i am all in support of updating and repairing our old and broken fire hydrants. In many respects, having them fixed is a greater good than having good-looking sidewalks. But...
the two are not mutually exclusive. The above picture from atop the hill on Maple View Place is a perfect example of careless repair that we shouldn't stand for.
Enter the DC Service Request Center, where most of the problems like this can be submitted and fixed with the help of anyone who takes five minutes to fill out a request online (no worries, I got the one above).
i've had streetsigns replaced, sidewalks repaired, trees planted, bulk trash removed, vacant lawns mowed, ... all at the touch of a button. It's a great resource, but we have to be vigilant or these little problems will turn our neighborhood into a big eyesore.