Zadriuna Bridges, Amber Tucker, and Chelsi Hall, Howard University News Service
Located in Ward 5 on 371 Morse Street N.E., the monthly 5D ANC meeting took place on June 13 at 7:00 pm.
The meeting followed the given itinerary until Commissioner Kathy Henderson got into a heated exchange with a resident of Ward 5 saying, “I vote to not give out any money because plenty of times money was stolen out of the account.”
“She says she won’t let people steal money, yet she was the main one doing it to buy her daughter and herself a new laptop and cell phone,” said resident Sydelle Moore.
Henderson was asked about these allegations and claimed they were false. “People lie, it’s in their nature,” Henderson said.
The meeting continued for nearly three hours. Some community members were hesitant to express their concerns, however, Juanita Diggs was not.
After D.C. Police Captain Duncan Bedlion finished giving updates on the neighborhood, Diggs immediately responded. Diggs is a resident of the area who has consistently complained about trespassing in her neighborhood without any help from local police. “They held a block party from 4:30 pm to 4:30 am with loud music and hundreds of people. There were so many people in the street cars could not get by, and I called twice, and nobody came,” she said.
Diggs expressed her concerns about the lack of policing because of a disabled neighbor who frequently requires medical assistance. She then expressed, “I dare you to do what you say you’re going to do because my concerns are never addressed properly,” directly to Captain Bedlion.
Commissioner Bernice Blacknell was also concerned by the number of times Metro Police Department had allegedly ignored them because she had also experienced trespassing in her neighborhood.
Although many of the residents were taken aback by the meeting's heated exchanges, many were glad to end the session off with brighter news.
The District of Columbia Delta Housing Development Organization presented to the commissioners and residents of Ward 5, a new location of the Delta Towers, the senior community housing. The Delta Towers currently house 150 senior citizens and provides affordable housing in Northeast Washington.
The President, Antoinette White-Richardson stated that it was vital for them to present this to the residents of Ward 5 because “we are concerned about this community and we want to continue to provide affordable long-term housing to residents of the District of Columbia.”
The new location will be located at 1400 Florida Ave NE. It will house 170 residents with additional recreational rooms. Construction is set to begin in August.