Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Creating more low-income and "affordable" rental housing in Ward 8 is like...

"Just sit down and be quiet"
Adding more tables and chairs to restaurant with no food and telling hungry people to sit there and wait. That looks suspiciously like a "time out" which in many ways sums up the economic development situation east of the river.

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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Aisha Moore said...

I agree. We have to talk a lot more about what we want for our community instead of what we don't want.

I'm not asking for fancy stores just the simple basics. Everybody eats right? So why are 70K+ people made to shop at one grocery store? Duh the lines are going to be long and it's not going to be stocked well.

I just don't understand the economics of the situation.

The Advoc8te said...

I hear ya Aisha Moore. Lord knows I hear you.

If I had to finally be honest with myself I just don't feel that there is a true and honest commitment to our ward. Not any any really meaningful way. Not in a way like the value in other neighborhoods are seen.

I think for many they see Ward 8 as the land of crime, turkey giveaways, food drives, and poverty.

Ward 8 just isn't "sexy" which is a shame because it shouldn't have to be. It's a great place that could be even better when some real investment -- not press ops.

Let me shut up now. My name already appears on way too many black lists. ;)