Thursday, June 13, 2019

Citizens meeting on housing affordability / LaColectiVA, Tyrol Hill Park

There was a large grassroots meeting held recently by La ColectiVA in Tyrol Hills Park in Arlington's Columbia Heights West neighborhood to address concerns by citizens regarding the rising costs of housing in the area. Listening to and addressing the meeting was Arlington County Board member Matt Di Ferrante and Board Chair Christian Dorsey. Issues regarding housing affordability, discriminatory behaviors by some landlords towards immigrant tenants, sale of affordable housing properties to developers, rapidly increasing rents, newly restrictive or abusive policies regarding rent collection and towards families with children, and other topics were forthrightly and respectively discussed.  Board members promised efforts on behalf of the citizens and encouraged them to be in steady contact with County authorities in order to move their concerns forward.

Thanks to civic activist Janeth Valenzuela for inviting the Columbia Pike Documentary Project to document this crucial effort.

Photography by Lloyd Wolf.

Monday, June 3, 2019

La CollectiVA Arlington Mill

Members of La ColectiVA Arlington Mill at a community meeting in Columbia Heights West's Tyrol Hill Park to organize and plan for effective ways to to keep their neighborhood affordable and  connected.

Several of the market-rate rental buildings in this immigrant-rich neighborhood have been sold recently, and some other landlords are implementing policies that are making it harder for working families with children to afford to stay in their apartments.

This group is organized by Janeth Valenzuela and other activists. They are committed to Resistencia, Lucha, y Comunidad (resistance, struggle, and community). From the LaColectiVA website: "La ColectiVA is an inclusive collaborative led by gentle Latinx who are committed to upholding social justice and equity."

Photography by Lloyd Wolf.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

54th Annual Flores-Gambino Memorial Day Party

For 54 straight years, the Flores-Gambino family, long-time Penrose neighborhood residents, has thrown a large and festive old-school Memorial Day picnic celebration. Scores of people - friends, family, neighbors - attend and bring delicious potluck.

There are numerous musicians in the family and their circle, and there are sets of many kinds of music performed, from punk to swing, country, old-time rock and roll, jazz, folk-tinged, and more. This year one of the bands had Skeeter Thompson and Pete Stahl sitting in, former members of Scream, the legendary DC hardcore punk band.

Plus, there is every kind of homemade pie, chile, potato, three bean, and macaroni salads, BBQ, vegan dishes, salsas, cakes, cookies, jello molds, crab soup, etc., under the sun.

Thank again to Maria Flores, Maria 'Pete' Durgan, Joe Flores, and their whole clan, whose origins in Arlington began in the 1920's.
Y'all throw a great party.

Photography by Lloyd Wolf.