Monday, March 21, 2011

William Jordan on Jim Graham's connections with Donatelli Development

If you've been on one of our neighborhood listserves anytime lately, you've probably seen mainstay William Jordan talking about what he claims are Jim Graham's connections with Donatelli Development, a big local development company.

He recently posted this diagram (click it to see the full size version) which he says details all the connections. Here's his description:

In late Fall 2010 just at the start of Hypothermia Season, the city with the support of CM Graham hastily closed the only bilangual La Casa emergency shelter in the city and kicked out its clients.   Although, the city found apartments for some, most were shipped to shelters as far away as Ward 8 or dumped in the streets.  This was done to allow Donatelli Development to begin construction on its Highland Park Phase II luxury apartment complex in the Spring of 2011.  Of course the question was asked, if construction would not begin until the Spring, why risk the lives of these men by closing the shelter at the start of winter, why would city agencies legally obligated to protect these neighbors, activist, many CBOs, ANCs and citizens sat silently at this injustice?  The basic answer is Donatelli Development needed the homeless out to successfully refinances a portion of its $600M plus portfolio and related politics. Some time ago I attempted to explain the dynamic, but was told my explanation was too complicated and convoluted, I needed pictures.  So, below is the first DRAFT of the inital slide of a series designed to illustrate this dynamic.

The DRAFT diagram below is designed to show connections and relationships.  When the government is involved in development with the priviate sector and public benefits are expected, things can get pretty complicated. Hopefully even for those not interested in justice for our homeless neighbors, as the diagram evolves hopefully this and the series will be helpful.  This is a draft feedback is welcome.

I told him I don't quite follow it and asked if he'll say more about it, and here's his response:
There will be more, the purpose of this is diagram is only to give folk a hint of the complex web of relationships that influence how Columbia Heights got/gets developed. As well the role of government, hinting that the concept of "market rate" in Columbia Heights is kind of nonsense.  In essence everything is significantly subsidized directly and indirectly. The dynamics and relationships are complicated and purposely not transparent.  The problem is that there is no short way to do it.  
I generally don't agree with Jordan, but it's interesting in any case.


  1. Where's the CIA and the Freemasons and, um, Sinclair Skinner?

  2. This is the graphical equivalent of Jordan's writing style. Convoluted and badly constructed to the point of being indecipherable -- failing to convey any information or make any point.

    the reason for this is NOT because the content of his writings/charts is too complicated to be presented in a coherent way.

    If Jordan actually has something worth saying, he should get help from someone with the ability to say things clearly.

  3. Apparently William Jordan has been watching a little too much Glenn Beck these days. At least label the associations, it looks like La Casa Homeless shelter is the real masterminds behind everything that goes down in Ward 1.

  4. I am so happy my coucilman is connected.

    That makes it happen for the taxpayers.

  5. All I see is that Jim Graham is connected to "Neighborhood Justice and Integrity" - what is wrong with that? Lets say it one more time- William Jordan needs his own website! He can call it "The Plan, By William Jordan"

    Where does the dog park fit into all of this?

  6. Sorry, this makes no sense at all, and is typical of Jordan's paranoid, delusional conspiracy theories.

  7. Here's what's not so funny-- we WERE promised that LaCasa would be taken care of in the development process and it hasn't been, to date. Ward One taxpayers were responsible for a tax abatement to Donatelli for Highland Park, hot on the heels of a WBJ article touting the complex's "reinvention" of the rental market. The abatement definitely helped their overall portfolio health (Park Place was limping along while Highland Park was going gangbusters). If the company can't deliver on their community benefit promises, then what SHOULD be done? And if that company is a major contributor to the coffers of our elected official, shouldn't we ask some questions? So, okay, you don't like messenger; I get that. William may be convoluted, but he's not totally wrong. Yeah, it's fun to make fun of people online, and write snarky things about them for a laugh. I just wonder what the total cost of it is for all of us.

  8. I got sick and tired of seeing WJ's rants on the CH listserv I set up an Outlook rule to delete everything he emails. Life is much better without WJ in it!

  9. i think the delusional conspiracy theory comments were well covered before me.

    so, i just have to say: WTF are you trying to say WJ? Honestly, i have no idea if i agree or disagree b/c i did not understand anything you said.
    like in this sentence "refinances a portion of its $600M plus portfolio and related politics" what related politics? What the...?

    also, where is there a legal obligation on a government to shelter the homeless? Not sure where you went to law school or get your "laws" but this is not a "LEGAL" obligation. The city does it out of compassion and what not.
    Also, what does it matter that some homeless were placed in ward 8...they are homeless. the point is to help them out in the SHORT TERM with shelter.

  10. Conspiracy, you don't understand? Basically, you are saying don't understand your government and how it works and relates to the development of your community.

    W Jordan

  11. where is the conspiracy W Jordan? Where is your proof? the words you type or say don't make those words fact, they are your opinion. I think you fail to understand the difference between these two things.

    also, i think i understand my government well enough. I also like the development of my community. I approve of everything happening in the DC USA area (except for the littering and the purple robe wearing church people who tell me i am going to burn in hell).

    Again, I think you take people who disagree with you as some sort of failing in their knowledge base. Just because i disagree with your disapproval of the development doesn't somehow equate to me not understanding how government works.

  12. Sometimes, I sit and struggle to figure out what Jordan is trying to say. I correct the grammar and punctuation. I replace misused words with the words I think he intended to use. Without fail, the result is just a series of rhetorical statements that make no point and contain no substance.

  13. I don't believe in a conspiracy, it's politics as usual combined with civic laziness which has led to under development as opposed to development. This under development that has cost this community 10s of Millions of dollars and other resources. I'm just documenting the process and working to counter the continued sucking of community resources.

    I'm not really attempting to change anyone's mind per se. The connections in the diagram not conspiracy but the reality of the process.

    W Jordan


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