Just Development, Honoring Black History Month And Elizabeth Proctor Thomas


GABIDDC honors black history month every year, and honors the people whose shoulders we ride on every day. We do more than parades, or speeches or having a party. We seek to honor black history. This year we were honored to tell the story of Elizabeth Proctor Thomas. GABIDDC was originally going to publish the whole story but we ran into a lot of interesting things during research on it and so we wound up with a draft of a book.

Her story is relevant to the debate about Sustainable development. This post is a little late consequently.

Fort Stevens and Elizabeth Proctor Thomas

Ms. Thomas:

“Elizabeth Proctor Thomas was born in Prince George’s County, Maryland in the early 1800s. As child, Thomas and her parents moved to Vinegar Hill, a small community of free blacks located in northwest Washington, D.C., approximately two miles south of the Maryland border. The family settled on a high point beside the Seventh Street Turnpike, a major road leading to downtown Washington.”

The Seventh Street Turnpike was eventually renamed Georgia Avenue and so we consider her an original resident of the Georgia Avenue Business Development District. She built her house on that high point, the place where Fort Stevens would be built.

“following the Union defeat at Manassas in July 1861, Congress voted in favor of constructing a ring of forts and other defensive works to encircle the city. Soon afterwards, miles of trees were cleared and building commenced. By the end of the war, 68 forts, 93 batteries, 20 miles of rifle pits, and 32 miles of military roads surrounded the capital and Washington became the most heavily fortified city in the world.”

One of those properties was her house! She was so patriotic that when the Union tore down her home to build the fort she took it stoically. Though after the war it took years of court battles to get compensated for building it!.

Sustainable Development

But here is what is important.

“she remained the owner of portions of the fort, and during the course of her life, she amassed a considerable amount of land in the vicinity. At the turn of the century, Thomas sold some of her Fort Stevens acreage to an influential Washingtonian who hoped to preserve the remaining earthworks and establish a park.”

She also fostered businesses and opportunity, both before and after the war, for all classes of people who wanted to move to her community, while also fostering the creation of the Walter Reed as well as the Fort Stevens development. People who settled on her properties got steady jobs, mostly with the Federal Government, and were able to achieve a middle class lifestyle. Sustainable development is about ensuring that no-one is left out by progress.

It Is Always a Struggle

It took Ms. Thomas 50 years of struggle to get compensated for the land she’d willingly sold to the Federal Government. But in the meantime she ran businesses and did well for herself anyway. She should be remembered as a patriot and activist and someone who sets an example of how to act both in the civic and the business arenas.

For more on her The national park service has a nice article on her:

Eventually we at GABIDDC offer a booklet about her. Stay tuned.


Prostate Cancer Screening www.cancer.howard.edu

3rd Wednesday of most months

1 P.M. – 3 P.M.

Suite B125 (basement level)

Howard University Cancer Center

2041 Georgia Avenue, NW

Washington, DC 20060


(202) 806-7697 or (202) 865-4653

*Ask about the new MHACs program*

The “Men Take Ten” program provides educational material and prostate cancer screening to men 40-75 years old, living in the DC Metro Area that have not been screened in the last 12 months.

Men’s Health Awareness Clubs (MHACs)

Howard University Cancer Center Presents:

Men’s Health Awareness Clubs (MHACs)

2nd Wednesday of the Month

*refreshments will be served

5:30 P.M. – 7:30 P.M.,

Howard University Cancer Center

Rm. #201 (2nd floor)

2041 Georgia Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20060

In service of the Prostate Health Education Network (PHEN)

For more information:

(202) 806-7697 or (202) 865-4653
| (HUCC) http://cancer.howard.edu |
| (PHEN) http://www.prostatehealthed.org |

The mission of MHACs is to provide a safe and confidential environment to enable men to discuss, share and learn more about men’s health.

GABIDDC is proud to report on and announce community events and services. If you have an event or ongoing meeting please let us know and we will put it in our calendar.

Managing Developers to Meet City Requirements

Managing Compliance

Recently an audit conducted by Auditor Kathleen Patterson concluded that:

“The District government is failing to ensure that developers fulfill pledges they make in exchange for tax benefits and loans, and hasn’t collected potential monetary penalties since the mid-1980s as a result, the city’s auditor said.” [Washington Post Article]

Requirements Management Needed Starting with the Contract

The city is not monitoring, tracking and reviewing performance of the projects under it’s jurisdiction:

“In August, Patterson’s office reported that the city’s oversight of at least two development projects showed that even as developers delivered on a variety of promises, city agencies “did not sufficiently monitor” compliance.” [Washington Post Article]

It takes a Program Office

To do this the City Government has to setup a system for documenting, tracking and monitoring compliance with contract requirements. As the article notes:

“There needs to be oversight of commitments that developers make,” [Washington Post Article]

Documenting Contractual Requirements

That starts with assigning an agency or contractor to function as a program office for managing the project requirements during the contract development period. As the contract is written, it’s requirements need to be be placed in a requirements database.

Developing and Documenting Deliverables

As the contract is finalized, the developer works with the program office to develop the technical details of how and when they will deliver on those requirements. These then become the deliverables needed to meet contract’s requirements along with priorities, milestones and due dates.

Tracking, Monitoring and Compelling Performance

That program office should then be responsible for tracking the deliverables and monitoring performance via status reports and milestone reviews. Each contract requirement deliverable should have it’s value to the developer and any penalties spelled out so that the program office can then enforce compliance.

Making sure they “do what they are supposed to do”

The purpose of the District providing oversight of projects is to ensure they are delivered in a way that meets (or exceeds) the districts needs in an affordable manner. This is a fiduciary duty of government. As Patterson notes:

“I work for the taxpayers and I need to make damn sure they do what they’re supposed to do.” [Washington Post Article]

Making a program office and specific officers responsible for monitoring and ensuring compliance is best practices for doing this. It also helps avoid costly legal battles by ensuring that contract responsibilities are clear and agreed on.

Program Manager

Someone must be responsible for overall project compliance. That person within the government is a Program Officer. The Program Officer is given the authority to make sure that the persons responsible for project performance perform and that their progress is monitored week to week, month to month and at milestone reviews set in the contract. They ensure the deliverable are met and if not that action is taken to punish the transgression or remedy the shortfall.

Contracting Officer Technical Representative (COTR)

A Program Manager usually is assisted by a COTR. The COTR has the job of making sure that the developer or contractor with the project is paid if and when he she delivers on the contract requirements and deliverables. And of ensuring that action is taken when they don’t. The COTR also has overall responsibility for tracking those deliverables usually with assistance from Office Personnel who do data entry/IT/Database work or work with the project teams.


Some of the requirements that the Audit found developers were not meeting, were workforce training and local hiring requirements. One of GABIDDC’s core missions is to ensure that City Wide Development, especially on public lands, is done in a manner that is sustainable and equitable to all citizens.

Our purpose is to do our part to ensure that all the citizens of this area have the opportunity to receive both the training and the job opportunities to be fully functional, free and independent citizens. Towards that end the City mandates that developers provide Jobs to DC residents.

GABIDDC is devoted to develop and facilitate the kinds of workforce training so that developers can meet the requirements for providing those jobs, and that citizens can fill job positions as they become available. That is why we are developing Workforce Training opportunities. It is also why we are proposing that the District use a requirements management system and program office to manage them.

GABIDDC can help projects like Hines Urban Atlantic to meet their workforce hiring requirements by providing recruiting and training services.

GABIDDC is doing what it can with limited funding, but stands ready to assist developers and the city in reaching it’s workforce requirements.

About the Author

Chris Holte is currently voluntarily assisting GABIDDC by helping with the website and working as CIO. He has 20 years+ experience working on projects and project management. He is the author of this article. The opinions expressed in this article are his own based on years of experience with IT projects, contract deliverables and requirements.

Read Full Story At Washington Post:

Dance Theater of Harlem October 15 2016

Dance Theatre of Harlem Benefit Event

Please join the Black Student Fund at a benefit performance by The Dance Theatre of Harlem (DTH) on October 15, 2016 at 8 pm at the Sidney Harman Hall. BSF will host a pre-performance reception from 6:30 pm -7:30 pm at Harman Hall.

Attacca Quartet, Choreographed by Francesca Harper, Music by John Adams.

This fall DTH presents a program including the D.C. premiere of a piece by internationally acclaimed choreographer Francesca Harper, set to the music of John Adams and performed live by the Attacca Quartet, a premier young performing ensemble.

For those new to the The Black Student Fund, we were founded more than fifty years ago, by a group of concerned parents, to integrate Washington, DC area independent schools. Former board members include Ernie Green, one of the Little Rock Nine as well as former Secretary of State Madeline Albright who continue to champion our efforts.

BSF has helped thousands of students achieve academic excellence by providing tailored wrap around services for our students and families. We take pride in knowing that all of our students in the last twenty years have graduated from college with one third going on to earn graduate and professional degrees. Currently we support ninety-two students at our 52 member schools.

BSF is most noted, in the Washington metropolitan area for hosting an annual school fair, which brings together independent schools, parents and potential students. On October 9th, BSF in partnership with the Latino Student Fund will present the 44th Independent School Fair, which attracted more than three thousand people last year.

These two videos on BSF alumni, produced by Stone Soup Films, tell our story.


Please join BSF for a worthwhile evening at our Benefit Performance of the Dance Theatre of Harlem on October 15, 2016. The cost is $90.


Announcement from our partners at the BSF