Empower DC has retained attorney Johnny Barnes, formerly of the American Civil Liberties Union of the Nation’s Capital, and has announced plans to file suit to halt the development of a charter bus depot on the site of the historic Alexander Crummell School.
The suit comes after over 75 residents filled the meeting room at Trinity Baptist Church last week in opposition to the Mayor’s plan to allow 65 charter buses per day to park on the Crummell lot for the next 5-10 years. The charter bus lot is being constructed on behalf of the Union Station Redevelopment Corporation, on whose Board the Mayor, Deputy Mayor Hoskins and the President of the powerful Federal City Council sit, among others.
Mayor Gray has yet to respond to correspondence from Empower DC urging that an alternate location for the buses be identified. “We have affidavits that confirm the Advisory Neighborhood Commission did not receive notice of the proposed action, nor were they given an opportunity to give input for consideration,” said attorney Johnny Barnes. “A high incidence of respiratory illness and premature death in the area also indicate that this is an environmental justice issue. This historic, working class African American community has been unfairly targeted for the citing of unwanted and polluting facilities for decades.”
Among the entities speaking out against the charter bus lot are nonprofit developers Manna Inc. and DC Habitat for Humanity. 58 new homes are nearing completion in the community, and new homeowners have been shocked to hear about the Mayor’s plans. Residents are calling for the creation of an adult education and job training site at Crummell, and have identified The Work Place DC as a potential partner.
The law suit will be announced at a press conference Wednesday, July 25th at 11 AM in front of the Alexander Crummell School, located at 1900 Gallaudet St, NE.