***UPDATED*** Legacy of Pot and Stripclubs

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….


Blue dots are proposed cultivation and dispensaries. All but two are in Ward 5.

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.

read more from the City Paper on the latest…

8 thoughts on “***UPDATED*** Legacy of Pot and Stripclubs

  1. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, there is no sense of unity in Ward 5 among residents…..especially once you get up to Woodridge. As a business owner, I can understand why others are slow to invest in the community (exception being those who make a living from proselytizing; apparently there has been a great lacking of Jesus in Ward 5 and we are now the new center of world missions) as there is no way to get a handle on who the potential customers are. This observation may be unpopular, but evidence of discretionary income is what compels business owners to invest. Storefronts are blighted and look terrible, and I know for a fact that many residents feel hostage in their own homes because the police absolutely refuse to actually POLICE the areas surrounding the park- which honestly, should draw people to our neighborhood in droves as it is a true gem (albeit unpolished) in the city. It’s as if there has been an unspoken deal made with the drug dealers that if you stop doing business over here, then we won’t bother you over here- until we demand more from D5 officers, ’cause clearly our councilman won’t, then we will continue to be the District’s step children. RIA was named one of the Great Streets right? Where are funds for facade improvements?….just saying.

  2. And this is why I’m moving back to Mo County. I don’t know what possessed me to purchase in this ugly, smelly neighborhood. No one seems to care about what really matters. I don’t care what you call it but weed is weed and ward 5 has enough drug and alcohol people roaming around. Good luck ward 5.

    1. Pat, why would you ever purchase a home you weren’t willing to fight for? Or am I mistaken that you’ve been out there actually trying to make a difference in this ugly smelly place? There are people out there fighting for Ward 5 every day. Every person that complains without action sends a message that the Ward is not worth fighting for, but its certainly worth moaning about. If what you wanted was to live a life where the wealth and efforts of others benefit you, then Montgomery County is where you should have stayed in the first place.

  3. Wanted to send information about the legacy that we are building in ward five with billions of dollars of community development jobs and infrastructure work moving forward. I will be sending out weekly updates that show the positive direction the ward is moving towards. Please click on links below and explore our  wards direction with the hard work of our ANC civic associations, business and community leaders.

    The September 2011 issue of The Thomas Connection is now available! Click on the link below to view it.
    click here to download file

    DC Workforce Development Pilot Program Places District at the Vanguard of Job Readiness and Workforce Training, Says Thomas—Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. today expressed his enthusiastic support for the newly formed public-private partnership to promote workforce skills and training among District residents. “The initiative places the District at the vanguard of creating innovative ways to deliver job readiness and workforce training,” said Thomas.

    click here to download file

    Job Opportunities for DC Residents Age 55 or Older!Assist with meals, help with shopping, accompany to appointments. For more information, contact Ms. Sanders at202.274.6616 or gerontology@udc.edu.

    Summary of Economic Development Projects in Ward 5 Now Available! Click on the link below to view a summary of the economic development projects planned or currently underway in Ward 5.

    click here to download file

    Thomas Introduces Bill to Provide Property Tax Relief to Businesses Impacted by Streetscape Construction—Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr. today introduced the Streetscape Corridor Taxation Relief Act of 2011.  This bill would amend the DC Code to allow commercial property owners substantially impacted by streetscape construction to have penalties and interest for delayed real property tax payments waived.

    click here to download file

    Thomas Calls for a Bully-Free DC: Press Conference Highlights the Personal Stories of Young People Victimized by Bullying–Ward 5 Councilmember Harry Thomas, Jr., an active advocate for advancing anti-bullying programs and policies in the District of Columbia, held a press conference on Thursday, April 21, 2011 to promote Bill 19-11, “The Bullying and Intimidation Prevention Act of 2011,” and “Bully Free DC,” an initiative to end bullying in the District.
    click here to download file

    Sent from my Harry 5 iPad 
    excuse typos sent from my iPad from the field”
    Building Stronger Communities Together

  4. I think doth protest too much…

    Ward 5 has the most industrial areas of any ward in DC. Pot cultivation centers need indoor, secure, and cheap space to grow. Besides, it’s not like these centers are going to be grow houses; they’ll be monitored 24 hours a day by security and police officers and giving jobs to residents.

  5. Chase Alan Moore, I agree Ward 5/Woodridge is the City’s dumping ground for storefront churches. We need a moratorium on that! Is your business located on RIA? I think they’ve formed a new Business Association. Maybe you can get involved with that to get better businesses (not storefront churches) to relocate to RIA and also help improve the storefronts. If you see any untoward “activities” going on in the Park, be sure to report it. There’s a new dog park in Langdon. Are you using it? That might help keep some of the vermin away.

    Has anyone heard that the Brookland Cafe/B-Cafe wants to be a Marijuana Cultivation/Distribution Center? If so, this doesn’t bode well for 12th Street.

    We are seeing improvements (a.k.a. “change”) coming to RIA. The new Rhode Island Row project looks very promising amid all the blight. I’ve heard that the new drug store, which will serve as their anchor, will be moving in this month. Also, this month the new first residents should be starting to move into the Rhode Island Row luxury apartments. They’ve also planted a few trees and shrubs on the site.

    1. In regards to the park, I call the police at any time I feel that there is something unseemly going on in and around the park area and when people are in the park after dark. I pretty much alert the police any time I see something unseemly in my area (though, with good reason, I’m certainly not the boy the cried wolf). I can’t say I’ve always had the greatest reception from the people answering the phones at the police department, but frankly I don’t really care. I pay my taxes and I want them on top of everyone from the drug dealers and/or users in my alley to the clusters of young adults stealing stupid things out of our yards. I am – and will continue to be – the squeak in their wheel until the significant and petty crime decreases dramatically. Like metro says, if you see something, say something.

  6. Give me a f’ing break. As I have said in previous posts, Ward 5 is the dumping ground for the crap. Nobody else wants…not even Ward 8! Harry Thomas…you are the biggest joke on the council (and that is saying a lot with Marion Berry being on there with you). Please, for the good of us all, STEP DOWN already. Let someone who wants something better get into council so that we no longer have to suffer with plummeting home prices due to the blight of real development in the ward.

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