Attention city bureaucrats: Anthony Muhammad, a member of the Anacostia advisory neighborhood commission, demands a little respect for his neighborhood. And if he doesn’t get it, your job fair could be in trouble.
The city’s Office of Unified Communications, which houses the citywide call center, 911, and 311 responders, sits on Martin Luther King Avenue SE, Ward 8’s main drag. On March 6, the agency planned to showcase employment opportunities at the facility.
Muhammad heard about the job fair only after another resident spotted the announcement on a Virginia Internet discussion group. It wasn’t on any of the groups serving east-of-the-river neighborhoods. “They sent it to Virginia, and they sent it to Ward 4,” he says.
So he contacted the agency’s director, and now the job fair has been postponed until March 17.
Debbie Knox, spokesperson for the Office of Unified Communications, says no slight was intended. “We didn’t exclude anyone in the advertising,” Knox says. “We’re basically trying to select the best person for the job.” The job fair, she points out, was advertised in several newspapers, and certain people “took it upon themselves” to distribute an announcement on their neighborhood Internet groups.
Knox says her agency was happy to honor Muhammad’s request for a delay. “It was a collaborative effort to ensure that we work together with the local ANC,” she says. Plus, she says, job fairs work better on Saturdays instead of in the middle of the week.
But Muhammad’s not buying it—-he’s started advertising the upcoming job fair himself. “They said that they were going to do it,” he says. “But we believe them like we believed them the last time.”