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Newark Mayor Cory Booker, now a senator-elect from New Jersey who once saved a woman from a burning home and opted to live in public housing in Newark, said yesterday that he would “absolutely” consider living in Anacostia when he looks for a place in the District.
CNN’s Jake Tapper asked Booker on air Thursday whether he would live in a disadvantaged neighborhood like Anacostia when he starts spending time in D.C. as a U.S. senator. “I really savor living in neighborhoods where there’s great people struggling to make America real for all Americans,” Booker said. “And I just want to be in a neighborhood in D.C. that keeps me focused on the urgencies that I’m fighting for.”
This isn’t the first time someone has suggested that Booker live in the historic Southeast neighborhood. In a Washington Post article, reporter Jason Horowitz suggested that Booker live in Anacostia after the mayor said he would be looking to live in a neighborhood that would allow him to call attention to the District’s poorest residents. Marion Barry, the councilmember whose ward represents Anacostia, welcomed the idea.
Anacostia, which has its own Metro stop, is just as close—-or ever closer, in some cases—-to the U.S. Capitol than many of the ritzier Northwest neighborhoods that some Senators live in. The Anacostia Metro station is about 3.1 miles from the Capitol, or a less than 10 minute drive with no traffic.
Still, it’s hard to think of another U.S. senator or representative who has lived east of the Anacostia River.* House Speaker John Boehner has lived in a basement apartment on Capitol Hill. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has a condo in the Ritz-Carlton in Foggy Bottom. Booker’s predecessor, the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, also lived in Foggy Bottom. Rep. Darrell Issa lives in Kalorama, near Adams Morgan.
If Booker does decide to live in Anacostia, he could get a pretty good deal. The average home in Anacostia over the last six months, according to stats compiled by the Washington Post, sells for slightly less than $150,000. The average home in the District in July 2013 went for more than $760,000.
The median income in Anacostia is around $29,480. As a senator, Booker will be making around $174,000 per year.
* UPDATE: A reader points out that former Rep. Dennis Kucinich lives in Hillcrest.
Flickr image via Smitten with Kittens through a Creative Commons License.