Listening to Our Community

Written by Scott Kratz

The 11th Street Bridge Park was recently featured on the front cover of the Washington Post Sunday Magazine. The article explored our Equitable Development Plan – our effort to ensure this future civic space can continuously serve the thousands of nearby residents who have helped shape this project from the beginning.

We have received a number of wonderful responses from residents on both sides of the river and wanted to share a few of their comments below.

“I started working with [Scott Kratz] on the 11th Street Bridge initiative when I was the Deputy Chief of Staff for Councilmember Marion Barry. The only reason that I became invested in this project is because Scott was willing to take the responsibility to look at the big picture (affordable housing, jobs, environment, education.) The 11th Street Bridge project has become a beacon of hope to take on the challenge of gentrification by engaging the community in a spirit of inclusion. Poor folks in urban America (in DC) are often viewed as a problem when we should be valued because we are still here and surviving the struggle.” – Brenda Lee Richardson, Former Deputy Chief of Staff for Councilmember Marion Barry and Ward 8 Resident

“I am glad to see the Bridge Park getting such thoughtful attention. As a newcomer to DC and a new homeowner East of the River, I am very enthusiastic about this project and have repeatedly extolled its virtues to co-workers and neighbors. I understand nothing can be all things to all people, but this park has much to offer residents from both sides of the river and from all over the city, a fact immediately grasped by the residents I have had the pleasure of speaking to. Its design is the product of exhaustive community input and the great imagination of the professionals who have contributed their vision for the finished park. I for one have been heartened by the commitment that Scott and his staff have shown to ensuring that the park is a boon to community residents – new comers and long-timers alike. I will continue to monitor its progress and await its coming with genuine excitement.” – Darin Tuggle, Ward 8 Resident and Bridge Park Volunteer

“Our city’s strategy for economic development across the river cannot be a plan to deny these communities innovative, beautiful assets. Instead, we need to figure out how to position residents of these communities to be competitive for well-paying jobs, how to enable these communities to thrive, and how to bring businesses, jobs, and visitors to these areas. These are not easy tasks. We don’t have a simple formula for solving this challenge. But, the 11th Street Bridge Project is trying new ideas, bringing communities together, and creating a shared vision of success. The project’s aim to ‘be an anchor of inclusive economic development and stitch together long divided neighborhoods’ is to be commended.” –  Meredith Fascett, ANC 6D Commissioner

“I read, with much interest and appreciation, the article that appeared in last Sunday’s Washington Post Magazine regarding the 11th Street Bridge Park Project. And then, to top that article was the article appearing in the Street Sense Newspaper, which is a testament to another example of you getting your message out to as broad/expansive a base as possible. Keep up the good work; I am proud to have my name associated with the Project.” – Clifford Waddy, District Resident