Greetings to all,
Somerset Place NW, between 14th and 16th Street NW is under rebuild. Already, high end and well made concrete driveways have been installed.
This is a significant project in that this street, which contains all apartment buildings in a lower income minority area, has been in need of rebuild for many years. In my mind, this project symbolizes the end of the long history of shorting minority areas for infrastructure.
There are three people I would like to thank for their interest in and support of this area:
Mr. Andre Lee, DPW SWEEP inspector, who has a member of Ward 4 Core Team when I was the Ward 4 Service Coordinator, made sure our Team took ongoing action in the Fort Stevens area.
Ms. Gerri Adams-Simmons, former President of the Brightwood Civic Association, who took a keen interest in all the Brightwood apartment buildings, including Somerset Place.
Mayor Adrian Fenty, who as CM legislatively removed the requirement that abutting property owners pay for curbs and sidewalks. This allowed sidewalks and curbs to be built in many areas that did not have them.
I would like to thank Director Dorsmjo for his efforts and leadership of DDOT; he built upon previous success, improved our city, and has set up the next Director for ongoing success. There is no doubt that our infrastructure and transportation systems improved during his tenure. This no small feat; we are an older city and our infrastructure fared very badly during the time of our financial difficulties. I can say that he and his staff responded to many, many requests I made.
We still have much to do. As residents, we need to make the Mayor aware that we need to include sufficient funding for DDOT, and we need to be vigilant and report problems, especially in areas that have no adjacent residents. The Council can help by enacting legislation that expands the size of the DDOT staff and supports new and innovative technologies. DDOT should have independent contracting authority, allowing DDOT to award contracts faster and at lower cost.
Again, my deepest appreciation and thanks to all who helped rebuild Somerset Place NW.