Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Dear Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray

December 14, 2010

Mayor-Elect Vincent Gray

Council Chairman-Elect Kwame Brown

Councilwoman Muriel Bowser

We, as residents of Ward 4, have not been adequately represented regarding the issue of the development of the site of the old Curtis Chevrolet dealership in Ward 4.

On November 17, 2010, we were made aware that Wal-Mart intends to build a store at the aforementioned site on Georgia Avenue, which is owned by Foulger-Pratt. Most people in Ward 4 are still not aware of these actions.

All Ward 4 residents should have been mailed a notice from our Councilmember that indicated Wal-Mart was interested in this location. A date should have been set for the entire community to meet with Wal-Mart and Foulger-Pratt, the owner-developers, to determine if our residents were open to this type of development. We vote to elect persons who are supposed to represent us in an intelligent and responsible manner, and pay them from our taxes to act on our behalf in a way that would place our interests first.

We pay taxes and this is our community. No company should be allowed to invade our community and decide what would be best for our community without our input.

Wal-Mart is not appropriate for Ward 4 or the city for the following reasons:

  • Wal-Mart presently has a case in the Supreme Court accusing them of employment discrimination.
  • Wal-Mart has a record of depressing the retail wages in a community, and studies have found that Wal-Mart actually reduces the number of retail jobs in an area by causing other stores to close.
  • The small businesses in the Georgia Avenue retail corridor are at particular risk by the addition of Wal-Mart to the area.
  • We are concerned that the presence of a Wal-Mart in the neighborhood will prevent further economic development along Upper Georgia Avenue. Our goal is for Upper Georgia Avenue to thrive, not to become a sea of abandoned buildings with a Wal-Mart at the center.

We, the residents of Ward 4, demand that our representatives support us in keeping Wal-Mart out of our community and in initiating a community-led process for determining the best use of the site. We ask you to communicate this to Foulger-Pratt and Wal-Mart, and to use available zoning, large-tract review, and traffic and environmental impact review processes to halt forward movement on building of a Wal-Mart store in Ward 4.

We will not stand idly by while a billion dollar corporation destroys our neighborhood without providing us a real opportunity to have our voice heard. We live here and will determine our quality of life.

We thus call on you to work with Foulger-Pratt and the community with the goal of developing a project that will be healthy for Ward 4. We must warn you that if this does not happen and plans move forward to build a store, we are prepared to knock on every door in Ward 4 and escalate our activities as necessary to protect our community. We look forward to hearing from you in a reasonable and considerate time.


Gerri Adams-Simmons, Michele Baskin, Rebecca Mills

Ward Four Thrives

Please direct responses to:

Ms. Gerri Adams-Simmons

6409 13th St NW

Washington, DC 20011

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