Neighbors Encouraged to Voice Support
Two years ago, after the closures of Ripple and Nam Viet, the community got together with the local merchants to spearhead an effort to revitalize Cleveland Park. The goal was to bring a focused and sustained effort to promote our Connecticut Ave commercial corridor to help existing business and attract new ones.
The farmers market, the Uptown Shuffle Dance party, the social media presence of the businesses, the speakers series at the Library, and the unprecedented involvement of commercial property owners, merchants and residents were among the results. Strategic and marketing plans have been developed. What has been lacking is a professional and dedicated hand to guide and execute these efforts. This why we petitioned Ward 3 Council Member Mary Cheh to support funding for a Main Street grant from the city for Cleveland Park – and she delivered!
While funds are allocated, WE THE COMMUNITY need to show the city we are ready to put those funds to use, and that the effort has widespread support.
The CP Revitalization Team, a partnership between merchants and residents, has decided to work with DC nonprofit District Bridges to apply for the grant. District Bridges currently manages the Main Street programs in Mount Pleasant and Lower Georgia Avenue. They are experts in urban revitalization and know how to maximize the various grants and programs offered by the city and other NGOs to provide direct help to the neighborhoods they serve. District Bridges was the moving force behind the upcoming “Open Streets” event on October 5th that will close a three-mile stretch of Georgia Ave to motor vehicle traffic to encourage people to get out and mingle along their commercial corridor.
The Main Street program, developed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, provides funding, organizational support, and capacity-building for the revitalization of neighborhood business districts. Nearby successful Main Street programs in D.C. include the Van Ness Main Street, Dupont Circle Main Street, and the Georgetown Main Street.
What Will Main street provide?
- Paid manager focused on revitalization
- Backing by District Bridges, DC non-profit with urban revitalization experience
- Neighborhood branding & marketing
- Technical assistance & grants for merchants
- Community events
- New business recruitment
- Streetscape rehabilitation
- Volunteer organization and recruitment
WHAT WE NEED FROM YOU
We encourage all residents to submit a HARD COPY (seriously) signed letter of support for the District Bridges application that we can include in our submission due in early September. We need your letter by September 6!
If you can also pledge a financial commitment to the effort, that would be great. The grant review process is looking to see that there is both declared and financial support. Realizing this is a big ask, don’t let this request deter you from submitting a letter of support. You do not need to make the contribution yet – only a pledge – in any amount you can manage: $10, $50, $100, $500, $1,000 or more.
Below is the letter template. Please customize it to include your name and address, and if pledging financial support, the amount. Print it out and sign it and then you can deliver it one of three ways:
- Scan it and send a PDF of your letter to Brianne Dornbush (email@example.com)
- Print it and mail it to District Bridges c/o Brianne Dornbush, 3400 11th St NW Suite 200, Washington, DC 20010
- If you want to save the stamp, you can drop the letter off at 2930 Macomb St (red bungalow).
THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR SUPPORT – WE ARE MAKING PROGRESS AND THIS EFFORT WILL BE A REAL CATALYST!
Questions? Email bob.ward.dc at gmail.com
Co-Chair Economic Vitality Committee, CP Revitalization team
Support Letter Template
Letter of Support for the District Bridges Cleveland Park Main Street Grant Application
Dear Review Panel,
I/We would like to submit a letter of support on behalf of District Bridges for their Cleveland Park Main Streets Grant application. As Washington, DC continues to grow and develop it is important for our community to continue to invest in the small and local businesses that have made Cleveland Park a sought after destination for many years. We believe a successful Main Street program is vital to the long term success of our neighborhood. [We are committed to supporting a Cleveland Park Main Street program and so we enthusiastically submit a letter of support for District Bridges application for the Cleveland Park Main Street grant.] ALTERNATE [We are committed to supporting a Cleveland Park Main Street program and so we are making a financial pledge of $__________ in support of District Bridges application for the Cleveland Park Main Street. ]
As resident of the neighborhood and customer of the Cleveland Park businesses, we believe the combined effort of District Bridges and the Cleveland Park revitalization team organized by the CPBA is a vital step forward in reinvigorating our commercial area .
If awarded the Cleveland Park Main Streets Grant, we believe District Bridges will be able to develop a thriving program that will support the small and local businesses here in Cleveland Park and continue to promote a sense of unity and commitment to our community.