Press Release - Capitol Park Plaza and Twins Tenant Association Lawyers-Up
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2021
SOUTHWEST, WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Capitol Park Plaza and Twins Tenant Association recently retained the Law Offices of Paul Strauss & Associates, P.C. The tenant association faces dual challenges - the prospect of sharply rising rents in early 2022 and an ownership transfer that many experts believe is violating tenants' legal rights. Mr. Strauss & Associates are providing legal support for residents to contest the building owners' claims that residents' rights under the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA) are exempted. Rather than accept these claims, which no government agency has evaluated for accuracy or substantiated, the CPPT Tenant Association is seeking to exercise all avenues to uphold the law.
Senator Strauss has been a leader and activist in the DC tenant's rights movement since 1987, when he organized his own tenant association at an 800+ unit building on Massachusetts Avenue. Mr. Strauss began his career at DC Superior Court, with subsequent experience as the legislative staff of the DC Council. These experiences give Mr. Strauss a unique understanding over tenants' issues and the Courts. Mr. Strauss is a committed tenant advocate and the unanimous choice of the association's Board.
As the DC Council Office of Racial Equity has indicated, poverty rates among African Americans in DC have increased since 2006. "The inequity-driven and displacement economy in Washington, DC arises from the gap between the District's rhetoric on equity, including the BLM mural, and its application in specific cases, in which city policy and developers' interests erode the rule of law, including the U.S. Constitution's provisions on equal protection," said Christopher Williams, President of the CPPT Tenant Association. "Most DC residents do not realize that our lack of statehood means that the federal government and the Biden Administration and future administrations are legally liable for what is happening to vulnerable populations like residents of Capitol Park Plaza and Twins. Neither public nor non-profit tenant advocate organizations have been particularly helpful to us."
The CPPT Tenant Association continues to strongly encourage donations and is grateful to our tenants and outside organizations that contributed to our legal defense fund. We would like to give special recognition to the Westminster Presbyterian Church for its significant contribution to enable tenants' resilience during a historic period of urban renewal in Southwest. Westminster's plans for its own redevelopment to include deep affordable senior housing will preserve and protect Southwest's longstanding social diversity.
To donate, pay with a credit/debit card via our PayPal page or use Zelle using our tenant association email - firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, read the CPPT Tenant Association prior communication here.
Christopher Williams and Diva Samai
Co-Presidents, Capitol Park Plaza and Twins Tenant Association