State of the Downtown Forum Cancelled, Citing Protest Conflicts
Downtown DC BID cancelled their State of the Downtown Forum scheduled last week after the Metropolitan AFL-CIO announced a protest during that same time outside the Newseum, where the forum was to be held. “We have an ongoing dispute with the union involving a pending court case with the DC court of appeals that spurred the protest,” said Karyn LeBlan, director of communications for DC BID. Though she acknowledged their right to protest, she said the decision was based off of a potentially uncomfortable environment for attendees. “We've had a number of people have a discussion about it, and based on information we had seen on their website we thought it would be best.” She also mentioned that in the past, protestors have entered buildings where they've held meetings, causing disruptions, which they wanted to avoid for the Newseum, “ We didn't want to do that to the Newseum.”
Though the Metropolitan Washington Council AFL-CIO could not be reached for comment, in a press release April 28 they stated, “the workers, frustrated with pay and sick leave issues, voted for a union nearly two years ago, but the BID has continued to drag its feet, recently appealing the April 4 decision by the National Labor Relations Board dismissing the BID's claims of union intimidation.”
The 2010 State of Downtown Report can be obtained through e-mailing Karyn@downtowndc.org.