Friday, August 7, 2015

Marketplace Capicostia?

Penn Branch has some problems that won't wait, until 2012 [Movie poster for '2012', above].

I predicted trouble on the horizon for Penn Branch, just a few months back.

In spite of the fact that the good folk of Penn Branch are working very hard to feed their families and struggling to keep a roof over their heads, I fear a greater struggle may be ahead for us.

As Washington, D.C. descends further and further into the dark future of revenue-creating gateway communities rising, east of Anacostia, ..and the emergence of 'Business Improvement Districts' (or BIDs), west-of-River, I fear stable-but-static neighborhoods, like Penn Branch, will see the quality of their services (power, police, EMS) go down. Unlike Penn Branch, the BIDs, according to's Business Resources page, "collect a 'self tax' from property owners to provide services and programs to the entire BID...cleanliness, maintenance, safety, promotion, economic development, and other collective business issues", ..and all those services and amenities will have to be taken from somewhere. Here's where the trouble begins.

What kind of priority will City Hall give Ward Seven's request for fourteen more police officers on our streets, if our neighbor, Capitol Riverfront, fully loaded with revenue-creating retail (movies, shops, etc), upscale condos that we don't presently have, wants to bring those police officers to their neighborhood?

I fear the problems on the horizon for Penn Branch will be so directly related to the BIDs (presently Navy Yard/Capitol Riverfront, No'Ma, Georgetown and others) and the civic resources they command that some of us will be tempted to move out, if our leaders do not soon address this issue.

That's not a criticism of Councilwoman Alexander; nor is it a criticism of the dedicated firemen and law enforcement professionals, presently working in our communities. However, ..without sufficient funding of resources and personnel, we know they can only do so much, and that leaves us on our own, in some respects.

So, watch yourself out there, Brangler.

Mel Dyer