Improve Public Safety in Chinatown and MT. Vernon Triangle

Improve Public Safety in Chinatown and MT. Vernon Triangle

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St. Mary Parish, Chinatown started this petition to Mayor of the District of Columbia Mayor Bowser and

Dear Elected Officials and Community Representatives:
We the undersigned residents, merchants, and business leaders respectfully request your attention to some troubling issues that have arisen in the Chinatown and Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhoods of downtown Washington over the course of 2020.
Downtown is a great place to live, work, and do business, and we have made tremendous strides over the years in making it a dynamic and resilient neighborhood. Lately, however, we have been concerned about developments that would undo this success and threaten overall safety, quality of life, and economic well-being in our community. We are particularly mindful of our diverse residents and the adverse effect these developments are having on the immigrant Chinese business community, and the significant number of vulnerable persons living in affordable and transitional housing such as in the Wah Luck House, Patricia Handy Women’s Shelter, and Mt. Carmel House.
We would like you to address our concerns.
1. Public Safety
A pronounced lack of focus on non-violent crime enforcement is adversely affecting our neighborhood.
Community Leaders Letter – Page Two

Incidents of automobile vandalism, property crime, and theft for example have all increased over the past year along with a citywide increase in violent crime.
We request that you immediately implement a community-based crime reduction strategy that focuses on non-violent crime preemptive policing methods including an increased foot and bicycle patrol presence in Chinatown and Mount Vernon Triangle.
2. Quality of Life
The city’s enforcement of quality-of-life measures has noticeably decreased during 2020. An explosive proliferation of graffiti, rampant loitering particularly at the Gallery Place Metro station, and widespread homelessness have all taken their toll on our neighborhood. Statistics show that when quality-of-life issues remain inadequately addressed, crime in all categories increases commensurately. Local citizens are doing their best to pitch in but are feeling that the city is not doing its part.
We request that you immediately implement strategies to address quality-of-life issues in Chinatown and Mount Vernon Triangle with disincentives to loitering, aggressive and ongoing graffiti mitigation efforts, and sustained actions to end homelessness – including encampments. Furthermore, we request that you resume the provision of area social service programs and resources necessary for crime prevention, youth activities, and constructive engagement.
3. Well-Being
One of the factors that makes our part of downtown great is walkability. Yet, we have noticed violations of the city’s cannabis laws everywhere and it is disrespectful of our right to a clean and healthy walkable downtown. While we respect the rights of law-abiding citizens who comply with the law to use cannabis, we expect they comply with the law to ensure that EVERYONE’S health, well-being, and comfort is protected.
We request that basic common-sense measures pertaining to cannabis use and smoking in public places be enforced immediately. This includes the enforcement of ALL smoking laws within twenty feet of a public entrance, including smoking cannabis. All smokers should be asked to leave any entranceways.
We have helped shape the downtown that we enjoy today and would like to advance in our progress, not fall back. As concerned citizens, we would like to work closely with you in making sure that this part of our city is the best it can be, but without addressing the three areas referenced above, our efforts will not be successful. We need you to step up and take action.

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