More thoughts on the Camp Protest

Protest bannerThis morning I awoke to an NPR report on the OneDC protest at 7th and R/ RI Ave. Or at least I thought I heard a story as I can't find a link on either the NPR site nor the WAMU site about it. Anyway, the Shaw area does not lack affordable housing. Now I say that as in there are buildings that take up square footage and whole blocks in Shaw that were built as affordable housing, take government money to subsidize rents, are public housing, and/or are subsidized senior housing. If you are going by market rates, then it all depends on how much you're willing to spend and what living conditions you can deal with. Playing around with DC Housing Search I see there are individual landlords and other entities that rent out individual rooms, individual houses, and small typically 4 unit apartment buildings. So when a group is protesting for more non-market rate housing, I'm thinking how much more affordable housing in this neighborhood do we need? And concentrating poverty isn't doing anyone any favors. The protesters are nicely caged up on the lot and so far aren't a nuisance so I have no problem with their protest. I just disagree with their demands. I am part of the Shaw community as I live here, I shop here, I vote here, and what the city or other powers that be plop down has an impact on my quality of life. Concentrating dis-empowerment and dependency near a transportation hub will continue to hamper the neighborhood's ability to succeed.


I live in the building next door (the one you can see the wall of in that picture), and at least according to one of our security guards, some of them have been a nuisance. They've been just standing around our building's backdoor and the parking spaces where our cars are(one of the holes in the fence to get into the lot is back there), making her constantly have to go out back and check that nothing shady is going on. She also said that some of them have been knocking on the door, asking her to let them in to use the bathroom or to run extension cords out to power things.

Those college-aged kids protesting in there will probably go back to georgetown or great falls when they are done. I live in Columbia Heights which has way too many low-income housing buildings and I'm more than a little upset when the powers that be want to turn every unused piece of DC real estate into more low-income housing. If places like shaw and CH are going to continue to improve, then that stuff needs to but in other parts of DC too!

What bothers me is the potential that corner now has with the new library about to come on-line. If OneDC is there to argue for 'equity' and community 'balance' I find it hard to believe that they can't look around and see that this intersection is already heavily weighted with what they're arguing for. Finding another location for the housing they seek would create a smarter balance for Shaw.

They're telling passersby that Ward 2 is the richest in the city -- but don't realize they're sitting on the eastern edge of a gerrymander'd beast that answers to Georgetown and not Shaw. How much must Shaw pay for Georgetown's wealth?

Ketan Gada and his team will be at the next CCCA meeting to discuss Parcel 42 and the matter-of-right development that's apparently just about ready to begin its plans for the site. The July 27 CCCA meeting will likely be held at the soon to open Beau Thai Restaurant ( pending floors being finished ) at New Jersey Ave & R Street NW.

Don't just comment in cyberspace, get the latest accurate info and get answers to questions directly from the decision makers. If you want a mixed income/use development at Parcel 42, please come out at let Ketan know. The Mayor wants to hear community support to give his final sign off.

Martin Moulton, President
Convention Center Community Association
CCCA-online. org