In this issue: A Zoom Talk with Sarah Shoenfeld on "DC's Racialized Housing Landscape", Returning The Nation To A Measure Of Harmony, Be Alert For Carjackings, Property Crimes, Elected Officials Seek To Keep Pre-Kindergarden At Lafayette, Program Manager Named For Chevy Chase Main Street, A Successful Avalon Theatre Campaign, Help The Murch Virtual Auction, Northwest Neighbors Village: Volunteering, Public Programs

January 2021


Join us Thursday, Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. by clicking on this link:

Housing is a key factor in shaping the opportunities available to people of all races and backgrounds. Home ownership is a platform for wealth creation and for giving people a say in shaping the city but has historically been an unattainable goal for the majority of D.C. residents. 

CCCA’s Ted Gest and Historic Chevy Chase DC’s Carl Lankowski will host a discussion with Sarah Jane Shoenfeld of Prologue DC, an expert on the intersection of race and housing. Shoenfeld will present her findings and take questions from the hosts and attendees.

The free Zoom presentation at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 21, titled “DC’s Racialized Housing Landscape,” will be an eye-opening discussion on the historic role racially restrictive deed covenants have played in shaping how neighborhoods look today, despite being outlawed more than 70 years ago. She will also talk about how former federal housing programs and redlining are responsible for today’s persistent racial wealth gap and widespread housing insecurity.

Shoenfeld, an independent scholar and public historian, co-directs the project Mapping Segregation in Washington DC with Mara Cherkasky. The map-based project documents the former extent of racially restricted housing in the nation's capital along with other historic mechanisms of segregation and displacement. An earlier Zoom presentation with Cherkasky about the project can be viewed here.

Prologue DC engages in a variety of history projects, including research for exhibitions and films, historic landmark and district nominations, oral histories, and walking tours. Recent projects include a successful historic landmark nomination for Barry Farm Dwellings, a World War II-era public housing project in Anacostia slated for redevelopment, and an online tour of African American Civil Rights sites in D.C.

We look forward to seeing you online and appreciate your continued support of our all-volunteer organization. If you haven't already, visit us at

CCCA will hold its annual membership drive soon. Members should watch their email or snail mail boxes in the next few weeks for a request to renew your membership for 2020-21. We would appreciate your support as we continue our activities during the pandemic.

President’s Column


by Robert Gordon

This week promises to be exhilarating and uplifting. We will witness a peaceful transfer of power that has remained a hallmark of American democracy for over two centuries. It is the way that we as a country reify our values and demonstrate to the world that the democratic form of self-governance works. The events of the past few weeks have sorely tested America’s ability to conduct itself in concert with the ideals of this tradition. My fervent hope is that we will view a peaceful transition Wednesday and that there will not be a repeat of the violence of January 6 – here in the nation’s capital or any of the state capitals.

A close friend of mine, a man with grave leadership responsibilities, who has seen enormous trouble in his homeland Iraq, said a profound but simple thing to me that has remade the way that I think about life. In a time of trouble, he said that “every problem has a solution.” I loved his level of optimism coming from a man who scratched his way up from poverty to prosperity. He wasn’t saying that he had the solution for every problem; he believed in teamwork and the confidence that if we worked together, we would find a solution. 

As we worked together on enormously important projects, his lesson took on concrete meaning. Each problem that we faced did have a solution. Sometimes it was difficult and expensive to resolve. Sometimes it cost a great deal of lost sleep and perseverance, but in the end – because of hard work and innovative approaches – the problem was solved, not as expected, not as planned, but in a way that enabled us to carry on.  

I have been thinking about that as I view the discord and division in our country. The afternoon of the insurrection at the Capitol, he wrote to me by email and asked me what the hell is going on in your country? I reminded him that every problem has a solution. Democracy is messy. I genuinely believe that the politics of division and despondency will dampen over time and eventually end. I have adopted his philosophy and I am confident that we will find our way back to a measure of harmony. 

Please tune in to Sarah Shoenfeld’s important conversation about racial division in Washington D.C. that resulted in segregated neighborhoods and systemic loss of opportunity and accumulation of wealth in Black communities. See the announcement in this newsletter.


Police Service Area 201, which includes the Chevy Chase D.C. community, and some surrounding neighborhoods have seen several armed carjackings, a violent crime that is uncommon in our area. When operating your motor vehicle, it is important to be aware of your surroundings and not stop for unusual activity. If you are a victim of such an attack, don't resist but relay a full description of the perpetrator, weapon, and escape vehicle immediately to 911. The Metropolitan Police Department’s Second District is investigating a carjacking that took place near 39th Street and Military Road.

Reported thefts in our area decreased last year from 16 to 13, though our PSA continues to have a high rate overall. We saw an increase in stolen autos, from 1 to 4, so we remind you always to lock your vehicle and never leave visible valuables, including your valet key. In addition, park your vehicle in a well-lit location and take advantage of D.C.'s security camera rebate program to add an extra set of "eyes" outside your residence for you and your neighbors. Above all, be safe and healthy!

After 20 years association with the Second District Citizens Advisory Council, most of that time as chair, former CCCA president Samantha Nolan retired Jan. 5. She will continue as citywide crime prevention and Neighborhood Watch trainer until her training becomes available on YouTube at the police department’s website. 

Her crime prevention tip this month is to never leave your vehicle running while you are not behind the wheel. Keep all doors locked at all times. Alert all delivery drivers to stop their car engines, remove the key, and lock the doors during deliveries.


Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3/4G, along with members of the D.C. Council and the State Board of Education from upper Northwest, are urging D.C. school officials to make more efforts to find a nearby location for the pre-kindergarten program at Lafayette Elementary School. Because of overcrowding at Lafayette, the school system has proposed to move the school’s pre-K classes more than two miles across Rock Creek Park to a school property recently purchased by the city on Missouri Ave., N.W.

After a lengthy public meeting on Jan. 11, the ANC approved a resolution saying “it is imperative” that the public school system “first exhaust all possible in-boundary alternatives” to relocating pre-K classes across the park. The ANC suggested, for example, that the school system attempt to lease the vacant Episcopal School for Children at Utah and Nebraska Avenues. At the meeting, the ANC heard from many current or prospective pre-K parents at Lafayette that it would be impractical or impossible to transport young students to two different schools daily, if families had one or more enrolled at Lafayette and another in the distant pre-K location.

Parents stressed that they had moved to the Chevy Chase neighborhood under the assumption that their children could attend schools in the immediate neighborhood. School system officials maintain that there is inadequate space at Lafayette for pre-K classes, even though the school was renovated only four years ago. Parents also complained that school officials were secretive about the pre-K plan, disclosing it only in November and saying that a decision would be made only a few weeks later. Frazier O’Leary, Ward 4 representative on the Board of Education, told the ANC that “transparency was nonexistent.”  Councilmembers Mary Cheh of Ward 3 and Janeese Lewis George from Ward 4, the two wards from which Lafayette draws in-boundary students, wrote to school officials making a plea similar to the ANC’s that the school system make stronger efforts to keep pre-K classes at or near Lafayette.


Alex Krefetz has been named program manager for the new Chevy Chase Main Street program being run by the firm District Bridges. Krafetz, originally from southern New Jersey, moved to the D.C. area in 2010. He has worked on energy environmental, planning and community development projects. Most recently, he managed the technical assistance panel program for the Urban Land Institute – Washington. He previously worked for the Passyunk Ave Revitalization Corp. in Philadelphia. Krafetz holds a masters in city and regional planning from the University of Pennsylvania. The Main Street program will be creating an advisory board known as the Neighborhood Strategy Council.


The Avalon Theatre is truly heartened by the community’s amazing response to this year’s Campaign to Sustain the Avalon.  Clearly the need was greater than ever when the Annual Fund campaign was launched.  An ambitious $250,000 goal was set.  The theater could not have imagined the outpouring of support.  It is delighted to report that as of December 31, 2020, 1800 donors had contributed a total of $471,000.  And gifts continue to arrive.  This is a testament to the place the Avalon holds in the hearts of patrons throughout the city.  Deep gratitude is extended to each and every supporter.  These funds are essential to ensure a safe re-opening just as soon as we are permitted to welcome patrons back to the theater.

In the meantime, film-goers are invited to visit to access a terrific selection of curated films that can be viewed in your home.  This is an additional way to support the Avalon while enjoying a wide selection of quality films.


Murch Elementary School Virtual Auction planning is underway. Donations from the community will look a little different this year, but should still raise funds for the school. So far this year, funds have gone toward tutoring, after school programs for families in need, teacher appreciation,  gift cards for families in need, and funding consulting services to close the racial achievement gap. They are all very important items.

The school is seeking COVID-safe vacation getaways. If you have a vacation home that you could donate a weekend or few days to the Murch community, it would be very much appreciated. Email if you are able to donate.


Help your neighbors and get to know your neighbors by becoming a volunteer for Northwest Neighbors Village. 

The next NNV volunteer training is this Friday, Jan. 22, from 1-3 pm. If you’re interested in volunteering but need more information, please email us at or call 935-6060. Ready to register? RSVP here.

NNV has programs open to the community, including a new technology-focused series  and its popular Virtual Speaker Series. Additional programs for members and volunteers can be found at NNVDC.ORG

Village Tech Series - In partnership with the DC Public Library

Tuesday, January 19, 2 pm: A Beginner’s Guide to Smartphones

Join this 60-minute-long workshop to refresh your knowledge and acquire new skills on how to use your smartphone (iPhone and Android). We'll cover the interface, apps, resources. Biljana Milenkovic, from DC Public Library, will facilitate the workshop. RSVP here.

Monday, January 25, 2 pm:  goDigital with DC Public Library

In this on-line workshop you can learn how to access, utilize, and maximize DC Public Library's many goDigital resources (like OverDrive or Libby,  Ka nopyMango Languages, or RSVP here.

Monday, February 1, 2 pm:  Social Media for Beginners - Facebook   RSVP here.

Monday, February 8, 2 pm:  Social Media for Beginners - Twitter  RSVP here.

Tuesday, February 16, 2 pm:  Social Media for Beginners - Instagram RSVP here.

Monday, February 22, 2 pm:  Social Media for Beginners - YouTube RSVP here.

Register for this social media workshop series to learn and expand your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube skills. These four one-hour-long sessions are for beginners and those who are just starting to learn their way through the social media woods.

Virtual Speaker Series

Thursday January 21, 11 am: Jeanne Braha on Rock Creek - People Powered Restoration

Our nearby national park is nearly twice the size of Central Park, home to the District's only endangered species, and provides recreational opportunities for millions of us each year. Join Jeanne Braha, executive director of the park's friends group, Rock Creek Conservancy, to learn how we can all be stewards of our beloved natural oasis. RSVP here.

Tuesday January 26, 11 am: Michael Sharnoff on Israel, Jordan and the Palestinians 

This talk will highlight Israel’s relationship with Jordan and the Palestinians in an historical context from independence to present. It will explore the key players and their attitudes and perceptions of the West Bank.  RSVP here.

Thursday February 11, 2 pm:  Rebecca Roberts Explores Planet Word  

Please join us for an online tour of Planet Word, Washington’s newest museum, located at the historic Franklin School in Washington, D.C.  Rebecca Roberts, Curator of Programming, will be our docent for a tour of the museum and will answer our questions about the world's first voice-activated museum where language comes to life. RSVP here.

Other Upcoming NNV Programming

Mondays, January 18 & 25, 2 pm  Yoga for Healthy Aging

Join Petra Fibrichova, certified yoga therapist, for sessions challenging your strength, balance, and flexibility. Cost: $6.99.  Register for  Jan 18 or Jan 25.

Thursdays, 6 pm  Live Jazz

Join Carey Smith for a live jazz session every Thursday. A great way to wind down!  Check NNV website for a weekly link

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