(CLICK TO ENLARGE) District of Columbia Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells at the Jan. 11 Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A meeting at Miner Elementary School. (Copyright © 2007. David Klavitter)
District of Columbia Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells is moving forward with a fix to the city’s noise law, which allows unlimited levels of amplified non-commercial speech between the hours of 7 a.m. and 9 p.m.
During Thursday’s Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A meeting at Miner Elementary School, the freshman councilmember told participants he has opened a dialogue with community ministers and labor union leaders about his intent to balance free speech with the right to quiet enjoyment of homes and businesses.
Wells noted H Street’s long history of street preaching, a point illustrated by the several amplified groups that employ amplifiers at the northeast D.C. intersection. They include the Rev. Dallas Williams
, Evangelist Woodward
, the Nation of Islam
and the Israelite School of Universal School Practical Knowledge. Their messages are as varied as their names.
Wells is a member of the council’s Committee on Public Services and Consumer Affairs, which apparently has jurisdiction over the noise issue. He noted his involvement with the committee’s chair, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary M. Cheh in crafting a solution agreeable to residents, businesses, unions and religious organizations.
Those who live and work in and around H and 8th Street NE support free speech and welcome open dialogue in the free marketplace of ideas, but strongly reiterate our rights to peace and quiet. We want a livable and conversational