Citizens’ Annual Meeting: Bowser Q&A, Members Honored 


A vigorous annual meeting of the Citizens Association of Georgetown at Dumbarton House on May 3 featured a good hour-long earnest face-to-face town-meeting-style Q&A with Mayor Muriel Bowser and another half-hour with Ward 2 Council member Brooke Pinto. The meeting included reports from the heads of CAG’s active committees as well as awards given to significant Georgetown community supporters.

Bowser answered questions and asked for suggestions from CAG members for their visions about what should be done on some two dozen hot Georgetown topics. Those included decades-long problems with rats, sidewalks (from tar covering bricks to scooter safety), homeless encampments, the conversion of 28th Street to one-way; and projects for the approximately $3 billion of federal tax money the city is expected to get for infrastructure projects (maybe partly to fund restoration at the Mt. Zion cemetery, the mayor suggested). She also emphasized the need to keep her whole budget for police retention and recruitment.

The mayor also responded to four major concerns brought up by CAG members: 1) heavy fines for long-term vacant commercial property? “It’s being considered,” said Bowser. “Sometimes they work, sometimes not but give us your ideas.” 2) One-side residential parking only for streets abutting Wisconsin and M Streets, NW? “Also being considered,” said the mayor; 3) Visible continual parking enforcement throughout Georgetown especially of out-of-district cars: “I got it,” said Bowser. “I’ll check.”; And, 4) Restaurant night closing hours regulated whether they serve alcohol or not? “What do you suggest?” asked the mayor. “Make them standard throughout D.C.,” answered CAG members.

Council member Pinto spoke of a literacy project getting Council support and that Hardy Middle School had been considered being converted into a Georgetown high school, which it will not. The new school will be on MacArthur Boulevard at the site of one of the campuses for Georgetown Day School.

CAG President Tara Sakraida Parker and Pinto then awarded five distinguished service awards to Pamla Moore, Christi Cline, Becky Schwartz, Dr. Sachiko Kuno and Elsa Santoyo. New board members were elected and retiring ones recognized. A video highlighted 2021 activities of CAG’s committees. During that time, the organization’s administration was restructured, it moved into a permanent headquarters, a townhouse next to the C&O Canal on 30th street, and ended the year fiscally sound and set to grow.

Mayor Muriel Bowser speaks at the annual meeting of the Citizens Association of Georgetown at Dumbarton House May 3. Photo by Bill Starrels.

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