Press Release, DC for Reasonable Development, Chris O., 202-810-2768
November 1, 2014
AG Contenders Face Questions on Barry Farm, McMillan & Other Development Disputes
Washington, DC – Candidates in the first election for attorney general offered answers about development issues in a recent forum organized by the citywide coalition, DC for Reasonable Development (DC4RD). For the forum, held at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library, DC4RD supplied briefing material on community opposition to development projects and questionable decision-making across the city, including the threatened displacement at Barry Farm, the over-development and legal questions at McMillan and the removal of affordable housing requirements and other questions about downtown in the wholesale zoning revisions, known as the Zoning Rewrite.
The strongest commitments were made in-person by Edward “Smitty” Smith and Lorie Masters. Smitty said: “I promise you in my first 60 days as attorney general we’re going [to] ask [the agencies] the tough questions; [to] show us the evidence.’’ If the evidence is not there, then “I’m not going to be an good position to represent them.”
Masters committed to “listening to interests of all the neighborhoods….to make sure we’re following the processes that are in place [and if there are] agreements with neighborhoods…enforced.”
In a separate interview, Lateefah Williams said she would investigate to determine if decisions in these cases were “arbitrary and capricious.” If so, she would “submit a legal opinion to the agency…and ask them to basically redo the process;…if they didn’t comply…[she would] file a suit on behalf of District residents against the agency.”
In written submission, Karl Racine said he’d “ensure that any decisions made conform to the law and adhere to the [existing downtown requirements] to create a balanced mix of…office development, protect historic buildings, and foster growth for small and minority businesses” and, he wants to see, “that the District achieves its affordable housing goals [and be willing to] intervene to uphold the law [including pursuing] any unscrupulous developers and landlords, such as those who do not adhere to affordable housing laws.”
Paul Zukerberg did not attend the forum. In a phone interview, he referenced his long record of helping many residents across an array of social justice issues and winning on many such cases. He said this approach would carry over into issues like improper rulemaking by DC agencies.
For the full report with videos, photos, and written statements see this link :: http://www.dc4reason.org/agshowcase