Bad Lady Lawyer Story

To my lawyer friends, don’t worry. The lawyer in this story is long gone and the profession has long moved on from the kind of exploitation this chick engaged in.

History has a billion stories. Many stories fit in or tie in with the grand narratives, some better than others. This story involves a African American widow who lived in Shaw and a bad questionably moral white female lawyer.

July 16, 1916  Washington Post reported the death of Sergent Major George R. Garnett, a retiree from the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, who died at home at 1743 11th St NW in Shaw at the age of 63. Two days later there were funeral arrangements at Metropolitan Baptist Church and he was buried at Arlington Cemetery.  He left behind his wife Virginia (nee Robb) Garnett.

A few days after his death, Ms. Rose M. Sefton, listed in the city directory as an Claim Agent, visited Virginia Garnett to “help” her get a widows pension. Looking at the pension record it the story gets really confusing. Sefton with a notary in tow, came over to 11th St. NW to get Mrs. Garnett to sign papers to allow Sefton to collect a $25 attorney’s fee for “helping” the widow. Sefton was not entitled to $25, which would have come out of whatever pension Garnett received. Mrs. Garnett claimed that she did not have her reading glasses on the day Sefton visited and thus could not read all the papers she signed that day. Later the Pension office investigated and suggested Sefton be disbarred. However, I’m not sure Sefton ever passed the bar to begin with. In the pension papers she calls herself an attorney.

Sefton’s actions just seem shady. She swoops in before the body is cold, gets the widow to sign a bunch of papers to collect the maximum fee (it should have been $15 dollars) which was to be taken out of the widow’s pension. It’s not like Garnett went looking Sefton.

I can’t find evidence of Mrs. Garnett’s death. I did find her in the 1931 City Directory. She had moved from 11th Street to 930 P Street NW. Ms. Sefton died on Boxing Day in 1921 and is buried at Rock Creek Cemetery.

A few words of Martin Luther King regarding Shaw

I have been looking for a speech I had of Martin Luther King’s made on March 13, 1967 for Model Inner City Community Organization (MICCO). Because the King Center is famous for cracking down on what they believe to be their copyright, I did not post the whole speech.

Back in 2008, I posted portions of the speech. I’ll repost it here.

Of course, we all recognize that if we are ultimately to improve psychological and physical conditions for minorities there must be total elimination of ghettoes and the establishment of a truly integrated society. In the meantime, however, all those working for economic and social justice are forced to address themselves to interim programs which, while not totally changing the situation, will nevertheless bring about improvement in the lives of those forced to live in ghettoes. And so, whiel [sic] many of those steps may lead to limited integration, those which do not must clearly be seen as interim steps until the objective situation makes a more fundamental approach.

and later

… Labor, Housing and the Office of Economic Opportunity, ought to work with the people of Shaw in developing, coordinating and concentrating their various programs upon social and economic problems of this area.

-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speaking at a March 13, 1967 rally for Shaw

Dr. King has become an avatar, where people have projected on their own visions of what he’s supposed to be and ignoring who he actually was. Maybe some organization’s crackdown on other’s printing his words played a part in that. Dr. King preached integration but it seems so many now are pushing for segregation and celebrating the ghetto that King wanted to eliminate.

ANXO’s Base Layer Cocktail

It has come to my attention that the world does not know the goodness that is ANXO’s Base Layer cocktail.
Old fashioned with 2" ice cubeMy friends if you thought ANXO was just ciders and small plates, you are sadly mistaken. There are other non-apple based drinks like vermouth, beers (meh- I don’t like beer), wines, and lovely cocktails like the Base Layer.

In the past decade I’ve come to love a drink called the Old Fashioned which is bourbon or rye whiskey, a sugar cube or simple syrup, 2 dashes Angostura bitters, and maybe soda water, maybe an orange peel, and maybe a cherry, over ice. ANXO has something close, their Base Layer, which is El Dorado 8-year Rum, Laphroaig a scotch, Pemartín Amontillado a sherry, spiced simple syrup, Angostura & orange bitters, and an orange peel. Tastewise, it seems like a very smokey Old Fashioned, even though the ingredients aren’t the same.

Intersection of Interests or Diversity is Hard part #354

Sunday, an obit in the paper edition of the Washington Post caught my eye because of the circumstances of the persons death. Courtney Mykytyn was standing on a curb, chatting with a neighbor, when another neighbor in a car accelerated in reverse, hitting and killing Mykytyn. I’m sensitive to drivers killing pedestrians and cyclists and even stupid people on scooters. [insert 1000 word rant about American car culture and climate change genuflecters who make no real change in their energy consumption habits. Did you know your drivers license is a license to kill?] It wasn’t until the near end of the obituary when I realized I had listened to her podcast.


Integrated Schools is a well produced podcast, but I found it super cringey. I know. I know. I am not the target audience. I’m a black mom and this is a podcast for lefty white parents talking to other lefty white parents about their whiteness and education. Knowing I’d probably write on this, I listened to some more podcasts to be fair. What I got out of that was an exposure to only what I can call a perverse white superiority that feeds on black and brown dysfunction. And it isn’t just for white people, Asians and bi-racial people can join in on struggling over their privilege too. Opposite of the Asian Parenting for College Success podcast.  I listen to a lot of podcasts.

Listening to these podcasts I grew concerned about my own neighborhood and the in-boundary school of Seaton. The message I was hearing in these podcast to white parents was ‘don’t bring your A game.’ To which I am going to scream BRING YOUR A GAME! I wanted you to fight and try to #SaveShawMS (RIP Shaw Middle School). Was that effort lost because some parents were holding back? Why did I just sit in the background and not bring my A game? I’ve got a great excuse, because my kid is 2 and not enrolled in Seaton and thus not in a feeder for what would have been Shaw Middle School.

I also grew concerned about childless white neighbors and they deciding to hold back too as a way to confront their own whiteness. Nah, I need you to keep on the SaveMcMillian Park effort. This effort began before most of you got here. Former ANC and BACA president Jim Berry put me on some committee or panel a decade and a half ago to slow it down. Mayor Bowser is hellbent on getting the greenspace paved over and developed, historic districting/landmarking or whatever bedamned.

I listened to Integrated Schools podcast episode regarding gentrification and school segregation. There was one thing Ms. Mykytyn said regarding getting mugged that ticked me off. Listen friends, your whiteness is not a bulletproof shield. It does not protect you from stray bullets. It does not protect you from the mentally ill beating you, or raping and killing you. I want you to be safe. Get those damned headphones out of your ears. Be aware of your surroundings. Say ‘hello’ and ‘good morning’ to people you pass on the street.

Folks diversity is hard. There are no easy answers and there are many moving parts. Resist the urge to turn people into magic minorities. Resist the idea of not being and giving your best in service to your neighbors. There are so many stories I could tell about how the neighborhood was saved (or delayed an unwanted inevitable until the nab could handle it) by having a lawyer or journalist or some A type personality in the group. It wasn’t their whiteness but the skills they developed in their profession. Bradley Thomas & Teri Quinn brought their lawyer skills, not black lawyer skills but competent lawyer skills to the betterment of Bloomingdale and Truxton Circle. So not about color. Diversity is our strength when we are united in a goal, be it holding people (developers, city govt agencies, etc) accountable or reducing crime after a fatal shooting.

Lastly, on parenting, diversity, and gentrification let me share with you an observation. When I first moved into Shaw in the 00s it was not uncommon to see a Black mother yelling at her kids using profanity and verbally abusing her children. Humans are very social animals. We observe and watch each other. Sometime in the last 10 years I began noticing young and not so young black fathers in the neighborhood interacting with their kids in similar ways as hipster white dads. Several months ago I observed another black mother, walking down the sidewalk,  fussing at her elementary aged son. She was mad. She was livid. But not a single curse word passed her lips. That’s improvement.

1957 Church Survey: Asbury Methodist Church- Random church not in Shaw

E5074350-AsburyMESo the Methodists are in the news these days and I need to get back to posting parts of the October 1957 Northwest Urban Renewal Church Survey. So here we have Asbury Methodist Church, at 1100 K St NW (not in Shaw) which was and still is an African-American church.

The more I look at these surveys the more I think most are best guesstimates by the church secretary or junior pastor who got stuck with it. I think this because the population is a round 1000 congregants. But the possible guesstimate that the church was half white collar (40%) and professional (10%) I’m more confident in, as the church in its current form strikes me as a middle class church. There were a significant number of members who did not live in the survey area but 33% (ish) did, so sorta kinda a commuter church?

Below is the survey so you can see it for yourself.

CS 52 Asbury ME by Mm Inshaw on Scribd

Shaw School Review: City Center- Shaw

Center City PCS

Center City PCS – Shaw
711 N St. NW

Type of school: Public Charter
Grades:   PK4-8
Before & After School care: Yes. Contact school. Monthly cost $180.00.
Enrollment: 230 (2018-19)
PreK4: 16; K: 24; 1st: 20; 2nd: 21; 3rd: 26; 4th: 24; 5th: 26; 6th: 25; 7th: 25; 8th: 23
PCS LEA 1 Programmatic Capacity: 280; Unfilled seats 50 (2018-19)
Cost Per Pupil- No figures found. If I were more confident with math, I’d try. But I’m a humanities person, I don’t do math.

Attracts Students From These DCPS schools (2017-18), 10 students or more

Name of School # of Students
School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens 26
Walker-Jones Education Campus 20
Cardozo Education Campus 11
Thomson Elementary School 28
Seaton Elementary School 38

Physical activity: Grades K-5: 270.00 Minutes/week
Grades 6-8: 90.00 Minutes/week

PARCC Scores 2018-19, % meeting & exceeding expectations
Black White Hispanic Asian
ELA 2018-19 26.5% n<10 32.2% n<10
Math 2018-19 28.9% n<10 33.9% n<10
Males ELA 13.6% n<10 26.9% n<10
Males Math 31.8% n<10 34.6% n<10

Schools
Mari’s 2 cents– I remember when this was the Immaculate Conception Catholic School. And that makes me sad. What makes me happy is that I had my wedding reception in this school building, but that has nothing to do with the school itself. The Center City schools exist in the former buildings of struggling catholic schools closed by the Archbishop. The reason why they were struggling is that those schools served primarily low-income students and the city was offering free charters, and it is hard to compete with free. So when you can’t beat them, join them. If things go downhill for St. Augustine, this could be their fate too.

Sources:
https://www.myschooldc.org/schools/profile/150
https://secureservercdn.net/45.40.149.159/x6k.c0b.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/ExtendedDayOverviewEnglish.pdf
https://www.dcschoolreportcard.org/schools/156-1107
https://dcpcsb.org/center-city-pcs-shaw
2018-19 School Year Annual Enrollment Audit Report Supplemental Tables
Detailed 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17 PARCC And MSAA Performance

Shaw School Review: KIPP GROW/LEAD/WILL

Technically these are three separate schools…. but on one campus on the corner of P and 5th St NW.
KIPP- Will KIPP Shaw DC Campus
421 P Street NW

Type of school: Public Charter
Grades:   Grow Academy Grades PreK3-K
………………Lead Academy Grades 1-4
………………WILL Academy Grades 5-8
Before & After School care: Yes. See operator, AlphaBest’s flyer for prices.
Enrollment: 1046 (Grow 318; Lead 400; WILL 328)  (2018-19)
PCS LEA 1 Programmatic Capacity: 1050 (2018-19)
Cost Per Pupil- $19,269 2018 DC Funding per Student/$21,057 Expenses per student for all KIPP schools. Neither the DCPSCB nor OSSE has this data broken down by school.

Attracts Students From These DCPS schools (2017-18), 10 students or more

KIPP GROW-Pre-K 3& 4 and K # of Students
Hendley Elementary School 11
Walker-Jones Education Campus 22
Thomson Elementary School 14
Tubman Elementary School 10
Smothers Elementary School 16
Nalle Elementary School 10
Langley Elementary School 19
Seaton Elementary School 37
Cleveland Elementary School 10
KIPP-LEAD Grades 1-4 # of Students
Thomas Elementary School 15
Truesdell Education Campus 10
Walker-Jones Education Campus 26
Thomson Elementary School 17
Plummer Elementary School 11
Langdon Elementary School 14
Langley Elementary School 18
King Elementary School 12
Seaton Elementary School 45
Cleveland Elementary School 22
KIPP WILL Grades 5-8 # of students
School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens 17
Walker-Jones Education Campus 42
Cardozo Education Campus 34
Hart Middle School 20
Johnson Middle School 11
Columbia Heights Education Campus 6-8 (CHEC) 16
Brookland Middle School 10
Sousa Middle School 11
Kelly Miller Middle School 31
McKinley Middle School 11
Seaton Elementary School 14
LaSalle-Backus Education Campus 11
Kramer Middle School 10

Physical Activity Time: Grades K-5: 335.00 Minutes/week

PARCC Scores 2018-19, % meeting & exceeding expectations KIPP- LEAD
Black White Hispanic Asian
ELA 2018-19 39.7% n<10 n<10 n<10
Math 2018-19 68.6% n<10 n<10 n<10
Males ELA 30% n<10 n<10 n<10
Males Math 62.2% n<10 n<10 n<10
PARCC Scores 2018-19, % meeting & exceeding expectations KIPP- WILL
Black White Hispanic Asian
ELA 2018-19 36.4% n<10 53.8% n<10
Math 2018-19 32.1% n<10 53.8% n<10
Males ELA 29.3% n<10 n<10 n<10
Males Math 28.7% n<10 n<10 n<10

Mari’s 2cents– Well the enrollment numbers explain the traffic clusterfrack that sometimes occurs along P Street and the 1500 block of 5th Street in the mornings and afternoon. So many Maryland tags…..
KIPP is a large collection of schools and only some data points are broken down by individual schools. DC isn’t the only source of revenue for KIPP as they use Federal and donor funds.
The math test scores for African-American boys at KIPP-Lead are better than I’ve seen than any school in Shaw. ELA (English) is ‘eh’.
KIPP does attract a number of students away from Shaw in-boundary schools like Seaton and Cleveland Elementary. But what I found curious was the number of students from School Without Walls @ Francis-Stevens, which is a stone’s throw from the Park. What’s up with that? Also there are a bunch of schools I had not heard of that aren’t Shaw or Brookland or Eckington adjacent. For KIPP-WILL a lot of students are in the Cardozo and Walker-Jones boundaries. Because of logistics, if you are on the other side of the road of death that is New York Avenue, I understand why. And Cardozo is a PITA to get to.

Sources:

Schools


https://www.alphabest.org/kippdc
https://osse.dc.gov/sites/default/files/dc/sites/osse/publication/attachments/2018-19%20UPSFF%20Payment%20Letter.pdf
EdScape_Chapter 3 Facilities_Facility Enrollment and Utilization_6
https://dcpcsb.egnyte.com/dl/CLgymS38ng/
https://dcpcsb.org/sites/default/files/media/file/KIPP%20DC%20PCS_Financial%20Analysis%20Report_2.pdf
FY1718_Public School Enrollments per DCPS Boundary
Detailed 2018-19, 2017-18, 2016-17 PARCC And MSAA Performance

University Park, MD: You don’t need a city manager

I normally try to keep things local. Very local. I don’t like it when people from outside try to tell people inside how to run things. Such as Maryland people who visit DC for work or worship vocally complaining about bike lanes or speed cameras, which are for the people who live here. So I know it isn’t none of my business, but, University Park, MD you don’t need a city manager.

I probably have hinted several times that we are looking to move out of the District for career reasons. Yes, I could commute from DC but I swore never to do that commute again. So we are researching the College Park-Hyattsville-Riverdale area. Part of that was looking at University Park, which is west of College Park.

University Park has a newsletter. I don’t remember which newsletter I originally looked at, but the current one is still talking about hiring a city manager. Neighboring College Park has a city manager,  and rightly so. College Park is a town/city of over 30,000, University Park, on the other hand, is a village of about 2,600. It already has a paid mayor.

I think my high school was about that size. There are residents who are fighting back against the idea of a city manager because of the extra taxes it would cost each household, and there are less than 1,000 households in UP. I think the taxes in UP are high compared to College Park and Hyattsville (two places I have lived). On the other hand, the high taxes do kinda make the neighborhood exclusive, which could be seen as a perk, in addition to the resident only shuttle bus service. Keeps the rowdy students out.