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The Woodberry Project

The Woodberry Project

Healthy DC & Me Leadership Coalition
United Nations Community Humanitarian Forum

Ronald Reagan Building
Friday, June 10, 2022

16 y.o. Justin Johnson was just gunned down. Woodberry Village is where he took his last breath. We were on the phone with MPD, Tenant Association President, & Mngmnt. 2 mos. prior because of inadequate security at the property and elderly reported safety concerns

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It is a pleasure to share this unfortunate set of events and ongoing circumstances that currently demonstrates the travesty that these District residents have been subjected to at the knowledge of “too many” District entities.
 
Bad and unaccountable leadership is too dangerous.  The mental health and well-being of all District residents should always be at the forefront of the public elected officials’ motivations and demonstrations.
 
This is unacceptable and disgraceful.  We are also in receipt of footage with the chair of the council Phil Mendelson on his knees acknowledging the mold in a tenant’s unit.
 
For your further review:
 
The “Palms Up” Show on location at Woodberry Village in SE DC Ward 8.
 
“The Woodberry Project” Documentary
 
Dr. Rhonda L. Hamilton

M.I. Mother’s Keeper

Healthy D.C. & Me Leadership Coalition
Executive Director/President
240-274-9436 or 1-844-36HELP2!
1-888-389-7209 fax

Good Afternoon Ms. Hamilton,

Thank you for your email. I am reaching out to obtain some additional information on the “accountability” meeting that you are attempting to set up. Please provide a meeting agenda and advise on who you are requesting to attend.

Additionally, and for the record, I contacted Mr. Redd (on 5/5 and 5/12) to solicit his assistance with scheduling inspections of the most egregious units at Woodberry.

The OAG has communicated to us that the common areas and 9 units were inspected back in March, and the findings didn’t warrant utilizing the Tenant Receivership Act. It is my understanding that Woodberry owners are being responsive and working to make necessary repairs, while the OAG continues with their efforts to build a case. To that end, this inspection is critical as it will allow the OAG to move their investigation/process forward.  Are you and Mr. Redd available to assist in this effort?

Jennifer – If I’ve misstated any of the OAG’s actions or intentions, please clarify them here.

In Partnership,

Andre Strickland | Constituent Services Director

Office of At-Large Councilmember Robert C. White, Jr.

Chair, Committee on Government Operations and Facilities

Council of the District of Columbia

1350 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Suite 107, Washington, DC 20004

Phone: 202-724-8174

Adding Argie Weatherington, who can add any information beyond the information you provided below. To clarify, we do not know whether the owner has cooperated in full. In no way are we denying there are conditions issues at Woodberry Village. The units our investigators inspected simply did not show conditions that rose to the level of a receivership action. If there are more units to see, that information would be very helpful to us at OAG. Thank you all for your care and concern for District tenants. We do want to help in whatever way makes sense given the proof we have.

Best,

Jen Berger

Greetings Andre,
 
I appreciate your response.  Please note that Councilmember At-Large White’s office is copied on this email chain along with others to maintain a point of transparency with regards to the ongoing “ridiculous”  and “unacceptable” matters at the Woodberry Village apartment community.  
 
The “accountability” meeting that you are inquiring about has no agenda.  As the language from Ms. Hill suggests, this is a follow-up meeting from the zoom call with Commander Branch and Captain Taylor of 7th District Police department, to confirm Capital Realty’s assertion on April 27th, 2022, that they will have the “life threatening” occurrences at Woodberry Village better managed with the implementation of “off duty” MPD officers within a thirty (30) day period, as well as have all buildings properly secured. 
 
Ms. Hill is concerned that because the OAG’s office continues to “not act” appropriately in the overall matters that continue to disintegrate at the property, they have irresponsibly allowed the Capital Realty Group and their representatives to believe that they don’t have to properly be accountable to the very serious “demands” made by Ms. Hill for proper security protocols at the property.  The meeting request and emailed message were sent to Ms. Brown at Capital Realty and copied to all relevant parties, fyi.  To date Ms. Brown and Capital Realty ownership have ignored this repeated request.
 
 
With regards to your further inquiry regarding the OAG’s office, please note all of the following regarding the tenant association’s President Ms. Hill and our advocacy team’s sentiment:
 
The OAG has not acted in “good faith” in the ongoing matters involving Woodberry Village tenants.  The OAG falsely represented to members in this process that they were seeking to build a case for receivership.  The OAG’s office and DCRA were notified on March 16th, 2022 of the following documented infractions at the property.(listed below)  On March 16th, 2022 the OAG’s office was also made aware of our concerns surrounding their “suspicious” choice to conduct inspections without properly verifying the units that were in question and still in need of inspection and enforcement, with the tenant association President Ms Hill or her “formally” designated team of advocates.  The OAG chose not to respond to that emailed correspondence for obvious reasons.  
 
Unfortunately, although Councilmember At-Large White has communicated his support for the Woodberry Village tenant’s plight, he fumbled and misstepped as well.  On January 27th, he promised the tenant’s that “heads would roll ”.   The Woodberry Tenant Association also provided At-Large Council Member White with a list of tenant demands on January 27th, 2022 which to date have not been met or acknowledged as being worked on. The cycle of disrepair and “no” legal or governmental accountability continues for Capital Realty.  Why?
 
Additionally the OAG’s continued demonstration of questionable actions and “inactions” calls for measures on a level of oversight that obviously At-Large Councilman White is unable or “unwilling” to implement. 
 
Since our advocacy team’s efforts began in February 2021 the OAG and his team have conspired to help Capital Realty remain in a position of “slumlord” demonstrated behavior by using “forced compliance”strategies with documented, criminal violations in hopes that they would not have to “honor” the tenant’s formal request to have Capital Realty removed for violations of the law.
 
I nor Mr. Redd understand why so many “trustworthy” District officials would continue to act with “ill intentions”, placing the well-being and mental health of so many “oppressed” low-income citizens in elongated periods of distress and life altering circumstances without care for the law and without the absence of the “usual” pay for play, or discriminatory remnants “lurking”.
 
The OAG has not proven to be trustworthy with regards to the violation of the human rights of all of the Woodberry Village tenants and their children who “cried out” for help and received “shameful and non-transparent responses during a pandemic for almost 2 years now.  That is very unfortunate and unacceptable.
 
Ms. Hill as well as our advocacy team are more than convinced that the OAG’s office has no intentions of building a case.  If in fact they were interested it would have been done.  The OAG and At-Large White’s office have been provided with more than enough information to act.  The OAG’s office has ignored the safety and health hazards of this entire community, and is suspected of being guilty of colluding to keep a Jewish slumlord in position to “suppress” and “oppress” our District citizens of color whom he, the OAG has been sworn to protect.
 
It is very dangerous to operate in this manner.  We will not stop until you all “reverse” your courses of action and “do the right thing”!  The OAG and everyone in their office associated with this mess should be “fired”, “removed”, and “forced” to live in the same conditions that these Woodberry Village families have and are still being subjected to.
 
Please stop expecting the tenants of Woodberry Village to keep “rolling over” while the OAG and members of the Council continue to ignore and rob them of their dignity.
 
“Egregious” you say?  Please ask the OAG and all “interested” professionals who have had more than enough “ammo” to act, to stop being so unaccountable!  It is a disgrace!   
 
All available and relevant correspondence will continue to be brought before the court of “public opinion” until such time that the Woodberry Tenant Association is successful at bringing all criminally violated charges before this ownership in a court of law.
 
No justice! No Peace! 
On March 16th, 2022 the following message was emailed:
Please also note that as of the preparation of this email message, DCRA has been notified of the fact that Woodberry Village residents continue to report the following categories of existing housing violations in their “renovated units”:
 
 
·         Rodent infestation.

·         No heat or malfunctional heat.

·         No a/c or malfunctional a/c.

·         Leaking feces from the ceiling.

·         Deficient doors.

·        ADA violations & retaliatory behavior regarding.

·         Property-wide “mail” negligence.

·         Internal holes in the walls behind the stove and refrigerator.

·         Missing connections for cable, telephone and other emergency and educational lifeline supports.

·         Electrical hazards & deficiencies.

·         Suspicious “Black” spots in their bathroom and bedroom areas “reappearing”.

·         Peeling paint & walls.

On Thursday, March 3rd, 2022 the tenant association was eager to understand that your office had moved forward with dispatching “investigators” to the property to view “select” units.  However the selection and philosophy of which units your office chose to investigate does not appear to warrant an effective strategy for helping to ensure the proper removal of Capital Realty as owners.  We are concerned that your “non-transparent” form of communication will not properly document the existent realities that still exist for many of the Woodberry Village tenants.  
For your further reference please note the following “timeline” reference of photos below.  Additionally, the calls continue to come in.  I just spoke with DCRA and I am sure that we will be speaking with them again soon.  The nature of the repairs and the violations at this property is utterly ridiculous.
 
We have tried to work on the terms provided by the OAG and At-Large White’s office, which is why it has been almost 2 years for these tenants. (1 year of advocating for themselves, and 1 year of our advocacy on their behalf.) “No one” involved from a “city official” standpoint has cared to “act” appropriately.
 
Please stop with the “back and forth”, adhere to the tenants’ prior demands, hold a press conference, call out the OAG and Capital Realty based on what you already have witnessed year to date.  To do anything different is an insult to the intelligent nature of the tenants of Woodberry Village, who know enough to say enough is enough!  Stop acting like you care and do something different!
 
Thank-you,
Dr. Rhonda L. Hamilton

M.I. Mother’s Keeper

Healthy D.C. & Me Leadership Coalition
Executive Director/President
240-274-9436 or 1-844-36HELP2!
1-888-389-7209 fax
Facebook: Healthy DC & ME Coalition
Please click the link below to see a video of Phil Mendelson, chairperson of the DC Council approximately 10 months ago observing “visible” mold in a residence where it has taken months to get DCRA & the city to hold this slumlord accountable

The Woodberry Project”Documentary

(Amateurly Done)

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