Mayor Bowser paid our neighborhood a surprise visit during her community time on Wednesday afternoon. ANC Commissioners Sydelle Moore (5D05) and Bernice Blacknell (5D04) along with LCA vice-president Juanita Diggs gave the mayor a tour of our neighborhood and spoke with her for over an hour about the new strategies we've deployed to fight crime. As you know, for the first time in more than a decade our community has made it through the first quarter of the year without a murder due to a new, comprehensive approach to addressing the root causes of violent crime. Comm. Moore spent a lot of time speaking to agency directors about our progress and was happy to receive a promise of continued support from the mayor.
The group also discussed the challenges that we still face and the need for continued support and consistency with Mayor Bowser and Patrol Chief Lamar Greene. In addition to the need for ongoing anti-violence support, we also discussed graffiti, illegal dumping, illegal parking, vacant/nuisance property management and other long-neglected issues in our area.
As a note to the community, your increased 311 complaints over the past few months have helped make this type of advocacy a lot easier and Comm. Moore is asking every neighbor to speak up when they see issues. Langston has a track record of under-reporting issues to 311 as compared to other neighborhoods across the city. The more we report, the more agencies are aware of our issues and can request adequate funding to address them. You can call, email or even tweet @311DCgov using your smartphone as you walk around the community. Filing even one 311 complaint per week is an easy way for every neighbor to show that we take pride in our homes.
Press Conference: Litter Prevention Campaign
Comm. Sydelle Moore represented ANC 5D as Mayor Bowser officially announced that Carver, Langston, Kingman Park and Trinidad will all receive additional anti-crime resources this summer. Within hours of taking office in January 2019, ANC 5D petitioned the Deputy Mayor of Public Safety to include the hardest hit communities in our area with additional resources to combat crime. This is the first time in the history of ANC 5D that all commissioners have unanimously supported the Summer Crime Initiative.
Not only does the Summer Crime Prevention Initiative (SCI) bring additional police resources to communities struggling with violent crime, but mental health, addiction, job outreach and other wrap-around services. Comm. Moore met with violence interrupters, religious leaders, MPD and healthcare providers to encourage collaboration and discuss strategies for best utilizing these additional resources after the announcement. Since the new ANC 5D commission was seated in January, the Carver and Langston communities have not had any murders. Thanks to the new, collaborative approach of ANC 5D commissioners, this is the first time our community has made it through the first quarter of the year without a homicide in more than a decade. While the city overall has seen an uptick in homicides, our community continues to see an astonishing decrease in not only homicides, but violent as well as property crimes.
Below you can view the mayor's full press conference as well as a map of the area to be included in this summer's initiative.
2019 SCI Map
Violent Crime Continues Sharp Decline
I would like to take this opportunity to provide an update on the ANC 5D community’s progress in confronting crime.
For the first time in at least a decade, the ANC 5D community has made it through the first quarter of the year without a murder.
Clearly, human lives are a heartbreaking way to measure progress, but our community at least has some cause for cautious optimism. The ongoing challenges we face have not suddenly ended after just a few months of forward-thinking leadership and we should all be clear that we must remain vigilant in order to remain safe. For that reason, it is imperative that our officers and outreach workers be allowed to focus exclusively on their essential safety duties, especially as summer approaches.
With warmer weather, our community has traditionally faced more challenges; so neighbors, MPD, violence interrupters and behavioral health teams in our area will continue to find ways to address new challenges as our community works to find peace.
I hope citizens will seek out accurate information from trusted sources on this important topic. Our ANC meetings, civic association meetings, and community blog, as well as MPD's website, provide reliable content on this important topic. By ensuring that all neighbors are properly informed, we can work together as a community to continue to make smarter choices that literally save lives.
In shared hope for continuing progress,
Comm. Sydelle Moore, 5D05
President, Langston Civic Association
Vice-Chair, ANC 5D
Watch the Peace Summit Video
Despite recent incident, Carver Langston and other neighboring communities have seen a decrease in crime as compared to the same time-period last year according to statistics gathered by the Metropolitan Police Department. Most of the decrease in property crime is credited to an increased vigilance from neighbors about removing valuable from autos that had been targeted by thieves.
In addition to crime statistics ANC 5D also heard presentations from the Department of Public Works, Federal City Council on the Langston Golf Course Lease, Edens LLC on future development at Union Market and BYP100 on decriminalizing sex work in the District. The commission did not take votes on any of these presentations, which were all offered for informational purposes. You can view the full presentation at http://www.anc5d.org
During the first ANC 5D safety walk of 2019, more than 100 neighbors, activists, and faith leaders gathered for a march along Benning Rd. NE to call for an end to gun violence in our community. Family members, ANC commissioners, pastors, and other leaders spoke to those gathered about the importance of taking a comprehensive approach to ending gun violence and the importance of community involvement.
Friends and family members of victims spoke about the pain caused by senseless violence. Neighbor joined in prayer and shared hugs. "It was good to just get it out. You know, the sadness and it was good to see that people cared," said one neighbor who lost her brother to gun violence late last year.
This won't be the last march held in ANCs 5D04 & 5D05. Commissioners Moore and Blacknell are planning to host a series of anti-violence summits and town hall forums, to inform the community about the new, approach being taken to address our community's ongoing challenges with violent crime. The commissioners will be working with the Office of Neighborhood Safety and Engagement, violence interrupters from the Office of the Attorney General, the Department of Behavioral Health, MPD and the Deputy Mayor of Public Safety to address the root problems that cause continued violence on our streets in the weeks and months to come.