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The Sept. 24 Loose Lips column had a lot to say about the Redevelopment Land Agency’s (RLA) decision on development in Columbia Heights. I think that the column dismissed the community’s dissatisfaction with the D.C. government as a trifling matter that was superficial at best, and probably about race or money at worst. Never did the column hint at the fundamental source of the dissatisfaction—a feeling of betrayal.
The people of this community spent more than two years involved in a charrette to construct a 20-point document. Hundreds of residents contributed to the document, which represents their views on development in Columbia Heights. The document was presented to the RLA, and the whole process took place under the auspices of a new city administration pledged to “listen to the people.”
Residents were shocked to learn that most of their recommendations were ignored and the RLA chose to do the opposite of the rest of the recommendations.
Who wants to spend years of time and effort creating a document that apparently gets ignored? Who will continue to talk to this administration in the vain hope of being heard? What kind of participation can anyone expect for public forums now? If the D.C. government is this callous in Columbia Heights, what will it do when it comes to your neighborhood?