On Thursday night, ANC5A Commissioner Corey Griffin held a meeting at Art Enables, a local art studio along RIA, to discuss how we can redevelop the Avenue. The meeting consisted of presentations from several community organizations and some current business owners. The first speaker was Gabriela Mossi from the Greater Washington Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Next up was the Ward 5 planner from Office of Planning, Deborah Crain, who spoke about how the City is committed to the small area plan that laid out the RIA redevelopment but she said that residents and business owners needed to be the squeaky wheel to demand that the City initiate parts of the plan.
Enter the squeaky wheel: Friends of RIA. The group spokesperson, Stephanie, spoke about how the group formed and that it’s mission is to promote redevelopment and show that there is community support for business if they come to RIA NE. The group has a website and encourages residents to show their support for Rhode Island Ave by becoming a “Friend” on their website.
According to the group’s website:
Friends of Rhode Island Avenue is dedicated to promoting, developing, and enhancing Rhode Island Avenue NE as a culturally, socially, and economically vibrant community in Washington D.C.
Our community, bordered by the neighborhoods of Woodridge, Brookland, Langdon Park, and Edgewood, is a stable family-oriented community with a diverse array of young professional couples, families,
established life-long residents, students, artists, and single professionals. Many of us are
homeowners, with a vested interest in our community.
Everyone who joins is a “Friend” of Rhode Island Ave NE. We need everyone in our local
community and those who commute through DC on RIA to join as a Friend!.
I would encourage everyone to sign up and become a “Friend” of Rhode Island Avenue. Redevelopment will only happen if groups like Friends of RIA can show a large support from the community. Business owners need encouragement that the community will support them if they take a chance on RIA. So, if I may say so: Click Here to Become a “Friend” of RIA!!
Thank you to Corey Griffin for hosting this event and hopefully more and more of these types of encouragement bear fruit. That can only happen if residents stand up, join grassroots groups like Friends of RIA, and begin to get engaged!