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Re: “Home Repo” (3/30): I wish every Washington City Paper article didn’t read as if it should start with the word “Ironically.” Isn’t it just sooo ironic that the Homes Not Jails activists, who are trying to push the envelop on housing activism, haven’t fixed up the house yet? Ironically, they couldn’t deliver on their promise. Shocking, yet sad.
Excuse me? Walk around Columbia Heights and talk to some of the very well-paid contractors working to gentrify the neighborhood. Ask them how much success they’ve had during one of D.C.’s coldest, dampest winters/springs in years. Sorry, but Homes Not Jails is not the only force behind on its renovation projects this year.
But, yes, you’re right: The activists have failed again! A16: A failurethe economic system is still standing. J20: Bush is still president. Damn. Failed again. And don’t forget the Statehood/Green thing. Nader? That was them, too. As your piece intimated, the kids can’t seem to do anything right.
Of course, maybe a more useful use of the precious community news space we get in the City Paper (wedged between the cell phone and yet another airbrushed Gold’s Gym ad) could talk about some of the other ironies around town. How about: Isn’t it ironic that every time community activists get tough on crime and clean up a city street in the name of quality of life, they’re basically cleansing the community of poor people? Isn’t it ironic that D.C.’s now got Visions, Tryst, and the Diner, but a lot of us can’t afford to eat there because half our take-home pay is going to rent? Isn’t it ironic that the housing activists you cite have spent 20 years “working through the system,” only to see the affordable housing stock in the city plummet?
And isn’t it ironic that the City Paper continues to miss these important stories about the changing (for the worse) nature of D.C., so it can publish a hit on activists just to make itself look objectivewhen it really just looks petty. I’m sure there are bigger fish to fry out there.
Well, irony, after all, can only come from privilege. D.C.’s ill-housed population does have a sense of humor, but I suspect they wouldn’t get the whole irony thing.