UPDATE: A discussion ensued based on this posting on the Brookland listserve between a female resident named Linda and Councilmember Thomas. In response to the Councilmember’s generic response about development in Ward 5, Linda asked the following:
Linda: “What do strip clubs and pot production/distribution centers contribute to these improvements and programs? Are they essential ingredients? Would the improvements be impossible without them?And if the strip clubs and pot facilities are so additive, why aren’t the other wards clamoring to get them too?”
Councilmember Thomas: “The point Linda is that we as a ward are moving forward as one of the fastest growing wards in the city and as council member for ward 5 I have introduce legislative measures to create moratoriums on things that will have a negative impact on our ward and will continue to work with ANC civic community and and business leaders to ensure we have positive growth which benefits our residents and the neighborhoods we live in.”
Linda: “The question, councilman, is whether you identify strip clubs and pot centers as positive or negative for our Ward. Are these things you’re attempting to get a moratorium on? How successful are you so far?”
So why am I posting that conversation here? Not only did Linda not let the Councilmember skirt the question she was asking but by Thomas’ mention that he has introduced legislation measures to create moratoriums. Linda’s question is fair and something that I think the rest of his constituents in this area would LOVE to hear about. Could it be moratoriums against strip clubs? Weed centers? Store front churches?
I’m going to hold my breath now….
Ward 5 is very popular for all of the wrong reasons.
The ward is fast becoming (or already become) the place for businesses that are shunned in the other wards. Even Ward 8, once a sore eye of the City is picking itself up and realizing that the residents there have dignity and respect for themselves which leads them to demand better things. Ward 5, not so much.
Ward 5 already has a very large share of the City’s strip clubs and night clubs and now it is going to get nearly all of the pot cultivation and dispensaries (not to mention that the Wal-Mart proposed on New York Ave is an suburban design that will dessimate traffic along that corridor regardless of curb cuts, etc…. it’s the layout of the store — the other Wards were more forceful from the beginning and therefore getting better designs). As one or two of these centers spread out in Ward 5 may not be a bad thing, the fact that it is nearly all of them is ridiculous.
Setting aside his ethics issues, does Councilmember Thomas want his legacy for his Ward to be: pot and stripclubs?
Everyone talks about vision for Ward 5…but it seems that the vision is actually: bring it and we’ll take…whatever it is. Many residents are afraid of change but they shouldn’t be. Change is good for a community but it has to be positive change. That is what is lacking in our leaders’ vision for Ward 5: a vision of positive change. The councilmember alluded to his acceptance of the pot outlets by stating in the City Paper’s article that the voters approved marijuania cultivation and dispensaries by 69%. Yes, that’s a fine way to shun responsibility to a question but it doesn’t address the heart of the issue: the VERY disproportionate amount of these types of businesses within a small area of the City. Again I stress, perhaps one or two medical marijunia centers in Ward 5 would be ok so long as it was spread out in this very large Ward but not all of them.
Wake up, Ward 5! People in the other Wards know that as long as they keep their defenses up, the crap of the city will go to Ward 5 and Harry Thomas or our other leaders will do nothing to stop it.