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Posted at 12:57 PM ET, 12/28/2009

No 'entitlement' on H Street

By editors

Joel Kelty

Colbert I. King’s Dec. 19 op-ed column, “Earmark and entitlement on H Street,” included unsubstantiated and veiled allegations of racism and seemed rooted in the fear, distrust and reverse racism of the last generation. More important, it completely missed the community benefits provided by the H Street shuttle.

H Street businesses seek patrons from elsewhere because the immediate neighborhood is not dense enough to support a robust, local retail economy. To be economically successful, H Street needs more people, not different people.

The city is spending millions of dollars for infrastructure improvements along H Street as part of a comprehensive plan to provide housing, urban retail space and a culturally vibrant arts and entertainment district. The plan will provide attractive opportunities to live, work and play in a city that faces stiff competition for income, sales and property tax revenue from surrounding jurisdictions. Unfortunately, it has created disruption for local businesses in the interim.

Local entrepreneurs have taken substantial risks opening businesses in an economically depressed corridor, but all of us will benefit, economically and culturally, if they prosper. So let’s leave the race-baiting of the last generation behind, support our local businesses and enjoy the renaissance of one of Washington’s great streets.

By editors  | December 28, 2009; 12:57 PM ET
Categories:  HotTopic  
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King sees a racial issue in everything.

Posted by: jckdoors | December 28, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

entitlements? how aabout the funding of acorn in the healthcare bill? its in there and the sad part is that none in the senate or the house has even read the bill. its not about healthcare, its about funding for acorn, sweetheart deals, pharma, insurance, seiu, wall street, bailouts,bribes, and the like, the only thing about healthcare is the people who will be tossed into the welfare system on medicade, which most dr.s are saying they will quit taking new patients on medicare/medicade starting jan.1. which means when we all get tossed on the welfare, we cant find dr.s and will be in the er for routine stuff, also, obamas stash will go down, his stash, for those who dont know, are our tax dollars, the working peoples money, your welcome, i know you say thankyou to us working people every month when you get your welfare check, foodstamps and medicade. we give obama his stash for you, when the bill passes and we all get tossed on medicade, guess what? no more obama stash for you. a yes vote for this bill is a yes vote for funding acorn, tossing us into the welfare system, which is already overwhelmed, we have 14 new taxes in this bill that starts now and benefits not till 2013 and 2014. i cant wait till 2010 to kick the ones who want to toss us into the charity welfare system and make us wait over 12 hrs. to see a dr. kicked out of office. 2010 and 2012 cant come fast enough. obama said this would be on cspan,bipartisan,no earmarks,no bus. as usual, transparent, HEY OBAMA, YOU LIED.

Posted by: unicornsbypauline | December 28, 2009 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Its not so much as an issue of race issue as it is of class. The unfortunately truth is those who are coming into the H Street Cooridor happen not to be of the same race as those who have historically lived in that area and who are being negatvely impacted by its development.

Another unfortunate truth is that native Washingtonians (many of whom are African American) and their institutions are seen by the new residents as a drag on the District of Columbia's movement towards a progressive urban area. And, as as a result, they are being made to feel unwanted and unwelcome in the city of their birth and heritage.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | December 29, 2009 2:18 PM | Report abuse

CK makes a good point. There are two bus routes that run that way. Why do we need a special arrangement in this situation? When I go somewhere in the city, I have to pay the subway/bus/parking. Why can't these H Street patrons be required to do the same?

Posted by: questioningauthority | December 29, 2009 3:30 PM | Report abuse

33% of the 2010 DC budget goes to Human Support Services and 17% goes to Public Education. Only 6.2% goes to Public Works. Only 12.7% goes to public safety. To argue that Businesses (ie tax-paying contributors) are somehow getting more than their fair share vs the large taking class of DC that takes nearly 50% of the District budget is illegitimate. I would be pleased to argue line item by line item a rationale for reducing the Human Support Services Budget, however political expediency and correctness would prohibit such a debate, and certainly the liberal columnists have never examined that budget with the same zeal they choose to take on the business and investment community. Do we really need an Office of Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs?

Posted by: markjeff | December 29, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Keep on looking out for the folks who have paved the way for these new pioneers Colby.
The truth hurts and Councilmember Wells voted to do away with earmarks for more worthy organizations.

Posted by: bill121 | December 30, 2009 11:21 PM | Report abuse

Wasn't there an article the same day about a string of carjackings in the H St. area?

OK, so it was the next day, but it seemed a fitting riposte to King's screed:

Posted by: Jacknut | December 31, 2009 9:38 AM | Report abuse

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