When the Almighty gives you lemons….
So the rally was about parking. Not so sure. I heard a few things, my ear picked up on some other things, but I can’t say the ‘right to double park’ was the main event. It was the draw, but not the topic.
When I first arrived, there was something about a threat to drive churches out of DC. I went to my DC church today, didn’t hear a thing about that. There was a lot of “we’re here to stay” going on in the beginning. There were several pastors and ministers coming up to the mike to speak, and I must note, 2 white pastors including someone representing the National Cathedral (silly Episcopalian).
But I digress. I did hear hope. Some speakers mentioned how the churches and the residents need to work together. Linda Cropp was there, and she looked good, and she spoke. She started off talking about Spring and ‘rebirth’ and about being able to pray and worship in peace, as well as solutions that will not block residents in ( I think those were her words). She said we need to move forward (but where I ask). She said, “It can be worked out” “It will be worked out.” And she promised to take an active role in the issue for a resolution. I need to say that Michael Brown was there as was Phil Mendelssohn. I don’t thing either Phil or Michael spoke.
Actually, Michael Brown’s van was sitting across the street in a spot where people normally never park. As was a few other vehicles, police and that of a few churches that came to show support. Churches such as Johnson Memorial Baptist (800 Ridge Rd, SE), and New Macedonia Baptist Church (4115 Alabama SE) parked across the park. Nearby were the church buses of New Spartan Baptist (1100 Florida Ave NE) and First Rising Mt. Zion Baptist (600 N St NW). There were at least 3 large tour buses that picked folks up as well. So take note, if need be churches can rally together.
The lemons I allude to in the title is the parking problem. The lemonade, or the makings of lemonade, is the desire I heard of coming together for real social justice issues. Some acknowledged the difficulties in coming together for AIDS and homelessness and that it has taken a few parking tickets to bring them together.
What I did not hear a lot of what the idea that double parking was some sort of right to be defended. The right to remain in the city, the right to worship, the need to be included in the discussion, the city’s needing the churches, that I heard. I think they know that double parking will end, but they are going to hold it off as much as possible. One pastor said he had spoken with the mayor and there will be a 4 month suspension of the parking enforcement. He did concede that it is not the solution and they will work with the residential community.
They asked the crowd to contact Carol Schwartz. Please note the churches I mentioned earlier are DC churches in areas I’m going to bet there are more residents attending than suburbanites, so don’t underestimate their political pull. Anyway, Carol Schwartz, member at large, chairs the Committee of Public Works and the Environment which oversees the Department of Public Works, and the Department of Transportation. I notice from Schwartz’s website that Jim Graham, Adrian Fenty, Kwame Brown and former Mayor Marion Barry also sit on this committee.
Hopefully churches in the area can come together for actual social justice issues such as homelessness, social welfare, AIDS, and the like. And I know this will be worked out, it is just a matter of when and how. And I once again suggest, public transportation (U Street, Shaw, Mt. Vernon Sq., and a bunch of buses).
When the Almighty gives you lemons….