Tuesday, September 29, 2009

UNITY wins in Cleveland Park

The UNITY slate has captured the board of the Cleveland Park Citizen's Association.

Official results:

President: John Chelen
First Vice President: Susie Taylor
Second Vice President: Barry Winer
Recording Secretary: Ann Hamilton;
Assistant Recording Secretary: Sean Mullen
Corresponding Secretary: Ruth Caplan
Treasurer: Clark Madigan
Delegates to the Federations of Citizens Associations are: Ann Loikow, Peter Espenschied and John Chelan with Ruth Caplan at the alternate
Delegates to the Federation of Civic Associations are John Chelen (ex-officio), Alice Kelly, Sean Mullen, Carol Phelps, and Susie Taylor.
Greg New (a past president of CPCA) was previously made an At-Large Delegate for Life by the Federation itself.

Here are two messages from the victors:

No doubt John will send out thanks on all our behalf to the great number of supporters, known and unknown, who came out tonight to vote and who worked behind the scenes for both slates. We won't be able to do that emphatically and often enough.

But, now that campaigns and election are over, I wanted to write with a personal message to Jeff, Anne, Collins, Gabe, John, Genie and Mike.

Thank you.

You did "get something going" like George said at the church tonight euphemistically. The membership is somewhere around 800 now and you were a large part of that. You offered a ton of great ideas (and plans); some of which we openly "stole" as we worked furiously to get out some written examples of our own thinking and ideas. You held cool and engaging events that we'll want to continue. You started this listserv which will remain a hugely important communications platform going forward. You pushed the edge on what changes could mean, technologically and otherwise.

We're humbled and fortunate to have an opportunity to do some good for CPCA and CP in the months ahead. We obviously have no chance to do it alone.

All of you on REFORM really do deserve a lot of credit.

With appreciation,


Tonight will be a special memory for me for the rest of my life. Yet, I want to keep in mind that tonight was less about me and the Unity Team than it is about the CPCA membership itself. It was an inspiring sight to stand near the front door of the church and watch how many of you came to vote. Your turnout demonstrated how important are the issues in front of us, why CPCA matters, and why we can't waste any time in forging a common agenda.

I'd like to commend Jeff Davis and the rest of the Reform Slate. You ran a good campaign and brought out your supporters in amazing numbers. Your determination and energy galvanized the membership; CPCA is a much more vital organization now than any of us imagined it might be. Together, I hope we can build upon that vitality to bring in even more active members and increase our ability to represent our community's needs.

It's also important that we don't take for granted that differences still exist between many of us. One of my personal goals is to find a way to bridge those differences and find common ground. I don't expect the supporters of Reform to abandon their views nor lessen the pressure on our elected officers to do the right thing. It will be their pressure that will drive us to find the right solutions. But I do expect that our shared love for Cleveland Park will help us overcome those differences.

As I said tonight, I'm committed to find a way for all Members of the CPCA to be able to have a substantive role, to be able to voice their opinions, for the Officers to give them a respectful hearing, and for us all together to find a way to achieve our mutual goals.

With thanks, respect, and admiration for your civic spirit,

John Chelen
President, CPCA

So now what? The CPCA can hopefully move forward with a better sense of community involvement and will take strong measures to be a conduit for ALL voices in the community, and take action when action is warranted. Hopefully there will be a stronger use of their new association listserv, and this will help foster better communication by and for the membership, rather than the top-down approach from the previous leadership. At the end of the day, the community should be better served by the vigorous campaign lodged for the past month.


Green Cleveland Park said...

Cleveland Park Citizens Association members provided all of the Unity group candidates with a solid victory tonight. In doing so, voters chose to restore civil discourse to the neighborhood's strong tradition of civil involvement. Although the Reform AWARE slate garnered meaningful support, members still rejected by a substantial margin the personal attack politics and polarization that AWARE brought to the Ahold debate. The now not-so-silent majority sided with leadership that called for measured, thoughtful growth that respects the neighborhood's historic character and village atmosphere, rather than for significant development dressed up as "smart growth." They also voted for preservation of the neighborhood commercial overlays that AWARE tried to make an issue in the election.

Mr T in DC said...

An unfortunate result, in that the anti-development, anti-smart growth, and anti-restaurant and bar crowd have won, and will continue to support the unrealistic commercial district zoning overlay, and drag out the Giant project forever. The vacant storefronts will continue to be an eyesore, and what could be a bustling restaurant corridor will languish well below its potential, while the NIMBYs continue to live in the fantasy world that Cleveland Park should be some kind of quiet suburban arcadia, conveniently ignoring the Metro station, Connecticut Avenue, and large number of apartment/condo units within walking distance.

DC biker said...

Mr T in DC: You seem to think that the election of the Unity slate will cause the Giant project to drag out. Why do you think that? According to what both slates indicated in the campaign, the CPCA will not appeal the zoning commission order on the Giant PUD. There are two parties that might -- WNNC and 3300 Idaho. Whether they do is up to them and has nothing to do with CPCA.

DC biker