Author Archives: d.c. forrd

Police Harassment

Gendarme: Unconstitutional Displacement

DC’s Attorney General recently said, “Obeying the Constitution is Not Optional” after filing complaints against the “President.”

Perhaps Mr. Racine ought to be on the phone with Police Chief Newsham to discuss training on the rights of Americans to peacefully gather in public spaces when organizing against displacement.

On Monday, June 12, 2017, just a mere couple of weeks after the DC Zoning Commission rubberstamped the approval of a project that will destroy #BrooklandManor, the cops are acting as developer agents to harass and finish off the displacement of existing DC families and residents living in Ward 5.

Of course, Ward 5 Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie favors this displacement, as he goes on and on writing letters consistently supporting these projects and the wholesale removal and police harassment of black families from DC.

MLK on War and Poverty

Disperse Poverty! Concentrate Wealth!

DE-CONCENTRATE POVERTY MEANS GETTING RID OF POOR PEOPLE WHILE THEY CONCENTRATE WEALTH IN NEW LUXURY HIGH-RISES

We must de-concentrate poverty.  It’s a refrain we are hearing alot from city officials lately, especially now as East of the River communities are facing the first big swells of the massive gentrification wave heading that way from the westside.

Those screaming for the dispersal of poor communities have usually been the developers, more recently the “smart” growthers, and now City officials are parroting it up on their John A. Wilson dais.

“The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty” — Dr. King, “Where do we go from Here: Chaos or Community”, 1967.

But, instead of seeking tools and policies like a guaranteed basic income, or robust job training programs, feeding programs, good quality schooling, and social uplift, the de-concentration of poverty advocated for by the DC’s developer-class and the City Council and Mayor is that of dispersal, i.e. getting rid of the poor by way of streetcar, condos, hotels, stadiums.

The New Communities program, following on from the Hope VI programs, in turn from Urban Renewal is referenced across many Housing and Urban Development documents as “dispersal projects” no matter what new euphemism they want to call them.

Due to the self-selection inherent in voluntary dispersal programs, and to the screening that these programs apply to applicants, participants are likely to be more motivated and possess more human capital than the families that do not participate. Program operatives choose the families they think will succeed, based on these families’ being organized enough to pass home inspections and other steps in the application process. Still, mobility programs typically have a low success rate, because fewer than half the applicants who are accepted are able to lease an apartment. The Reality of Deconcentration, By Edward G. Goetz

Simultaneously, while the city disperses the poor to heed the call to de-concentrate poverty, the DC Zoning Commission, Office of Planning, Deputy Mayor’s Office for Planning and Economic Development, alongside Ward level Councilmembers push hard for new projects that have only 8% to 15% “affordable” units in them, and those are usually for singles, not families.

That is, city planners and officials are encouraging, even touting projects that concentrate wealth with 85% of the housing units being built for wealthy single new DC residents.

So, the developer-class wins again with each call from advocate-community and pronouncement by city officials saying we must de-concentrate poverty and rip up generational familial networks with innate powerful neighborhood connections that have grown in some ways to supersede abject poverty through mutual aid and reliance & trust.

The reality is, the development underway in the District is dispersing and displacing poor DC families (the census numbers don’t lie), but consistently concentrating wealthy singles and somehow that is considered good planning in DC.

It’s not, it’s unreasonable and unacceptable.  This purposely poor planning has resulted in DC’s #unRealEstateMarket


Deconcentrating poverty is a smokescreen. It camouflages forced relocation of low-income house-holds. What do we mean when we talk about  deconcentrating poverty? As it has been implemented to date, deconcentration has meant manipulating the spatial arrangement of federally subsidized low-income families to either disperse or dilute poverty. — The Smokescreen of Poverty Deconcentration, by Edward Goetz


 

In their own words . . . opinion by Chris Otten, co-facilitator, DC4RD

 

 

 

 

Office of Planning’s Zoning Rewrong Now Hurting Supporters

ANC 6B, particularly Commissioner Kirsten Oldenburg, has championed everything that the Office of Planning has thrown at them, including the DC Zoning Rewrite.

The 2016 approval of the ZRR allows commercial creep into residential areas of DC and weakens the rules making many zoning issues a “matter of right” meaning they don’t need any community feedback or administrative process for approval from the city (many zoning issues also went from the a stricter variance test to the easier special exception request).

Now the ANC is feeling the effects of their forthright push to support the Zoning Rewrite, that is they are fighting the commercial creep that is just starting under the new rules.  See the article below.

‘Party House’ Hearing Before Board of Zoning Takes Place Wednesday

TwilightZoning: Record RubberStamp!

Amazing!  The DC Zoning Commission has hit a new record in approving a Planned Unit Development in a mere 26 minutes (video)!

A twenty-six minute review of a 11-story behemoth in the middle of the historic Shaw neighborhood, despite the precedent setting victory at the highest Court in the District regarding the landmarked McMillan Park showing that the Commission must consider adverse impacts from any major project they are considering.

A record project approval in the face of the people calling out Zoning Commission attorneys for their disregard of fundamental planning impacts like displacement.

Doesn’t matter! The Zoning Commission goes hard and rubberstamps an 11-story Planned Unit Development in the middle of the historic Shaw neighborhood in record time.

Things may be looking up though — the Office of the Attorney General is seeking to hire a land use attorney!

Using Law for Good & Bad

While the corporate “journalists” attack the character of local activists when they use the law to demand accountability for developments in the District, slumlords can use the law (Bankruptcy) to avoid accountability and dodge their ethical duty to provide clean and humane residential units to District residents.

That is, when activists use the law to protect their communities they get attacked in the press. When slumlords use the law to cover-up their negligence and assault on poor people and families, the monied classes get a pass.

#tiltedpress
#lawforgood
#legalaction

Non Sui Juris: Who can you sue?

Non Sui Juris = can’t sue me!

While you can appeal administrative decisions by most agencies to the DC Court of Appeals, if you think an District agency and/or officials screwed you and your community over, or is about to, be prepared to know who you can sue when you are going to Superior Court or the Circuit Court in DC.


For more insight, see this case:
FOGGY BOTTOM v. DIST. COLUMBIA OFFICE OF PLANNING, 441 F. Supp.2d 84 (D.D.C. 2006).

From this case: As a preliminary matter, defendants assert that certain parties named in this suit are non sui juris, that is, that they lack the legal capacity to sue or be sued. Specifically, defendants argue, and the Court agrees, that agencies and departments of the District of Columbia government are not amenable to suit. See Community Housing Trust v. Dep’t of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs, 257 F. Supp. 2d 208, 217 (D.D.C. 2003) (“The law is clear that `agencies and departments within the District of Columbia government are not suable as separate entities.'”) (quoting Does I through III v. District of Columbia, 238 F. Supp. 2d 212, 222 (D.D.C. 2002) (citations omitted)). The plaintiff’s claims against the District of Columbia Office of Planning, the District of Columbia Zoning Commission, the District of Columbia Department of Health and the District of Columbia Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs therefore will be dismissed from this case.

But what the Foggy Bottom community got right in their suit is the naming of the Mayor.  From the case:  The Mayor of the District of Columbia, Anthony Williams, sued in his official capacity, is a proper defendant, and the suit against Mayor Williams shall be treated as a suit against the District of Columbia. Arnold v. Moore, 980 F. Supp. 28, 36 (D.D.C. 1997) (“It is well settled that if the plaintiff is suing the defendants in their official capacities, the suit is to be treated as a suit against the District of Columbia.”). Thus, the Court may proceed to consider the merits of the claims against the District of Columbia itself (a named defendant) and the Mayor of the District of Columbia in his official capacity.


The naming of individuals carries to others under the Mayor too, like the DC Zoning Administrator.

The  acting  Zoning Administrator  for  the District  of  Columbia,   Olutoye    Bello,    sued   in    his    official    capacity,  is  a  proper defendant,  and  the  suit against  Bello  shall  be treated  as  a  suit against the  District  of  Columbia.  See  Kentucky  v.  Graham, 473  U.S.  159,  166 (1985); accord Arnold v. Moore, 980 F. Supp. 28, 36  (D.D.C. 1997)(“It   is   well   settled  that   if   the   plaintiff  is   suing   the  defendants   in   their  official   capacities, the suit is to be treated as a suit against the District of Columbia.”).  Thus,  this suit  may  proceed  against defendant Bello.   COMMUNITY HOUSING TRUST, et al., Plaintiffs, v. DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AND REGULATORY AFFAIRS, et al., Defendants. No. CIV.A. 01-02120 (HHK). April 16, 2003


For more on Non sui juris, see this case, and this case, and google it!

 

Wha-Mata with You! DC4RD Update

The Latest DC4RD Update

~~ UPDATE menu ~~

I) Citywide Planning Issues:
i) Defending the Comprehensive Plan and Future Land Use Map
ii) Martin Luther King Memorial Library Renovation & Friends Meeting (Ralph Nader)

II) Racism and Police Abuse in DC

III) Organize & Fight Back!


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I) Citywide Planning issues:
===============================

i) DEFEND THE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN AND FUTURE LAND USE MAP
http://tinyurl.com/20-year-dc-comp-plan

DC for Reasonable Development, a citywide network of groups and residents who care about planning in the District of Columbia, asks you to join us in defending the DC Comprehensive Plan. The developer-class working by and through DC “planners” want to dismantle our most progressive planning document in the city.

Be at the upcoming meetings to defend the development of an inclusive city that is building truly affordable housing >> http://planning.dc.gov/page/plandc-amending-dc-comprehensive-plan



ii) MARTIN LUTHER KING LIBRARY

Our central public library is being renovated, your voices needed, http://www.dclibrary.org/mlkfuture

Be at an upcoming meeting and get your ANC’s and civics involved to express your concerns, critique, and affirmation of all or parts of the renovation plans, here are the plans dated August 2016, http://www.slideshare.net/DCPublicLibrary/slide-show-for-website-8-2016

–> ALSO, join the Martin Luther King Memorial Library Friends at their Annual Meeting and Election on Wednesday October 26 at 6:30 pm in Room A-5 of the Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Library.

Guest Speaker: Author and Consumer Activist Ralph Nader will speak about his new book Breaking Through Power. The MLK Library Friends will be selling books ($13.95 paperback) and Mr. Nader will be pleased to autograph copies.


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II) Racism and Police Abuse in DC
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The #Racist planning and unjust behavior seems to be at an all time high in the District in 2016.

* JUSTICE FOR TERRENCE STERLING
https://www.rt.com/usa/361509-terrence-sterling-protests-dc/

* BLACK CHURCHES GETTING PUSHED OUT
http://www.afro.com/gentrification-pushing-black-churches-out-of-d-c/

* METRO SHUTTING DOWN STOPS SERVING BLACK NEIGHBORHOODS
http://wjla.com/news/local/wmata-board-debates-budget-options
http://tinyurl.com/gw5h8sh


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III) Organize & Fight Back!
===============================

As they say, don’t agonize, organize! Here’s some important upcoming meetings and other resources to review & share!

* EMPOWER DC Annual Meeting Tomorrow (Sat Oct 22)
http://empowerdc.org/event/empower-dc-2016-annual-meeting

* ONE DC 10th Anniversay Gathering (Nov. 18th)
http://www.onedc10thanniversary.org/

* SURJ (Two upcoming meetings in November)
https://www.facebook.com/surjdc/

—————–
MORE EVENTS (Calendars & Bulletin Boards, Interwebs)
—————–

* Washington Peace Center >> http://washingtonpeacecenter.net/calendar/
* Neighborhood Network >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/NeighborhoodSolidarityNetwork
* DC Organizing Posse >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/235632049818909/
* The Great Ward Eight >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/161579963922562
* EmpowerDC >> http://www.empowerdc.org
* ONE-DC >> http://www.onedconline.org
* DC for Democracy >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/2540176953/
* SURJ DC >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/652826544817571/
* Food Not Bombs DC >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/foodnotbombsdc/
* The Peace House >> https://www.facebook.com/thepeacehousedc/
* DC for Reasonable Development >> https://www.facebook.com/dc4reality/


video

Watch one of the #JusticeForBarryFarms videos here >> https://youtu.be/dX9CaTCcq-g

Accountability of Developer Promises, NOT

City officials gets wooed constantly by developers pleading for handouts and corporate welfare and these officials (city council, mayor, planners) have dutifully served their campaign contributors well.

Since activists shined the light bright on this corporate welfare during boomtown DC, the City Council had to begin giving the appearance they expected returns on the promises instead of just dispossessing the public farm.

But, as should have been expected, these same city officials gifting the monied classes never actually followed up to see if those promises were fulfilled or that the city got a fair return on our investments.

DC taxpayers continue to still be robbed by the developer-class for a myriad of large financial gifts of public land, tax breaks, and zoning entitlements.

And now the dot on the exclamation point — the independent DC Auditor pulled together the stark data and concluded what we all intuitively knew — city officials (planners, city council, mayor) are suckas for corporate-driven development and the monied classes.

#DCfiresale
#corporatehandouts
#welfare4therich

Activism in Fall, on Fleek

Fall on Fleek :: Get Active & Involved

DC4RD Fall on Fleek Update

~~ This year’s fall theme is finding accountability in the courts because the woeful City Council and Mayoral oversight of agency action is no longer cutting it.

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HOUSING ACTIVISM
—————–

* Barry Farms (Ward 8) in Court this Wednesday >>
https://www.facebook.com/events/1784614785138267/

* Kenilworth Courts (Ward 7) in a zoning battle against displacement >>
http://www.dchousing.org/property.aspx?id=5N

* Brookland Manor (Ward 5) residents take racism and classism to court >> http://thehilltoponline.com/2016/09/23/brookland-manor-v-gentrification/

* Congress Heights (Ward 8) rally to defend their homes >>
https://dcindymedia.org/node/1246

* Museum Square Tenants (Ward 2) win in Court of Appeals >>
http://dcist.com/2016/09/museum_square_tenants_win_another_c.php

—> If you have questions about any of these above items, contact us:
dc4reality@gmail.com 202 810 2768

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ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISM
—————–

* McMillan Park (Ward 1 & 5; National Landmark) has its day in Court >>
https://www.facebook.com/SAVEMcMillan/

* Buzzard Point (Ward 6) residents air and water quality under threat >> http://planning.dc.gov/page/buzzard-point-urban-design-framework

* Zoning Rewrong (The whole city) — The ZRR passed with no impacts studies conducted >> http://www.twilightzoning.org/legal

* The ZRR is still being amended >>
http://www.dc4reason.org/updates/316

* [new] DC Consumer Utility Board >>
http://www.dcconsumerutilityboard.org/

—> If you have questions about any of these above items, contact us:
dc4reality@gmail.com 202 810 2768

—————–
COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT
—————–

* Adams Morgan Suntrust Plaza (Ward 1) — PN Hoffman wants it all >>
http://www.saveourplaza.wordpress.com

* Union Market (Ward 5 & 6) facing serious upheaval >>
http://tinyurl.com/wapo-union-market-sep-2016

* DMPED Land Disposition Agreements (The whole city) — Finally put online >> http://dmped.dc.gov/node/1019962

—> If you have questions about any of these above items, contact us:
dc4reality@gmail.com 202 810 2768

—————–
MORE EVENTS (Calendars & Bulletin Boards)
—————–

* Washington Peace Center >> http://washingtonpeacecenter.net/calendar/
* Neighborhood Network >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/NeighborhoodSolidarityNetwork
* DC Organizing Posse >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/235632049818909/
* The Great Ward Eight >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/161579963922562

—————–
DON’T AGONIZE, ORGANIZE!
—————–
* EmpowerDC >> http://www.empowerdc.org
* ONE-DC >> http://www.onedconline.org
* DC for Democracy >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/2540176953/
* SURJ DC >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/652826544817571/
* Food Not Bombs DC >> https://www.facebook.com/groups/foodnotbombsdc/
* DC for Reasonable Development >> https://www.facebook.com/dc4reality/

Thank you!
Chris O. & The DC4RD team!
www.dc4reality.org
202 810 2768

PS: If you haven’t already seen this weeks big event, check out >>
http://www.BreakingThroughPower.org

#McMillanPark Supporters Pack Courthouse

Changes to ZRR, Already

=================
TONIGHT, Sep 22, 6:30PM
=================

Tonight, Washington, DC, at the DC Zoning Commission, 441 4th Street NW, Suite 200 South, 6:30PM, Sep 22.

The Zoning Amendments Being Amended;
Ad hoc project for favored developer prompting consideration of substantial changes to the ZRR

Members of the Committee of 100 found that the Office of Planning was trying to define “substantial” changes to the ZRR as only “technical” changes.  There is a difference that requires a more public process for substantial changes.

Tonight, the DC Zoning Commission will be considering OP’s suggested changes, one which includes completely waiving the minimum area requirements for when developers request the city for a super variance, i.e. PUD applications.

EastBanc is asking the city for an entitlement to ignore the standards and rules regarding the minimum size of PUDs. However, the regs make clear that the Commission must not use their flexibility or discretion beyond what is allowable by law, which is why the Commission chose to have the hearing tonight.

08-06F :: https://app.dcoz.dc.gov/Content/Schedule/ZCCalendar.aspx

The public is welcome to testify, but it’s hard to imagine what OP’s rationale could be for a substantial change that could invite a PUD to be dropped anywhere in the city, especially without comprehensive planning direction.

Tonight, Sep 22, 6:30PM at the Zoning Commission Hearing Room, Suite 200 South
441 4th Street NW, WDC 20009
Judiciary Square Metro

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IN OTHER NEWS
===================

A report from the Hine School legal team tells favorably of efforts that resulted in the Deputy Mayor’s Office putting online a list of land abuse contracts between developers and DMPED.

Deputy Mayor’s Office Website with LDA’s >> http://dmped.dc.gov/node/1019962

There are noted issues, for example The Grimke School LDA Term Sheet reveals that the developer acquired the property for $25,000, while the appraisal indicates the property is valued at around $15-$20 million.

DC for Reasonable Development wishes if you have the time and interest to dig into the numbers of these contracts that affect DC taxpayer assets and the public interest and inform us of any perceived malfeasance.

Contact Chris: dc4reality@gmail.com || 202 810 2768

This information was delivered via Mr. Oliver Hall, Esquire, who will be speaking at the upcoming BreakingthroughPower.org conference starting September 26, 2016.