How to improve Congress Heights – Forum 11/14/11 with Mayor Gray

In light of the recent conversation on “Is Congress Heights a Ghetto” The Congress Heights Community Associatoin is holding a meeting at Ballou High School at 7:00pm on Monday November 14, 2011 to discuss how we improve our neighborhood. Mayor Gray will be hosting the discussion. Here’s the link for the flyer:CHCA_CH_ImprovementFlyer

I missed the meeting that started this conversation early last month but I read the tweets, blog posts and unfortunate news about the shooting next door as the meeting ended (see the Washington Post Mike DeBonis article and the Congress Heights on the Rise posts for background). The ghetto is not a new term, and it makes me wonder what exactly is the definition of “ghetto.”

Wikipedia describes a ghetto as “a section of a city predominantly occupied by a group that live there, especially because of social, economic or legal issues.”

Several popular songs seem to have a common theme of ghetto:

Elvis’ “In the Ghetto” describes hunger, theft fighting, and death as attributes of the ghetto.

Alicia Keys and Baby Cham also refer to hunger, fighting and death as attributes of the ghetto.

And the list goes on. I think these conversations are the right place to begin the discussions, and it’s admirable that The Congress Heights Community Association is addressing the issue head on. I’m interested in your thoughts. What is a ghetto and how do you change it?

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