When I first moved to Brookland I started attending Brookland Neighborhood Civic Association (BNCA) meetings. Over the years I have found my membership to be rewarding for multiple reasons – I have met a lot of great neighbors, gotten involved in community events and stayed abreast of neighborhood developments, not bad for $10 a year! BNCA memberships are based on the calendar year, so now is the time to renew or begin your membership.
The next BNCA meeting will be on Tuesday, January 16th at 7:00 pm at Brookland Middle School (1150 Michigan Ave NE). Topics will include Opportunities for Tutoring, Bluebird Sky Yoga, Community Health Concerns, Air Quality and Traffic Issues and others. Need more info? BNCA President Dan Schramm put together the FAQs below so folks could understand more about what they do.
Who Are We?
BNCA is, well, … you! We are a grassroots organization run by volunteers. Our members are primarily residents of the community as well as some local businesses. All of our current officers are residents. We exist solely to advance the interests of the Brookland community in Northeast Washington, DC.
We are only as strong as the level of support we receive from the community. We seek a broad base of membership to ensure we accurately and successfully represent the community – especially when it comes to the many complex and challenging issues we face.
Aren’t you a Homeowners Association or Some Kind of Exclusive Club?
Absolutely not! We strive to be as diverse and inclusive an organization as possible. All residents and businesses within Brookland are urged to become members. Whether your family has been here for four generations or just moved in last week, you deserve to have a voice in your community. We are not an HOA (a common misconception about civic associations). DC’s neighborhoods have a rich tradition of civic associations operating at the grassroots to advance community interests. You can read more about our history here.
You do not have to be a member to attend BNCA’s monthly meetings. All are welcome. And if you do not live or do business in Brookland, you can still become an associate member.
What has BNCA done for Brookland lately?
I’m glad you asked! Here are just a few of our recent accomplishments:
- Re-established truck restrictions on several residential streets; continue to work with DDOT and MPD on reducing heavy truck traffic and other traffic issues
- Submitted detailed proposed amendments to the DC Comprehensive Plan to protect and enhance Brookland’s historical character and charm
- Held the 10th Annual Great Brookland Yard Sale in May 2017 – with close to 100 locations!
- Partnered with the Park Service to clean-up and maintain Ft. Bunker Hill Park – we usually hold 2 clean-up events each year
- Obtained enhanced public safety measures from DC government along the Metro Branch Trail and other locations
- Helped obtain interim historical preservation status for the Harewood Gatehouse.
- Submitted numerous letters of support for local organizations, property owners, and businesses, like Dance Place, Brookland’s Finest, San Antonio Bar and Grill, and others. Check out our reading room for more.
- Engaged with developers to ensure sensitive and appropriate development in Brookland – we fight for environmental protection, inclusive/affordable housing, traffic mitigation, historical preservation, and a safe and walkable community
- Donated to local service organizations (another $200 in gifts for residents of the Stoddard Baptist Global Care this holiday season!)
- Provided urgent notifications to members when needed – such as DC’s authorization of prepayment of 2018 property taxes at the end of 2017
How is BNCA Funded?
We are almost entirely funded through the $10 annual membership dues. This allows us to stay independent and focused on serving the community. But it also explains why having strong membership is so important to the organization. With your membership, you help support all of the good things we do listed above!
Who Runs the BNCA?
BNCA has a president and six other officers, with annual elections held at the February monthly meeting (coming up soon! Only members in good standing 30 days prior to the election may vote). We also strongly encourage members to take on leadership for specific projects. Simply come talk to us if you have an idea to make Brookland better and we’ll see what we can do to support it!
Our current Board is:
President: Daniel Schramm
Vice-president: Brian Stevens
Treasurer: Clyde Blassengale
Communications Director: Elise Scott
Recording Secretary: Lamont Bessick
Membership Coordinator: Theresa Fleming
Member At-Large: Ian MacFarlane
How is BNCA Organized?
We are registered as a non-profit organization under the laws of the District of Columbia (though we are not a 501(c)(3) for federal tax purposes). We are organized under a Constitution and By-Laws which provide for monthly membership meetings (except in August and December), voting procedures for passing resolutions and taking other significant actions, and procedures for elections.
When Does BNCA Meet?
We generally meet on the third Tuesday of every month at 7 pm. Location is usually at the Brooks Mansion (901 Newton Street NE), unless otherwise announced. The board also meets monthly.
How Do I Become A Member Again?
It’s easy, and just $10/year! The best way is to do it online here – this sets up automatic renewal (though you can cancel at any time). You can also sign-up in person at one of our meetings or other events.