A Conversation with ANC Commissioner Tinpe

MLK Library Modernization Blog

A Conversation with ANC Commissioner Tinpe

On the importance of engaging a diverse community

We recently spoke with John Tinpe, a member of the MLK Library Renovation Advisory Panel and an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner for the neighborhood surrounding MLK Library. Specifically, Tinpe represents ANC 2C, which is the section of Ward 2 that extends roughly from 15 St. NW east to I-395, and from Massachusetts Ave. NW south to Independence Ave. SW.

Mr. Tinpe shared his thoughts on the renovation and the importance of keeping members of D.C.’s diverse community engaged in the process.
“The MLK Library renovation and the final state-of-the-art library will have a positive impact on the neighborhood,” said Mr. Tinpe, who with his family owned the nearby renowned Burma Restaurant, which closed in2013 after more than two decades. “The neighborhood, which already is the center of culture, entertainment and business in the city, will become the intellectual center of the city.”

Mr. Tinpe emphasized the importance of involving D.C. community members as the planning continues. The onus is on staff and volunteers to continue informing and soliciting input from the community at large, he said.
“While building a community-sustained library, we must reach out to all in our community,” Mr. Tinpe said. He said the list of people to involve begins “…with the residents, followed by visitors, businesses, parents and children, teachers and students, seniors, members who are physically challenged, individuals who are homeless, members of communities with limited English proficiency, veterans and intellectuals.”

Throughout the community engagement, organizers of the renovation process must be very efficient and focused, he said.
“When building community, it is imperative to listen to all points of view, to talk to people, to engage with everyone, seeking out underrepresented communities, to build consensus, to deliver without wasting people’s time,” Mr. Tinpe said.