FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 1, 2017
On July 12, 2017, permits issued by the Department of General Services (DGS) on behalf of the DC Public Schools (DCPS) system allowed organized sports leagues sole use of the soccer field at Harriet Tubman Elementary School on a majority of weekday evenings and during peak playing times. These permits effectively closed the field to those in the community who had a longstanding history of using Tubman field for pick-up soccer games These open games have operated for decades until the conflict arose between the players and one of the organizations that had been issued a permit due to an inadequate system that currently does not coordinate public use of school athletic fields with Parent Teacher Organizations (PTOs), Advisory Neighborhood Commissions (ANCs), or the community at large. The conflict at Tubman field was not the result of a single permit application or any one organization, but rather the result of DGS’s issuance of multiple permits to several organizations without giving weight to how it was being used by the community.[i]
Working with residents, leaders of organized sports leagues, and members of PTOs, it quickly became apparent to me that the recent event at the Harriet Tubman School is not unique to Ward 1 or the District of Columbia as a whole – with additional known conflicts having occurred at Marie Reed, the Columbia Heights Education Campus, Alice Deal Middle School, and others. The current permitting system for school fields must be reformed to avoid future use conflicts such as the one that occurred at the Tubman athletic field in July and to better ensure fairer use of these valued community spaces.
July 1, 2017
Today Kent Boese formally announced his candidacy for the 2018 Ward 1 Democratic Primary for the DC Council. He made the formal announcement at his house in Park View, a neighborhood that Kent has called home for more than a decade.
“I am running to be the next Ward 1 Councilmember because I am committed to ensuring that our District government meets the needs of all residents,” Kent said. “Restoring Ward 1’s long legacy of providing excellent constituent services on issues large and small is one of my top priorities, and I will be the progressive advocate that maintains the rich diversity of our Ward as our neighborhoods continue to grow and prosper.”