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Mount Pleasant activist Laurie Collins has never had a problem taking on the merchants in her neighborhood. As head of the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Alliance, she spearheaded a successful effort to ban the sale of single servings of booze in the area and was willing to take on anyone who opposed the idea down at the Alcohol Beverage Control Board.
Her activism was understandable, given that the home she’s lived in for more than two decades on 17th Street NW is within earshot of the main drag.
So when a new neighborhood group was organized with the aim of lifting a ban on live music in Mount Pleasant, Collins wasn’t about to stay out of the fight. Live music is banned under another Collins initiative—-voluntary agreements signed by bars and restaurants several years ago. She plans to protect those agreements.
No one was really surprised by the biting Collins money quote in reference to the live music proponents that appeared in a recent story by Washington Post columnist Marc Fisher. “I will be damned if people outside my neighborhood come in and do something that affects my property value,” she told the Post.
There’s only one little problem: Collins doesn’t live in the Mount Pleasant right now.
She’s a renter in a Cleveland Park apartment complex just down Porter Street NW. For the past few months she’s lived up the hill from her old neighborhood. “I am separated from my husband, which causes me to be temporarily away from Mount Pleasant,” she says.
Collins has delivered the “temporary” change of address report to the Mount Pleasant Neighborhood Alliance board. “They have absolutely no problem with it,” says Collins.
Her desire for full disclosure apparently did not extend to Fisher, who had previously interviewed Collins in her Mount Pleasant abode.
“I am not a hypocrite,” says Collins. “I’m not an outsider, so I can’t be a hypocrite….My body may not be there, but my head and my heart are there in Mount Pleasant,” she says.