Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bloomingdale neighborhood safety walk with the three ANC 5C commissioners - Tuesday, 03/29/2011

See this event announcement supplied by Melissa Ortiz, Bloomingdale resident and assistant to ANC 5C04 Commissioner John Salatti:

Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners
John Salatti, Hugh Youngblood, and James Fournier

Invite you to take part in a

Bloomingdale Public Safety Walk

Help Bloomingdale continue to grow into a safe neighborhood!

Who: You! ...and your children, dogs, friends, etc.
All are welcome to come, regardless of where you live. This is about making a strong presence in the community, showing that Bloomingdale will not tolerate crime in our neighborhood.

When: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 at 7:00 P.M.

Where: Northwest corner of 1st and Rhode Island NW
(Meet in front of Windows. Dress comfortably and bring a flashlight!)


Unknown said...

A gentrifier solidarity march is aggressive and provocative. It creates adversity. If anything, us gentrifiers need to get to know those who have been in our neighborhood through some sort of meet-and-greet. This is inevitably going to be a bunch of yuppies and students with flashlights and will hurt our image.

John said...

All I can say to Eugène is, please come out to the walk on Tuesday. He has not been on a walk before, or he would know that we often have much of Bloomingdale's diversity represented. Eugène would also be welcome to invite some of his "nongentrifying" neighbors to come; they are as concerned about safety and crime as anyone who is new to the neighborhood.

He'll also experience the walk as a positive thing that many neighbors we encounter appreciate. If he comes, he will see that part of the goal of the walk is to interact with neighbors in different parts of the neighborhood and build some community along the way. You see, it's all about the attitude we bring to these efforts. If we want to be negative and always look for reasons to sit on the sidelines, then we will generate the adversity that Eugène fears. If we want to be positive and build community and we enter in with that spirit, we can achieve those goals.

I also must point out that some of the longer term neighbors might take him to task for condemning safety walks, which were going on in the neighborhood long before his gentrifying self came to Bloomingdale and which were started to promote a safer neighborhood and combat the rising tide of drug crime and prostitution that Bloomingdale once faced.

Although we no longer face that level of crime and adversity, we still have a ways to go before crime is what most people would be comfortable with. Thus, the people who are here now stand on the shoulders of those who came before us with the goal of making Bloomingdale a safe home for everyone who lives here.

Of course, that said, neighborhood safety walks are just one tool we can use to improve the neighborhood and build community. Eugène is right that we also should have other means for meeting neighbors such as meet-and-greets. The question is, are you, Eugène, offering to organize one? If so, please contact me and we'll make it happen.

See you Tuesday,

John T. Salatti
Commissioner, ANC 5C04
Vice President, Bloomingdale Civic Association
(202) 986-2592

"Together, Building a Better Bloomingdale"

Unknown said...

I stand corrected on many things. Thanks for clarifying. I'm sure you can understand my skepticism given the changing tide of the neighborhood and the "Help Bloomingdale continue to grow into a safe neighborhood!" tagline. At first glance, it appeared to be a reactionary event for newer residents.

I respect your aims, but if you have trouble seeing what this kind of event means, (or can be perceived to mean), in the context of today's Bloomingdale, I'm sorry for you.

Unfortunately, I will be unable to make it as I work during the evenings. I truly hope your event is successful, and I look forward to meeting you at another time. Until then, however, I'm going to maintain a healthy level of skepticism in ANC 5C's three white commissioners.

C.J. said...

It is so sad to me that the automatic assumption is that the safety walks and their organization are the sign of a (growing?) racial divide. I have attended several of them and have met all kinds of neighbors, representing the diverse background of our neighborhood. I have also learned a lot about the history of Bloomingdale while also getting a lesson in how to be more safe while walking our streets.

Further, the comment "...but if you have trouble seeing what this kind of event the context of today's Bloomingdale..." is insulting. The people who attend the walks care about the neighborhood and their safety in it. What it means in the context of today's Bloomingdale is that the residents are taking a stand against crime and violence. If that is so different from your goals and interests for the neighborhood, then maybe you should find a different place to live.

I also think it is sad to question the motives of the "Three Commissioners" based solely on race. They are three guys who have decided to volunteer through public office to help continue the long set of improvements Bloomingdale has been working towards. The benefits of that job are not great and you take a lot of grief for it (as shown above). I, for one, am thankful that the "Three Commissioners" are willing to serve to make the area a better place for me and my family to live. If you disagree with how they are doing it, then maybe you should consider running for office yourself.

block said...

I have trouble seeing what this kind of event means (or can be perceived to mean), in the context of today's Bloomingdale. Can you please explain clearly to those of us that are a little slow?

Unknown said...

Safety walks have been an ongoing necessity for 20 years, 30 years, maybe more, in neighborhoods all over DC and other major cities. You can probably ask anyone of any race, creed, or orientation that's lived here for that long.

NAT said...

Pizza shop (on Florida ave) robbed by two guys with guns, last night. It seems SAFETY walk doesn't work, but good for health:)

Puchita said...

Nat, thank you for adding nothing to the conversation. Safety walks will not replace the need for policing - as mentioned by J. Salatti, just one tool among many.

Mark said...

Because safety walks are in "today's" Bloomingdale, not yesterday's Bloomingdale, they are provocative. They provoke someone--dealers, muggers, residents--well, I'm not sure who, but whatever--I understand, it isn't good to provoke people--embrace, rise above, unconditional love...I get it. Pizza shop got robbed, therefore safety walks don't work--makes sense--obviously--rationally, police force doesn't work either--or for that matter, pizza shops don't work either-they provoked the robbery, I think. To be safe, shut down walks, police forces & pizza shops. They're provocative like short skirts and thoughtful books. Can we replace the white commissioners with colors that don't induce skepticism? I'm on board with that to bring about truly upstanding motives and abilities. But can a white Commissioner be selflessly motivated to give up such a luxurious job, if another color is better at the position? I'm not completely clear on all this, but I'm starting to--I have a lot to learn. I'm way too happy in Bloomingdale with all my neighbors, and therefore I guess I am not paying enough attention. Like that bumper sticker, "If you aren't pissed off, you aren't paying attention". I like the idea of being a deeper person--I want to brood--brooders are cool & mysterious--outside the box, creative, smarter, wiser. Hell, yeah, I want that. I will attempt to grow deeper in my understanding, but I'm not sure where to gain wisdom. I'll stay away from safety walks and pizza joints, etc. Can I attend the Bloomingdale gay and lesbian meet and greet that Harry Thomas is holding? He's not white, so the motives are probably good. But, is the meet and greet provocative? Perhaps, to straight people or muggers? OOOOH, MILLION DOLLAR IDEA, a gentrifiers guide to better living. I'm going to journal about that after yoga. Anyway, I want to live my life in today's Bloomingdale without angering any old time residents, provoking muggers, or inducing skepticism in white gentrifying yuppy haters. I want to honour Bloomingdales history, which will not include white people--they muck up the story. I will do what I can to halt any neighborhood walks containing young college-educated adults who are employed in well-paying professions. A lot to learn...I'll pull together my brooding wisdom as much as I can through reading your blogs and maybe while researching my upcoming coffee table book "A Gentrifiers Guide To Better Living".

Jamey said...

Hear, hear! Mark, please let us know when the book is out - my wife has a thing for coffee table books.