Just the Facts
There has been a lot of rhetoric, falsehoods, and spin around The LINE DC and its compliance with regulations set forth by the DC Council in 2010 in order to receive a real estate tax abatement over 20 years, which helps to offset the more than $145 million invested into developing The LINE DC from an abandoned building to an award-winning hotel and the largest employer in the neighborhood.
The untruths and misrepresentations about The LINE DC’s development and staffing must stop and evidence and facts must drive the government process.
The LINE is the largest employer in the neighborhood. Over 300 jobs total, and of those more than 200 are DC residents, and of those, more than 115 live in Ward One.
Have found a home in the The Adams Morgan Community Center, a 4,000 sq. ft. community and nonprofit incubator space at the LINE DC.
Invested into developing The LINE DC from an abandoned building to an award-winning hotel
Our opponents have no evidence, only rhetoric, to support their false claims.
Here are the facts and the evidence about The LINE DC and its compliance with the specific regulations set forth by the DC Council in 2010:
The Department of Employment Services (DOES) considers the review of the Adams Morgan Hotel Owner LLC’s (doing business as The LINE DC) compliance with the Council requirements to be “open” and DOES plans to “continue to review documentation.”
Suggestions by Councilmember Silverman that the matter is closed is false and ignores the ongoing work of DOES, an agency of the District of Columbia government. Councilmember Silverman must stop with misleading statements that intentionally ignore the continuing work of another branch of DC government.
Compliance with All Requirements
The LINE DC has demonstrated compliance with all seven requirements. To date, five of the seven requirements have been certified as compliant by the District of Columbia . Two requirements remain unconfirmed as the work of DOES continues based upon new legal guidance from the Attorney General on applying the appropriate standard to the review. Ultimately, the LINE DC will be found compliant based upon the following evidence:
December 2018 Independent Audit Demonstrating Compliance View the Audit→
Proof of DC-Residents Working in LINE DC Construction The list includes 471 individuals for whom The LINE DC has certified residency backup from their employers which was the standard DOES required at the onset of the project. Of the 471, The LINE DC additional backup that meets or exceeds DC Health Alliance residency standards for 392 employees. It should be noted many more DC residents filled construction jobs on the project (namely undocumented immigrants) though we received incomplete residency backup. In light of Councilwoman Silverman's attack on what she deems to be adequate proof of residency, we have excluded these individuals in our matrix though we firmly believe undocumented immigrants should be granted the same value as all others construction workers. View Our DC Workers (Updated June 20, 2019)→
DC Attorney General Karl Racine confirmed in a May 13, 2019 letter that the standard used by DOES to analyze construction job data should not have been subjected to First Source criteria, which caused DOES to substantially undercount the full-time equivalent employees and hours.
Read the Letter→ With respect to the apprenticeships provision of the 2010 legislation, all project sub-contractor’s were contractually obligated to comply with the apprenticeship provision of the legislation which required that apprenticeships be reserved for District residents with a preference given to Ward One residents. It was established at the onset of the project that apprenticeships would be overseen by the Office of Apprenticeship, Information and Training (OAIT), who’s role it was to ensure that the apprenticeship requirements were met. It remains our understanding that DOES correctly oversaw the apprenticeship provisions of the legislation by reserving apprenticeships for District Residents, but allowing them to be filled by non-District residents in the event that 1) no District resident apprentices were available to fill a position and 2) that an employer had existing non-District apprentices in place. It is contrary to the intent of the legislation that DOES would have prohibited non-District apprentices altogether as that would have simply resulted in fewer apprentices on the project. Needless to say, we could have easily denied employment to these apprentices had that been the intent of the District or requested by DOES, but that was never communicate at any time during the multi-year construction process.
How Did We Get Here?
After more than nine months of shepherding approvals through various DC agencies, DOES offered The LINE DC a “substitute compliance” rather than complete its review of the final two D.C. Code § 47-4652 requirements on April 29, 2019. At the time, DOES and The LINE DC were engaged in a dispute over DOES’s application of First Source standards to their evaluation of specific provisions of the tax abatement - standards that go far beyond the requirements in law, and were delaying the certification process. DOES was requiring unreasonable DC residency verification requirements, going beyond even the strict requirements to prove residency for enrollment in DC Public Schools and DC Healthcare Insurance Marketplace. Ultimately, on May 13, 2019, the DC Attorney General agreed with our position that DOES’ standard of proof was inappropriate.
The LINE DC maintains that with the proper standard applied, based upon the evidence we have made public and the reports provided to DOES by construction contractors and subcontractors over the last seven years, the records will clearly indicate comprehensive compliance with D.C. Code § 47-4652.
Nevertheless, The LINE DC accepted DOES offer of substitute compliance as a way of moving forward in the process towards the real estate tax abatement and providing certainty for the hotel’s future and its more than 300 employees. We did so despite the knowledge that ultimately The LINE DC’s evidence was sufficient to ultimately be found in compliance once DOES applied the correct standard.
The “substitute compliance” offered by DOES was ultimately found to exceed the scope of DOES’s authority by the DC Attorney General (AG) in a May 13, 2019 letter. The AG did not, however, suggest in any way that The LINE DC was not in compliance, and instead made no judgement in this area, which the AG has confirmed in recent correspondences. Consequently, DOES is now back at work reviewing The LINE DC’s compliance evidence under the new guidance from the Attorney General. The matter of The LINE DC’s compliance is an open matter. Any suggestion otherwise is false.
What is Next?
If the DC Council takes action to unjustly take away the commitment it made to the hotel and the Adams Morgan community, the Council will be doing very real and very meaningful harm to our employees and their families and the entire DC community.
The facts are on the side of The LINE DC. We’ve been trying to work this issue quietly, behind the-scenes on behalf of our 300 employees, but we can be silent no more. The facts must be heard.
If you agree with us, please add your voice and stand up for DC Ward One Jobs and sign our petition below: