We exited from 395 north after the tunnel onto 2nd Street NW and could see groups of homeless persons waiting to enter the DC Central Kitchen and the CCNV Shelter. The Anacostia River, one of our two urban waterways in the District of Columbia, remains severely polluted. This morning, The Washington Post reported on the story of the death of another newborn in the city. And despite a mandate to protect and serve, in recent years the Metropolitan Police Department has seen an alarming number of officers engaged in gross misconduct and criminal activity, with a rate of arrest of police officers higher than in many other similarly-sized jurisdictions.
So what do we make of this study in economic and social contrasts? Unless the city--its policy makers and residents--act to ensure that the most under-served are able to participate in the growing wealth of the region, there will come a time when our city will become a gilded city, not unlike San Francisco or Manhattan. The beautiful national monuments and memorials already act as a type of Potemkin Village to the rest of the city and in time that myth could become reality in the District of Columbia.