David Gottfried: working to make Kennedy Street better

David Gottfried: working to make Kennedy Street better

Introducing David Gottfried -- a Petworth Change-Maker -- someone who works to improve our community without public awareness or appreciation. David has been passionate in his work to tell the story of Kennedy Street, of the ways the DC government has been letting blighted properties sit, a corridor stagnate, and a community not receiving the attention it deserves. And his work is paying off.

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KSDA gets a win, Kennedy Street hopefully gets new development

KSDA gets a win, Kennedy Street hopefully gets new development

Kudos to the Kennedy Street Development Association for their hard work on getting properties owners of vacant and blighted homes to step up and respect the neighborhood.

929-931 Kennedy Street NW is now up for sale after the city was pushed to place a new tax lien on the properties. 

Read more, after the break:

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Fighting to clean up vacant properties, one house at a time

Fighting to clean up vacant properties, one house at a time

Walk around Petworth and you'll see houses being renovated on block after block, dumpsters parked on the street with duct-taped "no parking" signs on the trees. Inside you'll hear tools and men's voices as walls go up, floors are redone, new landscaping put in. 

Walk around Petworth, and you'll see many examples of houses that are sitting untouched and empty, slowly falling apart with trash strewn yards and a construction permit on the window -- with no signs of construction.  

Neighbors are fed up with developers buying properties and leaving them to rot while waiting for housing prices to rise. The city loses out on taxes, and everyone loses out when those properties attract rats and illegal activity. 

But KSDA and ANC 4D Commissioner David Sheon are working to fix it.

Read more about the plan to fix the problem of vacant and blighted properties >

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KSDA keeps up the pressure on vacant properties (updated)

KSDA keeps up the pressure on vacant properties (updated)

Here's some good investigative work by neighbors in the Kennedy Street Development Association on vacant and blighted property in the area. It's bad enough that good homes are sitting vacant and are unsafe (or being used by squatters or for other uses), but the city is losing millions in taxable revenue that could be used for good purposes, like homelessness and affordable housing, perhaps? Good job to the KSDA folks for their tenacity on this issue... Read more >

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Kennedy St Market community meeting

Kennedy St Market community meeting

Residents who live around the 14th and Kennedy Street Farmer's Market (located on Saturday mornings on the 5500 block of Colorado Ave NW) met last night to talk about some concerns that have been raised among residents. 

I didn't get an exact headcount, but it was a crowded event of around 40 or 50 people in the basement of 1365 Kennedy St NW. All the residents were local and from (in order of what I heard) Colorado Ave, 13th Street, Jefferson, Longfellow, Nicholson, Kennedy and 16th Street. The meeting went really well, was very low-key and was a great example of people getting together to talk through concerns.

Read more after the break and see a photo gallery from the meeting:

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Kennedy Street Festival this Saturday!

This is a great summer for the Petworth area, and it continues with the upcoming Kennedy Street Festival on June 20th, now in its second season!

The Festival is from 11am - 3pm and runs along Kennedy Street NW from 3rd Street to Georgia Ave. A community-driven, crowd-funded event, the Festival includes live music, food trucks, creative vendors, community resources, activities, art, face painting and more!

Kennedy Street isn't closing -- the Festival takes place on the sidewalks and in private space with music and art. (608 and 716 Kennedy Street will be filled with vendors.) Brick and mortar businesses will be open and serving up specials. Come out to enjoy street performances by jazz, soul, classical, folk and roots musicians. Compete in a neighborhood scavenger hunt or buy raffle tickets for a chance to win Washington Nationals seats, (donated by At-Large DC Council member Elissa Silverman).

Look for specials and guests at local favorites Culture Coffee, Andrene's Cafe, Tony's Place and Taqueria D.F. Local arts vendors include local master wood carver Boluwaji Omisore, funky thrift purveyor Vintage Glam, new local screen-printers Aniton Ink, and many more. Food trucks including Street Cream, Timber Pizza, and Karat Cakery will be filling neighborhood niches. 

(Timber Pizza Co. is opening a restaurant at 809 Upshur St NW, and Karat Cakery is a carrot cake food truck. I love carrot cake. I love food trucks. I'm so there.)

This year marks 100 years of Kennedy Street (more or less!). The street was laid out across the farmland of what is now Manor Park, Brightwood Park, North Petworth and 16th Street Heights between 1911 and 1918. Today, Kennedy is the commercial heart of these neighborhoods, with huge untapped potential to be a walkable, locally-serving main street. We'll have several DC government agencies and neighborhood volunteers on hand to talk about what's coming to Kennedy Street NW, including two streetscape improvement projects, a restaurant and apartment development, and more.

The Festival is a project of the Kennedy Street Development Association (KSDA), an all-volunteer, not-for-profit group of businesses and residents committed to enhancing community and commercial life on Kennedy Street. For more festival info, follow KSDA on Facebook and Twitter (@KennedyStreetNW).

Kennedy Street Festival fundraiser June 11th

The 2015 Kennedy Street Festival is coming up on June 20th, 11am - 3pm along Kennedy Street.

To help raise funds to cover the costs of the festival, they are having a Happy Hour Fundraiser at Simple Bar and Grill on June 11th from 6-9pm

They are asking for a $10 donation at the door. 

For more info, visit the festival website... or if you can't make it, you can donate online