11 jan 1968 & tenant activism
#throwbackthursday Tenant activists at 1350 Clifton Terrace (now Wardman Court Apartments) show Mayor Walter Washington (wearing the hat) the results of living in a building owned by Sidney J. Brown, a white developer who was fined, convicted and sentenced to 60 days in jail for the egregious conditions in the building.
The photo shows that the tenant organizers were prepared for the mayor's visit and the media. The sign on the left says, "Please!!! Help. We Want Heat. Right Now!!!" And the poster on the right is a drawing of Brown as a clown and a devil--signifying that he is a joke and evil.
In 1966, six tenants, including Gladys Grant, Stanley Gross, Ethel Javins and Rudolph Saunders, engaged in a rent strike and were the plaintiffs in the court case, Saunders (later Javins) vs. First National Realty Corporation. Their tenacity, with the support of the Neighborhood Legal Services Program, led to landmark changes in tenant rights in 1970, here in DC and nationwide.
The 23 September story will have more about Ms. Grant, Mr. Gross, Ms. Javins and Mr. Saunders and the court case.
Your comments are welcome below. Did you live in Clifton Terrace? Did you participate in the rent strike? Were you part of the court case? You may comment privately here.
Photo source: Courtesy DCPL Special Collections, Paul Schmick, photographer. 16 November 1967
Richard H. Chused, "Saunders (a.k.a. Javins) v. First National Realty Corporation 10th Anniversary Symposium Issue: Empowering the Poor and Disenfranchised: Making a Difference through Community, Advocacy, and Policy."
For related story on Pride Inc, click here.