Tuesday, March 02, 2010

No Peace, No Progress

Last week some of my neighbors and I sat down for an extremely tense discussion with higher-ups from the Peaceaholics, a non-profit mediation group that claims to be "addicted to peace." Since we have already have a number of social service agencies within a few feet of each other on our block, we do not welcome the thought of the Peaceaholics adding a group home to the mix. And since they gave the community no notice whatsoever, we wanted to discuss in with them and our ward representative. At one point they said that the building would be regular apartments and that they didn't have to tell us anything. (Although these apartments would be only for young men ("children," they said) ages 16-24 or 15-21 who have had brushes with the law or been in jail, who would have a curfew and adult supervision.)

Before they owned the building they intend to use for a group home, the grounds surrounding it were well-kept. After they bought it, it went to pot. I asked them how could we expect them to keep up with their young charges when they hadn't even managed to keep the grass cut or shovel the snow in front of their building? They told me that we could call them and tell them what needed to be done and this was our "opportunity" to address the issue. Huh? So we have to keep up our own building and become part-time building managers for their building too?

They told us they'd give us written documentation outlining their plan before the meeting. It never came. Then we got a hostile e-mail from the founder, casting blame on us for an irate phone call he received from a stranger.

From: rmoten
Sent: Tuesday, February 23, 2010 11:51 PM

I've been getting a lot of call from people calling me on my personal number and its so sad to see how we as a people think about our own people, however I'm not talking it personal.
I will just continue to do Gods work and I look forward to meeting with you and all the concerned citizens.~Ron Moten

While it is true that we were opposing something they wanted to do, nothing about their demeanor or tone said "peace."

They threw the race card in our faces and made assumptions about people they did not know, telling a tableful of hardworking black folks that we don't care about black folks. It irks me when someone calls me "sister" and uses the word as a weapon. Where's the peace in that?

Mr. Moten's parting shot on his way out the door after we met with him was, "And I don't make $90,000 like the City Paper said. I don't need government money. I'm a bad man."

While I don't always agree with The City Paper, the article they did last fall on he Peaceaholics was on point:

What Cost Peace?
The D.C. government has given Ronald Moten's Peaceoholics $10 million to quash street beefs. What has it gotten?


thewashingtonsyndicate said...

Thanks for posting this. The community, unlike the DC gov't and foundation community, is not as easily strong armed.

Anonymous said...

If Mr. Moten wishes to insist that his income has been inaccurately reported, then why-oh-why is it listed as $99,068 for FY 2007 on the Peaceoholics IRS 990? If you don't make that much, sir, then you are lying on your 990, which is not very professional, or ethical.