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Naomi J. Monk
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
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Thursday, October 27, 2004

This is my, Naomi J. Monk testimony to urge all the DC City Councilmembers to vote against Bill 15-1028, "Ballpark Omnibus Financing and Revenue Act of 2004. I urge Councilmembers and others to say no to a baseball stadium even if it is privately funded rather than publicly funded. I believe that the deal is not feasible for the baseball stadium will be empty 284 days out of 365 days a year, low paying jobs will not be available 284 days out of 365 days a year,, etc. I urge Councilmembers to offer services, not baseball. The Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) 6D did the right thing when they voted no to a baseball stadium in DC by 5 to 1. They voted for what the majority of the Southeast near (divided by South Capital Street) Southwest Community residents at October 25, 2004 meeting demanded at a joint ANC and Southwest Neighborhood Assembly (SWNA).

I differ but have respect for SWNA Board of Directors vote but not to take a stand for at least a privately funded baseball stadium in SE near SW DC is incomprehensible.

Monday, April 1, 2003, SWNA Board of Director members unanimously agreed to revise the amended Bylaw to Article II Section 4, the last paragraph, to read: "When a nonbinding "sense (well though-out) of the meeting (Community)" vote at the Assembly is taken, the issue will be considered (if prudent) at the next SWNA Board meeting." This statement was changed from the suggested addition to Section 4, at the SWNA's Board meeting, March 2003 which was: "Nonbinding, "Sense of the meeting" votes at the Assembly may be taken which require that discussion and action in the best interests of the whole community be taken by the Board of Directors at their next meeting."

In view of the paragraph above I urge the SWNA Board of Directors to reconsider their vote October 25, 2004 and let the public know that the vote was 7 for to 6 against the statement made by SWNA Board of Directors. In addition I urge SWNA Board or Directors to represent the SE near SW Community who were in the majority of attendees at the October 25, 2004 meeting in their assessment of a baseball stadium in SE near SW DC and not their individual choices as well as be prudent in their assessment. Note: No vote was taken from those who attended the October 25, 2004 meeting, but it was very clear that the majority of SE near SW residents at the meeting want services for DC residents and not a baseball stadium in SE near SW DC.

A huge baseball stadium will be empty 284 days out of 365 days a year. An empty stadium for these many days a year is an eyesore and a hazard to any neighborhood especially between several Public housing complexes. Low paying jobs for residents will not be available 284 days out of 365 days a year. DC Officials are using their positions to expedite approval of a baseball stadium and force low and middle income residents to pay wealthy baseball owners and players and guaranteed their salaries of $400,000 plus even if the baseball team does not make money. This is not a prudent decision because DC Officials are elected to office by the DC residents to protect the people that they represent and not enhance the wealth of wealthy entrepreneurs. There are all sorts of economic reports that state that a baseball stadium is dubious at best.

It is very clear that the majority of SW residents who attended the SWNA/ANC, October 25, 2004 demands services for DC resident, not a stadium. I urge SWNA, DC Council members, Mayor Anthony Williams, and others to rethink their individual support and vote according to what the SE near SW Community want: demand services, not a stadium. If you do not vote for no stadium, I urge you to at least be prudent and vote no to a public funded baseball stadium in SE near SW DC and instead vote yes to a private funded stadium with specific amenities for SE near SW DC residents. Thank you for listening and hopefully your support.

Naomi J. Monk, Past President of SWNA (March 2003 - March 2004)
300 M Street, SW, #N108 Washington DC, 2004-4004, Tel 202-479-0442, Cell 202-669-0442, Fax 202-479-0442/202-318-4879, E-mail nmonk10501@aol.com

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