Congress Heights on the Rise was launched June 27, 2008 by Congress Heights resident, Nikki Peele blogging as The Advoc8te. Realizing the huge void of information about Ward 8 in general, and inspired by the success of the first Ward 8 neighborhood-focused blog, And Now, Anacostia; the early goal of CHotR was to bring attention and focus to a Ward 8 neighborhood relatively unheard of beyond its borders.
The hope was that by providing information about community organizations and meetings that east of the Anacostia River residents would be inspired to get involved and take a more active role in the success of our community. By sharing an accurate and much more positive depiction of what it is like to live in Ward 8 more people would be encouraged to visit, work and live in Wards 7 and 8. There are a lot of great things already here, and even more on the horizon; however, there are challenges: the difficulty in receiving basic city services, the limited retail options, the insulated and ineffective leadership (please note I wrote this seven years ago, things have greatly improved). The ugly side of what happens when too many for too long turn a blind eye to corruption and cronyism.
Since its creation, Congress Heights on the Rise has gone from http://www.congressheightsontherise.blogspot.com/ to http://www.congressheightsontherise.com/. “The Advocate” has become “The Advoc8te.” What was once “East of the River” is now also known as “River East” and back to "East of the River." And what was once only one of two blogs dedicated to life in Wards 7 and 8 has now grown to over 20 (actually it's now dropped back down to 3 or 4).
In short, the motivation behind the blog was to provide a face – a community of faces – of people who choose to live and work in Congress Heights. What is Congress Heights? A neighborhood in Ward 8 where people choose to live, love, raise families and standards. A neighborhood of old and new, black and white (and everything in between), gay and straight, middle class and working class, white collar and blue collar. A neighborhood much like any other in the District of Columbia - a work in progress.