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Reader's Voice

WI Web Staff | 4/15/2013, 9 p.m.
Your front-page article from the May 9-15 edition, TANF Redesign Comes with More Cuts by Barrington Salmon made for very ...

Removing TANF Recipients from the Rolls

Your front-page article from the May 9-15 edition, TANF Redesign Comes with More Cuts by Barrington Salmon made for very interesting reading, given this is the same program that Ward 8 Council Member Marion Barry highlighted about two years ago, when he talked about reducing benefits for recipients in order to get more of them on the road to self-sufficiency.

I realize that TANF was never meant to be a long-term solution to helping needy families, but the reality is that these kinds of programs are necessary to the livelihood of many of the District's poorest residents – and the viability of these programs play a key role shaping the nation's economy.

Sure, finding jobs for TANF clients is key to their self-sufficiency, but considering D.C.'s already-high unemployment rate, one has to wonder how realistic it is to expect 10,000 TANF households to be completely off the rolls by 2015, with parents and other members in their homes working to support themselves and their families.

Muriel Johnson

Bowie, Md.

Mayor Gray Skips Langston Celebration

I was happy to see that The Washington Informer cared enough about the 75th anniversary of the Langston Terrace apartments (Langston Terrace Residents Celebrate Development's History by Dorothy Rowley, May 9-15 issue) to cover the event on Saturday, May 4.

I enjoyed the perspectives some of the residents voiced about living at the historic complex that's located in Ward 5 off Benning Road, and where several gentrification projects are taking place.

It seems like the Langston residents really take pride in their community and aren't too happy about the influx of non-blacks who are beginning to move to the area.

With that said, maybe this has something to do with Mayor Vincent Gray being a no-show at the festive celebration where he'd been expected to speak.

The way I see it, Mr. Gray can't successfully play two sides against the middle: on the one hand, he's sanctioned developers and retailers coming into the predominantly black community and gradually providing a not-so-subtle facelift.

On the other hand, the mayor must know that the gentrification taking place along the corridor will eventually displace many of the enclave's long-time residents.

D. M. Grady

Washington, D.C.