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Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells is still fighting for peace and quiet in the District. The lawmaker, you may recall, pushed a bill before the D.C. Council last month to limit “non-commercial speech” to “70 decibels, or 10 decibels greater than ambient noise.” In other words: No setting up a big speaker on the corner and blasting people’s ear drums all day long.
The bill was tabled by a 7-5 council vote.
Charles Allen, chief of staff for Wells, says his boss isn’t giving up on the proposal.
“Just because it was tabled,” says Allen, “doesn’t mean the councilmember believes it’s dead. The community has made it clear that they want this.”
The community, in this instance, is code for residents living around 8th and H Streets NE. In that now-bustling corridor, religious groups like the Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, featured in a recent Washington City Paper cover story, gather with loudspeakers to stage al fresco sermons.
Wells claims that “As a result of the group’s amplifiers, residents as far away as three blocks away can’t open their windows or work in their yards without being subject to the amplified noise.”