With the Mount Pleasant apartment fire and back history of thousands of code violations, a string of Post stories on crummy landlords, and the announcement today by Peter Nickles heralding a new “sweeping” offensive against slumlords, I have to wonder: Where’s Councilmember Jim Graham?
If you go to the Post’s “Forced Out Map,” so many—if not the majority—of controversial properties are in Graham’s ward. The news of these properties isn’t a surprise. Each of these properties has a history. Graham is great at throwing heat during a council hearing. And he’s wonderful at showing umbrage in front of a reporter. I have no doubt that he’s prevented a number of tenants from eviction. And maybe he’s even helped clean up a building or two. I can’t help but feel Graham could have done much, much more.
I can’t help but wonder where Graham was on these issues years ago. And if he was on these issues, why didn’t he do more to protect tenants? He certainly wasn’t living in these apartments ala Cory Booker.
After the Mount Pleasant fire, Graham was quoted in the Post saying: “This is the classic example of eviction by neglect.” The newspaper of record goes on to describe the councilmember as having “worked on various issues with tenants for years.”
So I’m sure Graham was well aware of the 7,000 code violations from that building. So couldn’t this powerful and savvy councilmember have done more?