Marco Rubio (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)Some parents at an elementary school are signing a letter petitioning Congressional committees to vote down a bill they believe would make their neighborhood less safe.

Local dads from a parent organization at Maury Elementary penned the note in response to Senator Marco Rubio’s (R-FL) proposed “Second Amendment Enforcement Act.”

The act (duplicate bills S.874 and H.R. 1710) would prevent District government from creating any laws restricting the sale of firearms to qualifying buyers and amends D.C. code to authorize local regulation concerning possession and transportation of firearms.

At noon, the petition had over 80 signatures.

“We perceive easy access to firearms in our neighborhoods as a direct threat to the security of our families and are prepared to use every tool of civic power at our disposal to prevent further guns in our neighborhoods,” the letter reads.

Max Bernstein, one of the drafters of the letter and a parent, said he is delivering the letter today to Sen. Ron Johnson and Rep. Jason Chaffetz, chairmen of the committees scheduled to review the act.

Bernstein said the group does not directly oppose any politicians or the 2nd amendment and that it can be addressed separate from party lines.

“As parents, we don’t want people to be able to carry guns into Maury Elementary school. It’s a safety concern,” Bernstein said. “But what it really comes down to is whether we get to decide what happens in our city, or if its left to someone who’s halfway across the country. We should get to decide what is appropriate for our community.”

Photo via Wikimedia Commons


Morning Rundown

The Yards Park

Mayor Has Plan to Close D.C. General — Mayor Muriel Bowser announced a plan to shutter the D.C. General homeless shelter by 2018. The District would lease and build smaller homeless shelters for residents of the dilapidated facility, according to the draft plan. [Washington Post]

Condo, Apartment Buildings Coming to Trapeze School Site — A condo building with about 140 units and an apartment building with about 190 rentals are slated to come to the space currently occupied by the Trapeze School at 4th and Tingey streets SE. Both of the buildings will have ground-level retail. The school will move this fall. Construction on the buildings is expected to start near the end of the year or in early 2016. [JDLand]

Capitol Hill Bar Takes on National Chain in ‘Great Burger Battle’ — Washingtonian put Five Guys and Tune Inn burgers up against each other in its “Great Burger Battle,” which it calls its “March Madness for food lovers.” Five Guys won the contest, with 64 percent of respondents voting for the burger chain. [Washingtonian]

You Know You’re a Capitol Hill Parent When — “You know that a MOTH isn’t just an insect (it also stands for Moms on the Hill)” and 15 other signs you’re a Capitol Hill parent. [Red Tricycle]


Morning Rundown

The view from 3rd and L streets NE, Feb. 10, 2015

More Fashion and Food on H Street NE Soon — The “market place environment” Maketto is expected to open at 1351 H St. NE by the end of March. The “Asian street market” will have food from Toki Underground, clothing by designer Will Sharp and drinks from Vigilante Coffee Company. [Urban Turf]

Results of Neighborhood Group Poll — We got an earful on Facebook about news we shared about the new group Childfree Living on the Hill (CLOTH). So, we took a poll on Wednesday, asking, “Which neighborhood group does the Hill need (or not)?” As of this morning, the majority of voters said “Any and all. The more, the merrier.”

L’Enfant Plaza Metro Accident Investigation — Senior emergency responders say Metro knew for years that a radio alarm system didn’t work in tunnels, but never informed fire officials. [Washington Post]

See the National Mall in Real Time — The National Mall can be watched around the clock through streaming EarthCam video available online. [WTOP]

2 Comment

(Updated at 11:20 a.m. Friday) Capitol Hill residents Peter and Katy Keesey were talking with friends about six months ago about a couple of controversial issues.

“We were laughing about how some people don’t accept climate change. Then we continued the conversation by saying how silly it was that some parents don’t vaccinate their kids,” Peter Keesey said.

“Things got very quiet,” he said.

After being surprised by the number of “very educated people” who rejected vaccinations, the Keeseys created a pro-vaccine campaign to distribute stickers that read “I was vaccinated today,” for children, and “My kid was vaccinated today,” for parents.

The Keeseys — who have an 18-month-old son and another baby on the way — said they took inspiration for the “pro-vax” sticker campaign from the “I voted today” stickers handed out at the polls.

“We’re trying to find a positive way to promote vaccinations and sound science,” Peter Keesey said. “Kids love stickers, so it’s a win-win.”

The Keeseys launched a Kickstarter campaign earlier this month to distribute 50,000 stickers to pediatricians’ offices across the country. Supporters are giving them their pediatricians’ addresses, then the Keeseys send the doctors the stickers and a letter explaining what to do with them. Supporters can sign their names to the letters or anonymously request that doctors hand them out. The Keeseys will share the sticker templates with doctors so they can print them, too.

The handful of doctors they’ve spoken with so far have been supportive of the plan, said Peter Keesey, who is a federal employee.

“We’re generally finding that pediatricians are pretty excited about this,” he said.

The couple, who moved to the Hill about six years ago, is also having totebags printed with the slogan Give Our Kids a Shot.

“It’s an easy way to show you made a correct decision for your family,” said Katy Keesey, who works as a human relations consultant.

The Kickstarter with a $10,000 goal had raised $1,785 as of 4 p.m. Thursday. All funds go toward the production of stickers and totebags, the Keeseys said.

Members of the anti-vaccine movement link vaccines to autism and cite a 1998 study that has since been discredited, The New York Times reported.

Two cases of measles have been diagnosed in the District this year. The D.C. Department of Health recommends that children receive all recommended vaccinations to avoid preventable diseases.

“For measles, and for all other vaccine-preventable illnesses – we want to make sure our community is protected,” health director LaQuandra S. Nesbitt told The Washington Post.

Images courtesy of Katy and Peter Keesey


Marital and family status data in 20003 zip code, 2013

(Updated at 4 p.m.) Capitol Hill is beloved for being family-friendly, but most tax-paying households are single and without kids.

Data released by the city today shows that 65 percent of tax-payers who lived in the 20003 zip code were single and child-free in 2013 — the most recent year for which data was available.

Just 11 percent of “family types” were classified as married with dependents in the zip code, which covers the southern portion of Capitol Hill, most of Hill East and Navy Yard. Fifteen percent of 20003 tax-payers were classified as married with no dependents, and 9 percent were unmarried with dependents.

The data from the D.C. Office of the Chief Financial Officer is based on 2012 tax returns, on which people listed where they lived in 2013.

A smaller percentage of married people and a larger percentage of single people with dependents lived in 20002 — which covers the northern portion of Capitol Hill, part of Hill East, the H St NE corridor and NoMa. Twenty-two percent of tax-payers in 2013 were single with dependents.

Marital and family status data in 20002 zip code, 2013

The 20024 zip code, which covers the Southwest waterfront, had a greater percentage of singles without dependents, at 71 percent. Just 4 percent of tax-payers there were married with dependents.

Marital and family status data in 20024 zip code, 2013

Data released by the D.C. financial office last month showed that Capitol Hill is one of the most popular District neighborhoods for new parents. In 2011, more new parents lived in the 20002 zip code than any other D.C. neighborhoods but Petworth and Brightwood Park. Most people who lived in the area when their children were born in 2007 still lived there five years later, the data shows.


New parent data (Image via CFO)

A report released today by the District shows Capitol Hill is one of the most popular D.C. neighborhoods for new parents.

In 2011, more new parents lived in the 20002 zip code — which includes the northern portion of Capitol Hill, part of Hill East, the H St NE corridor and NoMa — than any other D.C. neighborhoods but Petworth and Brightwood Park. Most people who lived in the area when their children were born in 2007 still lived there five years later, the report shows. Of the 182 people born in the 20002 zip code in 2007, 101 of them still lived in the zip code at age 5.

The data issued Wednesday by the D.C. Office of the Chief Financial Officer tracks D.C. parents who stay and leave the city, based on 2001-2012 income tax data. Overall, D.C. residents were more likely to leave the city once they have their first child. For people who had their first child in 2007, about half disappeared from city tax records by their child’s 5th birthday. Of people who stayed in D.C., about 25 percent changed zip codes. Middle-income parents, who made between $35,000 and $146,000 annually, were more likely to leave D.C. than their low- or high-income peers.

More new parents lived on the Hill in 2011 than did in 2007. The number of people with a new baby in the 20002 zip code in 2007 was 182. That figure rose to 218 in 2009, 248 in 2010 and 257 in 2011, the data shows.

The number of new parents in the 20003 zip code — which covers the southern portion of Capitol Hill, most of Hill East and Navy Yard — also grew. Just more than 100 new parents lived in the area in 2007. That figure climbed to 140 in 2011.

The number of new parents in the 20024 zip code — which covers the Southwest waterfront — was lower. Just 23 Southwest residents were new parents in 2007, and 27 in 2011.

Image via CFO


Eaters and Sleepers babies (Photo courtesy of Jessica Woodburn)

In 2004, Hill resident Jessica Woodburn had a newborn baby and was looking for support. She read on the online parents’ forum Moms on the Hill about a group that was forming for the parents of infants, called Eaters and Sleepers.

Within no time, Woodburn and her son Miles were part of a group of dozens of parents who met at each other’s houses on the Hill to share meals and talk about their experiences.

“It was fantastic to be around all these other people who were in the exact same boat,” the yoga instructor and French teacher said. “It was like a support group.”

Now, a decade later, the “Eaters and Sleepers” are 10-year-olds. Woodburn and fellow group member Nelle Fonseca are organizing a 10-year reunion, set to be held Sunday afternoon in Stanton Park.

Participants are asked to bring bikes, scooters, skates, balls and picnic supplies to the get-together scheduled for 12 to 4 p.m.

Woodburn said she expects to see old friends reconnect after their families moved or their kids were enrolled at separate schools. She said she’s thankful for the community she and other parents formed 10 years ago.

“This area is so rich in families and resources and schools,” she said. “We’re forever seeing people we met at some place or another.”


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