Anacostia Parks & Community Collaborative Questionnaire
Below are Erin’s answers to the Council Chair candidate questionnaire from the Anacostia Parks & Community Collaborative.
What makes you the best candidate to lead the city on climate and environmental justice issues?
I am dedicated to bold action to mitigate the climate crisis and correct for decades of chronic disinvestment in communities east of the Anacostia River. Every map of DC is the same, whether it’s access to healthy food; childhood asthma rates; government services like waste collection and litter prevention; the siting of industrial land and green spaces; or heat islands. These disparities are the result of intentional — and racist — policy decisions. I believe there is a better way forward — with new energy and fresh ideas to confront our challenges and build a brighter future for all DC.
I am not beholden to any of the corporate interests that have long swayed our elected officials and prevented meaningful change. I am participating in DC’s Fair Elections program, and I am the first and only candidate for DC Council Chair to participate in and qualify for the program. By forgoing corporate and political action committee donations, I am dedicated to being engaged with and accountable to our neighbors, not corporations and their lobbyists. My opponent is the only Council candidate running for reelection to opt out of the program.
I supported and advocated for passage of the Fair Elections program so that DC residents could make their voices heard. Being accountable to DC residents is especially important for climate and environmental justice, where fossil fuel corporations, construction companies, and other business interests have long held sway over our elected officials in setting climate policy. I care about the health of our planet and city, righting the wrongs of chronic disinvestment in our neighbors east of the Anacostia River — who have borne and will bear the brunt of climate change, and building a brighter future for our kids.
My DC Council Accountability Plan charts a new way forward for independent and ethical governance. Through proposals like an independent research service, neutral committee assignments, and a limit on revolving door appointments we can build a Council that is less susceptible to control by outside interest groups like utilities and fossil fuel companies. With new leadership, we can build a Council that works for the people of DC.
Climate justice and environmental sustainability impact every aspect of our lives. But, we often see government limited in its ability to act beyond specific subject matter areas and agencies that point fingers on broader issues. The Council — specifically, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie — recognized the importance of viewing all government action through a racial equity lens. Similarly, I believe every government action needs to be viewed through an environmental justice and sustainability lens, and I plan to institute Council and Executive Offices on Environmental Justice and Sustainability that review all DC government action for its impacts on environmental justice and sustainability — everything from zoning (and the siting and concentration of industrial land) to development standards to traffic safety to public transportation.
My kids inspire me to fight for climate and social justice. As a family, we have some basic rules: Every day we do something outside, we do something to learn, and we do something in support of the community. I think of community service as a daily practice, something that is never over and needs constant love and attention, just like our planet. And that’s because things can always be better and stronger, and I believe it’s important to constantly strive to improve our communities for future generations.
What are your top 3 environmental priorities for DC and how do you plan to achieve them?
Environmental justice and sustainability impacts our lives in so many ways. It’s not just the big issues like global warming, but also shows up in our communities as blight, disinvestment, crime, asthma, and cancer. We need an all-of- government approach to climate justice and sustainability, including waste audits, building energy performance standards, green procurement, mitigating the concentration of industrial land, and more. That’s why I’ve proposed Council and Executive Offices on Environmental Justice and Sustainability that review all DC government action for its impacts on environmental justice and sustainability. Implementing those offices and the far-reaching impact of considering all our legislation and government action through an environmental justice and sustainability lens is my single top environmental policy.
Too often our environmental efforts in DC have folded into tired narratives around the electrification of vehicles or other small-bore individual efforts rather than the systemic change required to bring about racial justice and mitigate the growing threat of climate change. While these efforts are undoubtedly good, we must do more, at a more ambitious scale, to lead the way forward for a more sustainable future.
In addition to a holistic view of environmental justice and sustainability, I am dedicated to green education and jobs; high-quality, equitable government services; and robust and reliable public transportation.
Green Education and Jobs: I am very supportive of a Green New Deal for DC, including the opportunities for education and good-paying, union jobs that come with these investments in preserving our planet. Dedication to environmental justice and sustainability can and should bring with it education and job opportunities. We have the opportunity to move away from industries that continue to pollute our communities and move toward clean energy.
We do not have to create these programs out of whole cloth. We can expand and build on existing programs in our community. For example, the existing Anacostia High School ReDesign that partners with the District Department of the Energy and Environment and the University of the District of Columbia to teach about water quality, urban agriculture, and land restoration is a model for other schools. The District Department of Energy and Environment’s Community Stormwater Solutions grant often includes projects that have an environmental and/or apprenticeship component with local schools. The University of the District of Columbia has workforce training programs in things like construction, early childhood development, and healthcare, and could be expanded to include environmental sustainability training. Programs like these are not just job creation opportunities, but also can save and improve lives.
We also need to refocus our existing government employment on green infrastructure opportunities. These employment opportunities benefit our communities by building capacity for green infrastructure on government
properties, as well as providing DC residents opportunities for skills-building and career advancement. We can build on existing capacities for joint training programs pioneered by labor unions in DC — the International Brotherhood of
Electrical Workers having pioneered solar, geothermal, and wind power apprenticeship programs in DC more than a decade ago.
High-Quality, Equitable Government Services: Every map of DC looks the same — and that’s because of a pattern of continued disinvestment in Black communities and systemic racism in every part of our government. DC residents want the same things — access to reliable government services, healthy and affordable food, high-quality and well-maintained parks and playgrounds, and safety in our communities. Building a more equitable city means not only ending patterns of discrimination but actively providing more resources to right historic wrongs. That requires more investments in greening the community, better access to food and parks, and dedicated efforts to end poverty in those neighborhoods.
We know that the impacts of environmental pollutants are disparately felt across the District, heavily impacting communities in Wards 8, 7, and 5 and public housing residents. The concentration of industrial pollutants is rooted in racist land use and zoning policies, worsened by decades of chronic disinvestment in government services — things like waste collection, litter prevention, and green space (including the maintenance of that green space!) — that might otherwise help mitigate the impacts. The siting of industrial land and the impacts of pollution must be a part of the Council’s consideration of legislation and oversight of agency action, and the Council must fund and demand high-quality, equitable government services.
One notable example stands out in my mind as highlighting our failures in government services and how our systems worsen inequities. I hold weekly neighborhood walks (Erin on Your Block) as part of my campaign, and I walked with neighbors in Ward 7 around Marvin Gaye playground. Neighbors had reported issues concerning dilapidated and damaged play equipment and playground surfacing for years. The issues were partly familiar — we have playground maintenance issues in my neighborhood, too, and have worked to repair and replace equipment and surfacing contaminated toxic materials. But the breadth of the challenges at Marvin Gaye playground and the consistently ignored community voices stood out. Thankfully, there have been recent repairs, but equity requires more. Our kids across DC — and especially in Ward 7 — deserve better. Meaningful DC Council oversight can help our agencies deliver well and equitably.
Robust and Reliable Public Transportation: Everyone should be able to rely on the bus and Metro to get to our jobs, schools, medical appointments, and grocery stores. Yet, we know that most of the people who don’t own cars live in the neighborhoods that have the worst infrastructure and access to public transportation. And that these same people are the most likely to be the victims of traffic violence. We also know that many of the neighborhoods without safe streets infrastructure and access to public transportation are the same neighborhoods that lack necessities and amenities. When we design and reinforce a commuter-centered city, that’s what we get, including all the pollution and traffic that comes with it. We should build a city for us — the residents of DC.
Safe streets, public transportation, and strong, neighborhood-focused communities are important to me. I don’t drive; I walk, ride the bus, and take Metro to bring my kids to school, get to meetings, and pick up what we need for our family. This is my daily life, and it’s the lived experience of many Washingtonians. I have been hit by a driver. I have been scared for me and my kids crossing the street. I have waited for a long-delayed bus and had nowhere to sit while waiting. I have struggled to push a stroller in areas with no sidewalks. I know it’s hard to get around DC safely and easily and it’s often hard to access basic services and amenities. I also know that values-driven leadership can deliver safety, accessibility, and amenities to all of our neighborhoods.
DC also has ambitious climate goals, but we will never reach those goals without reliable and affordable public transportation and walkable neighborhoods. Reducing DC’s greenhouse gas emissions and achieving carbon neutrality require a high-quality, interconnected public transportation network and intentional government action to reduce car dependence. As noted in a recent Climate Change Mitigation Study from the National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board, reducing automobile dependence by boosting public transit and making communities more walkable are the only way to effectively reduce air pollution and meet our regional climate goals.
Meaningfully reducing car dependence and doing so equitably requires intentional government action that puts our DC neighborhoods first. It means prioritizing the services used by working people in DC — through more and better bus service and redesigning our roads to prioritize bus service. Bus riders in the DC area are more likely than the general population to be people of color, to be low income, and to have limited English proficiency — and I’m not content letting their needs take a back seat anymore. My Safe Streets Infrastructure and Public Transportation Plan is a detailed, comprehensive plan to reduce car dependence equitably, center neighborhoods and communities in planning and providing amenities, and help meet our climate goals.
What approach will you take regarding two big contributors to climate change — building standards and transportation?
I strongly support legislation requiring that newly constructed buildings provide heat through electric heat pumps. Our current structure of constructing new buildings that rely on fossil fuels bakes in long-term dependence on fossil fuels when we need to dramatically shift course on carbon emissions.
Tying this requirement to new construction is smart and effective. It is significantly more efficient to require these changes for new construction than to go back later and mandate these changes. Phasing in electric energy by starting with new construction will allow time for increased electricity production, particularly renewable energy production. Electric heating and cooling is more cost-effective for residents, as well, particularly with projections showing the price of natural gas increasing over the next decade.
I’m also supportive of reconsidering our parking minimum standards for new construction. If we can reduce construction costs to improve affordability, increase density near transit hubs, and reduce car dependence it seems like a very easy action to take.
I also strongly support a 1% tax on real estate transactions over $2 million to fund voluntary upgrades to eliminate fossil fuel combustion and address air quality problems in homes of low- and moderate-income DC residents. It is essential to invest in correcting for longstanding disparities that have resulted in concentrated pollution and health impacts in Ward 5, Ward 7, and Ward 8.
As shown by my support for the recent tax increase on the very wealthy in DC to fund, in part, housing vouchers for 2,400 homeless residents and compensation for early childhood education workers, I believe in progressive taxes that fulfill basic needs and protect our most vulnerable communities. When DC was considering putting a price on carbon, the Chair (and another Councilmember) worked to strip a portion of the legislation that would provide fee rebates to low-income residents, a key equity component built into the proposal. I strongly supported the rebate.
My DC Council Accountability Plan calls for a number of institutionalized, nonpartisan resources and better use of existing entities that provide additional research and expertise to assist the Council in making laws and conducting oversight. These resources would assist the Council in proposing legislation and using revenue to ensure climate sustainability measures reach all our communities. These resources include:
- expanding dedicated, nonpartisan Committee support staff to ensure continuity, retention of institutional knowledge, and additional capacity to legislate and conduct oversight;
- re-instituting a comprehensive, nonpartisan, and objective research
service to assist the Council in crafting legislative solutions to DC’s challenges, including robust consideration of best practices across jurisdictions; encourage holistic knowledge building across Council offices; help the Council better target public funds toward evidence-based programs; and supplement the research work of the Council’s Office of the Budget Director;
- enhancing and increasing the use of the DC Auditor’s Office, including through additional hearings on important audit findings and enhanced Committee consideration and use of recommendations, as a tool to ensure robust, consistent oversight to improve agency performance; and
- expanding the work of the Council Office of Racial Equity to include review of the DC budget and Council operations, as well as requiring the Council to respond to racial equity impact assessments, including providing its rationale for supporting or opposing legislation that maintains or worsens racial inequity.
Transportation inequity has plagued DC for too long. Every map of our city looks the same because of a racist pattern of systemic disinvestment in our communities east of the Anacostia River, and transportation is no exception. Despite having some of the lowest rates of car ownership in our city, east of the Anacostia River neighborhoods are dramatically underserved by transit.
As a non-driver, I know how essential transit is and I’ve been through every Ward by public transportation. I’ve experienced the challenges from infrequent and unreliable trains and buses, which makes it more difficult to get to school and work, to grocery shop (particularly given DC’s food deserts), and to get to appointments. The lack of high-quality public transportation is not just an economic justice issue, but an environmental justice one as cars and trucks and highways bring higher volumes of pollutants into communities with the highest rates of childhood asthma in DC. We also know that the majority of deaths and serious injuries from high volumes of car traffic occur among our neighbors east of the Anacostia River.
We have to focus our efforts on improving our transit systems and ensuring they deliver equitably. That means rigorous analysis of the District Department of Transportation’s plans to ensure that they deliver separated bus facilities east of the Anacostia River to ensure that all residents have access to high-quality transit — even if they don’t live by a train station. We have to explore more ways to ensure frequent, easy bus service — like subsidizing pilots for off-board fare collection, fare free routes, and all-door boarding. I support expanding the DC Streetcar, and I believe the service provided must be frequent, reliable, fast, and cheap. That means I would insist that any transit plan for Benning Road deliver high-quality transit in a dedicated right-of-way.
Our oversight of Metro is critically important. Yet, our current Chair allowed Metro to languish with Jack Evans as his Board appointee, who was disinterested in Metro improvements for a half-decade and ultimately kicked off the Board for his corruption. In addition, I believe Metro should — and have asked Metro to seek — the full three percent subsidy increase from every jurisdiction every year. In the current context, the idea that Metro is leaving money on the table by not asking for the limited subsidy increases that jurisdictions have already essentially agreed to is beyond comprehension.
I’m also a strong supporter of Ward 6 Councilmember Charles Allen’s Metro for DC proposal to reinvest in DC bus service where it is most needed and provide access to free transit. In addition, I have led Advisory Neighborhood Commission 4B — where I serve as a Commissioner — in advocating for lowering barriers to the Kids Ride Free program to ensure everyone has better access to free transit.
My Safe Streets and Public Transportation Plan proposes additional innovative approaches to lower barriers to transit and enhance equity in our communities like:
- Expanding Kids Ride Free to automatically mail SmarTrip cards to every eligible public and public charter school student in DC (instead of requiring school coordination and pickup), allowing elementary students attending Title One schools receive a Parents Ride Free card that allows them to accompany their child, and explicitly encouraging use of these cards outside of school hours;
- Requiring colleges and universities in DC, including the University of the District of Columbia, to participate in the U-Pass program to expand transit access for students; and,
- Increasing access to discounted fares for seniors by using the District of Columbia Public Libraries as a Senior SmarTrip application and distribution point, like in Montgomery County, Maryland.
Sediment contamination in the Anacostia River has been studied for over 20 years. Sediment cleanup activities are finally beginning this year. What do you think should be the primary objectives of sediment cleanup on the Anacostia?
Sediment cleanup of the Anacostia River should mitigate toxicity to ensure fish are safe to eat and wildlife can thrive. We know most of the toxic sediment is coming from a handful of specific locations where chemicals from land leached into the river bottom. This ongoing pollution causes tumors in bottom-feeding fish and higher exposure to heavy metals by people who consume the fish. In typical DC fashion, efforts to remediate these sites are complicated by a mess of jurisdictional issues: Kenilworth Park (formerly a semi-regulated dump) which is now controlled by the National Park Service; the former Pepco site off Benning Road; a Washington Gas location along M Street, SE, contaminated with benzene; and Poplar Point, where the Architect of the Capitol used harmful pesticides years ago for greenhouses for plants in federal spaces.
We can achieve these goals by working closely with the Attorney General to hold polluters of landside toxic sites like Pepco and Washington Gas accountable for their contribution to this problem and require them to pay for remediation. Council leadership should also be committed to pushing other jurisdictional stakeholders to contribute to environmental remediation efforts and to maximize District control over these spaces. Public use and enjoyment of our green spaces should be at the heart of our actions and decisionmaking. We should see through plans to make these landside brownfields usable as public space.
When was the last time you visited Anacostia Park? What were your impressions of the park?
I recently attended the Anacostia River Festival. My favorite activity in Anacostia Park is Late Skate, which is such a beautiful, family-friendly, joyful use of public space that is open, inclusive, and a celebration of DC culture. I loved joining the Rainbow Ride last year to highlight biking in the Park and across DC and celebrating queer liberation history. I look forward to taking my three kids to the Aquatic Resources and Education Center and visiting the Anacostia pool once it’s swim season. I’m hopeful to take more advantage of boating opportunities along the River (but I’m not a great swimmer so I get a little nervous about boating).
Anacostia Park also benefited during the pandemic from the closure of Anacostia Drive, and it was wonderful to see that waterfront space returned for peaceful walking, biking, and playing. A similar situation has occurred in Ward 4 where Beach Drive was closed, but in the wealthier community serious consideration is being given to permanently closing the road while Anacostia Drive was immediately reopened despite serving less of a transportation function. I would urge the National Park Service to consider closing portions of Anacostia Drive to provide more equitable opportunities for recreation in our city.
While Anacostia Park offers so much to the community, I notice challenges around maintenance — much like challenges we deal with on our Advisory Neighborhood Commission in Ward 4 when public land involves multiple jurisdictions like the National Park Service and DC government agencies. This involves everything from mowing to cleaning litter and dumping to clean and accessible public restrooms to working drinking fountains. I’m dedicated to working with the Friends of Anacostia Park to make sure the DC government is carrying its weight and putting pressure on the National Park Service to deliver, as well.
In DC, the heat island effect closely replicates the city’s social and economic inequities (it is warmer in neighborhoods mostly populated by people of color). If elected/re-elected how will you mitigate the negative outcomes of urban heat islands that are disproportionately affecting DC’s densely populated neighborhoods with minimal trees.
I support implementation of the District Department of Energy and Environment’s and other DC government agency plans to address heat islands. In 2020, the DC government identified the neighborhoods most vulnerable to heat, including both temperature and residents’ sensitivity and exposure to heat.
Addressing heat islands requires greening, adding trees, and reducing impervious surfaces. The DC government’s heat vulnerability maps guide DC’s tree planting programs with the goal of 40% healthy tree canopy coverage by 2032. We’ve seen the need for greater enforcement for removing and damaging trees to make sure we reach our canopy goals.
Programs like the RiverSmart program, which applies to individual properties, can be expanded to serve neighbors on a block-wide or broader basis. I led a first-ever project to cooperatively pool individual homeowner stormwater mitigation efforts within my Advisory Neighborhood Commission on a block-wide basis, hopefully providing a model about how mitigation efforts can be sustainable and community-based. I would like to see greater use of stormwater features as traffic calming.
We also know that, like many issues, failure to provide maintenance and upkeep consistently damages our well-intentioned efforts. I have seen first-hand while volunteering in places like Pope Branch Park dead and dying saplings that were planted to restore the canopy but never maintained and then become eyesores. Too many bioswales and stormwater retention projects suffer from a lack of regular maintenance and become just holes in the ground. We have to be committed not only to constructing and planting, but to the day-to-day oversight and maintenance to consistently improve communities.
The heat vulnerability maps also address health and safety needs for those individuals most at-risk. A person’s type of housing, isolation, and access to services also impact vulnerability to high heat. While DC’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management agency manages cooling centers, there have been reports that these centers are not available, and we can work to improve communications around accessing those centers. I support fully implementing and expanding the District Department of Energy and Environment’s Community Resilience Hubs — community-serving facilities augmented to support residents, coordinate communication, distribute resources, and reduce carbon pollution while enhancing quality of life.
Currently, the Department of Energy and Environment regulates development in floodplains. How do you see foresee the long term effects of development in these areas being that climate change has caused sea levels to rise, and increased exposure to flooding in the DC area?
We see the effects of sinking ground and rising waters already around the Tidal Basin. One helpful mitigation strategy is restoring more of the banks of the River to wetlands and, where possible, removing the stone wall to allow the River to meander (which is better for water quality, as well).
We have to consider flood mitigation and climate change when planning for the use of large tracts of river-adjacent land. There are tremendous opportunities and risks for spaces like Poplar Point and RFK stadium. I am committed to delivering new opportunities like affordable housing — but also doing so in a way that restores the natural protections adjacent to the River and is thoughtful about the construction of new infrastructure. Part of my opposition to a new football stadium at RFK is rooted in the massive amount of impermeable space that supports a stadium and its parking. We cannot mitigate it sufficiently if we do not change the use of the land.
The National Flood Insurance Program provides a national framework for flood insurance, floodplain management, and flood hazard mapping, including building standards that help prevent flood damage, but it is important to remember that our local government can always do more and require higher standards in terms of new construction. My DC Council Accountability Plan calls for re-instituting a comprehensive, nonpartisan, and objective research service to assist the Council, including robust consideration of best practices across jurisdictions. This research service could provide essential support for determining ways we can strengthen our building standards to best prevent and mitigate flood risks.
In addition, while standards for new development are essential, we also cannot neglect the current residents in high-risk flood zones. While there are efforts to increase the requirements for new construction and substantial improvements, dedicated funding is needed to assist existing homeowners to upgrade their residences so that climate resiliency isn’t just reserved for new homes and new residents. I have worked extensively to bring neighborhood-level stormwater projects to Takoma, but our approach is new and novel and must be expanded.
We also need to do more to encourage the District Department of Transportation to construct projects sensitively in those areas and maximize the use of things like permeable pavement alleys and traffic calming bioswales.
My proposed Council and Executive Offices on Environmental Justice and Sustainability would provide holistic review of proposed developments in floodplain areas to consider their impact on the climate and the surrounding neighborhoods.
Would you support a bottle bill or other approach to reduce litter and illegal dumping in both the Anacostia River, the Park and Poplar Point?
There are some challenges to the effectiveness of a deposit system because of regional beverage distribution systems and a mix of DC government (via District Department of Public Works) and commercial trash hauling. Except for Hawaii, all bottle deposit bills in the United States were established before widespread curbside recycling. My DC Council Accountability Plan re-instituting a comprehensive, nonpartisan, and objective research service to assist the Council in crafting legislative solutions to DC’s challenges, including robust consideration of best practices across jurisdictions. This research service could help determine the best type of bottle bill for DC.
There are successful efforts at addressing litter and illegal dumping that deserve additional and sustained funding. Groups like Ward 8 Woods would benefit from year-over-year funding to allow their work to scale up over time. The District Department of Energy and Environment’s Community Stormwater Solutions grant program is wonderful and would benefit from more and larger grants. I was thankful to work with neighbors who received one of these grants to design and implement block-wide solutions to flooding in their homes. I would love to see greater investments in residential clean teams to address areas with large amounts of litter. Many of these neighborhoods do not have retail corridors for Clean Teams, but residential areas are just as deserving of additional efforts to keep our neighborhoods clean.
Targeted enforcement can also address litter and illegal dumping, particularly tied to corporations, developers, and property owners. We can continue to work with the National Park Service on partnerships for enforcement on federal land, as well as activate and better maintain National Park Service-owned land east of the Anacostia River. I support efforts by the interagency working group that is collaborating on enforcement against tire shops that knowingly participate in illegal tire disposal. And I believe in escalating fines for property owners — including risky flippers and developers — that engage in dumping. The District Department of Public Works’ enforcement team has suffered budget cuts for years, and I support providing sufficient funding for the Solid Waste Education and Enforcement Program and other efforts to curb litter and dumping. We have to focus our enforcement effort as a government first on large-scale commercial dumpers and use primarily education efforts for individuals and families. I would encourage the Office of the District of Columbia Auditor to analyze these programs to ensure we are striking a proper balance and our enforcement efforts are targeted for maximum effect.
Finally, pressure on our local government to set the standard and commit to the use of reusable containers (instead of single-use plastic water bottles, bottled drinks, and canned drinks) at events and within government offices is also important to reduce single-use plastics and bottles and cans that don’t make their way into our recycling systems.
Sixteen years ago, Congress passed legislation to transfer Poplar Point, which is 110 acres in Ward 8 next to the Anacostia Metro garage, from the National Park Service to the District. Nothing has happened. Poplar Point has development potential, but also has significant environmental qualities, including five protected wetlands, and a good deal of contamination from prior uses. A Citizens’ Poplar Point Working Group has formed and is having public meetings and workshops asking residents what should happen there. Are you aware of the Citizens’ Working Group? What do you think should happen on Poplar Point?
Poplar Point should be a space that serves the community. The area has faced serious environmental degradation, and the first step is to complete the environmental assessments and implement the proposals to remediate the human health and environmental impacts. With regard to development, Poplar Point will require significant wetlands/marsh along the edges, rather than developing along the riverbank. This presents an opportunity for boardwalks and public access to natural areas and the River.
The District must be intentional and dedicated in how it is using public land. I strongly support a focus on affordable housing and neighborhood-serving amenities, but also believe we need to re-envision the ownership of public land through ground leases or hopefully community land trusts. We know there is need for affordable and deeply affordable housing in DC, as well as green space that is open and available to the general public, but oftentimes selling for a nominal amount to a developer creates poor incentives for prioritizing both affordability and environmental stewardship. The greatest profit can often be made in development directly on the water (like the Wharf), but that is exactly the type of space we must dedicate to environmental mitigation. Switching to a community land ownership model changes the incentives around where and what we build and why.
Poplar Point is an opportunity for providing more affordable homes and homeownership and community-serving retail and amenities, as well as preserving green space for the use and enjoyment of our neighbors. It also represents an important opportunity to reconnect District neighborhoods to the Anacostia River. The Well is a novel model we can consider as we think about how to maximize our valuable green spaces. True community-serving development and environmental improvements would be so wonderful here, and I would love to see a boathouse!