Thursday, April 28, 2011

Upcoming Important Event- May 2 & May 6!

We're gearing up to put some pressure on Mayor Gray. We'd like to know where he stands on Walmart entering DC and will he rep our interests. So please come out to Mayor Gray's Ward 4 Budget hearing this Monday ready to question him on this issue.

Ward 4 2012 Budget Briefing
Date: Monday, May 2, 2011
Time: 7:00pm
Location: Brightwood Elementary School
1300 Nicholson Street, NW
(b/w Missouri and Colorado)

And a reminder for Ward 4 Thrives monthly community meeting on May 6, at 6:30pm, at the Police Station 4D (6001 Georgia Ave NW, corner of Georgia and Peabody). It's the first of a lecture series on the impact Walmart will have on our neighborhood by Ward 4 Thrives member Baruti Jahi. We'll also do report backs on our April 26 outreach effort and strategy discussions before the lecture.

And where we are now after May 1, 1886:
May Day March LA 2006:

And the Oscars getting it almost right (maybe beneath the glitz the words "Unite" come off as a subliminal message) when Dolly Parton sings "9 to 5" (still a great song):

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Please join us this weekend, April 24, at 6:30pm for a planning meeting to discuss our April 26 Special Election Outreach effort. We plan to target polling stations near the site as well as Bowser's polling station to generate awareness and gather signatures. If you would like to be involved and discuss strategies about targeting certain city officials, please join us this weekend.

And Sometimes it takes a fire to wake us up

And Walmart tactics that we might want to stay aware of: New Yorkers Fight Like Mad to Keep Walmart out of the Big Apples and Critics Accuse Developers of Obfuscating Plans to Bring Walmart to NYC.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Washington Post: "Why Wal-Mart doesn't fit my community"

A little late posting this here, but better late than never. From Brightwood resident Kate Ahmann, a letter to the editor:

Robert McCartney believes that Wal-Mart would serve all four of its proposed D.C. locations well. He seems to think that all of the locations are equal in terms of need.

The proposed Georgia Avenue site is four blocks from where I live. Brightwood and Manor Park are stable, middle-class neighborhoods convenient to the Metro and amenities such as Safeway and CVS.

The site is less than two miles from Montgomery County and less than a mile from Prince George's County. It is quite likely that many of the store's employees would hail from those jurisdictions. This we do not need.

The store will draw as well a glut of shoppers from these localities. Increased traffic, including delivery trucks, will flood the neighborhood. This we do not need.

Urban superstores are notoriously difficult to manage - from security to stocking and organization. A large, poorly managed store invites discontent and petty crime. This we do not need.

What my friendly, established neighborhood lacks is places to gather that will attract our regular business and have us engaging in community. We need more restaurants, a coffee shop, a bookstore, boutique stores, doctor's offices and a movie theater. Such small businesses bring life to neighborhoods such as Chevy Chase, Adams Morgan, Woodley Park, and the 14th and U Street corridors. We need the kind of development that will strengthen our community. Wal-Mart will not, and we do not need it.

Kate Ahmann, Washington

Thanks for speaking out, Kate!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Next W4T meeting!

The next Ward Four Thrives meeting will be on May 6th from 6:30-8:30 at Police Station 4D at 6001 Georgia Ave NW.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dear Mayor Gray

April 5th, 2011

Ward 4 Thrives corresponded with you in December in order to appeal to you for assistance regarding Walmarts immoral attempt to invade our community. We also sent correspondence to our councilmember, Muriel Bowser, and met with her to no avail since she is an admitted Walmart supporter. Our perception was that her interest was to lobby on Walmarts behalf, rather than on behalf of her constituents. Councilmember Bowser clearly did not want the residents to make a decision about how Walmart would affect our community and whether we felt it was in our best interest.

Subsequently, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Planning, Victor L. Hoskins, met with us on your behalf. He heard our concerns for the safety of our school children and our seniors. We appreciated his sensitivity to our issues; concern for our childrens safety, congested streets and environmental damage to our community.

Walmart is immoral and devours communities across the nation. It is presently attempting to invade South Africa. Interestingly enough, they are fighting to keep Walmart out while our elected officials in DC have welcomed Walmart with open arms, ignoring the harm Walmarts record indicates it would do to Ward 4. This devastating invasion will forever alter this communitys people and their livelihood. Studies have shown that Walmart will cause the closure of mom and pop businesses in the immediate area of the retailer. In addition, Walmart has a case before the Supreme Court, Walmart v. Dukes, one of the largest employment lawsuits based on gender discrimination.

In addition, following the developer Foulger-Pratts submission of its Large Tract Review for the proposed Ward 4 Walmart, the Office of Planning should seriously consider the traffic impact this large retailer will have on our predominately residential area. There are also six schools within a three-block radius of the site of the proposed Walmart, and residents are concerned about the increased traffic endangering the safety of school children trying to cross Georgia Ave.

Our elected officials, for whom we pay taxes so they may always perform their duties in the best interest of the residents, have neglected to do so. They were obligated to send out notices to alert us that Walmart was interested in coming into this city. They did not schedule meetings in order to inform the community, but forced us to hear, through various sources, that Walmart intended to build a store in Ward 4 and thereby forced us to organize our own meetings.

We unfortunately, had to come to the realization that we were on our own and that we could not count on our councilmember, Muriel Bower, to do the job she was elected to do -- represent the interests of those who elected you as well as her.

Ward Four residents organized against this invasion into our community. We stood in the harsh cold of winter to hear our neighbors concerns, collect signatures and to gather assistance in this effort. We have thus far collected 1,200 Ward Four residents' signatures. Though Walmart promises 1,200 jobs to DC residents by 2012, the 1,200 Ward 4 residents who signed the petition understand that Walmart will cause more job loss in the community, in the form of forcing small businesses to shut their doors.

We are presenting these signatures to the Deputy Mayor for him to accept on the mayors behalf.


Gerri Adams-Simmons Baruti Jahi Ward 4 Thrives Member Ward 4 Thrives Member

Willie Baker Gary Cha Ward 4 Thrives Member Owner of Yes Organic, Food Market

Verna Collins Milfred W. Ellis Ward 4 Thrives Member Ward 4 Thrives Member

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Actions at the Wilson Building, and Community Meeting Tomorrow!

Today a contingent of Ward Four Thrives members took to the Wilson Building. The group organized a string of actions in response to developer Foulger Pratt's submission of the Large Tract Review detailing plans to build a WalMart in Ward Four.

Members staged a press conference outside the building, and then head in to deliver a copy of the 1207 person petition of Ward Four residents against WalMart. This was delivered to the Deputy Mayor Hoskins' office.

W4T representatives then entered the active city council session to deliver 400 yellow, sad face ping pong balls representing the 1200 petition signers to Councilmember Bowser. Security successfully removed the group, but not before two representatives demanded that Muriel Bowser stand up for her constituents against WalMart in Ward Four.

Thanks all W4T members for all the hard work put in before today gathering signatures and attending planning meetings, as well as the effort put out today.

With the Large Tract Review on the books, the need to act is more urgent than ever.

Join us at our biweekly community meeting tomorrow at 6:30 at the Fort Stevens Rec Center at 13th and Tuckerman!

Pictures from Ward Four Thrives actions at Wilson Building today

Baruti Jahi, Ward Four Thrives member in front of Wilson Building

Renee Bowser, Ward Four resident, outside Wilson Building

Willie Baker, Ward Four resident, delivering 1207 signatures against WalMart in Ward Four to Deputy mayor
Faye Williams , Ward Four resident and business owner, interrupts City Council in session to deliver 500 sadface, yellow ping pong balls to Councilmember Bowser

Sad faced Anti WalMart Ward Four residents (thanks Michele Baskin..!)
Video is here:

Monday, April 4, 2011

Press Advisory

For Immediate Release: Press Conference and Petition Delivery

Ward Four Residents Reject Developer’s Plans for WalMart, Demand
Councilmember Bowser and Gray Administration Take a Stand for Constituents

April 5th, 2011, 11 AM

John A. Wilson Building
1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20004

Contact: Gerri Adams Simmons, (202) 723-0113

Members of Ward Four Thrives will hold a press conference and petition delivery at the Wilson Building in response to the Large Tract Review application submitted on March 21 to the Office of Planning by Walmart and developer Foulger-Pratt.

Walmart and Foulger-Pratt intend to build a 102,000 square foot Walmart store on the site of the former Curtis Chevrolet dealership in Ward Four. The Large Tract Review includes details for the development, which departs sharply from the Office of Planning’s economic development recommendations as published in the Upper Georgia Avenue Great Streets Redevelopment Plan.

Ward Four Thrives members will present a petition signed by over 1200 Ward Four residents against the proposed Walmart to Deputy Mayor Victor Hoskins. Ward Four Councilmember Muriel Bowser will receive 400 yellow ping pong balls upon which sad faces have been painted. Each ping pong ball represents 3 of Bowser’s constituents who signed the petition against the proposed development.

“Ward Four needs community-driven development, not a big box disaster,” said Ward Four Thrives member William Washington, who lives in the Florian Gardens Cooperative, a garden apartment complex which is on the same block as the proposed development. “Walmart will cause a traffic nightmare, shutter local businesses, and sound a death knell for any future economic development in our neighborhood.”

“It’s time for Muriel Bowser to step up and represent her constituents’ best interests,” said Ward Four Thrives community spokesperson and longtime Ward Four resident Gerri Adams Simmons. “We represent over 1200 community members. Bowser knows Walmart doesn’t have Ward Four’s best interests in mind.”

Gary Cha, owner of Yes! Organic Market said that “Walmart will put local employers like Yes! out of business and destroy the decent-paying jobs we create in favor of a few hundred poverty-wage jobs.”

Ward Four Thrives is a community-based organization composed of of Ward Four residents and business people. The goal of the organization is to strengthen locally-owned businesses and community-led development in Ward Four.

The Ward Four Thrives press conference, petition and ping pong ball delivery will take place at 11 AM on Tuesday, April 5 in front of the John A. Wilson Building, 1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW. More information at, on Facebook, and Twitter @ward4thrives


Strengthening locally-owned businesses and community-led development in Washington, DC’s Ward Four Ward4THRIVES