Awake

December 4, 2009

Hello to all, I’m Mark. Thanks for checking out http//:ourcolumbiaheights.wordpress.com. This is my first Blog post, to the page and I’d like to thank Dany for being consistent and keeping it up week to week. For all those that don’t know already, our aim is to tell the story of all those affected by gentrification, particularly the ones of the people displaced whose voices go unheard or ignored. The change of any particular area always has negative and positive consequences, but the intentional removal and transplantation of lower-class individuals in order to serve a new demographic has never been so prevalent and obvious. How does two Starbucks across the street from another serve to help drug-abuse prevention? How does overpriced housing end crime on the street?  The process of gentrification is systemic and is not always a solution to an areas problem.  Some will argue that Columbia Heights has changed for the better, others, for the worse. Our goal is to open people’s eyes to the issue and examine the effects it has had on people like me who have had nightmares about local landmarks that I grew and love turn into more luxury condos or apartments.

I also attended a meeting about two weeks ago and listened in on Fenty and his further ambitions for rehabilitating Columbia Heights. “Lighting up 14th St.” sounds like a great idea to deter crime, however. Will it ultimately be effective? Many of Fenty’s plans are idealistic and seek to (like Mayor Anthony Williams) create a new D.C. one not unlike Arlington, filled with transient young urban professional who enjoy the perks of living in the city. Where do the displaced go? You may be wondering. Into the Surburban metropolitan area where crime rates have soared. The issue is being patched by putting up heavily policed – shopping districts but not addressed.

Who are the players involved?

What is gained? What is lost?

Where are they now?