Wednesday, November 06, 2013

DC take note. This is what Ward 8 residents REALLY want.

Read between the lines.
Last week I asked Ward 8 residents to share their "wish list" for what they/we really wanted for our community. I asked them to be honest, clear, and most of all -- unafraid. I wanted them to share with DC what they really wanted for our community, a ward desperate to join the revitalization renaissance that is sweeping the rest of the city.

Sometimes when frustration runs high all we have is hope -- and each other. 

Including some of those reader comments below:
Time for a change said...
"I live within walking distance of the Anacostia Metro station. It’s amazing that there aren’t much retail options within a 2 block radius from the station. I would love to see a pharmacy ( Walgreens preferred but CVS, Rite- Aid will work), a coffee shop (doesn’t have to be Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts is fine), dry cleaners (the current ones are on Good Hope Road or further up in the Safeway shopping complex) and a gym (the one in Salvation Army building close down sometime last year). I metro to work and many times I need to make a stop for items on my way home. Usually I get off the metro at Navy Yard or Eastern Market just to get basic items such as a toothbrush, birthday card, office supplies etc. Being originally from NYC, this is unusual even the lower income neighborhoods have basic retail shops within walking distance of the subway. Anacostia reminds of the Brownsville neighborhood in Brooklyn in regard to city housing. Many of the city social services of the borough are located there along with several housing projects, subsidized housing, section 8, transitional housing etc. Anacostia and the surrounding Ward 8 neighborhood needs a mix of income levels to take it to the next level, I completely agree on that. The neighborhood does not need any more social services organizations (city or non-profit), liquor stores, churches, beauty supply stores, nasty/dingy take-out restaurants and so on. I believe there also needs to be more community involvement (which is increasing). With the nearby completion of Phase 3 of Sheridan Station, the amount of residents here will increase. The residents in Ward 8 should have access to basic goods and services in their own neighborhood just like those across the river."

Anonymous said...
"I live in Ward 8 within walking distance of my neighborhood's main street and I would like to be able to walk to a restaurant or cafe, sit outside and have a meal and a drink. I would like to be able to do in my own neighborhood what I have to drive to do -- meet my friends for happy hour.

I am tired of feeling like a 5th class citizen because I decided to buy a house east of the river. I think the face of Ward 8 has to change. Developers need to understand that there are people here NOW who are spending money on food, drinks, and retail -- we just have to drive somewhere else to spend our money.

I also agree with the earlier comment that social service agencies need to just stop. Please stop turning every apartment building into another hub of homeless housing. You are not helping the situation, you are just making it worse. You are concentration poor people into an area that can't support them. We need you to take a pause and give us time to catch up economically so we can support the "in-sourced poverty" you have already sent us. We are a caring community but we are a community that needs to make ourselves attractive to more established residents so that we can afford to care for our less privileged ones. We understand you want to pat yourselves on the back for doing good deeds but we actually want to raise people up to learn how to help themselves. So please back off and allow some private developers to come in here and help us "bridge" the income gap. We need some options, we need BIG businesses, and we need NICE places for people to enjoy."
Whitney Hubbard said...
"I would like a CVS or Walgreens.
A coffee shop.
DC is known to have some of the best restaurants in the world. I would love to see some of those in Ward 8.
Whole Foods/Organic Food store.
Retail: Target. Marshalls. HomeGoods.
Smoothie/Juicing Options.
Gas Stations that take debit/credit cards.
Bars, nightlife.
Beauty establishments (hair, nails, massage, etc.)
Market rate housing developments.
for the city to do something with the blights that they own in Anacostia and do absolutely nothing with and make the neighborhood look bad.
As I think of others, I will post!"
SilentWarrior said...
"My disposable income goes to Virginia and Capitol Hill. Would be delighted to spend it at CVS, a pet supply store, a sit down alcoholic beverage serving diner, right here in ward 8. Our voices are drowned out by zombie rhetoric such as "we need more affordable housing, job training programs, handouts, blah blah blah" at most meetings. Who knows, perhaps more threads like this can lead to us coming together as a group, attending these meetings together and really making our voices heard. Thanks for the thread! BTW I second NO MORE Low Income Housing or Social Services 1000% and APPRECIATE you saying so."

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Whitney Hubbard said...

I love this! I would LOVE to spend my income in Anacostia, Congress Heights, so forth. there's simply not anywhere for me to do so!

Anonymous said...

There is no reason this "wish list" cannot become a reality. It will require all of the parties "wishing" for something to happen, to actually do something about it. Form a collective or collaborative and pool monies to franchize a Zips or Planet Fitness. Lobby not only the Ward 8 council member, but the Council member at large to negotiate with the Economic Committee within DC Government to work with CVS or Walgreens to move into Ward 8. Everyone swears they can cook so open a restaurant with the type of service people desire. There are culinary schools in DC that can provide training. Again pool the money and open restaurants. There are attorneys and CPA's who live in Ward 8 , some prominently displayed at gallery openings on this website, get them working on getting permits setting up buisness plans, etc to get what people are 'wishing for". Lastly ask some of the older residents what there experiences have been in attempting to get some modern conviences. You may be surprised that they have been down this same road before. Basically, if you want something go out and get it.