To tap the vast knowledge, expertise, and opinions of those who have lived nearest the walls of the historic St Elizabeths East campus, the District of Columbia hosted multiple community meetings – a vital part of the participatory process that would help forge a redevelopment resource to withstand the test of time. Additional meetings and the continued solicitation of community ideas, assessments, and contributions are an ongoing and essential part of the development of the St Elizabeths East campus.
Ward 8 Community Summit
On July 9th, 2011, DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray hosted a first-of-its-kind event to engage the neighborhoods surrounding St Elizabeths East in an introduction to unprecedented change coming to their communities. Following meticulous planning and extensive public outreach, nearly 600 individuals, including community, business, and government leaders, attended the historic Ward 8 Community Summit and used state-of-the-art interactive voting technology to help shape investment priorities. In September 2011, the Mayor joined two panels of agency directors in unveiling a slate of recommendations, derived in large part from the visioning work session, to set priorities for revitalization and empowerment of people and businesses. Quarterly progress update meetings are scheduled to discuss additional developments and achievements.
In the future, the Ward 8 Summit will address concepts for ways in which Ward 8 residents can become further engaged in aspects of the St Elizabeths East project implementation, from infrastructure construction to the design and building of the Gateway Pavilion.
From the outset, the St Elizabeths East planning process prioritized public engagement and input into the decision-making process to help shape the vision for the East Campus. The community outreach and engagement strategy involved a Citizen Steering Committee comprised of local community leaders, representatives from Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs), and members of the mental health and historic preservation community. In 2008, a plan was approved and adopted by the DC Council.
Multiple objectives include:
- Direct employment opportunities in both the short and long term for District residents
- Services and amenities that will improve choices for both local residents and federal workforce
- Revitalize the historic campus by adaptively reusing buildings and creating a mixed use environment
- Expand retail and housing choices for Ward 8 residents and others
- Enhance mobility, improve aging infrastructure, and exemplify sustainability practices
For information on any community events, please contact Darnetta Tyus at Darnetta.Tyus@DC.gov or at (202) 727-6365.