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A Brief History of the Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association

Adapted with permission from Ms. Everett Scott
Former LRCA president, trailblazer, and fearless leader
In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the LRCA

Early History
The Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association was originally organized June 29, 1948, as the Chillum Manor Citizens Association and changed to the Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association on September 4, 1957.  The Supreme Court’s 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision opened the door for Black residents to move into communities in which they were previously denied access.  The transition began in the late 1950s when the Lamond-Riggs community became integrated.  During this period, the Lamond-Riggs Citizens Association was a member of the Federal of Citizens Associations, which had a restrictive clause that did not welcome nonwhites.  The LRCA was allowed to send a non-voting delegate to the Federation of Citizens Association, but this was unacceptable to the LRCA.  Thus, the LRCA joined the Federation of Civic Associations.
Transition Period
During the mid- to late-1950s, the LRCA went through a period of transition.  Additional homes were built in the community and new development started taking place, including the ground work for the Bertie Backus Junior High School.  The Department of Highways and Traffic was considering the inclusion of Gallatin and Galloway Streets NE in its North Central Freeway plans (I-66, I-70, I-95), which would have destroyed the community.  Concerned members of the LRCA joined forces with others in organizing the Freeway Crisis Committee.  The first comprehensive report on the impact of freeways and environmental issues was written and presented.  After careful study, the LRCA supported the Rapid Rail System as an alternative to the freeways.
Quest for Neighborhood Library
Lamond-Riggs, a community with a large population of school-age children, did not have a library (only a Bookmobile once per week at Riggs Road and Chillum Place NE).  In the late 1950s, the community held meetings to pursue building a much-needed library.  An architect who lived within a stone’s throw of the library site was chosen and approved.  The Lamond-Riggs Library opened in 1983.
Metro in the community
The LRCA won its battle with Metro over the construction method for the Greenbelt extension of the Green Line.  The LRCA wanted a tunnel; Metro wanted an “eel” line across South Dakota Avenue NE.  Metro compromised with a “cut and cover” construction.  The involvement of the community in this process was crucial to the stability of the community.
Achievement of Firsts
The LRCA has been involved in several “firsts” events for the city:
        • The first Summer Cultural Enrichment Program under the sponsorship of the Urban Services Corps held at LaSalle Elementary School;
        • The first comprehensive cultural enrichment program at Bertie Backus Jr. High School sponsored by the Neighborhood Planning Council and D.C. Public Schools;
        • The establishment of the Lamond-Riggs Athletic Association to supplement recreational activities in the community under which the first little league football teams were organized;  The LRAA later became a satellite to the Eastern Branch of the Boys Clubs of Greater Washington and was the first inner-city organization to play in the Beltway League;
        • The LRCA became a member of the National Crime Council which was created by resident John F. Kennedy.  Meetings were held at the 12th Police Precinct (which served the Lamond-Riggs community).  The Crime Councils became Citizens Advisory Committees for the seven police districts.

Today, as the neighborhood witnesses a surge in development, the LRCA continues its commitment to serving the community.