|DC Says: Look but don't touch.|
There is more to this story but I will say now that with the plans for the Department of Homeland Security to relocate to the Saint Elizabeth's campus I am now less optimistic that the campus will be as open to the Ward 8 community as Feds and DC Government claim it will be.
If the DC government won't allow a Ward 8 and DC resident (with a DC drivers license no less) to venture 30 feet on their property to buy a cupcake why would the Federal government? Why would their employees venture outside of the gates to patron the local businesses when the food trucks will come to them behind the fence?
I understand the need for a "secure" campus. I know the times in which we live but there has to be a middle ground. You can't be in a community that already feels like an afterthought and treat them like they are an unwanted imposition. We have few food options in Ward 8, and even fewer opportunities to enjoy the little niceties that most DC residents take for granted, like food trucks. In my experience it has been a challenge to get food trucks to venture over the Anacostia River, especially during prime times during the week like lunch time. I know because I advocated tirelessly (and still do) to get food trucks to come to Anacostia. In the end, Curbside Cupcake and the
Today, standing outside of the gates looking in, being humiliated by a security officer that made me feel as if I should have known better, I was made to feel like less than a person, less than a tax payer, less than a resident of the District of Columbia. It didn't matter that I literally lived up the street, the message was clear: this was not for me and my Ward 8 neighbors. We could look but not touch. Just as I was told by that DC government employee that my DC driver's license was not "good enough" to gain access, I was made to feel as if I was not "good enough" to venture onto "their" property.
Are the redevelopment projects at the Saint Elizabeths campus the start of a new Ward 8 or is this just the beginning of "us" looking through the bars at "them"?
No cupcakes for you Ward 8 -- at least not on the property of the DC Office of Unified Communications.
It's time to set an example DC government. We are watching.
To submit an article or to inquire about advertising send an email to Advoc8te@congressheightsontherise.com.