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June 14,2020

My Mind Stayed On Freedom

On Saturday night, I watched in horror as Rayshard Brooks was murdered.  Sunday morning,  “I woke up with my mind stayed on freedom.” What is “freedom?” How does it happen? Freedom=Agency Freedom Freedom from Control: The struggle to expose what’s keeping us trapped mentally, economically, physically, and spiritually and to seek liberation from them. Freedom to Be:  The struggle to uncover what keeps us from experiencing who we indeed are and the embarking on or continuing a journey to a “wholeness” that is implicitly or explicitly absent. Agency “Agency” is “subjectivity.” It is an ability, capacity, and opportunity to make choices, as a...

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June 13,2020

16th Street NW — DC’s Corridor of Light

  This sign beckons us to remember and say their names. I noticed it in a neighbor's yard on 16th St. NW DC about two blocks south of the Circle during my Friday night my walk through my neighborhood. A week ago, neighbors had gathered along to support the resistance in the District. There is a tradition of protesters lining 16th Street because it ends at Lafayette Park. The address of the White House is 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. Historically, 16th Street is the city's "Corridor of Light." In Anthony Browder's "Egypt on the Potomac: A Guide to Decoding Egyptian Architecture," on December 20, 1973,...

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June 7,2020

Black Economic Outcomes Matter

Given the events since the murder of George Floyd on May 25, 2020, I reviewed a set of ideas that were in my files. I had summarized my thinking with hopes to develop the analysis I had outlined. I can’t find a date for these notes, but I most likely made them in the mid-1980s. At that time, I had focused a lot on urban policy. In my edited notes below, I am suggesting that violence and protest are as American as apple pie, and another American tradition is that violence breeds counter-violence and protest. Where we stand after the...

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June 7,2020

The Gentrification Narratives

 On September 11, 2018, I provided comments to attendees at the HumanitiesDC showcase of the projects that had examined Washington DC in 1968. Based on my work with the DC Living Heritage Network, I suggested a “Gentrification Narratives Framework" to help us think about what a cultural narrative for DC might look like as we look forward beyond 2018. Here’s an outline of my suggestions. 1. Narratives of Disorientation:With the changing physical and demographic landscapes, areas of our city are no longer recognizable.Previous points of visual orientation no longer exist.New spaces and functions leave us wondering where we are.Residents comment constantly...

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June 2,2020

To Gain Statehood, Will DC Have To Turn White?

To Gain Statehood, must DC wait until it's predominately white? People earnestly and frequently ask me this question, as we watch the percentage of the black population in the city dip below 50%. My answer: Maybe. Maybe not. I equivocate because I believe that changes in the District’s governance structure occur when the existing model makes the city ungovernable. I base this on my reading to the history of the District of Columbia. City-level “ungovernability” and national and international “ungovernability” are linked as well.  But more on that in another post. One of those “moments of ungovernability” exists today due to the harmful...

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June 1,2020

Four Dimensions of “Peace”

As we watched George Floyd’s death and see the spreading unrest as a response to his murder, a question I get is: What does it take to make peace “happen?” Based on my work with the Black Yoga Teacher Alliance’s (BYTA’s) trademarked program “Yoga as a Peace Practice,” (YAP), and YAP employs culturally relevant concepts, language, and activities that help participants translate traditional contemplative practices into contemporary lifestyles to begin the process of “creating a better world.” First, I crafted an operational definition of “peace.” “Peace” is:  A state of mental and physical ease that simultaneously revitalizes us and enhances...

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May 28,2020

Utility Power To The People — A History Of The...

I was a guest on the inaugural podcast “OPC Radio Connect (recorded February 3, 2020). The DC Office of the People's Counsel produces the show. This first episode turned into a reunion. We strolled down memory lane as we discussed how the power of the people grew to fight the power of the utilities in the District of Columbia.   I provided the perspective of a founding member of the DC Consumer Utility Board (CUB) and the ideas in CUB's 1979 report, "Report to the People." One key proposal that has not grown old is that it's better and cheaper...

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October 11,2015

“Justice Or Else”

"Justice or Else" was the theme of the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March. On 10.10.15, I attended the gathering on the Capitol grounds. I was on the Mall 20 years ago. Below are my reflections after attending the event. I hadn’t paid much attention to the “build-up” to yesterday’s event. Among “my circles,” there was no “buzz” about yesterday’s gathering like it was 20 years ago. No inquires: “Are you “attending?” So the images of 20 years ago were informing what I was expecting yesterday. And yesterday, I did have similar experiences to the ones that I had 20 years...

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