I just got off the phone with two members of Organizing Neighborhood Equity, otherwise known as ONE DC. Around 6 p.m., several bus and carloads of people left the group’s office in Shaw for Fenty’s Crestwood house.
The non-profit, which organizes communities around housing and economic issues, is angry about changes to a land development agreement in Shaw. Plus, it’s International Housing Rights Day, according to ONE DC’s executive director Dominic Moulden, and other similar groups around the country are rallying as well.
Particularly, the group says that Mayor Adrian Fenty, Deputy Mayor for Planning and Economic Development Neil Albert, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans and At-large councilmember Kwame Brown promised that a new residential building at the corner of 7th and R Streets NW would have housing for people with incomes of $50,000 and $25,000. Now, according to ONE DC, all the units will be for people with incomes of $60,000 and up.
The median income for residents in Shaw is $37,000, according to Moulden. “It’s outside of the reach of the people that we organize in the neighborhood. So, we’re protesting that.”
But, why not march down to the Wilson Building? Why bother Mayor Fenty, Mrs. Fenty, and the little twin Fentys in their private abode?
“[Fenty] has a home. He’s got a nice home. We want his neighbors to see we’re representing people that need homes,” says Jessica Gordon Nembhard, a volunteer organizer and a board member with ONE DC (and a Howard University professor). Roughly 40 people departed for the protest from ONE DC’s office, and the group expected about 100 people total.
Photo by dbking