In response to Zoe’s letter, I drafted one of my own:
I would like to inform you of my positions these two current matters:
Public funds for the DC Baseball & SW Homeless shelter
As a former Saint Louis, Missouri resident I have recent experience dealing with public financing of sports. Recently Saint Louis residents voted to make sure they were allowed to vote by referendum on the use public funds for sports teams. Right now in Saint Louis, the completely operational and artistically significant Busch Stadium is being replaced by another massive giveaway to the sports industry. Much in the same way that RFK is being passed up for the home of the Nationals.
In the 1990s, to help finance the Rams and the new domed stadium, Saint Louis residents purchased personal seat licenses to help finances. Giving those that care about sports the chance to have limited in ownership, these seat licenses were in essence a direct tax on the people who wanted the sports team. I feel this option is a decent & balanced way for the city to raise funds. The current proposal, from what I’ve read, is a raw deal for the city. If the city is going to flip most of bill it should have more power over its operation to allow poorer DC residents access to the facility. There is no reason that the new stadium can be a mixed use quasi-government facility. However these personal seat licenses favor the wealthy & privileged and I strongly feel that there needs to be price guarantees on all future sports events to allow poorer people access to events which are technically being funded by the government.
I think that the current stadium, RFK, already suits DC’s needs better- why reinvent the wheel? The stadium might not hold as many people, but this can be changed. The Nationals can play in Baltimore on days that the Oriels are playing away games while RFK is expanded & refurbished. Lastly, from a geographical aesthetic standpoint, I like how RFK lies in line with the other DC monuments, and I feel that the new stadium in SE will blemish the water front and reduce the grandeur of the Mall. Also the flight path of planes taking off & landing at DCA might cause sound problems. I can only imagine the National Anthem being muffled by planes.
I have been following the news about the Randall Homeless shelter in SW. I strongly feel that this facility should remain open and properly funded by both the city government and potentially the Corcoran. I think the concept of using city funds to transport impoverished people to another part of the city is reprehensible. Why mask problems by relocation instead of dealing with the issue proactively? As a former child of the welfare system, I believe we need to do our best on behalf of people that are less fortunate and I believe the reopening of the Randall Homeless shelter is very important and a significant step in making Washington, DC the beacon of decency & democracy worldwide.
Thank you very much for your time,