary strategy used for urban revitalization is based on the displacement of residents and disparate city services that routinely occurs. Historically, and with rare exception, studies have shown that cities using historic designation as a key strategy for urban revitalization experience wide-ranging negatives.
In order to abate the potential negative byproduct, I believe it is imperative we have full community involvement and participation. Community participation must occur prior to initiating efforts at neighborhood designation or large-scale revitalization. Currently, very limited and restricted Ward 5 community involvement exists regarding Ward 5 development legislation, initiatives, policy and direction. The "May 2006 Working Draft of the DC Comprehensive Plan" for example, outlines in detail the planned development and direction of our city. As you know, the Comprehensive Plan is outlined neighborhood by neighborhood, ward by ward. It is due to be finalized before the City Council in November.
However, most residents of Ward 5 are unaware of what has been proposed for our neighborhoods. We are unaware what our Ward 5 representatives have slated for our elderly, our schools, and our overall quality of life. Community participation is imperative when rampant development is occurring. My goal then is to ensure, to the best of my ability, full community knowledge and participation of residents as this revitalization occurs. Fair and balanced
services are key to full community participation.
I ask you to please refer to Campaign Release #1 (below). It provides additional perspective on this very important issue.
Thank you again for your question. I look forward to your support.
Kind regards,
Carolyn C. Steptoe
Ward 5 City Council Candidate - DC Statehood/Green Party
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