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Temperance Hall

UNC Meeting

The Georgia Avenue Defender

Skinner's Press Conference

When I first moved into my neighborhood, Park View, in 2002 my fiancé quickly became very involved in the goings on of the neighborhood.  (Park View is a small section of Columbia Heights, East of Georgia Avenue and West of the Old Soldiers Retirement Home.  The closest metro stop is the Georgia Ave./Petworth station.)  She regularly attended all kinds of meetings and got involved in several causes.  One cause she took up was a campaign fighting the liquor license renewal of a strip club on Georgia Ave. called The House (formerly know as The Penthouse.)   The strip club had come under a lot of fire because there had been so much violence directly linked to the patrons of the establishment. Residents complained about the rowdy patrons and the prostitution that was taking place in the ally behind the club.

At a special hearing before the ABC board, Mr. Skinner testified, as an ANC commissioner, on behalf of the strip club.  The hearing was held because the liquor license had been suspended after one patron murdered another patron after an altercation inside the club. The murder occured accross the street, but the fight originated inside the club. The club retained its liquor license much to the dismay of many of the residents.  My fiancé came home and told me all about Mr. Skinner and what he had done. 

Mr. Skinner's ABC testimony

(To Read the Entire 280 Page Trascript Click Here)


MR. SKINNER: Sinclair Skinner. I'm the Vice Chairman of 1B ANC.

VICE CHAIR OPPER-WEINER: Okay. And which area and what is your single member district, please?

MR. SKINNER: 1B-09, with a zero.

VICE CHAIR OPPER-WEINER: Okay. Yes, there is a zero. And then, what is your area that you cover, sir?

MR. SKINNER: Georgia Avenue, Columbia Road, 13th Street, Euclid.

VICE CHAIR OPPER-WEINER: So Georgia is the north-south street. Okay. All right. And you're okay. And so you're a current ANC Commissioner.

MR. SKINNER: Current ANC Commissioner as well as I live on Georgia Avenue. I have a business on Georgia Avenue.

......(continued later in the hearing)..........

VICE CHAIR OPPER-WEINER: Sir, please identify yourself.

MR. SKINNER: Sinclair Skinner, Vice Chairman of ANC Advisory Neighborhood Commission 1B, single member district 1B-09.

VICE CHAIR OPPER-WEINER: Yes, sir. Thank you.

MR. SKINNER: And thank you for the opportunity to come before you. I really appreciate the work you all do to help in our neighborhoods. I just want to briefly speak on the impact that this business has had on our community, and I would say very clearly we don't have enough businesses that have been as involved with helping the greater community as The Penthouse has.

It really has done a lot to help stabilize our community. We have a lot of abandoned buildings that really is the cause of a lot of these issues of drug trafficking and things of this nature. This being a viable business, it has really reinvested a lot of its monies back into the community to help with some of the problems with young people and provide opportunities for these young people throughout the holiday season as well as a lot of activities.

I personally have gone inside the business on occasion, and it you know, just you reiterate the level of class, as well as decorum, that I've seen in my times in being in there is one that would make me, you know, want to support more establishments like that.

I actually own a dry cleaners, and there's all kinds of businesses, and every cleaners is not the same, and I would say the same thing with nightclubs. In that environment, I felt very safe, secure. I know I personally have been searched when I have gone in there, even though I'm an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner. But I just appreciate the level of thoroughness in which they operate.

I think as it relates to police actions on that on Georgia Avenue, I would say that we've had numerous times of trying to get the 4th District to come and help in general. We've had incidents in front of regular establishments as well as just in that neighborhood that we're trying to work at, and we one of the things we did is we were able to get a substation in the community.

But the businesses were calling for that. It was businesses like The Penthouse, businesses like different corner stores that said, "We need you to come help us, you know, make this a better neighborhood." And with that pushing, the Mayor was very supportive in putting a substation to help us do that.

So we need more viable businesses like The Penthouse that actually are operating with a high standard, and we need more cooperation from our the public safety community in order to help this. And I just hope that we don't allow businesses to be closed and boarded up as a response to this almost terrorism that goes on in our community.

We're going to stay open. We're going to stay with our businesses. And we're going to remain and live on Georgia Avenue in harmony, but we just would like, you know, the support of the greater community in that. And, again, I think The Penthouse has played a very active role aggressively in keeping our community as a better place for people to live and other businesses to be.


MR. SKINNER: And I thank you for your time. I really do appreciate it.

VICE CHAIR OPPER-WEINER: Thank you, Mr. Skinner. Thanks for coming down.


I bolded several sections of Skinner's testimony to highlight his hypocrisy and his character.

He talks about The House reaching out to the youth? I don't know what he is referring to except the annual Easter Egg Hunt they hold. I'm not a parent, but if I were, I couldn't imagine sending my children to an Easter egg hunt at a stripclub. Maybe that is just me though.

Skinner testifies that Georgia Ave. is blighted with boarded up buildings. Then why does he vigorously fight the owners and developers of Temperance Hall when they resurrected a building that had been vacant for nearly 20 years?

Mr. Skinner lost his reelection bid and his testimony on behalf of The House was a major reason for him losing. I've heard Mr. Skinner claim that new residents and Jim Graham orchestrated his defeat, maybe it was his own doing.