"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


Location: Washington, DC

Website: www.downtowndc.org

The DowntownDC BID is a non-profit organization that works to improve Downtown DC’s public environment, economy and social equity. Our goal is to create a vibrant, inviting and smart place where people from all walks of life are able to explore, create and share remarkable urban experiences that inspire and revitalize.

Property owners fund this special district through tax assessments that enable the DowntownDC BID to improve the public realm and to promote and help retain businesses. Established under District of Columbia legislation in 1997, the DowntownDC BID was renewed for additional five-year terms in 2002 and 2007 through votes of property owners and tenants and actions of the Mayor and City Council.

More than 800 commercial properties comprise the DowntownDC BID area within the boundaries of the National Mall on the south, Massachusetts Avenue (including the Walter E. Washington Convention Center) on the north, Louisiana Avenue on the east and the White House and 16th Street on the west. The DowntownDC BID area encompasses the Gallery Place, Chinatown, Federal Triangle, Franklin Square, McPherson Square, Midtown and Penn Quarter neighborhoods.

The DowntownDC BID provides services in the areas of safety, hospitality, maintenance, physical improvements, homeless services, transportation, marketing, special events, planning, economic development and environmental sustainability. In addition, the DowntownDC BID provides management services to affiliated non-profit organizations: the National Cherry Blossom Festival®, the District of Columbia Surface Transit, Inc. (DCST), the Public Space Planning and Management Corporation and the Mount Vernon Triangle Community Improvement District.

A Board of Directors, consisting of 42 business and civic leaders, governs the DowntownDC BID with an annual budget of $10 million, the majority of which is spent on maintenance, beautification, safety and hospitality.

The organization relies upon partnerships with the District of Columbia government, the federal government—especially the General Services Administration (through their Good Neighbor Program, which actively supports urban development through community partnerships); the National Park Service; and the National Capital Planning Commission, as well as the Washington Metropolitan Area Transportation Authority—and a variety of other public agencies and private sector organizations in order to accomplish its work.

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