Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Meet Washington D.C.'s "civic agent" Chris Otten, who believes in legal activism, not just journalism, to protect poor people


I am sometimes criticized for physical inertia and leaving the resistance and activism (and protests) to others, claiming to be a “citizen journalist”.

No so with “civic agent” Chris Otten, who files appeals and litigation to halt the gentrification of poorer sections of Washington, DC.

The Washington Post has a story by Paul Schwartzman today, here.  The story was shared by a Facebook friend, Dave Edmondson, who had been the editor of “The Quill” in the early 1990s, for Gays and Lesbians for Individual Liberty (GLIL), a group among whom Rick Sincere (now in Charlottesville) may be the best known today.  I’m going to interrupt my own post right here and share a guest post on Rick’s blog by a US Congressman. Anyway, I became the editor of Quill and then went on to my books and bogs.

Otten, who looks fairly youthful but scruffy in the picture (white), has tutored poor children (compare that to my own substitute teaching experience in the middle 2000’s) and run for office under the Green Party.  The article says he drives a 20-year-old car (the maintenance would be more expensive than a new one, maybe) and lives in subsidized housing in Adams Morgan.
   
I see gentrification all over Washington, now on U Street, and in Northeast.  Where do the poor people, driven out by the high rents (unless there are enough subsidized units) go?  PG County? 

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