Zachary Pullin DeWolf is the President of the Capitol Hill Community Council
Growing up, my family taught me that service is a first priority, and I’ve worked hard to practice that value. Before I was born, my grandfather was the chairman of the tribal council – it’s long been instilled in me that serving the community is one of the truest, most authentic ways to interact with my community. But that doesn’t make sense or work for a lot of people.
It reminds me of when I was ten years old: I coordinated a mock trial day for my class with the help of my mom. What I remember being hardest to grasp at the time was “making a case” because it’s a different way of thinking. Sadly, I believe I’ve done a poor job at making the case for our Capitol Hill Community Council and the “why” because new people are still discovering us as though we’ve been serving quietly.
So, why should you care? Why should you get involved?
First, it’s important to reflect on our history.
The Capitol Hill Community Council – as a neighborhood group – has existed since as early as the 1940s. Back then, it was called the Capitol Hill Community Club and their main motivation for working together was to fight against integrating “their “neighborhood. In concert with redlining and housing covenants, this dedicated group of neighbors used fear, racial prejudice, and an aversion to change to keep black people out of the neighborhood.
In 1972, when queer folks had only recently began moving into the neighborhood, tension was high between long-time residents and queer people because we were seen as “faggots,” instead of as neighbors. Thankfully, a few friends established a gay community center to provide services to queer folks. Continue reading