The Hillcrest Community Civic Association, established in late 1989, invites all Hillcrest residents to join the association to promote the welfare of our neighborhood. Our purpose is simple--to voice our concerns to government officials, businesses, and residents to ensure the best possible living environment in Hillcrest. We address the District of Columbia services of police and fire protection; leaf and refuse collection, snow removal; and safety and traffic lights. We also promote the issues of education, health, housing, and beautification. We work in harmony with all agencies and organizations in Washington, D.C. for the purpose of effecting a better quality of life in our city.
Meetings are held the first Saturday of each month, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. at the Hillcrest Community Center, 32nd and Denver St SE
Formation of HCCA
According to a letter dated August 22, 1989 by Belva T. Simmons, former Commissioner of ANC 7B05. "Hillcrest was the only geographically designated community in Ward 7 that did not have a viable neighborhood organization. The letter goes on to say: However, District of Columbia government maps identify Hillcrest as the area of Southern Avenue from Suitland Road to Branch Avenue; Gainsville to 32nd to W; W to Branch Avenue; up to Branch to U Street; U Street down to 36th Place and including Alabama Avenue from 32nd to 37th Street."
The letter continues: "Neighborhood organizations have proved to be of great value in the District of Columbia. For example, the River Terrace Civic Association challenged PEPCO's attempt to place additional turbine generators on its property facing the River Terrace tightly compacted northeast neighborhood. So far, their challenge has been successful. In our area on Southern Avenue, District citizens have joined with a civic association on the Maryland side of Southern Avenue to have a voice in a development planned for that section of Prince George's County. Without a doubt, a development of apartments or townhouses opening onto Southern Avenue would have a great impact on the residential streets of our community. On August 2, 1989, approximately 60 persons met on the front lawn of Mr. and Mrs. Dennis Logan for our annual Neighborhood Watch "Night Out" where we talked about reviving our neighborhood organization. Our neighbors greeted the idea with great enthusiasm. Accordingly, a first meeting has been planned for 10:00 A.M. Saturday, September 30, 1989 at the Church of the Holy Comforter, Branch and Alabama Avenue, S.E."
Commissioner Simmons closed that letter as follows: "If you are interested, contact me at 724-8098 (day) 581-8681 (evening). HILLCREST NEEDS AN ORGANIZATION TO SPEAK WITH A CONCERTED VOICE ABOUT OUR PROBLEMS AND NEEDS."
The October 28th Minutes of the Organizing Committee of Hillcrest Neighborhood provide these insights. Approximately 30 neighbors met on Saturday, September 30, at the Church of the Holy Comforter to form a neighborhood organization for the Hillcrest area. Unanimity was the prevailing feeling of the group regarding the need for a neighborhood organization. Some of the expressions of the group were: to see that the District provides service to the area based on the needs as assessed by the residents, provide an image for the area whose characteristics may be conveyed to others outside the community and to new neighbors, to help all neighbors join in keeping our neighborhood up to the standards projected by the image of the community, more neighbors need to know one another for a more congenial atmosphere and as a crime prevention measure when neighbors watch out for one another and to help our children by sponsoring educational and entertaining events and projects.
Assignments were accepted by individuals attending to obtain the boundary lines of the Hillcrest area; to obtain information about applying for a charter; to contact the Federation of Civic Associations and a second umbrella organization for citizen associations for information about their organizations and about their membership requirements. Throughout the morning, reference was made to previous Hillcrest organizations. Ms. Simmons volunteered to contact the proper authorities who could tell us if charters had been issued.
Minutes of January 6, 1990 revealed that "Hillcrest Community Civic Association was the title selected by the Hillcrest organizing group at the December 5th meeting. The title was a combination of a motion by Pastor Senger for "Community" and William Clark for "Civic", The group voted to meet on the first Saturday of each month. The first draft of the Constitution was to be presented by the Constitution Committee whose members included: James Short, Jr., chairman, Daniel Rucker, Johnnie Davis and Bill Johnson. Barbara Walker volunteered as recording secretary, while volunteer Bessie Pappas agreed to serve as corresponding secretary…A freewill collection for purchase of stamps totaled $45.45. Dennis Logan, treasurer, made it an even $50 donation."
Philip Hammond, an organizing member and Street and Alley Cleaning supervisor for the Department of Public Works, was the principal speaker. Lt. Kerry White of the 7th District Police reported that theft of and from autos was the major criminal acts in Hillcrest.
Later Belva Simmons, writer of that original letter to Hillcrest Neighbors, was elected first president of the Association. She has been succeeded in the presidency by Paul Savage, Pastor Franklin Senger, III, and our current president, Vincent M. Spaulding