Sunday, August 24, 2008

Your Advice Please

Readers, the Growler needs your help!

The Braddock East Advisory Group, of which the Growler is a member, will be wrapping up its proceedings soon and its consultants will issue a report, presumably in the name of the group members.

As mentioned in earlier comments, the Growler has repeatedly and publicly stated at Braddock East Advisory Group meetings that it is the desire of the Parker-Gray community that more units be off-sited from the James Bland public housing site in order to achieve the same level of deconcentration successfully applied by the City and ARHA at the Chatham Square redevelopment.

At the May 2008 ICCA meeting, resident Gerri Madrid-Davis publicly presented an online petition with 52 signatures about the James Bland project (which included language again demanding further off-siting) to Mayor William D. Euille. In front of a number of ICCA members and City staff, Ms. Madrid-Davis spoke eloquently and at length about the need for public housing reform and further off-siting.

If the City needed further proof of neighborhood support for off-siting, there are the many messages that readers have sent in the last week (and in previous weeks and months) to the Mayor and City Council regarding the off-siting issue.

Yet despite this compelling evidence that our neighborhood wants more public housing units offsited from the James Bland site, the recently published August 7 memo from P&Z Director Faroll Hamer indicates that City officials are not even acknowledging this position exists.

We already know from ARHA Redevelopment Work Group meetings that the ARHA board, particularly chairman Melvin Miller, do not wish the document to include any numbers or targets about off-siting for Bland or for other public housing projects to be redeveloped in the future.

So with the City apparently stonewalling the publicly expressed wishes of the homeowners, taxpayers and voters who live in the neighborhood, it is likely that the final report of the group that consultants are writing will attempt to once again sweep the issue of off-siting under the table.

So what do readers recommend the course of action the Growler should take with respect to this report?