Saturday, December 5, 2009

Walk a mile in my shoes

Last night we had the third Fairfax Village Security Walk. I'm sure there are some staffers in DC anxiously hitting refresh on my blog to see what I have to say. Before I give my keep-it-real recap, I need to make some things clear. First and foremost, with regards to the elections, I am not endorsing any candidate at this time. It takes more than a wink and a smile to woo me. The only strong opinion I have at this time is Fenty has to go. Second, this isn't a gossip column. My opinions reflect my thoughts and reactions to some of the things I read, see, and hear. Lastly, I rely on the big news sources (i.e. Washington Post and Washington Business Journal) to provide accurate information. Anything else that I state as fact is based on my reality.

Now... on to the security walk. I want to first thank everyone for coming out and seeing Life in the Village at night. Ofc LaFrance is the best foot beat officer ever. He has invested over 10 hours of his time helping us figure out what we need to do as a Community Association to protect ourselves. I asked when Councilmember-at-large Mendelson when he was coming to Ward 7 and he showed up with his little daughter and legislative assistant in tow. Hopefully, this won't be his last visit over yonder. Amin Muslim, Director of Constituent Services for Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander attended. This was a surprise given her people were a no show at the Fairfax Village Security Meeting she was supposed to be co-hosting. Councilmember-at-large candidate, Clark Ray, and his people were in attendance as well.

While the manicure grounds and freshly painted buildings give the impression that this is the urban version of Wisteria Lane, we do have a drug and prostitution problem, especially among the residents receiving section 8 vouchers.

Despite the cold temperature, our guests saw the dopeboys and their "girlfriends" heading into the problem building on 38th and Alabama. Too bad it wasn't warmer so they could get the full effect. They also got to hear first hand from Ofc LaFrance how MPD make arrests, but the courts have them back on street only hours later.

You thought I would have planned it, but they also got to witness a car accident at Fort Davis and Pennsylvania (I swear I had nothing to do with it). They also got to see a few pedestrians play roulette with their lives crossing Pennsylvania. Since I had the ear of Mr. Muslim, I also discussed the section of Pennsylvania that I HATE (between Branch and 33rd).

What I want to see happen next? I don't expect our visitors to be down in the weeds with the issues. My hope is that those in office and seeking to be in office will think about how to address these issues on the larger scale (i.e. policies, studies, rules, regulations, etc). As CM Mendelson contemplates the agenda and actions for the Public Safety and Judiciary Committee that he Chairs, I hope he will keep in mind what he heard and saw. Perhaps his committee will initiate an investigation into why the justice system is releasing repeat offenders back on the streets of DC.

Also, Mr. Muslim promised to assist us with addressing our problem units using other creative means. I emailed him the information I promised to send. I look forward to his follow-up. I told him I'd give him until the end of next week before I put him on blast. (Oh the pen is mightier than the sword... bwahahahaha)


  1. Excellent wrapup! So great to see some progress and good luck!

  2. An underused (unknown?) tool residents have is the community impact statement (CIS). Anyone within the vicinity of a crime can write how the offender's crime impacts his quality of life, neighborhood, sanity, etc. so the judge can factor this into the trial and sentence. A Community Prosecutor with the US Attorney's Office is stationed at MPD District stations and is eager to get more residents to write CIS's because law enforcement not only includes stoppin' the crime but also keepin' 'em locked up. Please contact Brenda J. Horner, USAO Outreach, Community Prosecution Office, 698-0825, C: (202) 353-5410 to get info on doing a statement. It is unfortunate CM Mendelson didn't discuss the CIS as a tool. That says a lot.

  3. Thanks for the info Anonymous. I'm emailing this to my board and community association right now.

    It is a shame that he didn't mention it!!! ***raises brow***