Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Press Release: Ward Four Thrives Demands City Reject Building Permits

For Immediate Release :  Ward Four Residents respond to Approval of WalMart Large Tract Review

City Approves Plans for Ward Four WalMart Despite ANC Concerns
Ward Four Thrives Demands City Reject Building Permits
August 31, 20011
Contact: Baruti Jahi (202) 904-7307

Ward Four residents and members of community group Ward Four Thrives responded yesterday to the Office of Planning’s recent Large Tract Review approval of corporate developer Foulger Pratt’s proposal for the development of a WalMart on upper Georgia Avenue.

 “The choice isn’t between WalMart and jobs. DC should seek to attempt to bring good community partners to our neighborhoods, especially small business that offer good jobs that allow residents to live where they work. WalMart offers none of these things,” says Ward Four resident and W4T member Renee Bowser.  

A resolution passed on June 27th by the ANC4B called for WalMart to “sign a binding and enforceable Community Benefits Agreement that will spell out its commitments with respect to hiring and employment practices, workforce training, contracting, transportation and traffic mitigation, environmentally sound building practices, public safety, small business assistance, community input, and financial support for on-going community programs.” This resolution also included detailed concerns for remedying a potential traffic nightmare.

Brenda Speaks (ANC 4B05) says, “The city’s complete disregard for the ANC process and documented concerns is unacceptable.  A big box disaster like WalMart should not be allowed to proceed without addressing ANC 4B’s resolution on the development. We need the city to take our concerns to heart. We have invested our lives in this community, and what we as elected officials say should matter, and the Mayor’s office should do what’s best for residents, not developers.”

Owner of local chain Yes! Organic Foods Gary Cha says “WalMart will put local employers like Yes! out of business and destroy the decent-paying jobs we create for a few hundred poverty-wage jobs.”

Ward Four Thrives, which has collected over 1300 signatures of Ward Four residents against the proposed Walmart, formally demands that the mayor’s office respect ANC4B’s resolution and refrain from approving building permits for the development. W4T demands a community-led development process that ensures that any large development on upper Georgia Avenue meets the needs of area residents.

“We’ve been steamrolled,” says resident Michele Baskin. “Ward Four won’t be bullied into allowing this unwanted development.  We need community participation in neighborhood development in order for businesses and job seekers to truly thrive”

Ward Four Thrives is organizing residents to call the offices of Muriel Bowser and Mayor Gray, as well as organizing demonstrations at upcoming public events to be held by both Bowser and Gray. Ward Four Thrives has also called on ANC4B to pass a resolution against a WalMart on the Georgia Avenue site.

Ward Four Thrives is neighbors, business owners, and allies committed to community-led development in Ward Four.

More info at, on facebook, and twitter @ward4thrives

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Call Script to the Mayor's Office: Say No to Walmart- Yes to Alternatives

With the recent passing of the Large Tract Review for the proposed Walmart, we're asking folks to flood the Mayor's and Council Member Bowser's office with calls saying, "We don't want a Walmart- we want alternatives." Below is a call script to help guide you through the process. Feel free to add your own reasons (Environmental concerns, DC needs living wage jobs or you don't think you'll look good in a moo moo)

It shouldn't take long. But just in case there's a hold period, here's a video to help you through it. David v. Goliath, final round boxing match (quick and well aimed hits- can beat the mammoth):

Or listen to this instead, Justice- D.AN.C.E.:

Call Script:
Mayor Gray's Office- (202) 727-6300

Ward 4 Council Member Muriel Bowser- (202) 724-8052

Hi, my name is _______ and I am a resident of Ward 4. I was very upset to hear of the approval of the Large Tract Review for the proposed Ward 4 Walmart. I am strongly opposed to a Walmart being built at Georgia and Missouri and there are still major concerns that have not been addressed:

1) With 6 schools surrounding the proposed Walmart site, the increased traffic will make it more dangerous for children in the area.

2) Small businesses in the immediate area will lose business and likely close down, causing increased unemployment and less competition.

3) The Office of Planning disregarded the community's input and concerns which were voiced consistently at public meetings and written comments. The City also did not fully address the explicit objections of ANC 4B.

I demand that Mayor Gray deny a building permit for a Walmart at Georgia and Missouri and instead consider alternatives developed through a community led process.

Food Stamps

Friday, August 26, 2011

Ward 4 Thrives Meeting: Response to LTR passage


Please join us for a planning meeting to discuss Ward 4 Thrives response to the recent passing of the Large Tract Review for the proposed Walmart. We're meeting this coming Monday, August 29, at 6:30pm at the Petworth Library until 8:30pm.

Petworth Library
Meeting Room

4200 Kansas Ave. N.W.
(corner of Upshur ST and Georgia Ave)

Show the City that Walmart's not welcomed in Ward 4- the fight's not over.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Report Back on the August 13th Flyering Event

Congratulations Ward 4 Thrives.

You rocked the Georgia and Missouri corners this past Saturday, August 13th. We were there from 10 to 1 :00 pm, when we got rained out.

For those who were not in attendance, you missed a wonderful event. We had enough people to cover all 4 corners and more. Channel 4 came and interviewed a few people about our event and also interviewed folks about where were they during 9/11. It should be on both news shows this evening or tomorrow depending upon what is happening during this news cycle.

Thanks to everyone for the shirts, signs, literature, food, water, your enthusiasm, etc. I was so proud of us. If anyone has other ideas about organizing an event, please let us know.

Ward 4 Thrives

And special thank to all the small businesses that donated to make the "No Walmart" T-shirts possible.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

We're asking residents to call Mayor Gray, (202) 727-6300, and tell him we don't want Walmart in Ward 4 -- Instead we want residential friendly development!

THERE ARE ALTERNATIVES TO WAL-MART. These are examples of what might work with the existing infrastructure.

1) Using the historic car barn -- an Eastern Market style complex that can house produce vendors, incubator space for small and local businesses, pedestrian plaza, and arts use.

The car barn (former Curtis Chevrolet) is the largest surviving commercial building in the area – and one of the oldest buildings on Georgia Avenue. It could be the centerpiece of our community!

2) Hyattsville-style pedestrian shopping plaza with local businesses such as market shops and clothing retailers.

Reconfigure the Georgia-Missouri intersection to allow development of the site without overburdening traffic and without displacing existing buildings. This will also increase the street frontage of the property, creating a “town center” facing Missouri Avenue and Emery Park instead of a loading dock for a big box store.

Option 2 can be done with or without saving the historic Car Barn (former Curtis Chevrolet).

Friday, August 12, 2011

Reminder: Tomorrow Flyering in Ward 4 at the Proposed Walmart Site

We're gathering from 10am-2pm this Saturday, August 13th, at the proposed site for Walmart (5929 Georgia Ave b/w Peabody and Missouri). Please join us as we flyer about the traffic condition if Walmart came and propose alternatives for the site. We'll have posters- but feel free to make your own colorful creative one!

One proposal for the location: An Eastern Market/Essex ST Market model to solve the "food desert" problem claimed by Walmart:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

August 13th- Flyering and Rally at Proposed Walmart Site, Come on Out!

We're gathering from 10am-2pm this Saturday, August 13th, at the proposed site for the Walmart (old Curtis Chevrolet lot, 5929 Georgia Ave b/w Peabody and Missouri). Please join us as we flyer about the traffic condition if Walmart came and propose alternatives for the site. We'll have posters- but feel free to make your own colorful creative one!

And a quote from the below article, "Walmart needs New York City more then New York City needs Walmart." And the same can be said about DC:

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Reminder: August 3rd- Ward 4 Thrives Community Meeting

Please join us for our monthly Ward 4 Thrives Community Meeting- August 3 at 6:30pm at the Fort Stevens Rec Center (1327 Van Buren ST, NW b/w 13th and 14th ST). We're planning a flyering and action at the proposed site for the Walmart. Please join us to discuss how you can get involved in this event and other ways to help keep Walmart out of Ward 4. The fight's still on!