One D.C. man was so adamant about keeping poor people from mucking up his neighborhood and a safe distance from his luxury apartment building, he created a Change.Org petition to make it happen.
“We are a community, we are a neighborhood, we are families and friends,” Ezra Weinblatt claims in the petition he started. “We care about how our neighbors treat each other, how the streetscape is maintained and we care to improve our surroundings.”
The issue at hand is a 7-Eleven convenience store that is slated to open up in the retail space below Weinblatt’s posh apartment building. Weinblatt, and roughly 200 of his neighbors that signed his petition, believe the store wouldn’t add any value to their property.
“We believe that 7/11 will diminish and detract from our neighborhood, nor do we see it adding any value to our lives (sic),” the petition reads. “We feel that, at best, 7/11 will just cannibalize existing businesses, assuming anyone was to patronize the establishment.”
Streets, Smucker Farms, Yes Organic, CVS and Trader Joe’s are already located in the neighborhood, Weinblatt says, and he is “happily satisfied” with those options.
The real reason Weinblatt, and others, don’t want the convenience store moving in to their neighborhood, though, is the fact that its clientele base is made up mostly of poor people, which he conveniently leaves out of his petition.
“People hanging out at four in the morning on a street corner are not looking to pick up trash. They’re looking for trouble. We don’t want trouble,” Weinblatt told local neighborhood blog Borderstan.
Philip Bell, one of Weinblatt’s neighbors agreed, saying he will actively discourage people from shopping there.
“7-Eleven is not needed in this community and it would reduce property values and quality of life for the residents,” he said in support of the petition.
All of Weinblatt and his neighbors’ effort seems for naught, though, because a copy of the signed permit obtained by 7-Eleven was posted on Popville.com.
A search of the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs building permit database also shows two approved permits for 2300 14th St. NW, the address of the future convenience store.
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