Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Some ANC commisioners oppose, then support, the Mt. Pleasant Farmer's Market; all is well again

If you are a fan of the popular Mt. Pleasant Farmer's Market, don't worry: it's still happening.

Earlier today I saw a tweet from PoP about a meeting on the Mt. Pleasant Farmer's Market: apparently the popular market might be in trouble, as three ANC commissioners, Arturo, Rosa, and Franko, suddenly declined to support giving a permit to the market.

Normally the market receives a permit easily from the ANC, which allows it to remai open.

A meeting was called tonight for supporters of the market, and people were upset.

Turns out, it's all been worked out: ANC 1D commish Adam Hoey said there was a "a mix of valid concerns, misinformation, debate over process and poor communication" but now the objecting commissioners have agreed to support the popular market once again.

Here's his full note with all the explanations:
ANC 1D Commissioners, Mount Pleasant Residents & Stakeholders,

A group of commissioners from ANC 1D (Frank Agbro, Rosa Rivas, Arturo Griffiths) met with Mount Pleasant Farmers' Market owner Robert Frazier and Commissioner Adam Hoey on Sunday afternoon to discuss their concerns and learn more about the market as it seeks to renew its DPR permit for Lamont Park for the 2015 season now in its 12th year.

For the last several years, ANC 1D in cooperation with DPR, has required an initial review of permit applications before they are formally approved and granted by DPR. This process generally involves a submission of a DPR permit application followed by a separate letter sent to the ANC 1D email group for review by all commissioners. If there is no objection then the permit is approved and sent to DPR. In some unique cases (ex. a festival), a group may come before the ANC to present its event plan which addresses DPR/ANC guidelines and neighborhood impacts.

Over the last 2 weeks we've encountered a mix of valid concerns, misinformation, debate over process and poor communication regarding this permit renewal process. I'm pleased to announce that with some constructive face-to-face dialog, the permit is nowunanimously approved by ANC 1D commissioners.

The discussion include the following topics:

1. Inclusiveness and support for Mount Pleasant's Latin American and African American communities as well as other cultures and minority groups at the Farmers' Market

This includes making minorities and people from diverse backgrounds feel more welcome to shop in the market by providing language support and other assistance especially in Spanish. Some members of the community have had difficulty shopping with some vendors. The market currently has some bilingual vendors staff but additional materials could be provided with translations of produce, baked goods and other items names.

2. Realization of the mission of the Farmers' Market, what is is and the future potential for other markets in the neighborhood

While some neighborhoods have large community markets, this market has traditionally been a farmer's market focused on fresh, locally grown produce from local area farmers occupying a small space in Lamont Park. Some have expressed interest in other types of markets and goods which could be purchased from our local businesses or from a new separate market.

3. A review of the ANC 1D DPR permit process

This includes ensuring that the ANC permit approval process is clear, consistent, fair and transparent and that new commissioners are educated on this process. Specifically ANC 1D will work to further clarify when groups should appear in person before the ANC at a business meeting or informal meeting and when a simple letter is sufficient.

Overall, ANC 1D will continue to work in 2015 to improve its communications and outreach to our diverse Mount Pleasant community including sharing available resources and reporting progress on these topics. As a best practice commissioners have also agreed on the importance of face-to-face dialog and informal meetings when discussing complex topics instead of relaying on email.

Kind regards,
Adam Hoey & ANC 1D Commissioners
Thanks to Twitter user @bicyclebug for the heads-up that it was resolved.


Anonymous said...

does the government really need to help spanish speakers shop at a farmer's market? i have traveled all over the world, pointing and a calculator work fine.

Andrew W said...

I get the feeling that it was more to make sure minorities knew the market existed and were able to participate, but not sure.

Anonymous said...

@andrew the 1st point says "feel more welcome to shop in the market by providing language support"

Andrew W said...

True. I think that's fair though, if you are using public space in a diverse area it makes sense to make sure everybody can use it.

Constantine said...

My planner was an absolute delight to work with. The event coordinator answered my questions about wedding etiquette, and took charge of the ceremony rehearsal and wedding day timelines, allowing our families to just enjoy the day.