It’s the first week of the month and that means lots and lots of great opportunities to speak up in local government!

Prince George’s County: The county is working on a Transportation Master Plan to include new highways, transit lines, and bike and pedestrian improvements. Go speak up at the meetings to make sure the transit and bike trails get the importance they deserve in an area that’s one of the region’s least transit-oriented, least walkable and least bikeable. There’s a meeting tonight in Suitland and Wednesday in Greenbelt. Here’s the meeting info (PDF).

Arlington: The public forum to discuss legalizing accessory dwellings like basement apartments is tonight. I’m sure the opponents will show up. Speak up to allow property owners to rent out their basements if they want to and allow more people to live more affordably in Arlington.

DC Zoning: Tonight, Low and Moderate Density; Tuesday evening, Arts and Culture; Wednedsay, Retail Strategy in the afternoon and Parking and Loading including bike parking in the evening; Thursday evening, Historic Structures.

These meetings aren’t 50 people in an auditorium with each person speaking for 2 minutes and bored government officials not really listening. These are all small groups of 10-20 people who engage in real discussion about how to change zoning, and the recommendations do reflect what was discussed. The Parking and Loading draft is out, and I can’t post it yet, but it really is based on what we discussed. One Smart Growth advocate can and did singlehandledly get provisions in there to require parking to go behind new buildings instead of on the side; one NIMBY-ish neighborhood advocate can and did get higher minimums when higher density abuts lower density. We need more advocates for livable communities to make sure those who want to prevent change of any kind don’t get their wishes enacted into law.

ANC meetings: Tuesday, Georgetown and Mount Pleasant; Wednesday, Shaw/Mount Vernon Square, Logan Circle and Adams Morgan; and Thursday, Columbia Heights. I only have Wards 1, 2, and 6 so far; check the DC ANC site to find yours.

As always, check the calendar in the right sidebar for upcoming ways to make your voice heard. DC is not that big a city, and the numbers of people who participate in these meetings are not so great. And the other cities and towns are even smaller, of course. You can make a difference!