After much discussion and a bit of fanfare over the Vendors Market in Unity Park, the Adams Morgan ANC passed the resolution* with two "friendly" amendments. (See resolution passed below).
The diversity was heard in the comments from business owners, homeowners, apartment renters, and everyone else who spoke up.
The conversation is far from over. In fact, the two most vocal anti-vendors' market individuals were gaveled down for shouting after an hour of discussion and the question was called. They'd both already spoken and had ample opportunity.
The BID has called stakeholder meetings with the affected parties: the ANC, OLA, 4 businesses on the same block, the Department of Health, the GHCOC (greater hispanic chamber of commerce), and the two grumpy men. The press is there to cover it. Progress is being made. Bringing the parties to agree is not an easy project to take on.
The one conversation missing in the discussion was any concrete plans to help the Latino small businesses in this block of Columbia Road. They are hurting and their expenses are high. I believe in special marketing and the BID has some new ideas in motion. Hispanic businesses have been a part of this block of Columbia Road long before I arrived in 1972. The economy is bad now; the rents are high; but we keep getting thousands to drink here on Saturday nights. Look for more diversity to come from these discussion.
Next meeting of the Stakeholders of the Vendors Market in Unity Park will be in the Offices of the College Summit, 1763 Columbia Road, NW, basement meeting room, Monday, September 20, 5:00 PM
Resolution Regarding Office of Latino Affairs (OLA) Incubator Microbusiness Program at Unity Park
Whereas in October of 2008 ANC 1C voted is support of the Office of Latino Affairs establishing an incubator microbusiness program at Unity Park in Adams Morgan; and
Whereas the District Department of Parks and Recreation has with great foresight and cooperation allowed this program to be established at the location known as Unity Park in Adams Morgan at the intersections of Columbia Road, Euclid Street and Champlain Street; and
Whereas this program has provided a legal, regulated, sanctioned program for vendors to become productive, compliant, and tax paying small businesses; and
Whereas this program provides affordable food and crafts of services to those of low income and others; and
Whereas, OLA is seeking community input to continue this program in FY 2011; and
Whereas, ANC 1C wishes to take a position on this program:
Now therefore be it resolved,
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C does strongly support and encourage OLA to continue the Incubator Microbusiness Program at Unity Park; and Further Resolved,
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C does strongly support and encourage the District Department of Parks and Recreation to continue cooperation with OLA to continue this program by renewing the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for FY 2011;
And Further Resolved, Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C does request and advise OLA to adhere and provide assurance of the following:
1) That proper Department of Health licensing and inspections, including the posting of such licenses are complied with;
2) Confirmation that vendors benefiting from this program are bone fide, confirmed District of Columbia residents.
3) Assurance that this is indeed an incubator program and not a permanent subsidy. That participation in this program carries clear objectives and time limitations to vendors with the assurance that other, new people can be given the opportunity of the incubator microbusiness program.
4) Vendors remove the trash from the park when they leave at night.
5) Vendors obey parking rules and regulations.
And Further Resolved.
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C congratulates both the District Office of Latino Affairs and the Department of Parks and Recreation for the creation of a program that removes illegal vending operations and provides individuals and opportunity for entrepreneurial individuals to improve their lives while adding to the diversity of the Adams Morgan Community; and Further Resolved
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1C does recommend to OLA that the success of this program be built on by seeking additional locations in Ward One to expand and establish other new and diverse continuing markets in other communities in Ward One; and be it Finally Resolved
This Resolution be communicated to the Mayor, the Office of Latino Affairs, DPR and Councilmember for Ward One as an expression of support by ANC 1C for this program.
September 1, 2010