Monday, May 23, 2016

Mayor Bowser: Go with DC Council's Family Shelter Plan!!! (Pt 2)

The previous blog post was in response to DC Mayor Muriel Bowser's angry outburst toward Council Chairman Phil Mendelson on May 17th, 2016; an on-line letter she wrote to her constituents soon thereafter and her ongoing displays of hyperbole and sensationalism (bordering on demagoguery). There is so much to say about her particular (wo)managerial style and how she can do better that I had to do this continuation.

MOTIVES: Let me remind you (as I did in the previous post) that the DC General Family Shelter was proposed as the site for the Olympic Village had DC won the 2024 Olympic bid.

CONTINUED from May 19th post:

On March 22nd during her (SODA) State Of the District Address for which you can find the entire transcript HERE she said the following (about halfway through her speech):
"So we’re going to close DC General by opening up small, short-term family housing across the District. Beautiful and dignified places where families can thrive, and where little children can be little children."
In her online letter on May 19th she said:
"That means years of families having no choice but to stay in an old, dilapidated place that does not live up to the ethical and moral values of our city."
 Hmm. Mayor Bowser seems to be really gung-ho about closing DC General Family Shelter and opening several smaller "SHELTERS where families can THRIVE and CHILDREN can be CHILDREN" (for a short time, of course). Why is she not saying much about the 1,000-plus families that are in hotels in DC and Maryland on the city's dime??? I'm guessing that it's because they aren't in the way of an Olympic village or another major development. Just my guess.

Why is there no robust conversation about the affordable housing or living-wage job options that these families will have once they've been moved into new shelters??? For all the vices of the Ward 3 Bourgeoisie, they did ask at least one very relevant question which went something like this:

"How will families who are moved into the shelter obtain employment within 90 days, as the plan calls for, when some employment challenges take more than 90 days to address???"

The answer they got from Human Services was that it is the job of DOES (Dept. Of Employment services) to address that. I can't argue with that response from a cabinet member, though the mayor should have an answer for us -- but doesn't. Let's hope she's not taking this one from Fenty's playbook insomuch as he did a half-baked job by appointing Leslie Steen as the head of an affordable housing task force and then tied her hands behind her back so that she couldn't get the job done. We still have an affordable housing crisis years later. The council's plan may very well get us above and beyond such government dysfunction even if they and the mayor don't work well together.

Honestly, I'm left to wonder if the mayor and certain administration officials can work well with ANYONE, let alone the DC Council and if they are actually interested in connecting homeless parents or individuals to living-wage jobs. During my ICH nomination hearing in November 2015 I explained that I am currently focused on learning the fate of the CCNV Shelter and on homeless employment. More recently an administration official indicated that she (and possibly others) were reluctant to have me on the ICH. A different administration official told me (with attitude) that she thought THIS VIDEO in which I express concerns about further gentrification in DC was inappropriate. Everyone else I've spoken to disagrees with her.
These and other issues, when taken together, are proof positive that Muriel Bowser is a not-so-benevolent dictator who seeks to advance gentrifying policies under the guise of wanting to assist approx. 300 of DC's 1,300 or so homeless families -- emptying DC General for Hill East/Reservation 13/Olympic Village construction. 
Anyone who opposes Mayor Bowser -- the DC Council or Yours Truly -- is in for it. Unfortunately, I do indeed react when antagonized enough; and,that has given the administration leverage for keeping me off of the ICH (though I'll still attend meetings). Besides, the things that I do that scare them I do while not on the "wicked ItCH". go figure.

Part 1 HERE again

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