In January 2014, a randomly selected group of Potomac Gardens’ and Capitol Hill residents who live in the townhouses and market-rate apartments and condominiums surrounding Potomac Gardens found the following letter in their mailbox or attached to their door.
As a resident of Potomac Gardens and/or Capitol Hill, your opinions about the community are important. What are the neighborhood’s advantages? What are its shortcomings? What would make Capitol Hill a better place to live? With the support of the Humanities Council of Washington, Grassroots DC, a nonprofit that provides basic computer and media production training to low-income and working-class District residents, is producing a documentary about the changing demographics of Capitol Hill with a focus on Potomac Gardens and the area surrounding the public housing complex.
On (date here) between noon and 6pm, representatives of Grassroots DC, will conduct a survey on your block/in your building. The survey will be used to help us decide what issues to include in the documentary. We want to represent the viewpoint of Capitol Hill and Potomac Gardens residents as honestly as possible. Therefore, it is crucial that we get as many survey participants as we can.
We hope that you or someone else in your household will be available to take the survey on the afternoon of (date here). If you would like to participate but are not available at that time, please contact me, Grassroots DC’s coordinator Liane Scott at (202) 608-1376 or email@example.com.
Thank you for your time.
Coordinator, Grassroots DC
1227 G Street SE, Ground Floor
Washington, DC 20003
As the letter indicates, teams of Grassroots DC members went door-to-door for about three months, in preparation for the documentary Potomac Gardens Inside and Out. Here’s some video from one of the days we surveyed in January 2014.
We asked our neighbors about their history in the neighborhood and how it has changed. What their aspirations were for themselves, their families, and their communities? What interferes with the achievement of those aspirations? How they envision the neighborhood in the future? How much residents inside and outside of Potomac Gardens interact with each other? What does one group of residents understand or think they understand about the other? Etc.
Below are some of the more striking results of the survey:
- Residents in and outside of Potomac Gardens equally like the neighborhood because of it’s accessibility as well as the many restaurants and businesses in the area. They also liked the area because of the people. No big surprise there.
- Among the Potomac Gardens residents randomly surveyed, over 50% have lived in Potomac Gardens five years or less. A surprise to those who believe that Potomac Gardens residents remain in public housing for generations.
- Thirty percent of Potomac Gardens residents believe police harassment is a problem, whereas only four percent of the residents surrounding the complex see it as a problem. Both groups believe that crime is a problem in the neighborhood.
- Almost equal percentages of residents inside and outside of Potomac Gardens disagree that Potomac Gardens is attracting “negative elements” (30% vs. 28%, respectively).
- Eighty-four percent of the residents outside of Potomac Gardens have completed college or other post-graduate work. Only ten percent of Potomac Gardens residents have completed college or other post-graduate work.
Complete results of the survey have been tabulated and can be found on the survey results page. If you live within Potomac Gardens or in the blocks surrounding the complex, consider taking the survey yourself.
I lived in Potomac Gardens in the 80’s and was everything, but right now if I had a chance I would move right back there, everything is convenient there and I mean everything, store’s, transportation, hospital Churches, school’s and more I love capital hill.
Aquarius Vann-Ghasri, main goal is to design a public housing family community , with Nine Committees to amend in the Family Community By Laws-
AGRICULTURE: Maintenance of a system of sustainable agriculture to provide wholesome, natural food to the residents of the community. In addition to food, and manufacture clothing.
ARTS AND CULTURE: the promotion of aesthetic, artistic and cultural expression in way that facilities Mental, Emotional and Moral Upliftment of residents. Including Visual and performing arts, including , but not limited to, music, film, dance, drama, literature, poetry, visual arts and sports. Promotion of theater companies, audio/video recordings, presentations, competitions and complications and an annual Festival of the Arts. Extended to wholesome sports culture for athletic competition and achievement.
DEFENSE: Ensures the safety , security and survival of the society and its members and develops policies and systems relating to the national security of the society , beginning with insuring safe and decent local neighborhood. It is also charged with enhancement and protection of military and intelligence assets, structures and institutions.
EDUCATION: Responsible for the MENTAL and MORTAL development of the members of the society by means of formal instruction in a prescribed manner over a prescribed period of time in a system of learning ranging from pre-school through primary advanced academic levels, culminating in the conferring of academic levels, culminating in Conferring of academic degrees, and training under 24 CFR – endorsing and supporting FAMILY ENHANCEMENT VISION CENTER, with Residential training in ways of righteous conduct, decency and self-respect with goals of making a better community.
HEALTH and HUMAN SERVICES: Provides for the physical , mental and emotional well-being of the members of the society. The goal of Ministry of Health is the fulfillment of the intention of every human being to achieve his or her potential for both longevity and good health throughout life. Efforts extend to the family and the community as well as the individual.
INFORMATION: is the central agency which provides services that include the development of all sources for informing the public of the policies, plans and strategies necessary for the free flow and accessibility of information essential to an informed and empowered residents. This includes collection, research and dissemination of current events, history, analysis of Housing Urban Development (HUD) objectives, Public Housing in the USA, Housing Laws and Oversight, the Quality Housing and Eorj Responsibility Act and the Moving to Work Program, a HUD DEMONSTRATION PROGRAM FOR PUBLIC HOUSING RESIDENTS, provides Housing Authorities the opportunity to design and test innovative , locally-designed strategies that use Federal dollars more efficiently. Helping RESIDENTS to find employment , become self sufficient and increase housing choice for low income families.
JUSTICE :Protects the right and privileges of residents of the members of the society and provides for penalties to be imposed upon persons who violated or threaten to violate the law or disrupt the peace. No resident shall forfeit his her rights and privileges of resident in the community without just cause and without due process in a determination that cause and without due process in reaching a determination that such cause exists. This Committee is charged with the development of an independent judicial system in order to carry out its charge. It also imitates legal action, including class actions, against external entities, including governments, corporations, private companies, nonprofits , institutions and/or individuals, who, through their actions, pose threat to the essential rights of residents of the community.
SCIENCE and TECHNOLOGY: continuous development of technological resources., the application of scientific knowledge to the solution of human problems. The Committee embraces the broad discipline of Engineering and its sub-disciplines, including civil engineering and the design , infrastructure, construction of the community buildings. The Committee will focus on Decent. Safe structure of the doors, hallways, walls . The Committee goal is to establish floor captains, building and court captains, this Committee will work with the Information Committee to develop monetary incentive for COMMUNITY CLEAN UP DATE, educational training identifying preventions .
TRADE AND COMMERCE: Is responsible for the growth and development of the business and economic interests of the residents. The Committee rely on the input of consultants with experience and success in business economics. Analyzing the economic state of the community and develops programs and policies for growth and stability on the basis of the needs of the community. It translate skills, talents and interest of the community into viable revenue working with the Community of Education to encourage entrepreneurship.