President's Corner

Staying Connected in Challenging Times

Stan Benton, PresidentHappy almost Spring, Neighbors. It’s a bit of a difficult time at the moment with the war in Ukraine and lots of global tension in the air. Locally, we also had our fair share of issues with two attempted car-jackings in our community.Locally, we also had our fair share of issues with two attempted car-jackings in our community.

Terry Clyburn, our Safety Chairperson, will arrange a Public Safety / Carjacking Safety training session, facilitated by MPD later this month.  In addition, we’ll have a ‘Ward Walk’ with 6th District MPD Commander Darnel Robinson on March 26th, from 9:00am-11:00am.  He’ll walk the neighborhood with us to discuss the various crimes and other safety issues of concern. We will keep you in the loop as dates solidify.

In other news, this will be the final month that we print the Penn Branch newsletter, due to the rising printing costs and our limited bandwidth to produce and physically distribute it each month. Please make sure you have signed-up to receive our e-mail, so you can stay up-to-date. If you’re not presently on our mailing list, go to our website at and enter your info in the green “Join Our Mailing List” box. It’s important that we stay connected in difficult times.

Lastly, our neighbor and highly respected ANC 7B04 Commissioner, Cydne Nash, has resigned due to health reasons. She has been a fantastic advocate and we’d like to express our gratitude for her service. Most of all, we wish her a speedy recovery. Please stay safe everyone and I’ll see you at the meeting.

Stan Benton, PBCA President

New Year, New Opportunities


Stan Benton, PresidentHopefully everybody’s enjoying the New Year so far. ‘New Year, new opportunities,’ as they say.  For PBCA, that means new officer positions that we need to fill on the board. Our First Vice President, Kyle Murphy, will not run for re-election, and our current Treasurer Moh Williams has decided to step down. I’d like to give some appreciation to Kyle and Moh for stepping up to the challenge.

The good news is that we’re finally holding our elections next week and we have some amazing candidates ready to go. This includes Secretary Marie Fritz, who is seeking to fill our vacant 2nd Vice-President chair and Parliamentarian, Natiya Curtis is also seeking another term in that seat. Please make sure your membership is up to date so that you can vote.

Finally, the COVID-19 Omicron variant is spreading fast. Please continue to be safe and practice social distancing.  To locate COVID test kits, go to  Under Testing click on Test Yourself DC At-Home Kit then scroll to the bottom to see real-time test availability at the various Test Yourself Locations. Take note that experts advise to take at least two antigen tests over the course of about two days, if you have been exposed.

Please stay safe everyone and I’ll see you at the meeting.

Stan Benton,

PBCA President

A Change of Season

Stan Benton, PresidentThroughout the past few weeks, leaves have finally begun to change color, and the temperature was rapidly dropping. I was glad to see some kids in the community keeping the Halloween tradition of Trick-or-Treating alive, as I enjoyed interacting with them and their parents passing by our home.

Halloween also coincides with the Latinx ‘Day of the Dead,’ which is a colorful tradition and time to remember and celebrate the lives of those that have passed on. We fondly remember the people we lost in 2021 among our neighbors and those that served as part of our PBCA. On the COVID-19 side, booster shots are now available for those eligible, including people who had a Johnson & Johnson shot. Please check the Mayor’s website for more information .

Along with the change of season come holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas, a time many of us look forward to because we spend more time with friends and family. Not only for those times, PBCA is making plans to increase our capacity to serve our neighborhood: We will be holding elections for several officer positions, including 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice-President, Recording Secretary and Parliamentarian. We also hope to fill our vacant committee positions of Membership and Block Captain Committee, Legislative Committee, Nomination and Leadership Development Committee. I would like to encourage you to volunteer for such roles. We would love to have you!

Finally, we plan to officially kick-off our membership drive for 2022 next month. Please join us to make the upcoming year our best ever!

That’s all from me for now. Take care of each OTHER

Stan Benton, President PBCA

Two Events, One Community

Stan Benton, PresidentThe First Annual Penn Ave East Main Street’s Art All Night and the Third Annual Porchfest SE events have come and gone.  However, questions and concerns remain.

Both music-filled events were held in the rear parking lot of the renovated Penn Branch Shopping Center. What a milestone!  Inside the shopping center, we now have thriving businesses (and non-profits) with multi-year leases. Art Art All Night and Porchfest brought music, minority-owned vendors, special presentations, food trucks, dancing, and dozens of smiles under KN95 face masks, outside of the building. The shopping center that bears our name is becoming both an economic beacon and gathering place for our community.

Last Sunday, Channel 9 News featured a story about Adams Morgan and Penn Branch Porchfest events. Then, tragically, just 72 hours later, Nikiesha Thomas was fatally shot by her boyfriend in the same parking lot. This generated a different type of news story. A story that adds to the stigma that East of the River communities are violent, crime-ridden, and generally unsafe. Bad things will happen. Still, the question remains: How do we change the narrative about our area? Do we want to be known for festivals and community gatherings? Or, crime stats? Finally, what more can we all do to outweigh bad news with stories about good events in our community? The choices are ours.

 We all want what’s best for our community—and naturally, passions will flare as we debate different methods. However, our association is only as strong as your level of involvement and support. Join a committee: Help PBCA to better coordinate and plan future community events that will reflect the best of who we are. Become a block captain: Help us to distribute our newsletter and keep everyone informed about what is being planned.

Please continue to be safe, take care of each other, and I’ll see you at the meeting!

Coming Together Again

Stan Benton, PresidentIt looks as if the smoldering heat of summer is over, and the hurricane season has begun. When I look at the impact of Hurricane Irma in New York and other hard-hit areas, I feel sad for their hardship but grateful that it hasn’t impacted us much. Hopefully our luck will continue.  Unfortunately, we’ve had three carjackings over the past few months. Please stay vigilant when you’re out and about, especially when entering and exiting your cars. Thankfully, Terry Clyburn, our neighbor on Texas Ave, has volunteered to become the Chairperson of the Safety Committee. He will be coordinating with the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) to keep us informed and he will develop ideas on how the neighborhood can deal with the increasing crime.  Now that summer is over, we’ll be coming together again for our monthly General Body meetings. Thanks to the Delta variant, our meetings will still be taking place on Zoom. If you haven’t done so already, please get vaccinated against COVID-19 to protect yourself and others in the community. Thank you.

Please continue to be safe, take care of each other, and I’ll see you at the meeting!

Stan Benton,

President, PBCA