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Craigslister: Katherine Johnson, 50
Offering: $2,500 for her Capitol Hill apartment with one bedroom.
Other Occupants: Daughter Danielle, 17
Location: Close to 11th and C Streets Northeast, just above Lincoln Park.
Special Requests: Absolutely none. Johnson’s advertisement lays it out as simply as possible: “Close to all events during inauguration week. You name the price. I am willing to match any offers you see anywhere.” That’s it.
Responses: Three e-mails from people inquiring about the advertisement. One woman from Brooklyn, a college professor with grown children, offered $500 a night to stay at the apartment for a week. No leasing papers signed yet.
Why: Johnson’s nephew, Kazeem Laja, 20, urged her rent out her apartment and posted the Craigslist advertisement himself “because I’m computer illiterate,” she says. “I just felt like he knew what to do because he’s an entrepreneur as well. He’s very business orientated. He goes to Howard Community College [in Columbia], plus he negotiates a lot of go-gos in Washington. He sells things over the internet. He has a part-time job at the airport. He’s involved in a lot of things.” Johnson and her nephew plan to get together on Saturday to discuss the offers, which came in from Massachusetts, Tennessee, and the aforementioned woman from Brooklyn, who responded within two hours of Laja’s original posting. “My daughter is graduating from high school this year so I’m trying to get as much money as possible to contribute toward her education. She’s going to get scholarships, but you know when you go to school, you need money. She goes to McKinley Technology High School. I informed her [we were going to be renting out our house.] It wasn’t for her to negotiate. She said ‘Whatever’ I mean, that’s all [teenagers] ever say. As long as they can be on their cell phone, and get with their friends, they don’t really care.”
(Interview edited and condensed.)