Monday, December 03, 2007

Is the ECCA Re-Segregating?

I have noticed that in the last couple of ECCA flyers distributed around the neighborhood, that organization has added a new subtitle to its name: "Historic African-American Civic Association since 1947".

Of course, it's true that when the ECCA was formed back in the day of segregated Washington, there were separate white groups (usually called "neighborhood associations") and black groups (usually called "civic associations"), and the ECCA was one of the latter--probably the first to be established. So in that sense that designation is correct.

Still, my question is: Why would that line be added to its announcements now? I think anyone reading that would immediately conclude that the ECCA sees itself as a black organization rather than one that represents the entire diverse population that now lives within its purported boundaries. (Just substitute the phrase "European-American", and you'll see what I mean.)

If that's what the ECCA wants to be, then so be it. But I think this sort of stuff is the last thing this neighborhood needs, and yet one more reason to have nothing further to do with this organization. Given what happened a year ago, the ECCA should be recognized and re-named for what it really is: the Committee to Re-elect Leroy Thorpe.

This neighborhood needs and deserves a civic association that truly represents the interests of everyone who lives here--not just a narrow group. Sadly, the ECCA will never be that. If we had a functioning ANC, that might not be so important, but unfortunately, having an effective organization is the only way to bring real pressure on DC's venal and lethargic bureaucracy to deal with the many problems that all of us are contending with in Shaw. Maybe it's time to start something new here.

UPDATE: Just learned that ANC Commissioner Kevin Chapple and neighbor Martin Moulton were ejected from tonight's ECCA meeting at the demand of ECCA "President" Leroy Thorpe. (See here.) [I should note here that when Leroy Thorpe was ANC commissioner, large portions of ECCA meetings were turned over to him to rant on about whatever he wanted. Obviously, that courtesy applied only to him, not to the current ANC commissioner who has been consistently denied that kind of access to what's left of the ECCA membership.]

So much for the charade that this organization is a neighborhood association that represents all residents. If they want to operate this as a private club, that's their business, but no one--especially our public officials--should continue to pretend that this organization is anything but a personal vehicle for Leroy Thorpe. If they want to be associated with him, voters should take note.

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24 Comments:

At 12/03/2007 6:33 PM, Blogger IMGoph said...

patience, grasshopper. we're under a year away from control of ANC2C being wrested from the corrupt and handed over to those who want to get things done for a growing, changing, and improving neighborhood. has anyone come forward yet to challenge the chair or ms. curtis yet?

 
At 12/04/2007 6:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

imgoph

my partner and I have lived in Shaw for six month's and are thinking about moving out not because of crime - but because of stupid comments that divide our community. These people have labored hard in Shaw before you and I moved here and you add fire to the racist conspiracy that these people talk about. I am sick of the hateful opinions we put on the blogs that are destroying our community and turning it into a laughing stock of race baiting.

have you ever talked to these people you oppose on the ANC or Mr. Thorpe? Because I have and althopugh we don't agree on some issues we still can live in peace as neighbors without personal attacks.

 
At 12/04/2007 7:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I attended the ECCA meeting last night and counted nine-teen people in attendance. The meeting was organized, run well and open to the public for comments. I did not have a problem being a minority white in attendance at my first ECCA meeting - stop the lies. I agree with you anonymous.

 
At 12/04/2007 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm not going backwards. Bu-bye imgoph

 
At 12/04/2007 10:38 AM, Blogger DaddyFiveOh said...

To the three anonymous commenters: You're welcome to add your views here, but as I have previously indicated a number of times, I would like some kind of identification or name attached to the comment. A first name and initial, or initial and last name, or blogger id will be sufficient. Otherwise, comments may get deleted at my discretion.

To our new neighbors and first time ECCA attendees, let me just say that I was more or less where you were when I moved here two and a half years ago. Live and learn.

Maybe I'm wrong, but I think you'd have a different view if you had attended last December's ECCA meeting or virtually any of the ANC meetings. Disagreement on issues is one thing and perfectly acceptable. Bullying strong-arm tactics are something else, and deserve to be called out.

 
At 12/04/2007 10:57 AM, Blogger si said...

violation of nonprofit bylaws & DC law also deserve to get called out. In a city where certain regulations are rarely enforced, what recourse do we have besides yakking on our public forums & blogs?

 
At 12/04/2007 11:00 AM, Anonymous woody said...

daddyfiveoh sir

You appear to be an angry man that is locked in the past. I want to live in peace with these people my partner and are sick of people like you that make it hard on gentrafiers like me that want to be a part of this community opposed to tearing it apart over power. You have to take responsiblity for your own actions that has lit the fire for hate in Shaw with this terrible blog. We want peace not war.

 
At 12/04/2007 1:17 PM, Blogger DaddyFiveOh said...

Woody: Actually, I'm a pretty mellow guy, and definitely want to live in peace. But some things do upset me.

Anyway, I'm all about getting to know new (and old) neighbors, and would like to meet you and your partner. How about coffee at Azi's, say on Saturday? You name the time--just send me an e-mail at vzepunmc@verizon.net.

You can tell me directly why you think this blog is so terrible. A lot of times it's easier to resolve differences face-to-face, don't you think?

 
At 12/04/2007 1:52 PM, Anonymous woody said...

daddyfiveoh sir

did you offer to resolve your differences with the ECCA and ANC? I don't believe you did sir based on your inflammatory blog. my partner and i prefer the simple anonymous life of communicating without being excommunicated, stereotyped and targeted by some of your evil minded bloggers. i decline your invitation and will stay at home with my tea sir.nonfrfi

 
At 12/04/2007 6:46 PM, Anonymous Charles Walker said...

Hey annonymouse, I am one of the growing number of people that Leroy Thorpe nas decided are banned from ECCA meetings. I have never ever even raised my voice in an ECCA meeting. I think the only reason that I got kicked out was that I have been working to get the public assets held by the ECCA returned to the DC government. That is how the ECCA leadership deals with dissent - by trying to silence it.

So, anonnymouse, what do YOU think of the ECCA computer scandal?

 
At 12/04/2007 8:34 PM, Blogger si said...

woody=troll alert

 
At 12/05/2007 6:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

is the Mount Vernon Square Neighborhood Association segregated? i am told that they have expanded their boudaries and have attacked or ran black businesses out. I am also told that they attacked the black liquour store at 5th & M.

 
At 12/05/2007 6:55 AM, Anonymous Velente Apodacca said...

Yes, MVSNA is less segregated, less hateful and less bigoted, and less homophobic than the ECCA.

 
At 12/05/2007 7:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Walker

I think open and honest communication is always the key. I am black and you and i have spoken breifly and i wish to remain anonymous. I have observed some misinformation, personal attacks and must say racist comments and behavior by some of your associates i.e. Martin Moulton, James Carter, Brian Smith and you. I have lived in Sahw when the streets was riddled with crews and shootings and every street with a drug dealer and watched then Commissioner Leroy Thorpe and his Red Hats clean it up. I have attended some of the ECCA Meetings watched Marti Moulton disrespectful behavior as he sat next to you. Mr. Thorpe never voted on the ECCA grants for the computer as stated in the DC Auditor Report which you have. The DC Auditor Office even commended him on his cooperation as the new President of the ECCA regarding the investigation. Mr. Thorpe under his leadership as the ECCA President has placed all the computers for public access even the one that his last officer Mrs. Wahab had the right use. The SCANDAL is the deliberate misinformatin that you and your frineds have associated with Mr. Thorpe based on politics and I believe your attempts to control the ECCA and discredit I beleive any organzation Mr. Thorpe is affiliated with or any Black leader that fails to support your issues. I have not read one piece of information that Mr. Thorpe puts out i the community that is misinformation. I think people are tired of the negative energy you and your supporters have put in the community in attempts to disrespect, attack and cause public up roar that has translated into less public services from the city, infighting in our community and less economic development. So I can't blame the ECCA for baring you or any other person that attempts to put out misinformation. See you again when we speak but I will remain anonymous.

 
At 12/05/2007 7:37 AM, Anonymous TTA said...

Please let us know which "black" business the MVSNA ran off so we can respond with facts. The MVSNA did come to the aid of its neighbors in shutting down a crack house that was operating out of an illegal business that was run by Hispanics. And I have attended the MVSNA meetings with my black neighbors who would be surprised at your "segregated" comments. But, again, please let us know which black businesses you believe that the MVSNA has run off.

 
At 12/05/2007 8:35 AM, Blogger DaddyFiveOh said...

Well, "Woody", that's pretty much what I expected. Should you and your "partner" decide to shed your anonymity, the invitation to meet remains open.

 
At 12/05/2007 8:42 AM, Anonymous Charles Walker said...

So in anonnymouse's post of 12/4/07 at 6:51AM:

"my partner and I have lived in Shaw for six month's" (sic)


But at 12/5/07 at 7:06AM:

" I have lived in Sahw when the streets was riddled with crews and shootings and every street with a drug dealer and watched then Commissioner Leroy Thorpe and his Red Hats clean it up."

So which is it, anonnymouse? Are you new to Shaw, or have you been here for a long time? Both cannot be true.

 
At 12/05/2007 9:56 AM, Blogger 14th & You said...

BTW, OffSeventh has a theory that "Woody" may really be Thorpe himself (http://www.offseventh.org/blog/
2007/12/leroy-learns-ho.html).

Whether or not race is the issue (I could take both sides of that argument), the ECCA does have a reputation for excluding folks. Most recently Kevin Chapple the ANC 2C02 commissioner was ejected from the 12/3 meeting. Read Chapple's account here: http://chappleanc.com/public/index.
php?s=ECCA&submit.x=0&submit.y=0.

In October and November, various residents reported witnessing other residents being ejected from the meetings. In fact, Chapple reported in a 10/2 post on his blog (at same link above) that board and audience members derided one of the ejected residents for being gay -- not very inclusive of the ECCA. Not only did several MPD officers deem this action to be illegal, it seems to go against ECCA's bylaws: "To promote cooperation with other organizations and agencies whose aims are to raise the standards of the community [ANC commissioners included?] and to secure adequate laws for the protection and well-being of ALL [emphasis mine] citizens." In the case of the gay man who was ejected, Thorpe just excluded all members of the public from the meeting rather than address the conflict in a productive way.

At the very least, Thorpe can be reactionary and hot-headed. So many blog postings, personal accounts, and even an article in the City Paper document his behavior. People with those traits often make poor and divisive leaders. As well when serving on the ANC and as president of the ECCA, he has made purchases that have attracted the attention of the DC Auditor. Whether or not there was impropriety/corruption, Thorpe's failure to produce proper documentation is irresponsible and creates an impression that he impedes transparency in community issues. I find a lack of transparency something that encourages disenfranchisement of various community groups.

Sorry post such a long rant, but this topic really got me fired up. I also see a lack of evidence informing some opinions voiced in these comments.

 
At 12/05/2007 10:01 AM, Blogger 14th & You said...

As for race, the ECCA, not DaddyFiveOh or any other resident, brought it into this conversation by stating that they are a "Historic African-American Civic Association since 1947." I completely respect the African American community leadership that has served Shaw through thick and thin. Yet, ECCA saying that it has been an African American organization since 1947 implies that they are STILL an African American association -- to te point of potentially excluding others. Any sensitive person can see how a civic leader or involved resident of another racial background could be offended. I doubt that residents of Penn Quarter would respond positively to a neighborhood association calling itself "historically Chinese-American."

 
At 12/05/2007 1:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There are still people claiming Thorpe isn't prejudiced? That's like Cheney still claiming Iraq was supporting Al Queda. You just shake your head.

Leroy Thorpe is just keepin' it real. Always has, always will. That's why he's so loved by other people who respect keepin' it real. Part of keepin' it real is an implied exculsion - nothing new or shocking about that. If he wasn't keepin' it real, many would say he's just an outsider who didn't grow up in DC and didn't belong, just like Anthony Williams. I haven't seen much love exhibited for people given that type of label in the community that believes there were no problems before the "newcomers" were here. Who exactly are the newcomers? Was there a cutoff date? I've seen it varies based "who" you are.

By the way, wasn't it Thorpe who told the MPD, when he requested an officer to walk on the Red Hat patrols, that the officer couldn't be white, couldn't be gay, and couldn't be a woman? That was quite a while ago, and it seems some people here think he's a changed man. I haven't seen the evidence. Once you insult people with prejudice, whether it is sexism, racism, homophobia, etc., you need to earn respect back. He hasn't earned it from me, and from what I've seen, Leroy has too much pride for that anyway. He'd rather be enemies, because it brings him a certain amount of love, respect and credibility among his historic political base.

Now, why do I feel apprehensive about posting this? I don't believe anything here is false (although I wish it were not true). If the discrimination was the other way around, nobody would hesitates to raise hell, and these types of things become national news. But I should keep my mouth shut and hope it make things easier for some people, and hope staying quite makes it go away? Something about that just doesn't sit right with me. It isn't about the ECCA adding the statement. That isn't offensive to me, it is just interesting and does beg the question of whether there is a strategy or message behind it. What bothers me is someone points it out on a blog as simply something interesting up for discussion(that's what people do on blogs across the nation), and they get attacked and called a liar and also implied they are racist. That is offensive to me.
KS

 
At 12/05/2007 2:26 PM, Blogger IMGoph said...

wow, looks like i riled someone up here. sorry to have the bricks come down on you, daddyfiveoh, but hey, maybe you'll get lucky and they'll just start attacking me directly.

i stand by my statement. the leadership of the ANC is corrupt, and doesn't work for the good of all constituents. if you're not one of their chosen few, prepare to be discriminated against, abused, and belittled. mr. thorpe has a history of race baiting and gay bashing. when he apologizes for that, and truly exhibits changed behavior, i'll believe that we have better times ahead.

those who are opposed to the betterment of the community for all need to either lead, follow, or get out of the way.

 
At 12/06/2007 5:40 AM, Anonymous rr 446 said...

yes

 
At 12/06/2007 2:09 PM, Anonymous Gee said...

From Wikipedia:

A sockpuppet is an online identity used for purposes of deception within an Internet community.

...[A] NY Times article claims that "sock-puppeting" is defined as "the act of creating a fake online identity to praise, defend or create the illusion of support for one’s self, allies or company."

The key difference between a sockpuppet and a regular pseudonym is the pretense that the puppet is a third party who is not affiliated with the puppeteer.


Provided for your information.

 
At 12/08/2007 12:59 PM, Anonymous Charles Walker said...

I hope we didn't offend Woody or his partner. Anyway, if you're reading, Woody, have a faaaaabulous holiday season. Mwah!

 

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