Monday, June 22, 2009
Progress At Slumlord Gregg Johnson's "Riot House"...
Some days ago, a notice hit the boarded front door of 1716 26th Ave. N. It wasn't very unique, as far as these things go. The notice said the building was vacant and boarded, and these conditions needed to be alleviated by the owner by a particular date in August of 2009. But the fact the notice was on THIS address is something of a milestone...
The house at 1716 26th Ave. N. was the flashpoint for the Jordan Riot in 2002, when a police bullet fired at a pit bull ricochetted and injured a child. Rumor and rage fueled a riot, an event which deeply scarred the neighborhood and had an impact on public policy. How might I summarize that impact? Policy makers acted chickens**t. The raid was completely justified by rampant drug activity, and even the unfortunate, accidental injury of a child is no excuse to call up your homies and issue requests to (in so many words) "off the pigs." But policy makers pulled their heads into their shells like cowardly turtles and acted like some kind of revolutionary proletarian rage was a good reason to change course and, in effect, continue allowing the neighborhood to go to hell.
But now things are changing. Improving. Daily. Even hourly.
Now the "riot house" sits vacant, like so many houses in the Jordan Neighborhood, and it appears somebody in the city government is pushing for the kind of change which should have been pushed for back in 2002. The property is owned by Gregg Johnson, described by movers and shakers in the Jordan Neighborhood as "king of the slumlords."
Wouldn't I love to have a list of all his properties to publish on the blogosphere. Maybe if I click my heels together three times and say, "I do believe in virtual fairies...I DO BELIEVE IN VIRTUAL FAIRIES..."