I received a comment today from the Norwood Tenants, the folks whose problems with Tenacity Group is mentioned in Sunday's WaPo article [see this post]. To sum up, the residents held a protest to bring attention to the fact that the elevator in their 7 story building wasn't working and hadn't for a while. They served lemonade during the protest.
At 1417 N St. NW, tenants also resisted a condominium conversion. A company hired by the owner had approached them in 2006 about converting, also offering money to move out or the chance to stay as renters in the new condominium complex. Tenants instead called on the owner to make building repairs.
After the elevator in the building broke down last summer, tenants protested in the lobby, where they served lemonade. Shortly after, an attorney for the owner sent a letter to two tenants who had organized the protest, saying that they had breached the terms of their tenancy for "loitering in the common areas," among other things.
"For a minute, your heart stops," said tenant Silvia Salazar, who had worked with the tenants who received the letter. "You think, 'They're coming after me now.' "
Erik Bolog, managing partner with Tenacity Group, the asset manager for the owner, said that the company respects the right of tenants to meet but that the protest in the lobby wasn't properly scheduled and raised safety concerns.
"If by chance there was a fire in that building and people could not get out because a table was in the way, then people would be critical of the ownership for allowing that to be going on," Bolog said. " . . . If lemonade spills on the floor and people slip, it becomes a safety issue."
Can you believe he really said that? Of course, the penalty was commensurate with the "crime" - people were evicted from their homes.
Talk about a Black Swan event...