Playing With Fire
Don't deny yourself pleasure today because of what you don't yet know about the future. Play with fire.

When Promises are Broken, Direct Action is Taken

PARCEL 42

A few days ago, I was invited by my friend Chioma to the Tent City Protest on 7th and R Street N.W, in the Shaw Community of Washington D.C. I was eager to venture to the location, known as Parcel 42, to learn exactly what the protest was for, and what it would mean for my generation. As I walked up to the Tent City, I immediately felt a powerful energy surround my body. I knew this would be an experience that would not only enlighten me, but compel me to do my first exclusive coverage.

At the site, I met long-time D.C. homeless advocate, Eric Sheptock. We engaged in an extremely detailed conversation about the history of Parcel 42 and why the Tent City Protest was necessary. A well-spoken man who has been homeless off and on, Sheptock’s knowledge of the issue on affordable housing is awe-inspiring. Check out his blog: http://streatstv.blogspot.com/

Below is coverage of part of the conversation I had with Eric.

The Tent City was erected on July 9th by ONE DC (Organizing Neighborhood Equity). The group’s mission is to ensure that affordable housing is available to individuals who make between $25,000 and $30,000 annually.

Parcel 42 has a long-history filled with broken promises made by the city. About two years ago, Mayor Fenty promised to build 94 affordable housing units on the land. However, Fenty’s affordable housing would be available to individuals that made $60,000 a year. Since then, decisions about how the land would be used have changed dramatically and no ground has been boken on the project to build the public units.

A few months ago, it was heard that Mayor Fenty changed his plans for Parcel 42 completely. The city is now going to build condos on the land! A move, that gaurantees to make the housing affordable to individuals whose incomes are in very high brackets. Keep in mind that the average house in DC cost $380,000 and the average rent is $1,100. Housing is not only unaffordable for most residents, but 35,000 people are on waiting lists for public housing.

ONE DC has taken direct action due to city officials’ broken promises. The group, community participants, and activists plan on staying on the land until a satisfactory response is recieved from Mayor Fenty and city officials.

For more information go to: http://tentcitydc.wordpress.com/. To contact the organizers of the protest to donate money, food, or your time, email parcel42@gmail.com.

Special thanks to AV Photography for the videoagraphy and editing!

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4 Responses to “When Promises are Broken, Direct Action is Taken”

  1. I’m glad you did this! When I was in DC my friends and I did the march for homelessness and raised money for this issue. It’s crazy cause the homelessness in DC is so in your face yet so many people aren’t phased by it. I applaud people who are trying to make a difference in this aspect of Urban injustice as well as others (i.e education, health etc).

    • Thanks Josie! And that is awesome that you guys took action! Many people are unaware of the issue because they are not seeking information. At lease some fashionistas and music lovers that visit my blog will unexpectedly gain some understanding of the issue.

  2. Kelcie, this post is amazing. It truly hits home for me because 7th & R is an area I know pretty well. I live on 12 & Q, right on the other side of Shaw JHS — and I attended Seaton elelmentary school. There used to be a community full of warmth and support, but now I have and will soon lose friends and entire family’s from the area because of Fenty’s broken promises. I can also personally attest to homelessness. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’ve always wanted to ”do something about it”. Now I know exactly who to contact and where to go.

    • I am really glad you enjoyed the article Jasmin! I know there are alot of youg people eager to help, but do not know how and where they can go to do so. This is an extremely important and relevant issue.


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