Empower DC

I’m in a good mood. I’ve got my hot cup of British blend tea and a warm bacon, egg and cheese sandwich on multi-grain toast. Life is good. So in this good mood I’m looking over the newsletter sent to me by Empower DC.
Normally, I’d just delete it as it is lefty activist stuff, but as I said, I’m in a very good mood.
According to their email “Empower DC seeks to enhance and improve self-advocacy efforts to improve the quality of life of low-and moderate-income people in DC.” And looking over their newsletter, which is not available via their website (as far as I can tell) and their website they are challenging developers and private uses for DC owned property. Their newsletter has a series they are documenting and they describe it as so:

This is the first in a series of regular reports, entitled “People’s Property Now”, to be released by Empower DC’s People’s Property Campaign, providing information and analysis about the fate of public property in DC.

Empower DC’s People’s Property Campaign asserts that:
• As long as community needs exist in DC, there is no such thing as “surplus” public property.
• Public property is the common trust of the residents of the District of Columbia and must be maintained as public for current and future generations, and used for the public, not private profit.
• DC’s current law only provides a process for disposing of public property. Legislative change is necessary to create a transparent, community-driven input process to determine new public uses for available public properties.

I’m near the end of my sandwich and tea, so let me add my gently to the right opinion. One, why so critical of charter schools? Kingman Park is listed as being an example of ‘currently threatened property’ because it is slated to be a charter school. In the TC part of Shaw, Armstrong School languished as a city owned property and finally (it seems to have taken forever) the school has been cleaned up by the charter school in charge of it now. I do applaud Empower DC recognizing that McMillan Reservoir is green space, however it isn’t accessible green space, except to Canada Geese. My last comment is on DC owned land. It is not that once land is sold that DC won’t or can’t get land ever again. The DC government, as many governments have the power of eminent domain, they can seize property for unpaid taxes or other wrongs against the city and add to the city’s catalog of properties. Also DC owns enough nuisance properties, and we can point to a dozen city owned problems in Shaw alone owned by the city. If the city can offload these problem properties, turning them into housing (luxury, rentals, mod-income, mixed-use, whatever), with people who pay income taxes, the city and the surrounding community benefits.

2 thoughts on “Empower DC”

  1. I agree with you 100%. a city owned rowhouse shell cant be a library or a community center. sell it!
    I do agree with empowerdc that the disposal of public property should have some sort of public input & process. There is too much wink wink business going on.

  2. right on !!! DC is one of the very worst slumlords in the city. There are at least 4 vacant DC owned houses with 1 block of my house. These houses have been vacant for at least 8 years. It is shameful.

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