By Fredrica Kramer
Now that the Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) with DC United Community Benefits has had a full year of implementation, the Near SE/SW Coordinating Council (CBCC) reports that the CBA, which CBCC enforces, is seeing increasing payoffs for the community.
Among the benefits stipulated, the CBA includes the opportunity for local nonprofits to operate concession stands as fundraisers at DC United games. During the 2019 season, CBCC operated or supervised nine fundraising events, producing over $5,000 for three nonprofit organizations that participated.
The community also receives revenue through the full-page ads in “The Southwester” that DC United promises in the CBA. These ads are now appearing monthly and are used both to advertise DC United games as well as other opportunities and events that DC United offers. For example, the CBA promises 12 summer jobs for young people through DC’s Summer Youth Employment Program (SYEP) and 12 seasonal jobs to learn about the sports and entertainment industry. The ad in the December “Southwester” announced DC United’s job fair that took place at Audi Stadium.
The CBA also includes scholarships for low-income children ages 5-17 in the DC United Summer Camp. CBCC facilitated a connection to a local soccer coach to ensure that Ward 6 youth might become candidates for invitation to the team’s sports clinics and a scholarship for DC United’s professional Training Program. As part of the CBA enforcement, CBCC now meets with DC SCORES, which operates soccer, child literacy, and healthy lifestyles afterschool programs. The CBA provides free game tickets for our local youth, which DC United has been distributing regularly to our three local schools.
As part of the CBA and ensuring that DC United becomes a good neighbor in Southwest, the team has begun discussions with CBCC and Unity Health Care to explore the possibility of developing a primary health care facility in the community. Unity will have a small clinic in the new transitional housing facility on Delaware Avenue, but that will not replace the larger facility that was lost when that site was redeveloped, nor will it satisfy the community’s needs as the whole of Southwest, including Buzzard Point, grows exponentially over the coming years. Related to this effort, DC United has brought CBCC into discussions with the Buzzard Point Owners Committee, which will amplify the community’s voice on other matters of concern in the rapid development of Buzzard Point. The CBA further guarantees that community nonprofits can use stadium facilities for a minimum of three community days when not in use by the team. DC United has been generous in making meeting space available and CBCC looks forward to working with them to expand creative use of the stadium to serve the community. Interested groups can contact CBCC (www.seswcbcc.org/contact-us) to help realize this promise.