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Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Announcing ShilohDC Blog

I started a new blog focused solely on Shiloh Baptist Church's negative impact on the Shaw neighborhood. The Web address is http://www.shilohdc.blogspot.com/ (or you can click here to go to it). The Web page is very much a work in progress and needs a lot of content presently. My goal, for now, is for ShilohDC to document the ways in which Shiloh Baptist Church detrimentally impacts the Shaw neighborhood (primarily through its poor stewardship of property, as evidenced poignantly by its portfolio of vacant, rotting, criminal-inviting buildings). Hopefully ShilohDC will serve as a mechanism for accountability for the Church.

I should note that ShilohDC will be a supplement to this blog. I will have a link to ShilohDC under my "Shaw Resource Center" soon.

Suggestions for content and submissions of photos are welcome.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Maybe a letter to the editor of WaPo is in order to rebut Shiloh's whole "we're just waiting to build for seniors" argument while this issue is still fresh after recent coverage?

Anonymous said...

a letter to the editor is a great idea!

Anonymous said...

Is it true that Shiloh doesn't pay any taxes on all of these buildings?!? Having to actually pay for their decision to do nothing with these places strikes me as the only way to get them to sell...

Shaw Rez said...

I have heard the rumor that Shiloh hasn't had to pay taxes on their vacant properties, but I haven't been able to find out anything verifying such. I have an email out to Alex Padro seeking more information on the subject. Certainly getting Shiloh's vacant properties on the tax rolls, if they aren't already, and getting Shiloh to pay taxes and back taxes (if owing) would be a good motivator to prompt Shiloh to action.

Anonymous said...

For the record, Shiloh pays taxes and penalties each year for those vacant properties.

Anonymous said...

I certainly applaud the intent, but I think this will prove to be effort squandered. Shiloh has no interest in catering the needs/wants/desires of new residents. The more we howl, the harder their position will become. My hunch is what they want is very simple... money. If you start funnelling money to their various slush funds (I mean "outreach activities") I'm sure they will be much more accomodating.

Carmen Gilotte said...

Shaw Rez--

This is a good thing. We need to use the blog as an organizing tool to find some way to embarass these churches into action - not just with regard to vacant properties, but with regard to their total lack of concern for the community.

The whole design of the Shiloh buildings is that of a castle or fortress, the design says 'keep away.'

If only these chruches were actually made up of community members, they would be more likely to take action to do good things for the community.

I of course do not refer to all churches, but we have a good idea which churches are creating the most bad karma in the neighborhood, and its not limited to Shiloh.

Finally, regarding the comments on this blog - so many come from 'anonymous.' Seems we could accomplish more if we knew who we were! Some of the other neighborhood blogs require full names.

Also, there is an active Shaw Neighborhood mailing list at

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Shawneighborhood/

for anyone interested in joining.

Thanks for this great blog!

Anonymous said...

I would suggest more media coverage in any way we can make that happen...

I've written to the Post and to NBC4's "Ask Mayor Fenty"...have no idea if either of those will work but it's worth a shot...and the more people that make noise the better in my opinion...

The blog is very helpful, but the community's issues with Shiloh and the other churches need to be known on a more widespread basis before they'll be embarrassed into doing anything...if that's possible...these people obviously don't embarrass easily given the condition of their properties over the last 20 years...

Shaw Rez said...

Thanks for all of the comments!

As indicated, ShilohDC is definitely a work in progress. I have a vision for what it will look like soon (more stream lined with a table of contents-type toolbar and a lot more substantive content on each "gripe" with the church, including bios of every real estate holding). Once it's in a better, more complete format, hopefully it will be a telling piece on Shiloh as a neighbor.

Regarding the comment policy, I allow anonymous commenting because I feel my use of a pseudonym would make it somewhat hypocritical for me to require names.* I do, however, encourage all of the anons out there to leave an identifier or a name (just not my pseudonym Shaw Rez), but I won't censor you if you don't.

Citing sources for info posted in comments--especially anonymous comments--is important. Anon #4--to what source can you point that verifies that Shiloh pays taxes and penalties each year for those vacant properties.


*Note that many folks know who I am, as I don't keep my blogging identity hidden in the non-Web world.

Anonymous said...

Oh My God..here's a thought try communication. Has anyone ever contacted someone from Shiloh for a meeting? Has anyone ever really tried to find out what they do for the community? Does anyone remember that it was the churches that kept the community viable and livable so that all you wonderful new residents would even find it a possible desirable place to be. The blog is a great way to vent but you can't embarass anybody into doing anything...you would be surprised what a phone call and a meeting might accomplish...unless of course ranting and raving IS the goal.

Shaw Rez said...

Actually, Anon, many have been in contact with Shiloh over the years to little avail. I have met some very nice people from the congregation and on staff at the Church and have communicated some concerns to them; they graciously received me. I agree that direct confrontation, rather than passive aggressively blogging away, is the best first course of action.

Regardless, it’s not a secret that the neighborhood is upset with their vacant property portfolio. Ray has been communicating with them for years about his frustrations about the same. Other than their plans for senior housing on 9th, I’m unaware of any plans communicated to him or others for other vacant buildings in the neighborhood. When I asked about one vacant property near me, I was told that the congregation is habitually divided on what to do with such properties, that many of their properties were willed to them with specific use covenants preventing many uses, and that the church lacks funding to do a lot with their vacant properties.

I don’t mean to imply through ShilohDC that Shiloh has done nothing positive for the neighborhood. And I do not mean it to be a passive aggressive rant/rave. Instead, I intend for it provide Shiloh with a little accountability, to document the negative impacts that Shiloh has had on the neighborhood and to document its available real estate holdings. By doing so, maybe their voice might not be as strong when opposing a liquor license for a new restaurant along my street; maybe they’d have less of a case when asking for government funding (note: that’s total speculation; I don’t know if they receive any sort of government funding); and maybe I won’t have to overlook a beautiful historic structure with broken windows and boarded up doors.

JMC39 said...

Not sure if you've heard but Shiloh once again formed a non-DC resident group of 5 to protest the Vegetate liquor license citing "peace & quiet" concerns and "proximity to a school." Goes without saying that their arguments lack merit given the non-residency of the protesters and change in legislation regarding commerical corridors; nonethless their hypocrisy is unsettling.

As a matter of record, in 2005-2006 Shiloh did not protest the Class A liquor license renewal application of S&W Liquor (1428 9th Street NW, application 10963). As you know, class A liquor licenses are for establishments whose primary operation is selling liquor.

God forgive me for quoting the bible, but Shiloh although you've down great things in the community please take Matthew 23:28 to heart: "in the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy. . ."

Shaw Rez said...

Thanks, JMC39, for the report. I was previously under the impression that Shiloh had opposed the liquor store's license and any renewals thereof. I have dialogued with Shiloh on the subject of their present protest of Vegetate. On top of disagreeing with their rationale for opposing the application, I now feel their arguments were insincere in light of their failure to protest the liquor store's license renewal.

The owners of Vegetate have provided our neighborhood with a real asset, and we are lucky to have such entrepreneurial pioneers in our midst. It is such a shame (indeed, SHAME ON SHILOH!) that they are met with such opposition, which has a direct effect on their livelihood.

JMC39 said...

Any claims of Shiloh protesting the renewal of the S&W liquor license can not be verified by reviewing their file or from calling ABRA (Alcohol Beverage Regulation Administration - abra.dc.gov).