President Ross Grantham called the meeting to order at 12.30pm, asking all members to silence their cell phones.
 
Jim Freeman presented club members with a few words to highlight the history of Rotary by discussing ‘What is Rotary?’  He quotes Dr. William Lyon Phelps (replacing the word gentleman with Rotarian) saying in part “The final test of a gentleman is his respect for those who can be of no possible service to him.”
 
President Ross introduced our guests and visiting Rotarians:
Visiting Rotarians:
  • Darien Salehy of Rotaract DC
  • Terry Mc Cormick from the Society of Cardiovascular Angiography and Intervention Foundation
  • AK Emarievbe of Dupont Rotary
Guests:
  • Shirley Johnson from Central Union Mission was a guest of David Treadwell
  • Myrna Fawcett, Principal at Fawcett&Fawcett LLC was a guest of Clara Montanez
  • Bill Day, Attorney at Day Law Practice was a guest of Wilhelmina Bratton
  • Carson Barylak, guest of AK Emarievbe of Dupont Rotary
BIRTHDAYS
Clara Montanez - August 29  Clara has been a Rotarian since November 2003.  She was sponsored by Guillermo Grajales and her classification is Financial Advisor.
Steve Adkins - August 30  Steve joined our club in October 2004. He was sponsored by Peter Kennedy and his classification is Law: International Trade.
Tim Hurd - August 30  Tim joined Rotary in August 2009. He was sponsored by Rob Warne and his classification is Consulting: Media Relations.
Larry Wang - August 30  Larry joined our club in February 2008. He was sponsored by Larry Margolis and his classification is Food Services: Coffee.
Ross Grantham - September 3  Ross joined Rotary in October 1999. He was sponsored by Angela Griffin and is currently our wonderful Club President, 2016 - 2017.
 
CLUB ANNIVERSARIES:
Steve Liston - September 1, 2011 (5 years)
 
ANNOUNCEMENTS
President Ross announced that Rotary Day is coming up on November 12th and the topic this year is Responsible Business & Resilient Societies.  One of the ways in which Rotary promotes this is through equitable development.
 
David Klaus highlighted the recent decline in the participation for the Dictionary Program.  Recent club involvement by members is down and it has caused Rotary to lose credibility with DC Public Schools.  David called on lunch attendees to re-commit to the program by standing to show their support.  The majority of the room stood up.
 
Crate Patrol volunteers were requested for the September 16th and September 20th.
 
President Ross requested for volunteers to host a family of Rotarians visiting Washington, DC from Turkey.
 
Pat Cunningham received his Blue Badge today, with congratulations from President Ross.
 
SPEAKER:
 
Former Club President Jennifer Hara introduced our Speaker, Adrianne Todman, who has served as the Executive Director of the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA) since 2009. She is a native of St. Thomas and now lives in DC.
 
During her seven-year tenure, DCHA has created a national model to house and assist homeless veterans, opened the first public affordable assisted-living facility and increased the number of affordable units available for low-income families.  
 
Prior to being at DCHA, Ms. Todman held several positions in the legislative and executive branches of the federal government where she worked on housing issues. She is the Vice-President of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities. She also serves on the DC Promise Neighborhood Board, the Black Women’s Roundtable and the DC Workforce Investment Committee. She is the only housing authority director on the National Housing Conference Board of Trustees. A member of the Leadership Greater Washington Class of 2007, she is a faculty member of the Skinner Institute’s Master’s Series for Distinguished Leaders. Ms. Todman co-founded the Women in Housing Leadership Initiative and serves on the Smith College President Council. She is a recipient of the federal Distinguished Service Award and the Hammer Award from Vice President Al Gore. In 2016, Ms. Todman received the District of Columbia Building Industry Association’s Achievement Award under the Public Sector category.
 
Ms. Todman discussed the framework of DC’s housing structure touching on the three housing agencies: DC Housing Finance Authority, the Department of Housing and Community Development, which among other things handles the $100M Housing Production Trust Fund, and DCHA, which provides housing to over 50,000 residents and is the largest affordable housing provider in the District of Columbia. 
 
90 percent of DCHA’s funds come from HUD but the agency operates at a local level.  IT does this in four ways: (1) owning and managing public housing [8,300 units in all Wards], (2) the Section 8 program which receives full funding from HUD [13,000 rental assistance vouchers], (3) outreach programs, and (4) work with community developers. 
 
The last of those four, development partnerships, is where Ms. Todman focused her remarks stressing the need to reach out to the private sector to preserve affordable units in the city.  DCHA has leveraged funds from seven federal grants to complete: Townhomes on Capitol Hill, Wheeler Creek, Henson Ridge, Capitol Gateway, Capitol Quarter/Arthur Capper Carrolsburg, Glenncrest/Triangle View, and Sheridan Terrace. 
 
Much of the work to repair and replace severely distressed public housing has been through the Choice Neighborhoods Initiative, created under the Obama Administration, as a successor to HUD’s HOPE VI program.  Choice Neighborhoods provides competitive grants to developers in exchange for building affordable housing units.  The cost to construct comes out to about $250,000 per unit.
 
Among the early successes with the HOPE VI program that Ms. Todman highlighted are the Townhomes on Capitol Hill, spearheaded during Tony Williams’ time as mayor, it is a mixed-income federally funded project that replaced the Ellen Wilson public housing project.  She pointed to the project as the catalyst for development along 8th Street SE.
 
There were a number of questions from fellow Rotarians with a particular focus on the Section 8 program.  Ms. Todman discussed how it was not just the growing management but more importantly the concern over giving families false hope that eventually led DCHA to close down the waitlist for the Section 8 program, which currently sits at around 28,000 families with a turnover of just around 400 per year.
 
CLOSING:
Raffle:   Marjorie Scott won the small pot of $85 and did not win the large pot of $1726.
 
The meeting adjourned at 1:30 pm