I was surprised and disappointed to see such a biased and superficial attack on Jack Evans in Washington City Paper (“Backyard Barbecue,” 7/11).

Two years ago, in response to several shootings in Shaw, I asked Jack to help us address the serious problems we are confronting in this community. Together we formed the Shaw/Northwest One Crime Task Force, which is made up of residents, business owners community-based organizations, government officials, and other stakeholders in the community. Our main focus was on crime, but we decided to widen our mission to include solving the economic and social issues that we face here in Shaw.

Bringing large development projects to our community and making sure that these projects actually benefit Shaw residents is one of our goals, and we definitely see the MCI Center, the Washington Opera, and the proposed Washington Convention Center as opportunities. Jack’s efforts to secure these developments for our community are something that we appreciate rather than resent.

Through Jack’s leadership and commitment to the Shaw community, the task force is continuing to take on and solve problems and bring creative and committed people to the table. Those of us who are actively trying to make life better for people who live here see Jack as an essential ally and friend.

I’m not sure why Paul Belden wrote the article he did, but I wish he had called me first. I would have told him that Shaw is a diverse community where we judge people by their deeds, not their race.