A civil rights lawyer by the name of Aristotle Theresa is suing Washington, D.C. because she claims the city has been using discriminatory housing and urban renewal policies that favor white, millennial renters over longstanding black residents.
Theresa is representing three Washington residents and CARE, a community group with over 20 members. The lawsuit claims that the policies of the previous mayoral administrations of Adrian Fenty and Vincent Gray were designed to attract “creative” workers who tend to come in fields like journalism, technology, art and science. Theresa claims D.C.’s success in attracting these types of workers have come at the expense of low and middle-income African American families who can no longer afford housing in the city. Essentially gentrifying the neighborhoods.
“The city is intentionally trying to lighten black neighborhoods, and the way they have primarily been doing it is through construction of high density, luxury buildings, that primarily only offer studios and one bedrooms,” the suit reads.
The suit is seeking more than $1 billion in damages. The city hasn’t responded to the filing so far.