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Citizen Summit II
Neighborhood Action
Brochure published on September 30, 2001




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Neighborhood ACTION: Come Together, Work Together, Succeed Together

Strengthening Children, Youth, Families and Individuals
Building Sustainable Neighborhoods
Promoting Economic Development
Making Government Work
Enhancing Unity of Purpose

Citizen Summit II

Spirit of Neighborhood Action
Reception & Celebration
Thursday, October 4, 2001
6:30 pm to 8:30 pm
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
2660 Woodley Rd., NW

Saturday, October 6, 2001
8:30 am to 4:00 pm
Washington Convention Center
900 9th Street, N.W.

Broadcast live on Cable Channel 16

Citizen Summit II
Come Together to Shape the Future of the City

Dear Citizen,

Two years ago, three thousand citizens joined me at the freer Citizen Summit to launch Neighborhood Action. A great deal of progress has been made and 1 look forward to reporting to you the many accomplishments resulting from the work we have done together towards achieving our shared vision for the District.

There is still much to be done to ensure that all Washingtonians have what they need to achieve their full potential. Your participation is more important today than ever. The Control Board will be retired on September 30, 2001. Critical human services such as mental health and foster care have been returned to city management. We are entering a new era of one government, good government and self-government. However, government alone cannot do all that needs to be done. We must all come together -- the faith community, neighborhood leaders, nonprofits, businesses and citizens -- to succeed together. We have major challenges ahead that demand the host of each of us and all of us together.

Please join me on October 6 at the Citizen Summit II as we develop our Citywide Strategic Plan, which will guide our city over the next several years. The goals of this Strategic Plan are summarized in this discussion guide. I commit every agency in city government to meet the goals agreed on during the Summit. I ask each of you to identify what you can do within your family, community, organizations and work place to help the District reach these goals. The future of the District of Columbia is in all of our hands.

Anthony A. Williams

Keep this Neighborhood Action Discussion Guide as a reference during the Citizen Summit II. Register for the Summit at 202-727-0882 or www.neighborhoodaction.dcgov.org 

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Key Accomplishments Since 1999

At the first Citizen Summit, held November 20, 1999, more than 3,000 citizens came together to shape the future of the the District of Columbia and advised Mayor Anthony Williams about the priorities they wanted to see addressed. More than $700 of the District's budget has been targeted to reflect these priorities over the past two years. The following represent examples of progress toward achieving the major priorities identified by the citizens of the District of Columbia. .

Strengthening Children, Youth, Families and Individuals 

  • The Children Youth Investment Trust Corporation invested $12 million to support community-based programs for children and families. The funding supported:
    • Thirty-one community-based organizations providing out-of-school time enrichment and youth entrepreneurship programs.
    • Six parent development/early childhood centers.
    • Twelve out-of-school programs focused on communities East of the River.
  • The DC Tuition Assistance Program provided 1,899 grants for college to District students.
  • More than 8,900 day care placements are now available for low- and very low-income families.
  • Almost 5,900 young people obtained year-round internships and employment.

Building Sustainable Neighborhoods

  • Six recreation centers and 11 ball fields were either renovated or newly constructed since the last Citizen Summit.
  • Neighborhood-based planning workshops developed 39 citizen-driven strategic neighborhood action plans representing all District neighborhoods.
  • Juvenile homicides dropped from 28 in 1999 to 18 in 2000 - a decrease of more than 35 percent. In 2001 there have been only 2 juvenile homicides as of September 1.
  • The District's homicide rate is the lowest in 15 years. There were almost half the number of homicides in 2000 as there were in 1990. As of September 2001, the rate was more than 25 percent lower than the same time last year.
  • More than 1,408 abandoned properties have been abated and secured since the last Summit.

  • Teams of citizens regularly monitor the cleanliness of the District's streets and alleys using the 'Keep America Beautiful' rating system. As of July 2001, the ratings are as follows: 

    • Major roads such as Georgia Avenue are rated "clean" or "moderately clean"100 percent of the time.

    • High visibility streets such as Naylor Road are rated "clean" or "moderately clean" 93 percent of the time.

    • Streets in residential areas are rated "clean" or "moderately clean" 96 percent of the time.

Promoting Economic Development

  • More than 2,200 homes are being developed east of the Anacostia River for low-income families and individuals.

  • The District offered first-time homebuyers more than $10 million in mortgage loans at interest rates of 4 percent or below.

  • Construction is underway for the Kmart-Home Depot Shopping Center at Brentwood Road in Northeast -- the first new shopping center in the District in the past 20 years.

  • Local small and disadvantaged businesses were awarded more than $311 million in District agency contracts in 2000, an increase of nearly 500 percent. To date, the District has awarded more than $250 million in contracts to local businesses in 2001.

  • More than 5,000 District residents have been placed in private sector jobs since the first Citizen Summit.

Making Government Work

  • More than 900 blocks of neighborhood streets and alleys have been resurfaced.

  • The District has seen a 73 percent reduction in pothole complaints over the past year.

  • The DMV is meeting its commitment of an average 30-minute wait time for driver's licenses and vehicle registration more than 70 percent of the time.

  • The District's website - www.washingtondc.gov - receives more than 4 million visits per month and can be accessed at libraries and recreation centers.

  • Real Property Tax information for more than 160,000 properties is available online, reducing lines and making government accessible to residents and businesses.

  • By July 2001, the Mayor's tester program found telephone service at agencies greatly improved: 85 percent of District agencies answered their phones with courtesy, 95 percent provided knowledgeable information, but only 23 percent met the standard for good etiquette.

Enhancing Unity of Purpose

  • With four balanced budgets and four clean audits, District leaders were scheduled to regain management and financial responsibility for the Control Board on October 1, 2001.

  • Four of the federal receiverships have been terminated, returning operating control to the District government; the fifth receivership will be terminated by the end of 2001.

  • Legislation has been introduced in Congress to provide the District Congressional voting rights.

  • The District put the statement "Taxation Without Representation" on its vehicle license plates and now thousands of cars remind residents, commuters and tourists that the District lacks full voting representation.

  • The first-ever Youth Summit gave more than 1,000 young people a voice in the city's strategic plan. Legislation establishing an official Youth Advisory Council is pending passage in the District Council.

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Strengthening Children, Youth, Families and Individuals

The focus of the Strengthening Children, Youth, Families and Individuals plan is to address the systems that serve children and families. It will implement strategies that work, improve coordination and partnership among child and family service agencies and focus on youth development that sets clear and high standards and builds on the strengths that exist within families.

The District's agency efforts are now focused on expanding the availability of services, aligning enrichment and recreational activities to support academic learning, and improving access to basic services such as health, job training and literacy programs.

The Strategic Plan identifies various approaches the government will undertake to help families. Key to these approaches will be the need to work in partnership with community-based organizations, educators, the faith community and businesses to achieve the goals.

The major goals and actions for addressing the needs of children, youth, families, and individuals are to ensure that: 

Children are ready for school

  • Conduct system-wide screenings of four-year olds prior to school entry.
  • Increase funding and slots for infant and school age child development programs, including nontraditional programs in high need areas.
  • Expand availability of educational resources for parents.

Children succeed in school

  • Provide more cross-functional counselors to deal with mental health, truancy and social work issues.
  • Ensure all students take standardized tests for college entry and expand access to advanced level courses.
  • Provide more mentors and role models.
  • Align activities of community organizations with academic standards.
  • Provide school-based mental health services.

Children and youth live in healthy, stable and supportive families and environments

  • Establish a network of parent development centers.
  • Create a network of caregiver and respite services for seniors and special needs populations.
  • Ensure enrollment of children and families in DC Health Care Alliance.
  • Improve screenings for pregnant women.

All youth make successful transition to adulthood by choosing healthy behaviors

  • Expand recreational programs.
  • Provide entrepreneurial training programs for youth.
  • Train children and parents on the importance of proper nutrition and healthy eating habits.
  • Implement programs to prevent teen pregnancy
  • Increase drug and alcohol treatment.

Seniors are valued and live with dignity and independence in community settings they prefer

  • Develop respite and training services to support family caregivers.
  • Increase availability of affordable housing for the elderly.
  • Establish additional Senior Wellness Centers.
  • Collaborate with District of Columbia Public Schools to enhance intergenerational programs between our elders and our teens.

People with disabilities live with dignity and independence in community settings they prefer 

  • Provide supportive employment services.
  • Increase opportunities for disabled persons to live in lessrestrictive settings in communities with appropriate supports.
  • Build public support for 'needs-based' zoning changes to allow specialized care homes in the communities.

 All residents have opportunities for lifelong learning

  • Enhance family literacy programs and services.
  • Expand availability of neighborhood-based adult literacy services.
  • Increase access to technology and the Internet through libraries, Rec Centers, and the creation of 'cyber-centers.'
  • Expand English-as-a-Second Language (ESL) classes for students and Saturday Stars program (ESL for parents) in public schools.

Neighborhood Action Discussion Guide

The Mayor and District employees worked throughout the past six months to assemble and prioritize the most critical goals and activities that need to be accomplished over the next three years. The goals come from a variety of places. Citizens will recognize many goals from the first Summit -- areas where we have made progress and need to make snore. Other goals have emerged from the 39 Strategic Neighborhood Action Plans developed this year in neighborhood meetings. And some goals come from the Mayor himself: The following is a summary of those goals and actions according to the five strategic priorities.

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Building Sustainable Neighborhoods

Since Spring 2001, the city's neighborhood planners have worked closely with the citizens to develop Strategic, Neighborhood Action Plans - SNAPs -for all of the 39 neighborhood clusters throughout the city. Through their SNAPs, neighborhood residents have established the essential ingredients for a healthy neighborhood and action priorities based on the unique challenges and Assets of their neighborhood.

The primary focus of building sustainable neighborhoods is to ensure that the District agencies that can make neighborhoods clean and safe such as police, public works, and others understand the priorities and needs of each neighborhood and tailor their service delivery to meet those needs. Clean and safe strategies and priorities are linked with priorities in economic development as well as the individual neighborhood priorities as identified by SNAPs.

All community-based planning and partnership activities are being brought under the umbrella of Neighborhood Action, so that there will be one strategic plan for each community. The agencies will deliver services as identified and prioritized by each neighborhood.

The major goals and actions for building sustainable neighborhoods are to:

Link service delivery to the unique needs and priorities of each neighborhood

  • Ensure linkages among SNAPs, work plans for persistent problem areas and community policing strategies.
  • Expand agencies participating on the Neighborhood Services core team to include all applicable citizen service agencies.
  • Track each agency's progress in meeting each neighborhood's goals and timelines.
  • Revisit and revise plans continually, providing feedback to community.

Enhance safety and order in public places — serving and empowering communities

  • Create safe places to live, work, and play by continuing to build police-community relationships, and ensuring swift and effective investigations and prosecutions of all crimes.
  • Rebuild the District's tree canopy
  • Respond to and swiftly resolve environmental problems that affect neighborhoods.
  • Improve, expand, and preserve public spaces and recreation services for community activities in the neighborhoods.
  • Initiate transportation planning efforts and develop strategies to enhance safety in the neighborhoods, decrease traffic congestion and improve commuter traffic routes.

Enhance sense of security in private spaces - serving and empowering individuals

  • Promote neighbors helping neighbors through programs that support and encourage civic participation like the Adopt-a-House initiative.
  • Help people help themselves through programs and activities that teach individuals how to protect their personal safety, their property and their rights.
  • Help those who need more by providing neighborhood-based specialized services and support for victims of crime, and families and individuals in crisis.

Integrate special needs populations into communities

  • Establish a fair and transparent process to make location decisions for community-based residential facilities,
  • Provide literacy and educational services, vocational training, employment opportunities, substance abuse and mental health services to special needs populations.
  • Coordinate supervision and improve management services for special needs populations in the community to ensure the public's safety and minimize any negative impact on surrounding neighborhoods and residents.

Engage residents and sustain their participation in their neighborhoods

  • Consolidate and coordinate opportunities for citizen input in neighborhood planning and tracking.
  • Increase citizen participation in problem-solving efforts by creating more opportunities and by providing the necessary tools.
  • Leverage existing citizen and civic associations and projects in each neighborhood, building on successes in neighborhood planning and revitalization.

What Happens at the Summit?

On October 6, citizens from across the District of Columbia will meet with Mayor Williams, his Cabinet, the City Council and other city leaders to:

  • Review and celebrate what has been accomplished in the District since the last. Citizen Summit.
  • Review the draft Strategic Plan and identify what needs to be done to keep moving toward our vision for the, City.
  • Identify and prioritize issues of specific concern to residents in their own neighborhoods.

Each participant will he asked to sit at a gable with citizens from other parts of the city. With the help of a trained facilitator, citizens will be guided through a series of discussions about the City. What should he the focus of efforts in the next three years? What are the major issues facing our neighborhoods?

Using technology, every citizen's voice will be captured during the any as part of the record of this historic event. Throughout the Summit, the Mayor will respond to the key ideas in each discussion.

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Promoting Economic Development

To achieve and maintain a healthy economy, the District must come together to support all neighborhoods, but invest in revitalizing those neighborhoods most in need. To attract and retain businesses, the District must provide a trained workforce that is capable of filling the jobs that businesses provide. To build a solid tax base, the District must retain and attract residents who want to live and own homes in the District.

Again and again, citizens raise concerns about two very significant issues: the cumbersome procedures and legal requirements that hamper efforts to rid our neighborhoods of vacant and abandoned buildings and the displacement of long-time neighborhood residents that sometimes occurs when housing values increase and new residents move into a neighborhood.

With these issues in mind, we must:

Preserve and rehabilitate the District's affordable housing

  • Provide bond financing and tax credits to housing providers.
  • Complete construction of HOPE VI developments.
  • Supply more families with Section 8 vouchers.
  • Freeze property tax increases for seniors and longtime residents in neighborhoods where housing values are rapidly increasing.

Increase production of new housing

  • Condemn and demolish abandoned/vacant properties and take ownership from absentee owners.
  • Rehabilitate homes first and then sell homes through the Homestead or other programs.
  • Abate real estate taxes for new housing units downtown and outside downtown.

Increase homeownership opportunities

  • Provide low- and no-interest mortgage loans.
  • Provide down-payment incentives and mortgage assistance to District residents.
  • Authorize historic housing tax credits for residents who rehab homes in historic areas.
  • Establish individual development accounts to help residents save funds necessary to own a home.

Attract new industries and provide job training to residents

  • Expand efforts to bring the insurance, financial services, banking and trust companies to the District.
  • Reduce unemployment costs to employers.
  • Increase civilian labor force.
  • Link training to employment growth sectors.

Provide support to businesses by improving regulatory processes

  • Expand third-party construction inspection process and building plan review process.
  • Revise permitting process to allow completion over Internet.
  • Cross-train inspectors in all disciplines to inspect and approve single- and two-family dwellings.

Increase access to capital

  • Establish program to assist local banks in making loans for small, minority and women-owned businesses.
  • Expand One-Stop Capital Shop program with satellite locations.

Promote retail and commercial activity in neighborhoods

  • Prioritize the re-development of Brownfield sites when considering future retail developments.
  • Provide technical assistance to existing small and local businesses.
  • Establish the DC Main Street program to focus on redeveloping commercial corridors.
  • Initiate a Target Neighborhood Investment initiative to focus public and private investment to support neighborhoods with significant need.

What is Neighborhood Action?

Neighborhood Action is designed to give voice to our shared vision fir the city and to empower citizens to improve their communities. Neighborhood Action mobilizes and coordinates the resources of government businesses, faithbased organizations, community organizations and citizens to shape the future of our city and neighborhoods. In addition to the Citizen Summit II, Neighborhood Action:

  • Conducted the, first Citizen Summit with 3,000 citizens to develop a shared vision and plan for the city.
  • Conducted the Youth Summit for nearly 1,.500 young people from ages 14-21, resulting in the creation of a permanent Youth Advisory Council.
  • Spurred Neighborhood Planning efforts in each neighborhood in the District, involving citizens directly in creating visions and action plans for their neighborhoods.
  • Established Neighborhood Services -- a revolutionary- approach to tackling tough problem areas in neighborhoods.

There have been many successes demonstrating the power of the Neighborhood Action. On October 4 we will come together to honor those citizens and community partners who are working hard to achieve our shared vision of the District of Columbia.

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Making Government Work

Citizens expect their government to work-they expect trash to be picked up, snow to be removed, phones to be answered, and employees to be knowledgeable and courteous. The District government is working to meet citizen expectations by ensuring reliable, cost-effective customer service; investing in training the District workforce to meet the new standards embodied in the Citywide Strategic Plan; and committing to holding all employees accountable to the residents by setting our goals based on their input and reporting on results regularly.

To build on improved customer service and to address the challenges, the following goals and actions are proposed:

Ensure all government operations deliver high quality customer service

  • Provide all residents with reliable and easy access to government services and information.
  • Respond promptly to all citizens' calls, letters, and requests for service and information.
  • Handle all resident contacts with the' highest level of professionalism and customer service.

Make an easily understood schedule of city services readily available to residents

  • Ensure all city services are delivered in a thorough, timely, and efficient manner.
  • Ensure effective and timely delivery of:
    • Scheduled services such as on-time trash collection.
    • Services upon request such as removing abandoned automobiles and filling potholes.
    • Emergency response.
    • Seasonal services such as leaf and snow removal.
    • Licensing/regulations such as drivers licenses, building permits.
    • Preventive maintenance such as resurfacing streets and alleys and tree trimming.
    • Tax administration such as payment refunds.

Increase investment in the District's workforce

  • Promote currently available training and professional development opportunities for employees.
  • Review existing training programs against agency needs to identify gaps in the District's training curriculum.
  • Develop and fund future training curricula targeting the knowledge and skills needed to succeed in specific positions.
  • Engage the District's workforce in reviewing and evaluating progress on citywide and agency strategic goals regularly.

Develop a citywide environmental policy agenda with the government leading by example to improve the quality of life of District residents, businesses and visitors

  • Continue agency-based environmentally sensitive initiatives including fleet-management vehicle standards, lead paint abatement and purchasing guidelines.
  • Establish citywide environmental policies including government recycling and environmentally sensitive transportation alternatives.
  • Collaborate with the Washington Area Sewer Authority (WASA) to clean our city's rivers through improved storm water management.

Strengthen government support agencies to improve front-line service delivery

  • Provide every city agency with effective services in purchasing, human resource management, real estate and information technology.
  • Implement an effective labor-management strategy
  • Expand the number of partnerships between labor and management focused on joint initiatives leading to improved performance and achievement of agency strategic goals.
  • Negotiate a new compensation and classification system and implement pilot performance pay programs.

Achieve results through continuously improving financial and performance management

  • Develop and present the city budget on a programmatic basis tied to performance goals.
  • Improve financial management practices to lower the cost of borrowing.
  • Improve tax collection and compliance.
  • Reduce the structural imbalance in the District's budget and financial plan so that expenditures never exceed revenues.
  • Establish an accountability system for all District agency employees that is based on the Strategic Plan and the Performance-Based Budget.
  • Develop reporting systems that provide financial and performance information that are clear and informative to the general public and comply with Congressional and Council requirements.

Which of the five strategic priorities is most important to the City?

What is the most important action for government to take on this priority?

What can you do to make a difference on this priority?

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Enhancing Unity of Purpose

For the District of Columbia to become the world-class city its residents envision, it is necessary for every sector of our community to join together behind a common agenda in a unity of purpose. Government must do its part for the community-but so must our City's key foundations, the faith community, businesses, nonprofits, labor organizations, other government entities, and citizens. Enhancing unity of purpose fosters the development of shared priorities and common goals for the District of Columbia, and aligns the community's resources to achieve these goals. It empowers citizens and employees, nonprofits and businesses to play a greater part in City governance, and works to ensure a greater voice - and support - to the community. To achieve the major goals and actions to enhance unity of purpose, we must:

Build partnerships with volunteers and organizations to implement the citywide strategic plan and strategic neighborhood action plans (SNAPs)

  • Expand the number of organizations in the business and nonprofit sector that commit time and resources to meet goals of the Strategic Plan and SNAPs.
  • Expand number of people who volunteer their time to meet goals of Strategic Plan and SNAPs.

Engage DC employees to implement the Strategic Plan and SNAPS.

  • Inform and equip employees at all levels so they can be part of implementing the plans.
  • Coordinate with organized labor to ensure vital input into government priorities and initiatives.

Enhance collaboration with ANC's to implement the Strategic Plan and SNAPs.

  • Provide trainings for ANC members.
  • Provide each ANC with website, bulletin board, and other organizational support.

Enhance cooperation among regional governments to achieve common goals

  • Develop partnerships. with surrounding jurisdictions to set common goals and strategies for improving air quality, water quality, sewer overflow, transportation issues, and other areas of shared interest.

Strengthen partnership with federal government to implement the Strategic Plan

  • Remove procedural barriers to reduce unnecessary layers of oversight.
  • Increase federal funding for the District, establishing fair compensation for non-funded burdens created by large federal presence.

Gain voting rights for DC residents

  • Gain support from public officials and association members in support of voting rights.
  • Educate citizens and visitors to DC about the Taxation Without Representation movement.
  • Continue to push for House and Senate hearings on DC voting rights.

Increase citizens' access to public information about services

  • Publish a Citizen Services Directory to give citizens clear and well-organized access to information about services.
  • Expand public access to the Internet and provide free Internet training.
  • Provide District Services Bulletin Boards to give citizens access to information on the Internet.
  • Increase access to government services on the Internet.

Enhance dialogue between citizens and public officials

  • Broadcast weekly programs on Cable 16 and broadcast TV about issues of interest to citizens.
  • Host Town Hall meetings with Mayor, Council, and Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners in every ward every year.
  • Update the citywide strategic plan regularly through Citizen Summits and other special forums. Update Strategic Neighborhood Action Plans regularly.

What Happens After Citizen Summit II?

Immediately after Citizen Summit Il, the Mayor and his cabinet will incorporate citizen input in the draft Strategic Plan. This Plan will again he reviewed with citizens at a Citizen Summit II follow-up session in early December. At this meeting, citizens will have one more opportunity to comment on the Plan.

Mayor Williams will submit the final Strategic Plan with the fiscal year 2003 proposed Budget and Financial Plan to the City Council. The Mayor's proposed budget will be driven by the citizens' priorities as reflected in the Strategic Plan.

Through a number of activities outlined throughout the Strategic Plan, citizens will he continually involved in activities at the neighborhood level as well as citywide. Through scorecards and other reporting opportunities, the District's citizens will he informed about accomplishments and progress toward achieving our goals.

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