Georgetown Block Captains Honored at Citizens’ Concert in the Park
By October 2, 2023 0 735•
“Today, we saw both new and familiar faces. There is a new generation in Georgetown, and we loved seeing all the young families for the Sunday afternoon Concert in the Park, planned and hosted by the Citizens Association of Georgetown,” said CAG executive director Brittany Sawyer.
CAG volunteers and Sawyer welcomed more than 300 people at the annual event, held Sunday Oct. 1 in Volta Park — and sponsored by Nancy Taylor Bubes and Liz D’Angio with Washington Fine Properties.
“It was a perfect fall afternoon for a family gathering,” said CAG Vice President Stephanie Bothwell. “People from every demographic came.”
People spread out blankets and chairs and danced and clapped to the music of local group Trio Caliente. Dozens of toddlers, pre-teens, teens, their moms and lots of dads, friends and grandparents enjoyed the abundance of free popcorn and ice cream. Hot custom-made pizzas from a portable pizza oven set up next to the park were popular. Everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves without the need for bouncy houses and other fair-ground amusements.
CAG also used the occasion to highlight one of its important community programs: the neighborhood public safety block captains program.
“Block Captains serve as ambassadors for our blocks, creating a line of communication and a sense of community around safety issues that impact us all,” said CAG public safety committee co-chair Mark Martinkov. Through the Block Captain Alert System, alerts are sent out (typically by e-mail) by Block Captains as safety issues arise.
“Most alerts provide a synopsis of recent issues affecting the neighborhood and tips for crime prevention. Block Captains may request that CAG send alerts directly to residents of their block,” Martinkov said. “Through both the timely distribution of information on specific crimes and on various crime prevention initiatives, CAG Block Captains promote a safe environment and ensure that neighbors are made aware of crime levels in Georgetown.”
Martinkov and co-public-safety chair Kate Hasty recognized Greg Love as Block Captain of the year. “Greg took on extraordinary efforts to keep his block informed of breaking public safety incidents and emergencies — especially recently when the convicted murderer escaped from custody at George Washington Hospital and fled into our community,” Martinkov told The Georgetowner.
CAG is seeking to maintain 120 active block captains and is looking for volunteers.
“The CAG Block Captain program is as unique as each Block Captain,” according to Martinov. “The first step for any successful Block Captain is knowing your neighbors. Block Captains create a register of the neighbors on their block – a typical register includes neighbor names and contact information. This allows Block Captains to stay in touch with their block and distribute relevant information. As new neighbors move in, Block Captains seek to establish contact and educate residents about the benefits of participating in the Block Captain program. Whether dropping a note or speaking with neighbors face to face, Block Captains are approachable, friendly, and helpful and emphasize the importance of community cooperation to maintain the safety and quality of life of residents.”
Block Captains support other general safety issues that impact the block as well, writes CAG. Over the years, Block Captains have noted that issues on their block can impact safety from potholes to missing bricks on the sidewalk, downed trees and missing street signs. By staying in close contact with their neighbors and being aware of issues that arise, Block Captains can help direct residents to the proper resolution channels within the D.C. government.
The Citizens Association of Georgetown is a non-profit civic organization — one of the oldest in Washington, D.C. – focusing on historic education, and preservation, making Georgetown safer, more beautiful, and more connected. Its big gala is next week — Oct. 12.
“Our theme this year that will be highlighted at the CAG annual fundraiser Oct. 12 is that CAG is timeless. It offers a place and events for every generation and every Georgetowner, whether they have been associated with Georgetown for decades, multi-generations or are brand new to our community,” CAG President Tara Sakraida Parker told The Georgetowner.
“We are seeing historic numbers coming to our events. Everyone is welcome — especially to the Oct. 12 annual event.”