In this issue: Join CCCA’S Open Session With Councilmember Mary Cheh, A Holiday Message From President Robert Gordon, Chevy Chase Main Streets Receives Funding, A ‘Small Area Plan’ For Chevy Chase D.C., CCCA Hears From REP. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C. Schools Propose To Move Lafayette Pre-K Across Park, D.C. Council Votes To Rename Lafayette Park ‘Lafayette-Pointer’, Update On The Renaming Of Woodrow Wilson High School, Murch Elementary School Holds Book Fair

December 2020


The Chevy Chase Citizens Association is sponsoring a Zoom roundtable discussion with Ward 3 D.C. Councilmember Mary Cheh from 7 to 8 p.m. Wed., Dec. 16. The councilmember will address issues important to residents of Ward Three and the District as a whole.

We expect to explore the COVID vaccine rollout plan, an update on the D.C comprehensive plan, government relief programs for residents and small businesses affected by COVID and other topics that the public asks about.

The discussion will be moderated by Ted Gest, longtime Washington journalist and CCCA newsletter editor. Questions may be submitted in advance at, and during the meeting through the Zoom chat function. To join the meeting, please click or copy this link, Passcode: 853326. By telephone 301 715 8592  Webinar ID: 889 1315 7701


I am becoming optimistic again. Now that vaccines have proved effective and appoved, I see a light on the horizon. We need to continue to be patient and persevere through the holidays and into the spring as vaccines are approved, distributed, and people get inoculated. 

People in our community are doing their best to act normally – to the extent possible. Most people I see walking along Connecticut Avenue continue to mask up to protect themselves and others. People tell me they are scaling back holiday get-togethers this year. Happily, home decorations are blossoming throughout the neighborhood. 

CCCA is looking forward to getting back to our normalcy: putting-on Chevy Chase Day, organizing in-person speaker programs, co-sponsoring Spooktacular and other events in 2021. The CCCA Executive Committee has been meeting virtually every month this year. We have held four virtual roundtables to introduce the community to the 2020 DC Council at-large candidates and all candidates for ANC 3/4G. 

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.

In November, Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton visited with us virtually to discuss potential DC statehood and other legislative topics. We are hosting Councilmember Mary Cheh on Wednesday, December 16 to discuss Ward 3 and DC-wide issues. I urge you to participate.

CCCA has also been a good neighbor to our local nonprofit organizations. We know that the Avalon Theatre, a D.C. treasure and an anchor in Chevy Chase, has suffered financially this year. We tapped our treasury to provide a sizable contribution that was matched dollar-for-dollar by another donor. We look forward to going to the movies again. We are also a founding partner with DC Main Streets and have offered our support as it starts up its programs.

I’m no Pollyanna though. Most local businesses are still searching for the tunnel, let alone glimpsing the light at the end. Children are still out of school and may be falling behind in their studies. We all see and know fellow Americans in financial distress. Locally, we are hopeful that the D.C. and federal governments will be generous in their financial help to those who are suffering. We urge our neighbors to continue to support local businesses and help those in need.

Most importantly,  CCCA officers wish you happy and healthy holidays. Stay safe, help others and be good to yourselves as well. As we anticipate 2021 with hope, let’s all be sure we get there together and well.

  • Robert Gordon


A $175,000 first-year grant from the D.C. Department of Small and Local Business Development will allow the firm District Bridges to support local small businesses with technical assistance and grants, invest in comprehensive branding and marketing of the neighborhood, plan community events, and plan for commercial revitalization to maintain the traditional and unique characteristics of Chevy Chase, D.C. The program will be supported with private-sector funds raised by District Bridges. 

The program’s geographic boundaries are Connecticut Avenue from Livingston Street to Chevy Chase Circle, plus a half block west and east from Connecticut Avenue on the cross streets Northampton Street NW, McKinley Street NW, Morrison Street NW, and Livingston Street NW. 

The Chevy Chase Citizens Association is a founding member and initial supporter of Chevy Chase Main Streets. In support of District Bridges’ Main Street application, a coalition of CCCA and other Chevy Chase organizations including ANC 3/4G, Historic Chevy Chase DC, Friends of Chevy Chase Circle, Northwest Neighbors Village, and Ch/Art met together to discuss community priorities and garner support from their respective networks. These established relationships and partner assets, along with District Bridges’ unique model, enables this program to hit the ground running. 

We will report regularly on the progress of this program as it moves forward.


D.C’s Office of Planning (OP) has begun work on a Small Area Plan (SAP) that will influence land use in the heart of Chevy Chase D.C., and could eventually result in an increase in development along Connecticut Avenue from Military Road to the Chevy Chase Circle.

OP planners Erkin Ozberk and Heba ElGawis will interview residents and hold meetings to gauge public opinion about what’s needed to revitalize the community’s commercial corridor and prepare Chevy Chase for future growth. They will focus especially on an area bordering Connecticut Avenue and extending back to 41st Street on the west and Nevada Avenue on the East. The plan could eventually result in some multi-family housing along Connecticut.

Residents can begin to make their views known by taking a brief survey at Ozberk and ElGawis are reachable by email at

The city launched the planning process after Advisory Neighborhood Commission 3/4G raised questions about Bowser administration efforts to change municipal development guidance to encourage new building to accommodate population growth and provide affordable housing. While the ANC agreed on the need for affordable housing it said city plans for blanket increases in building density in this community would fail to produce such housing and overwhelm existing infrastructure.

The ANC is again debating how to guide future development of the community after new calls for studying housing density increases surfaced this fall in a draft report by the commission’s racism task force.

SAPs are developed through a collaborative process that includes significant community outreach on strategic priorities in the planning area. SAPs are typically approved by the D.C. Council, and their key recommendations are incorporated into an overall Comprehensive Plan for the District.


The CCCA hosted an online roundtable on November 18 with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, our 15-term representative in Congress. The House passed a bill to make the District of Columbia the 51st state in June. She said she is “determined to make the District the equivalent of other states” and is gathering co-sponsors for the bill in the next Congress. Statehood can be passed by the Senate with a simple majority. Norton successfully submitted language to the Police Reform bill, which did not pass Congress, to repeal efforts to federalize the D.C. Police. She was a co-sponsor of the Great American Outdoors Act, which would provide funding to pay for the National Park Service (NPS) maintenance backlog. Much of the District’s park land is controlled by the National Park Service. 

Norton addressed the local effort to add bike lanes to Broad Branch Road between Linnean and Beach Drive.  The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) is coordinating with NPS, which holds some of the right of ways, and several embassies located along the route. Norton will  advocate on behalf of the community with the embassies and the park service.

She recognized that even with a coronavirus vaccine, it will take a long time for local businesses to come back. Priorities in the next Congress will include the response to COVID, infrastructure spending, funding for the Metro system and AMTRAK and climate change. Norton indicated she plans to run again for Congress and has no plans to retire.


Many current and prospective Lafayette Elementary School parents are unhappy about a proposal by the D.C. public school system to move the school’s longstanding pre-kindergarten classes to a school building at 1375 Missouri Ave., N.W., across Rock Creek Park.

The proposal will be discussed at an online public Advisory Neighborhood Commission meeting on Monday night, December 14, beginning at about 7:25 pm. To join the meeting, visit The dial-in number is 301 715-8592. Webinar ID: 847 5138 0545

Parents in online meetings on the plan held in early December suggested several alternatives, including expanding facilities on the current Lafayette campus, changing the boundaries for Lafayette school admission, increasing class sizes in upper grades, reducing enrollment at the school from out-of-boundary students and purchasing or leasing the closed Episcopal School at Nebraska and Utah Avenues, N.W.

D.C. officials began discussing as early as February plans to purchase the old Military Road School on Missouri Ave. “to help solve…the Ward 4 overcrowding problem at nearby schools or expand early childhood offerings,” according to a memo from Mayor Muriel Bowser.

The Lafayette Local School Advisory Team (LSAT) was not told about the plan until Nov. 18. The group emailed Lafayette families about it five days later.

As of December 12, 236 people had signed a petition opposing the move. The petition says: “We believe families should have a Pre-K option in our neighborhood. We ask DCPS to call off this rushed process, return to the drawing board, and work with Lafayette families and community leaders to identify a solution to Lafayette's over-crowding that keeps Lafayette Pre-K at our neighborhood school.”

For more information from residents opposing the move, visit

The plan was prompted partly by changes made by school officials that have resulted in Lafayette’s becoming the largest D.C. elementary school, with 900 students. Boundaries guaranteeing admission were expanded and special education classes for children outside of Lafayette’s boundaries were added. The school was renovated several years ago for an enrollment of only 800.


new Lafayette Park Rec center, under construction 

photo courtesy of Stacy Beck

The D.C. Council voted unanimously on December 3 to rename Lafayette Park and Rec Center in Chevy Chase as "Lafayette-Pointer Park" and "Lafayette-Pointer Recreation Center" to honor Captain George Pointer.  Captain Pointer was born enslaved in 1773 on a plantation near Rockville, Md. He bought his own freedom at age 19 and became an accomplished engineer with George Washington's Potomac Company and helped shape the District of Columbia.  Captain Pointer's granddaughter, Maryanne Plummer Harris, purchased 2.3 acres on Broad Branch Road NW in the 1840's, where she and her husband raised eight children.  A community of free Black landowners thrived on the site until 1928, when their homes were taken by eminent domain to build Lafayette School and Park for white children.

Eighth-generation Pointer descendant James Fisher, testified to the Council that "the legacy of Black land loss and the fracturing it causes succeeding generations is difficult, if not almost impossible, to overcome."  He told the Council that "having the opportunity to regain that place called home is a step towards regaining some of that . . . It will be a beginning for our family’s healing from an unimaginable loss.”  Fisher serves on the Board of Historic Chevy Chase DC, the group that spearheaded the effort to rename the Park and Rec Center.  The project will include historical signage to acknowledge and reconcile the legacy of loss of the Black community of Broad Branch Road.

Historic Chevy Chase DC's virtual neighborhood tour is now available online. It was recorded on November 17 and lasts one hour with eight presenters narrating sixteen slides. Go to


Woodrow Wilson High School is a staple in our neighborhood since it's founding in 1935. The school has been attracting kids from all neighbourhoods and all reaches of DC for generations. Recently, the DC Council passed a resolution to support the renaming of the longstanding school. Woodrow Wilson was a notorious segregationist whose policies hurt the African-American and minority communities in the United States. DCPS then released a shortlist of possible names for the school, which include August Wilson, Edna B. Jackson, Hilda Mason, Marion Barry, Northwest, Vincent E. Reed, and William Syphax. Students, community members and alumni were invited to participate in a survey surrounding the decision of which name to give the school. As of December 12, August Wilson is in the lead. Though the survey does take into account the community's opinion, the final outcome will only be a feedback for when Mayor Muriel Bowser and Chancellor Lewis Ferebee make the final decisions surrounding Wilson's future name.


The Murch Home and School Association is holding an online book fair.  A huge selection of books for readers of all ages, along with learning resources, puzzles, and fun gift items, are available.  Credit and debit cards are accepted, with free shipping to orders over $30. You also can donate to a book drive to help Murch families in need. Go to this site to buy books. Message with questions.


The Citizens Advisory Council (CAC) of the Metropolitan Police Department's Second District, which includes the Chevy Chase D.C. area, was not able to hold its annual awards banquet this year because of the pandemic but still is thanking local officers for their work. It has been a hard year for the police force because of the demonstrations and the pandemic. Officers have been working 12-hour days with no days off for months. Rocks, bricks and balloons filled with urine have been thrown at them.  Many officers have been injured. COVID-19 is a constant threat on the street.

The CAC will select up to 30 officers and command staff, and will present each with a $100 gift card and a certificate of appreciation. The presentations will be recorded and a video will be released with the winners and their presentations. If you would like to contribute, send a check made out to 2D MPD CAC to Robert Avery, treasurer, 4442 Greenwich Parkway NW, Washington D.C. 20007. Please enclose a note saying it is for the Awards Presentations.

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