November 5, 2019 | Blog

Ceremonial Resolution Honoring Maybelle Bennett's Career













To recognize and honor Maybelle Bennett’s career and contributions to the District of Columbia and the community within and surrounding Howard University.


WHEREAS, Maybelle Bennett is a native Washingtonian and resident of the Congress Heights neighborhood; and


WHEREAS, Maybelle Bennett has and will continue to dedicate herself to strong advocacy for the vitality of long-time District residents, of low- and moderate-income residents, and of the cultural and historical integrity of the District of Columbia’s communities; and


WHEREAS, Ms. Bennett received a Bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies from Vassar College and a Masters of Science in Urban Planning from Columbia University; and


WHEREAS, Ms. Bennett served on the District of Columbia Zoning Commission for sixteen years, serving as its Chairperson for seven of those years and overseeing a crucial period of the District’s history; and


WHEREAS, Ms. Bennett has been deeply involved in the development and implementation of community planning and development in the neighborhoods surrounding Howard University, including LeDroit Park, Pleasant Plains, and Shaw; and


WHEREAS, the Howard University Community Association (“Community Association”) was founded in 1995 by Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, Dr. Hassan Minor in order to strengthen the relationship between the university and nearby residents; and


WHEREAS, Ms. Bennett has served as its director since 1996, acting as a guiding voice for the University’s relationship and investment in the surrounding neighborhoods; and


WHEREAS, under the direction of Maybelle Bennett, the Community Association worked in partnership with Fannie Mae and the LeDroit Park Community on the LeDroit Park Initiative; and


WHEREAS, Ms. Bennett worked with Dr. Rodney Green and the Howard University Center for Urban Progress to secure HUD/HBCU set-aside funding for Manna Housing, Inc. and the Peoples Involvement Corporation, for the purposes of supporting low- and moderate-income homeownership opportunities in LeDroit Park;


WHEREAS, the LeDroit Park Initiative since 1997 has effectively leveraged local, federal, and private funds to rehabilitate vacant housing in the LeDroit Park neighborhood, create a down payment assistance program, and invest in public infrastructure to create a thriving and diverse community; and


WHEREAS, the LeDroit Park Initiative continues to invest in affordable housing and neighborhood amenities, and is considered a national model for how Universities can strategically invest in their communities; and


WHEREAS, Ms. Bennett managed the 2012 Howard University Central Campus Master Plan, laying out a roadmap for enhanced academic facilities and the implementation of the DUKE plan for sustainable development and cultural facilities; and


WHEREAS, Ms. Bennett oversaw Howard University’s Community Service Corps program, which placed students in human services agencies and school programs within the District government; and


WHEREAS, Ms. Bennett currently serves on the Board of Directors for: the Douglass Community Land Trust; Manna Ventures, Inc.; the Emergence Community Arts Collective; and the Interfaith Action for Human Rights.


RESOLVED, BY THE COUNCIL OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, that this resolution may be cited as the “Maybelle Bennett Recognition Resolution of 2019”.


Sec. 2. The Council recognizes the nearly unparalleled contributions of Maybelle Bennett in crafting an inclusive city, creating a resilient community, and empowering others to engage in a conversation on our collective future. The Council wishes her the best in all of her future endeavors.


Sec. 3. This resolution shall take effect immediately upon the first date of publication in the District of Columbia Register.