The Near SE/SW Community Benefits Coordinating Council (CBCC) will hold its Annual Meeting at Audi Field on March 5, from 7-9 p.m. The meeting will be in the Heineken Club room, which is just inside the Premium Entrance of Audi Field, between Gate A and Gate B at the corner of Potomac Ave. and First St., SW. The meeting will review CBCC’s work over the past year and moving forward, elect or reelect Board members, and hear input from the community on matters of mutual interest and concern.

CBCC serves all of ANC 6D’s jurisdiction, spanning both east and west sides of what is still the largest redevelopment effort in the city, and the fast accelerating development of Buzzard Point. It is the only local organization with the explicit mission of ensuring that ANC 6D redevelopment sustains social diversity. According to its bylaws, CBCC’s mission includes efforts to sustain neighborhood diversity, improve residents’ quality of life, participate in negotiating ANC 6D Community Benefits Agreements (CBAs), and address issues such as creating/maintaining a community or workforce center, maintaining housing diversity, providing quality education, and increasing neighborhood-oriented retail.  

The mission requires a working relationship with the ANC. Two ANC 6D Commissioners sit on CBCC’s Board and the Board also periodically provides a formal report to the ANC. CBCC adopted a set of six principles around housing mix and affordability, retail mix, open and common space, quality of life issues, and historic legacy, which continue to guide its critiques of redevelopment proposals that come before the ANC (see Six Principles to Guide ANC 6D Redevelopment, “The Southwester,”Nov. 2015). CBCC’s PUD Task Force tracks PUDs as they develop in order to identify opportunities for community benefits, and influence choices in areas such as housing, retail and common spaces, which might enhance social diversity and other iconic attributes of the community.

CBCC is also responsible for enforcing the CBA it negotiated with DC United. The CBA includes a number of benefits for neighborhood youth (such as soccer club, camp, game tickets, summer and seasonal jobs) and other SW residents (job and training efforts), limited use of stadium facilities for community functions and fundraising, as well as other stipulations to safeguard neighborhood residents’ quality of life. CBCC and DC United have been meeting regularly to ensure that these benefits are realized. CBCC has successfully negotiated for other community benefits, such as: $200,000 from Bernstein Companies that funded Randall Recreation Center renovation, additional programming funds from the Department of Parks and Recreation, additional slots and stipends for SW residents in pre-apprenticeship training in conjunction with construction of the Wharf, and a Build First commitment from the City Council in redeveloping Greenleaf.

Another aspect of the mission of CBCC involves working with other community organizations in addition to the ANC to ensure community interests are met as Southwest continues to be redeveloped. CBCC sits on several advisory bodies that impact how well redevelopment meets its objectives, including the Greenleaf Advisory Council, Wharf Development and Community Benefits advisory groups, and the SWNA Waterfront Task Force. CBCC also seeks more active relationships and joint membership with others, including the Amidon-Bowen and Jefferson PTAs, and Waterfront Village, to reinforce and advance mutual interests. CBCC has continued to testify routinely at Council and Zoning Commission hearings on matters that affect Southwest, Near Southeast and CBCC’s goals.

The Annual Meeting will review CBCC’s efforts over the past year and discuss issues in the coming year on which it can work with other organizations and activists in the community to make redevelopment better serve local residents, and to better integrate the interests of new entrants with those who hope to stay and benefit from redevelopment. The Annual Meeting is viewed as an opportunity to engage in a community conversation around these issues.

CBCC continues to look for additional task force and board members to strengthen and expand its work. The Board meets monthly. Other efforts and task forces meet as appropriate.

CBCC hopes that many Southwesters and Southeasters in ANC 6D will join them at the Annual Meeting. Those who would like to attend are asked to rsvp at 980-552-0024.

By Fredrica D. Kramer

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