In June, with great consideration after almost 10 years of service and leadership, Reverend Ruth Hamilton, founder and chair of the Near SE/SW Community Benefits Coordinating Council (CBCC), stepped down from the board of directors. Coining the term “coordinating benefits for a caring community,” Rev. Hamilton’s leadership was the catalyst that helped CBCC build many bridges across the ANC 6D community and launch projects and community benefit agreements to maintain our diverse community as redevelopment progresses. From the tangible SW Playground Project at 3rd and I Streets, to the intangibles of holding various entities such as DC Housing Authority accountable to the residents of Southwest and Near Southeast, residents will continue to experience her mark on the community. The board sincerely thanks Rev. Hamilton for her many years of strong leadership, service, and dedication.

Kenneth LaCruise is the new chair, and Fredrica “Rikki” Kramer is the new vice chair. With a renewed focus and energy under the new team and with the strong foundation that Ruth Hamilton laid, CBCC is continuing to fulfill its mission to bring together organizations and individuals living or headquartered in SW/Near SE to ensure that redevelopment in ANC 6D maintains neighborhood diversity and improves residents’ quality of life.

As CBCC continues to advocate for community benefits, it is executing the community benefits agreement secured with DC United in December 2014, serving on the Wharf Advisory Committee to help community residents connect with pending job and training opportunities, continuing outreach and support efforts at our local public schools to engage broader enrollment of Southwest families, and undertaking a range of housing efforts so that redevelopment serves a full range of residents to keep our community diverse, including joining the Greenleaf Neighborhood Advisory Committee to advise on future planning. CBCC has played an integral role in securing Randall Recreation Center capital improvements so that it will be an attractive and functional community center to serve all sectors of the community. Thanks in part to CBCC’s efforts at Randall, new DC Parks and Recreation Director Keith Anderson chose Randall as the site to celebrate National Park and Recreation Month with its first “Recreation Day,” an extravaganza featuring fun activities, entertainment and food for the whole family on July 25.

Notably, the Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation recently offered a match grant of $5,000, challenging CBCC to independently raise $5,000 for ongoing operations by April 2016.

To learn more about the CBCC’s vision of advocating and coordinating benefits for a caring community, to volunteer, or to make a donation, please visit

By: Felicia Couts

CBCC coordinator

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