Now, more than a decade later, his daughter primarily uses the Internet to spread the news. Whether it’s about new legislation dealing with Eastern Market or an event happening at a restaurant on Barracks Row, Robey Christian will be one of the first out there, tweeting links to blog posts.
“This is about the Hill,” she said. “This is about my life on the Hill. This is about our life on the Hill. We’re not going to talk about Georgetown or any other place unless it’s within the context of something that affects our neighborhood.”
It’s a sentiment that is echoed on “The Hill Is Home.” A quick glance at the website shows that it’s more of a traditional blog format, with 10 posts lined up on the home page, listing a variety of things from voting for your favorite pet Halloween costumes to stories of neighborhood history.
In spring 2009, Nichole Remmert had been writing posts for D.C. blog “Prince of Petworth” when she saw a note on the “New Hill East” listserv from Kate McFadden, who was looking for contributors to a new site she was putting together.
Remmert, a Hill denizen for the past 11 years, had recently left her job at a nonprofit policy organization. She wanted to write about the neighborhood for people who actually lived in her neighborhood, as opposed to the readers of “Prince of Petworth,” who mostly lived in the Petworth and Columbia Heights area.
“I was just getting to know my neighborhood again,” she said. “I really didn’t know my neighbors. I wanted to get out and be a part of things.”
Soon enough, Remmert was working as an editor of “The Hill Is Home,” working with McFadden and various contributors to keep the posts up to date.
In the past few weeks, Remmert has left her job as editor but remains a contributor to the site. Her reasons for stepping down sound like those of anyone who becomes consumed in his or her work: She felt like she wasn’t leaving the neighborhood enough and had become oversaturated with information.
Nonetheless, “I love the neighborhood and the people here,” she said.
Remmert said the blog “kind of ebbs and flows, depending on how development happens in the neighborhood. 2010 was a big year for the blog, since it published a feature on every candidate running for the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions in the Hill area.
“Where we go has a lot to do with where the Hill goes,” she said. “The neighborhood is changing so fast, and there is so much to cover. We will rise and fall on what happens in the neighborhood.”
That’s a concept Jacqueline Dupree is familiar with. Dupree runs “JDLand,” which covers the development south of the Southeast Freeway near Nationals Park and along the Anacostia River. She moved to that area in 1995, around the same time she bought the URL for “JDLand,” a play on her initials.
The daughter of a couple of former Hill staffers, Dupree moved to the area when it was still riddled with crime. “My husband and I used to joke, ‘Wouldn’t it be neat if someday we could walk down to the riverfront?’” she said.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.