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So now there’s coalition activism—with strident rhetoric, even—over the six buildings on the 1400 block of W Street NW and, by extension, efforts to improve the quality of housing throughout the rest of this city (Loose Lips, 4/28). Now, I don’t know the agenda of all the people in or behind the coalition organizations, but I can state that the buildings in Columbia Heights did not suddenly become dilapidated slum properties on Jan. 4, 1999. These buildings, and many, many others throughout this city, were in bad-to-terrible shape throughout the ’80s and ’90s. Suddenly, when this city’s government decides to address these properties, people speak? In my book, these concerned activists are guilty of bad timing and selective agitation.
I lived in that part of Columbia Heights until February 1999. I felt the need to move because, face it, the crime rate was atrocious. That part of Columbia Heights was, and remains, CrimeLand. I did not—and I still don’t—see or hear any activist energy directed against the crime or the indolence of the police force. In fact, I don’t see or hear of any activist energy directed against crime or toward the indolence of this city’s police force in any area where there is dilapidated apartment housing. So what’s the real deal here?