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Message from Councilmember Jim Graham
Since October 1, we have experienced an unprecedented cycle of violence in various parts of the Ward , the likes of which I have not seen in my nine years in office. Well over a 100 shots have been recorded. Others have been heard, but not recorded.
I am writing this message because, up until now, the gang nature of much of this violence has not been made clear beyond a limited number of people. To be sure, we have had tragic accidents, shootings over drug deals of one kind or another, and even a very tragic car jacking.
But the lion's share of the shots fired in these past few weeks come from a spiraling incidence of violence among African American crews in Ward One. There has been an uninterrupted series of retaliatory shootings among several different crews. At various points, three crews have been fighting each other. "17th and Euclid", "CTU--Clifton Terrace University" (operating around the 1400 block of Girard) and "Hobart Stars" (off Georgia Avenue on the 700 blocks) have been variously involved.
To date, about ten people have been shot and wounded as a result of this gang violence.
So, we must be very clear about the cause of this violence.
Last Friday, MPD executed search warrants on the 700 block of Harvard, which is probably gang related. Two hand guns were obtained from that search. We have also seen a major increase in police presence and efforts by detectives. We also need better technology such as shotspotters and more effective cameras.
More police actions are also anticipated.
However, due to the unique structure of crews, we need longer term solutions as well. Chief Lanier is currently considering my proposal to establish a unit exclusively dedicated to monitoring and engaging African American crews in Ward One.
There are an estimated 10 crews in Ward One. It is recognized that young people have a need to associate themselves with a larger group with similar interests and needs. Many of the realities facing a young person who becomes active in a crew stem from a broken, ineffective educational system and the lack of jobs and training. For this reason, I am continuing to work closely with the Mayor, the City Administrator and Chancellor Rhee in addressing the root causes of crime and I support programs that will engage young people in more meaningful ways.
Ward One is experiencing a stunning economic revitalization. We have worked hard to preserve our diversity. I am committed to making sure all of our residents have an opportunity to participate and share in the prosperity coming to our neighborhoods. For everyone's sake, this violence has got to be brought to an end.
Bests, Councilmember Jim Graham
|Written by Tired of this shit on 2007-11-13 09:28:57|
So the board moderator deleted a bunch of posts. Fine, that's his/her right, as this is a public forum.
But what exactly is accomplished by pretending the current situation has no racial component? The random street crime in this neighborhood is committed almost exclusively by one group, and it's often commited with the express intention of intimidating those from other ethnic groups.
I work and go to school with Hispanic immigrants who receive horrible treatment and are occasionally attacked by blacks for no reason, other than the fact that they're Hispanic. And I've known white people who have been attacked by blacks, often black adolescents, and beaten up - not for robbery, but in a hate crime. If the blacks think you're a gay guy, god help you - they'll attack and beat the shit out of you for the hell of it. This happens in CH often, and if you doubt that do a search through the archives of the Washington Blade or some other local publication.
But somehow it's absolutely racist and degenerate to state the obvious facts. If you can't even state the problem accurately, how exactly do you think you're going to solve it?
|Written by crazy comment but true on 2007-11-13 10:03:38|
I lived in Columbia Heights area and still live near it. Either way, It seems like Columbia Heights is getting beautiful, but only from the outside. It's funny to see how there are black gangs and crews now. Back then they called themselves 'hoods.' The reason why they never flourished, was because of the more than 40 latin crews and major gangs (each one with about 40+ members) The main ones had control of columbia Heights in the sense of territory (just to be there, no real reason).
In the edge of Gentrification and thanks to the goverment help in aspects such as education, better policing (at least towards hispanics) they all decided that there was no real point in the fighting etc and rarely was there any account of a latino attacking a white (except for one occasion) and Latinos in reality do not have any drug control (as many of the blacks do prob some importing exporting) most of the latin crews/gangs called it a quit. There is only stragglers etc.
Thanks to one of the major violent groups calling it a quit, now we have black gangs flourishing.
The real reason why spanish gangs started was due to blacks (soome of the blacks constantly did hate crime (which the police ignored) and robbed hispanics) in the late 80s up to the early 90s. toward the millenium a black knew not to mess with hispanic and many started to get along as many do now.
How ever, if this problem continues now towards whites, DC might end up being like LA. Thank God there is a gun ban... and hopefully this situation can be taken over!
In Final words.. the real reason is Gentrifications
|Written by e on 2007-11-13 10:14:39|
No, there is nothing wrong with stating facts: x percent of crime y is committed by group z. That's fine.
When you start using the n word, when you start talking about "blacks" as a monolithic group, when you say that you "hate" a specific racial group that is a problem.
When someone says we need to get rid of all of these poor people who are ruining our neighborhood--when in fact it was their neighborhood long before you came in and bought an overpriced condo, then yes, that is a problem. Saying "I don't care where they go but they can't stay here" is not a solution to any problem, and it only demonstrates ignorance.
|Written by Crazy Comment but true.. on 2007-11-13 10:18:15|
By the way.. just to back up my comment why do you think the Mount pleasent riot occured.. because latinos were tired of it. Salvadoreans were at the verge of a bloody war.. they come here and get mistreated by african americans and even whites and majorly the police.
But i can say for the most part hispanics and blacks get along (except for the blacks who do not like hispanics per racism and those who find some of them an easy prey for robbery etc and same goes to some latinos).
It's a racial issue because many of these young people feel as if they are being kicked out by the whites who are coming in due to gentrification.
This whole violence issue is due to econmic problems (gentrification) and racial issues.
Education will help but only if its done correctly and with the right tools and support.
Plus the mentality of many young folks of all race is that being bad is good (cool etc). Its the goverments job and schools job to try to negate that (because it seems that there parents cant do it due to them working because of the high cost that has come over DC). So even though it is the parents responsibility it really isnt there fault they have to work extra. The schools can help with a sincere attitude, and in the long run young folks can appreciate education. The crime life never works out for anybody.. thats a career that will only last a short life unless if you live in a place where the goverment tolerates that.
Let the young ones know that. That is the first step.. to fix the world you must fix one person at a time through education... sincere education where teachers and staff show true interest towards their students.
|Written by crazy comment but true on 2007-11-13 10:27:07|
and by the way.. Just to make a point clear.. I DO NOT SUPPORT GENTRIFICATION I DO NOT BELIEVE IN GETTING RID OF POOR PEOPLE from DC (and sorry for the bad grammar in all 3+ comments ). I BELIEVE IN HELPING THOSE POOR PPLE TO BE ABLE TO GET AN EDUCATION AND JOBS PLACEMENT... THAT THEY SHOULD BE AWARE OF WHAT THERE OPTIONS ARE ETC.I ALSO BELIEVE THAT THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM THAT IS HARD TO DEAL WITH DUE TO IT BEING A HUGE ISSUE, that would not be solved in a term of one day not even a yr.
The only wrong thing with many washingtonians is they are not freindly to anyone in the sense that they have no manners especially white folks.. It would help if they at least say hi or nod to blacks, latinos and even within themselves... believe or not that is one key point to be safe. you become freinds with everyone and they will most likely defend you.
Not trying to profile any one by saying black white or latino because in the end it is what a certain individual does...
THESE ARE ALL CRAZY COMMENTS BUT TRUE
|Written by Fed Up on 2007-11-13 20:38:42|
Seriously, you want to see a real attempt at fast change in Columbia Heights? Tell the city you're taking your money to the burbs and leaving this "diverse" population to swallow itself. Then, back it up. Who wants to raise kids in this mess?
As soon as the market turns for the better we are out of here, for good. I will also talk so much junk about DC that nobody I know will even want to visit the place.
Once you have lived around the world a bit you realize DC is absolutely nothing special as a city. It's like trying to revamp a Ford Edsal, pretty much a waste of time.
There's much safer places, with better schools, more active cities who actually crackdown on criminal behavior and don't display such a huge resistance to change as DC does.
And that's where you'll find me.
|How about some community events other th|
Written by Gus on 2007-11-13 21:40:35
The violence that is happening is just another symptom of our communities failing our young people. Everybody is freaked out about their property values because of this crime, but really do not understand that their property values are going down because the foreclosures are dragging them down. But the boogeyman is easier to spot to yuppie folks when they are minority youth than stupid people living beyond their means.
|Written by Robbie on 2007-11-15 11:48:35|
Could everyone please simmer down and just keep it real!
Many of the post I read are extremely hysteric and I guess some people just like to freak out about everything. This is my opininon: Columbia Heights is a great place to live. In my opinion CH (especially South CH) is the heart of DC: to the south are bars, theaters and stores at the U-Street/14th Street corridor. To the west you find the new development which will bring an interesting mall (I love Target!, I love Ellwood Thompsons!). There is also the Florida Ave Diner, Wonderland Ballroom and Red Rocks Pizza. And everyone knows, soon there will be even more cool new stuff here including bars, restaurants and stores all over this place. CH location is central, my neighbors are great - no matter if black, white, latino or the many foreigners that live here, working in embassies, worldbank and whatnot.
If you are more the suburban type, it might not be a good choice, but there is plenty of suburban option all around DC...
There are many cities that are most likely great places to live, I really like DC, it offers me a great deal of options: work, interesting people, museums, theatres....
However, it is extremely sad to see that there are many young people living in extremely poor conditions either in section8 housing or other places, some of them in extremely bad shape. Many of these kids do have a shitty education. Many of them feel attracted to gang-bullshit. There absolutely is a need for improvement in many different areas and at the moment the city is failing on some: In the short term more police and better police technology should help to make Columbia Heights less violent (and thereby helping the kids not to get into the vicious circle of gang crap). This is definitely achievable: Metropolitan police admits that there is not enough staff at the moment in CH Service Areas 302+304. One of the Service Areas of Columbia Heights PSA304 that stretches from Harvard Street all the way down to Florida, and from 14th Street over to Georgia Ave has only 1 foot patrol. It should not be too difficult for the city to put in more police and I am sure this will happen. Advantages have been made over the years, and CrimeEyes have been installed that are monitored 24/7. However, this is a process and it will take time.
To increase the police presence is not the only important thing that the city has to do: There is a need for more after-school activities for kids in this neighborhood. Further, there is a need to "clean up" Georgia Ave. It is incomprehensible that the city tolerates one liquor store next to the other and continuous traffic violations in conjunction with open drug dealing.
Overall, I am very happy in CH, I see a urgent need to improve the police presence and the situation for kids from poor families. However, CH is a great place to live for me, with a much more urban feel than the slightly fake , all white Adams Morgan or Dupont area.
And bye the way: I do not own property here, I rent an english basement for $1000 (worth every penny) and I do not really care about property values (I just hope that prices stay reasonable).
See you at Wonderland, BusBoys+P, RedRocks, StickyFingers, Florida Ave Diner, The Heights, Studio Theater or anywhere else in the hood!
|Written by Jon on 2008-05-26 19:19:28|
This whole "white people/others need to be more friendly" nonsense makes me very angry. How dare you blame a victim of violence for not following arbitrary rules of politeness. People need to control their anger and not blow up at the tiniest things. Failing that, the only option is a hardcore police crackdown.
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