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By Doug Siglin
The Anacostia Coordinating Council threw an appreciation event for Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners from Wards Seven and Eight on Tuesday June 30th at the Anacostia Playhouse in Historic Anacostia.
Nearly all the Commissioners from the two wards east of the Anacostia and many guests turned out to be recognized for their hard work. Dignitaries including Councilmembers Yvette Alexander and LaRuby May, Deputy Mayor for Greater Economic Opportunity Courtney Snowden, Department of the Environment Director Tommy Wells, and former Mayor Anthony Williams took turns praising the ANC officials.
ACC chairman Arrington Dixon served as the event's Master of Ceremonies and Executive Director Philip Pannell closed the meeting with a typically enthusiastic appreciation of the Commissioners' contributions to the east of the river community. Both men were involved in the creation of the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions nearly four decades ago.
Former Mayor Williams and Doug Siglin introduced the audience to the newly-formed Anacostia Waterfront Trust, a priority initiative of the ACC. The nonprofit Trust has been created to work with the District government, the National Park Service, and private interests to plan and implement a comprehensive improvement of the Anacostia River, the National Park surrounding it, and nearby communities. Williams is the chair of the group, which was developed by the Federal City Council with the help of the Summit Fund of Washington, and Siglin is Executive Director. During his two terms as Mayor, Williams gave high priority to a similar initiative, the Anacostia Waterfront Initiative.
Siglin, noting that families currently living in neighborhoods near the Anacostia should be able to enjoy the eventual benefits of a clean Anacostia and improved park, presented $1000 checks on behalf of the Trust to two organizations working to strengthen families in wards 7 and 8. The two recipients were the Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative and the DC Promise Neighborhood Initiative. He asked the Mayor's Office, the Councilmembers and the ANC Commissioners to work closely with the Trust to develop initiatives for the river, the park and the neighborhoods.
The Anacostia Coordinating Council has done similar events for the ANC commissioners three times previously.