Category Archives: Local News

Margery E. Goldberg to be given an award on April 10

Margery E. Goldberg to be honored by the City Council and given an award for her service to the city on:

Tuesday April 10, 2018, between 11-1 at the Council Chambers in DC. People are welcome to come.

Our support of the “Selection from the Freedom Place Collection” exhibition at the Congressional Bank led us to be introduced to Margery E. Goldberg, who lives in Ward 4 and is also the founder and director of the Zenith Gallery and the Zenith Art Foundation. These work to train, support and promote local arts and artists. Since GABIDDC is primarily dedicated to present and future workforce training and education efforts, we welcome an association with her and congratulate her for her award.


“opened Zenith Gallery on Rhode Island Avenue, NW in March 1978 when she was 27 years old; and developed it into a 50,000 square foot art center, called Zenith Square with 17 50 artists studio’s, the Dance Exchange and Studio Theater.”

The award will be given at the Wilson Building at 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW.

For More on Margery:
Zenith Gallery
Zenith Foundation
Zenith Community Arts Foundation
1429 Iris St., NW
Washington, DC 20012-1409

Why DC Bill 22-663 is Bad legislation

The problem with DC Bill 22-663 is that the changes seem to reflect the agenda of major landowners and developers, and not necessarily the wishes of the people. This is not only our own opinions. The blogger “Eye On 501SW” writes:

“This is not the only issue where Office of Planning and the ANC are at odds. Certain elements within the city are currently proposing to strip the ANCs (and by default the communities they represent) of their say in community issues. This gutting would happen by a wholesale rewrite of the Comprehensive Plan that would essentially hand developers the keys to the city and remove many protections from communities.” [EyeOn501SW]

Not Good Changes

The strike-overs and edits on it show that this is core law being changed. Andrea Pawley in her blog, notes:

  1. Any plot in the city not built to the maximum allowable height in its area would be defined under the new bill as “underutilized” (213.4).
  2. The Future Land Use Map would no longer “express public policy” but instead only “generally depict public policy” (225.1).
  3. The current land use definitions would be eliminated and replaced by general descriptions open to subjective interpretation (223, 224, 225, 226).
  4. Neighborhood Conservation Areas would apply only to low density residential areas (223.4) – generally only the city’s richest neighborhoods – and would no longer be intended to conserve other, less affluent, established neighborhoods (223.5).
  5. Historic districts would be seen to have “unique opportunities for growth” (205.3).

These changes are not good changes. They are arbitrary and they seem aimed at shifting power to developers and big money and away from the residents of DC.

Need for Consent of Governed

Shouldn’t such things as this be reviewed by the people of the whole of the District constituency? Such radical changes in zoning law and permissive relaxations in regulation may reflect a power grab by developers unless the people of the district are onboard. The essential principle of law here that should operate is “consent of the Governed.” That consent is not effectively gained unless the people it is sought from are substantially informed and thus able to make an informed decision. Having relatively obscure public hearings is not a means to substantial information but to minimal informing of the public.

The Need for it to be a Public Referendum/Initiative

Something as radical as this should be publicly debated and maybe passed on by the voters. Passing dubious and possibly corrupting changes to the law like this without the “consent of the governed” would be an abuse of power on the part of the legislature and executive without such informed consent. Maybe the people of DC might be fine with anything goes rules for developers. But if it is passed without informed consent I doubt it. To quote Edward W. Young:

“The rule of law requires that people should be governed by accepted rules, rather than by the arbitrary decisions of rulers.” [Quote] One of those rules is consent of Governed.”

National Green Infrastructure Certification Program

UDC announces informationation meetings on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 and the following Wednesday March 28, 2018. Both from 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM at the College Bertie Backus Campus at 5171 South Dakota Avenue, NE.

The following is their announcement of these sessions.


“DC Water, in partnership with the Water Environment Federation, launched the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program to train, qualify and certify eligible participants for the green infrastructure construction, inspection and maintenance workforce. The University of the District of Columbia provides the training at no cost to District residents who qualify (a high school diploma or equivalent and no college education). A maximum of 30 participants are allowed.”

“DC Water and UDC will conduct mandatory information meetings about the program on Wednesday, March 21, 2018 and Wednesday, March 28, 2018. Please register at the links below to participate in either information session. Only one session is required to participate in the green infrastructure training program. The next two program training sessions begin the weeks of April 9th and April 23rd. The full training program is 106 hours.”


Wednesday, March 21, 2018
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Wednesday, March 28, 2018
6:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.


UDC Community College Bertie Backus Campus
5171 South Dakota Avenue, NE
Room 106
Washington, D.C. 20017
(within walking distance of Fort Totten metro stop)


Ashley Grant
(202) 274-7128

University of District of Columbia

The University of the District of Columbia (UDC) has one of the most community friendly workplace development programs of any public flagship university. The mission of the University of District of Columbia Division of Workforce Development and Lifelong Learning is to reduce unemployment in the District of Columbia by enhancing the skills of its residents. The Division of Workforce Development and Lifelong learning provides DC residents with job skills training in seven career pathways. The pathways include: Automotive and Truck maintenance and repair; construction and property management; early childhood education; healthcare; hospitality and tourism; information technology; infrastructure, transportation and logistics. Training programs include: classes, accuplacer and on site experiences. Services are offered at the no cost and adults age 18 and over are eligible.

Importance of Gun Free Zones and Enforcement

Gunfire Detections

While the country rightfully mourns the mass shooting at a Florida school, ShotsPotter DC’s gunfire detection system monitors gun discharges near DC schools. In one year ShotSpotter picked up 336 incidents of gunfire between 7 am and 7 pm. More than fifty percent of these incidents occurred within a 1000 feet of a public school or public charter school. A few more facts tell a chilling story.

Nine percent of the schools were exposed to 48 percent of gunfire. Twenty-five schools were exposed to gunfire around the time children usually go to school or leave school to go home. In the year of the study four schools experienced more area gunfire than others- Booker T. Washington, EL Haynes on Georgia Avenue, EL Haynes on Kansas Avenue and Meridian PCS – were each within 500 feet of 9 – 11 incidents of gunfire.

A study is underway to determine the impact of gunfire on students and school. The study will look at attendance, after school activities and stress. What is clear that mass shooting are statistically rare but gunfire with 1000 feet of schools is a common experience for many students at DC schools.

Open Letter to Community

A open letter to the community:

There exist 400 jobs removing Asbestos in one building, at Walter Reed.
15,000 truck load a@ 20,000 pounds per load will be removed.
810 truckload of Asbestos, and no jobs for DC residents.

In fact the project manager for NorthStar stated to me he is not going to hire anyone from DC g has prepared 4 EPA and OSHA certification courses to generate work for DC residents.
to date we have received one job for 1 residents who was terminated after his job was completed months.

It is no wonder crime in the neighbor hood is on the uptick. Without jobs what do you expect.
There exist no advocate to get work in the community for the community


Michael A. Jackson
(202) 604-3097

Providing Workforce Training in DC Area

GABIDDC is seeking to provide Workforce Training Classes on Hazardous Waste mitigation and to facilitate employment and apprenticeships on the Walter Reed Campus redevelopment effort. We need Community support, your support, to achieve our goals.

DC Residents stymied in Joining Workforce by Lack of Training

The Government of the District of Columbia does not have environmental or infrastructure training facilities for local residents to prepare for employment opportunities in disciplines associated with environmental and underground infrastructure projects. As a result, DC residents are unable to qualify for the growing number of job opportunities that require certifications in those areas. The lack of a training facility for residents and businesses located within the District of Columbia results in lost employment and business development opportunities for residents and local business.

Need for a Comprehensive Training Facility

GABIDDC, Michael Jackson and his friends and allies at UDC, the District Government and various others are seeking to remedy this situation by developing a comprehensive training facility to instruct and certify DC residents in the area of environmental expertise (e.g., lead abatement, asbestos and mold remediation, etc.), which will include teaching the rules and regulations enacted by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Benefits of Workforce Training

The benefits of this facility would be manifold. EPA and OSHA require workers to be trained and certified prior to performing certain biological and/or environmental applications for most construction trades and building maintenance functions in public space facilities. The DC government requires certifications to perform work through the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA) and the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE), as well as Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) training for some workforces. Such training would enable DC area residents to perform such work safely and expertly and thus would improve the lives of those DC residents who receive such training. This improves the quality of life of the areas they live.

Enforcing the Law Necessary

In order for such a training program to be successful, present laws (e.g., The First Choice Law), which mandate hiring DC residents on projects funded by DC taxpayer dollars, must be enforced. Currently, contractors and developers sign agreements to hire local and train their worker in environmental safety measures, and are able to ignore their promises using the excuse that no one is available locally, who is skilled to do the work.

Two Pronged Approach

We are thus seeking to change this.

The First Prong is to report to DC residents on these developers and encourage them to make an attempt to hire and train locally, for safe disposal of hazardous wastes.
The Second Prong is to stand up training courses and acquire a facility in which to do the training.

GABIDDC is making some progress on the Second Front, but needs your help on both fronts. Our DC community needs to support Mike in his efforts and to hold the Developer of Walter Reed to their promise. We need your help, contributions, participation and awareness.

Walter Reed Project Breaks Promises to Hire Locally

Michael Jackson of GABIDDC wrote an email Letter addressed to Council Member Elissa Silverman, on how the Walter Reed Project is breaking its promises to hire and train workers locally. In that email he points out that:

“In you efforts to peel the onion in determination of unfair labor, and wages practices related to the hiring of DC residents, please note that all apprenticeship programs should implement training for OSHA and EPA safety compliance standards.”

Circumventing Process

Mike observes that:

“Developers and contractors, who perform”… the “work to bring projects online, are circumventing the process in various ways.”


“The contractor hired by Hines Urban Atlantic, and Trident to perform the demolition contract work at Walter Reed on one 2.5 million square foot hospital building has informed me they are not in need of any DC workers.”

Essentially they told Mike that they don’t intend to hire locally, train people and who even knows if they intend to protect their safety when removing hazardous materially:

Safety and Hire-Local Covenants

Instead of hiring anyone Locally:

“The work started July 10th, 2017. NorthStar, is bringing in 400 people to form their own workforce from the Mid-Atlantic surrounding states, instead of abiding by the covenants sign in the disposition agreement with the ” Developer of Record”, for the government of the District of Columbia.

Why Requirements Apply

Mike Explains that the reason is that:

“Federal and District of Columbia  regulations require contractors to implement safety standards as part of their scope of work.”

Therefore because:

“More than a certain percentage of existing building space is presently” “deem[ed] to have environmental issues”

therefore workers in those spaces should be trained in, provided and use, proper gear per OSHA requirements that apply to all projects in DC. Further:

“The community benefits package of the disposition agreements stated by the developer and Mayor communicated to the community, that 51% of the workforce would come from the District of Columbia. This mandate requires training.”

Therefore they are breaking their agreement by making no effort to hire locally.

Circumventing Promises


“NorthStar’s estimate of the number of workers required to perform the scope of work and applications are 400.”

Which means that the District of Columbia is:

“losing jobs, and taxable dollars for 201 workers, [who] could be trained and employed.”

DCRA and DOEE did not address this issue before permitting work. Therefore:

“A formal estimate of the environmental scopes of work…is unkown”


NorthStar for example, the demolition contractor chosen by the Walter Reed developer, has not disclosed” these things, and “Neither did the contractor who installed the
new water line across campus from Georgia Ave to 16th Street NW.”

As a result while we know:

“810 truckloads of hazardous material will be generated from the process of demolition.”
“15,000 truckloads of recycled concrete will be removed after the demolition process”
Only 1 person out of 20 applicants was hired through efforts to generate worker for the 3,225 linear feet of 12 inch pipe line that is currently being installed at Walter Reed.

Disregarding DC law

Mike has not let this pass:

“In response to this a meeting with the Office of the Attorney General [occured July 27th 2017] for the purpose of deriving the facts and resulting outcomes that can be achieved to generate some jobs. This case is similar in format to Power Design, in that this is a blatant disregards to fairly employ citizens promised job opportunities. The actions of both the developer and contractor [display blatant] disrespect of the laws of the government of the District of Columbia.”

Need Intercession!

He pleaded for the District government to:

“The community ask[s] for your intercession, similar [to what you did] for the Power Design case with the Office of the Attorney General. We ask[] for a special hearing to resend fines and/or stipulat[ions] on behalf of the community and [for] the government to find solutions to effectively implement the disposition agreement between the District of Columbia, and Hines, Urban Atlantic, Trident “the Developer of Record” for the government of the District of Columbia. if the developer does not agree to implement” the workforce agreement.

GABIDDC And Partner’s Role

GABIDDC, led by Mike Jackson has poured his heart into setting up to implement this agreement. He has worked with a number of DC groups and the District governent. And, he created 5

“courses prepared with curriculum for 7 EPA, and OSHA certifications required, by the code of federal regulations( CFR )”

And Struggled Valiantly to protect the rights of residents and working people in the District of Columbia. He has a vision of, as

“a first step” a “ladder to living wages.” based on a “curriculum [of] individual and apprenticeship classes to assist DC residents looking for work, and for the general public needs to generate permits for environmental issues.”

We need Your Help!

This issue needs the attention of the residents of DC. Once again developers use bait and switch promises and hollow contracts to deceive residents, and they shouldn’t be able to get away with it! We cannot, without working together:

“deliver inclusive development, affordable housing without the help of generating as many jobs as possible.”

And that requires the District have some power over it’s own territory