SAVE THE FLEA MARKET CAMPAIGN BEGINS
A campaign to save The Flea Market at Eastern Market from both city legislation and redevelopment was kicked off Saturday by Michael Berman, President of Diverse Markets Management (DMM), the D.C. company that manages the market.
The campaign began Saturday with an online petition posted at the change.org site and continued on Sunday at the popular Capitol Hill venue with dozens of market exhibitors asking customers to sign a similar paper version.
While the online campaign targeted Ward 6 City Council Member Tommy Wells and the D.C. Zoning Commission, the paper version included the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development. "And we're going to make sure that both Wells' City Council colleagues and the Mayor get copies," Berman promised.
The campaign was prompted by both reactions to new Eastern Market legislation introduced by Wells last week and simultaneously scheduled for public hearing by the Council's Committee on the Whole Thursday, June 7; and by "an extremely important" Zoning Commission hearing, which was previously scheduled for Thursday, June 14, on the redevelopment of the Hine Junior High School site, 7th and C Streets, SE, where the Flea Market has operated for 20 years.
Berman said DMM has been particularly-focused on the Zoning Commission hearing, which will rule on the developers' "planned unit development" (PUD). "We've hired legal representation, an architectural consultant, a polling firm and economic development specialists to help us research, compile data and prepare testimony for this hearing.
"And we've now decided to publicly ask our exhibitors and our customers directly for help in getting out our message," he continued, "which is that the market has become an essential element of not only the neighborhood but also the City and region as well."
Berman outlined in detail both the history behind and the need for the campaign call in an email letter to exhibitors:
How You Can Help
We need everyone's support. At worst, it could mean the end of the markets; a severe blow to all of us who make our livelihoods here, but also a significant social, cultural and economic blow to the viability of Eastern Market, Capitol Hill and the City.
However, I am confident that if the community and the city understand that threat, changes will be made to accommodate us. I am hopeful positive changes are already in the works. In order to make change happen, we need you to:
- Testify, write letters of support. We need your story. To testify at the development Zoning Hearing, contact me. To sign up to testify about the legislation go HERE.
- Distribute fliers, buttons, signs, petitions, online activity. Sign our online petition.
- Get educated:
- See for yourself the proposed development. View the developer's 3-D Model at the Hill Center, 921 Pennsylvania Ave, SE
- Check out RightSizeHine.org , HineSchoolPUDblog and EMMCAblog
- The developers site: HineSchool.com
- New legislation: B19-513, Eastern Market Preservation & Development Amendment Act. TommyWells.org. Hearing info: DCcouncil.hearing-notices
- Thursday June 7
- Public Hearing on B19-513 Eastern Market Preservation & Development Amendment Act
- 10 am. Room 500 of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW.
- The purpose of the public hearing is to discuss and provide the public with an opportunity to comment on the proposed legislation.
- Sign up to testify
- Thursday June 14
- Zoning Commission Case No. 11-24 - Stanton-Eastbanc LLC - Consolidated PUD and Related Map Amendment
- 6:30 pm. Hearing Room 441 4th Street, N.W., Suite 220-South Washington, D.C. 20001
- The Applicant is requesting approval of a consolidated planned unit development ("PUD") and related map amendment for the property located on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue, S.E., between 7th and 8th Streets, which is more particularly described as Lot 801 in Square 901.
Thank you for all your support. More information and activity updates will be coming soon. We appreciate your help and any questions, ideas or information.