Posted by : Halima Khait Thursday, December 06, 2012

Having a large metropolitan area as a “hometown” comes with many headaches.  For instance, when I was in journalism school, it was recommended that students intern with their hometown newspaper as an easy way of gaining experience.  Easier said than done when your local paper is The Washington Post.  I did end up getting that internship, but I had to use the typical Washington method way of working connections to even get my foot in the door.
Today, I came face-to-face with another stressor that comes with being a metropolitan native – dealing with transients.  More specifically, how difficult it is being around people who have nothing to lose and everything to gain by living in your city.
Most people come to D.C. because they want to feel like they’re around power.  It makes them feel important. 
Unfortunately, these same people have a say in how our communities function.   It’s frustrating to discuss community needs with people who wanted nothing to do with the city just 10 to 15 years ago because they heard it was “dirty” or dangerous” or whatever else.  How can I take the opinions from the city’s fair-weather fans seriously when I know they’ll leave as soon as the city stops fulfilling their needs?
Maybe I care too much, but hear me out.  I continue to live in this area and do what I can to improve it because I love it, not for what it can do for me, but for what it is, for better or for worse.

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