|"Just sit down and be quiet"|
Call me crazy but it seems like the smart thing to do would be to add more tables and chairs to the restaurant with plenty of food and drink and sit hungry people there.
Who are we really helping here? The hungry people or the company that makes tables and chairs?
That in a nutshell is how I feel about the efforts by DC government, nonprofit groups, and social service providers to create more "affordable" and low-income housing in a ward with limited jobs, food options, amneties, and transportation resources. It makes no sense -- unless the plan all along it to push the poor and the jobless to the edges of the district. It may be under the guise of "helping" when in reality it is just poverty herding at its best.
I don't want to have to wait for prosperity to come to Ward 7 and Ward 8 after every single scrap of land west of the river has been developed and our east of the river communities become the last option -- and finally a priority. We all know how that is going to turn out. Those hungry people sitting in those empty chairs (which they don't own anyway) in that empty restaurant are going to have to get up and move on because that empty restaurant is finally going to be redeveloped into a Whole Foods.
Just because it is easy to turn every Ward 8 corner into a group home/homeless shelter/low-income housing block and organizations have been doing it for years doesn't make it right. If we could only get the speed, funding, and dedication to open some grocery stores, restaurants, and shops over here (and with them jobs for the residents who are here now) we would have an entirely different situation over here. Then again that would probably make us Capital Riverfront. ;)
Everyone deserves a seat at the table -- but where exactly is that table located? Either bring some food over here for our tables or add some tables and chairs to your restaurant.
Poverty pimping is real. Economic segregation is real.
P.S. I had this thought last night as I was driving outside of Ward 8 (again) to pick up basic staples for my home. Lord knows what I would do if I didn't have a car.
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