Monday, July 11, 2011

My Review of the Ward 8 Community Summit

The Advoc8te attended Mayor Gray's Ward 8 Community Summit and I have to say that it was hands down the best organized and executed Ward 8 community meeting I have ever attended. Despite having nearly 600 people attend the nearly eight hour event there was no yelling, accusations, or sour feelings (perhaps a first for any DC community meeting).  It was clear that a lot of time and energy went into planning the summit and it was intriguing (and frankly inspiring) to see how technology was integrated seamlessly into the event. The use of opinion recorders, laptops, and video was informative without being intimidating, which is always important in Ward 8 were the digital divide is still very vast. The reading materials were both informative and engaging and there were plenty of takeaways.   At the end of the summit everyone was given a printed summary of the day's brainstorming sessions and surveys (will be sharing them on the blog shortly). The summary was a great way to  make everyone feel like their opinion was recorded and valued. Overall the Office of Planning did an A+ job organizing and executing the Ward 8 Community Summit, hopefully this will be the first of many such events. It was a creative way to bring together residents and city agencies together in a non-confrontational setting. The DC Office of Planning with the support of AmericaSpeaks definitely raised the standard for community meetings going forward.  I could go on and on about the Ward 8 Community Summit and the sense of community felt by Ward 8 residents, business owners, and supporters but I am sure much more will be said. In the meantime, including some pictures of Saturday's event. DC Council-members spotted in at the Summit: Marion Barry, Yvette Alexander, and  Chairman Kwame Brown. 

Did you attend the Ward 8 Community Summit? What was your impression?

The Ward 8 Community Summit was held
in Anacostia at Thurgood Marshall Academy

The golden ground rules

ANC Commissioner Sandra Seegars

A full house!

The neighborhood word cloud. Congress Heights representing hard!

Table 34 was all about the brainstorming.

Lots of people, lots of ideas.

Lots of support staff at the event. 
Stephen Rice (Office of Planning) and Jackie Ward (CM Barry's Office)

ANC Commissioner (and r.e.e.l. and HABA president) Charles Wilson

(l) Jacque Patterson, Ward 8 Democrats President

(l) Sean Thomas from H.E.A.T. Haven got the crowd up and moving.

The survey portion of the event was very enlightening.

Collateral, collateral and more collateral!

My trusty opinion recorder.

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