Regarding the May 17 front-page article “In D.C., an anti-development crusader or extortionist?”:
I work as a tenant organizer for the Latino Economic Development Center here in the District, and I have crossed paths with Chris Otten a number of times. We have major disagreements, and we don’t get along. I think his interventions are not strategic and fail to tackle the root causes of the housing crisis. He thinks I’m in bed with developers and doesn’t hesitate to attack my character in public.
Despite the innuendo that he’s an “extortionist” out for personal gain, I can attest that Mr. Otten did distribute tens of thousands of dollars to tenant associations in Adams Morgan. Developers may grumble about making concessions to communities, but I don’t understand why The Post considers such agreements problematic. The Adams Morgan hotel development (which had already violated a community benefits agreement with the city) is extremely disruptive to its neighbors. It is reasonable to expect compensation.
Robert Wohl, Washington
Thank goodness for the Chris Ottens of the District. Few residents have the stamina required to fight the dismissal of their concerns by the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs. Whether it is nightlife noise, seemingly continuous construction or overdevelopment that diminishes their quality of life, the residents I work with generally lose when they expend time and money to ask the D.C. government to implement the plain language of the law.
Abigail Nichols, Washington
The writer is a former advisory neighborhood commissioner for ANC2B.