Logosm.gif (1927 bytes)
navlinks.gif (4688 bytes)
Hruler04.gif (5511 bytes)

Back to DC Sports and Entertainment Commission main page

Washington Interfaith Network
Committee on Economic Development and Committee on Finance and Revenue Joint Hearing on the “Ballpark Omnibus Financing and Revenue Act of 2004,” Bill 15-1028
October 28, 2004




Dorothy Brizill
Bonnie Cain
Jim Dougherty
Gary Imhoff
Phil Mendelson
Mark David Richards
Sandra Seegars


DCWatch Archives
Council Period 12
Council Period 13
Council Period 14

Election 1998
Election 2000
Election 2002

Election 2004
Election 2006

Government and People
Anacostia Waterfront Corporation
Boards and Com
Campaign Finance
Chief Financial Officer
Chief Management Officer
City Council
Control Board
Corporation Counsel
DC Agenda
Elections and Ethics
Fire Department
FOI Officers
Inspector General
Housing and Community Dev.
Human Services
Mayor's Office
Mental Health
Motor Vehicles
Neighborhood Action
National Capital Revitalization Corp.
Planning and Econ. Dev.
Planning, Office of
Police Department
Property Management
Public Advocate
Public Libraries
Public Schools
Public Service Commission
Public Works
Regional Mobility Panel
Sports and Entertainment Com.
Taxi Commission
Telephone Directory
University of DC
Water and Sewer Administration
Youth Rehabilitation Services
Zoning Commission

Issues in DC Politics

Budget issues
DC Flag
DC General, PBC
Gun issues
Health issues
Housing initiatives
Mayor’s mansion
Public Benefit Corporation
Regional Mobility
Reservation 13
Tax Rev Comm
Term limits repeal
Voting rights, statehood
Williams’s Fundraising Scandals


Appleseed Center
Cardozo Shaw Neigh.Assoc.
Committee of 100
Fed of Citizens Assocs
League of Women Voters
Parents United
Shaw Coalition



What Is DCWatch?

themail archives

1226 Vermont Ave, NW
Washington, DC 20005

DC Council finance d Revenue Committee
Baseball Financing Hearings Statement
October 28, 2004

In the last three years, each of us has buried and consoled church and community members whose cry for help became our collective fight: Neighborhoods First! For instance, beacon Walter Coates was shot dead walking to New Years Eve service at Beulah Baptist Church in December 2001. The Mayor and Council promised change in Ward # 7's Deanwood Heights neighborhood, but Watts Branch Recreation Center is still housed in an equipment storage hut just off Eastern Avenue where too many young people joy ride in stolen cars and shoot off guns for fun. The Nannie Helen Burroughs Avenue retail district is still anchored by liquor stores, a methadone clinic, and abandoned buildings.

WIN's position on baseball has been clear for 18 months: Neighborhoods first! In January 2004, WIN worked successfully with the DC Council to create a $100 million Neighborhood Investment Fund, dedicating 15% of the city's personal business property tax to pay off the bonds. At the time, the city sought to pass stadium financing legislation but WIN successfully demanded that neighborhoods be first.

WIN's goal is $1 billion for the neighborhoods. The stadium deal, therefore, cannot proceed unless it produces an equal and simultaneous investment of $500 million to transform DC neighborhoods. This will take the same political will, government resolve, and corporate investment as winning a MLB franchise for the District.

Baseball can either divide or unite DC. Working with WIN and the Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO, Mayor Williams yesterday took an important first step in bridging the gap that so often divides our city by proposing that a $400 million Community Investment Fund be added to the baseball financing package. WIN has advocated such a fund in discussions with Council member Evans and his. colleagues as well.

Here's WIN proposal to fund it:

  • Impose an equivalent Neighborhood Investment Ball Park Fee on the city's largest businesses that have already agreed to a special Gross Receipts tax to pay for 1/2 of the new baseball stadium. DC corporate leaders can unite this city by agreeing to pay into a fund for library, school, housing, and neighborhood retail reconstruction in the city's poorest neighborhoods not just for luxury suites and third base line box seats.
  • Renegotiate the current MLB/District agreement to allow DC to impose a neighborhood investment surcharge on all tickets, concessions, souvenirs, and parking at the stadium so that DC residents can share equally in the new business created by the franchise. Surely, MLB negotiators did not think following the DC elections that MLB would get everything the Mayor promised. The new stadium's center field wall should have a prominent banner thanking fans, owners, and players for investing in DC neighborhoods instead of promoting banking or telephone services.

The monies raised would be equally invested to support neighborhood development, school facilities reconstruction, libraries/recreation centers, and at-risk youth programs. Creating the $400 Million Community Investment Fund would be a clear sign to Deanwood Heights, Sursum Corda, and Columbia Heights that Neighborhoods are First in DC.

DC Council members should remember the Tower of Babel story in Genesis 11 as they consider this baseball legislation. Here, God admonishes his followers' confusion-for their building of a great city with towers and false idols that distracted them from God and what is important to God.

God is not interested in the false idols of luxury boxes, upscale development, and fancy restaurants. God will judge us by whether we have let Walter Coates and others die in vain or whether we take action to rebuild DC's poorest neighborhoods.

----Rev. Lionel Edmonds, Pastor of Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church in Ward # 6, Rev. Marcus Turner, Pastor, Beulah Baptist Church in Ward # 7, and Rev, Robert Hardies, Pastor, A/! Souls Unitarian in Ward # 1, are leaders in Washington Interfaith Network (WIN).

Washington Interfaith Network (WIN) is a city-wide, multi-racial, interfaith, nor-partisan citizens organization with 48 congregation, union, and community organization members representing 25,000 DC families. WIN is affiliated with the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). Founded by the late Saul Alinsky, the ZAP is the oldest and largest community organizing network in the US. Other ZAP affiliates in the DC Metro area are: Action in Montgomery (AIM) and Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD).

Back to top of page

Send mail with questions or comments to webmaster@dcwatch.com
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)