The Wilson Beacon

Students react to Pence relocating in Chevy Chase

Alexandra Radifera

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I remember getting a text in my family group chat from my dad with a link of an article titled, “Pence Makes a Move to Chevy Chase, DC” Chevy Chase is at the edge of NW DC, a 10 minute bus ride on the M4 away from Tenleytown. It stretches from Connecticut Avenue all the way to Rock Creek Park, and of all the places Vice- President elect, Mike Pence, could have chosen to live, he chose four houses away from me.

You could say I was much more than a little upset; I felt more disturbed, offended, infuriated, and helpless when I woke up to barricades and cop cars outside of my house. But I am not the only Wilson student who lives in La-La-Land, or who felt this way. Senior Innes Mackay said Pence’s move to our neighborhood made him feel, “…uncomfortable for the people who are targets of his rhetoric.” Mackay does not stand alone.

In a blink of an eye, as soon as Pence moved in, Chevy Chase was painted in red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple. Almost every house on every block put one or more LGBTQ Pride Flags up, signs that say, “This neighborhood trusts women”, and more. Senior Allie Schwalb stated that she is, “…proud of [her] neighborhood for putting up raining flags and showing solidarity with the LGBTQ community and showing Pence that he and his sexist, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic ideas are not welcome here.”

Funny enough, not only did Pence move to a neighborhood where he was in no way welcomed, but where the Vice-President of Planned Parenthood, Dawn Laguens, lives one block away. “It was either a mistake or extremely hypocritical of Mike Pence to live in our neighborhood, given that his outdated views on women and LGBTQ people and families, and support for racist and xenophobic policies, are wildly out of sync and opposed by most,” Laguens stated, “His physical presence in the neighborhood is a minor nuisance – but his presence in the highest realm of our government is disturbing and actually dangerous for the reproductive rights of women in this country.”

As much of a disturbance as Mike Pence’s move was to our quiet little community, it without a doubt made me incredibly proud to live here. As junior John Scapin said when asked about his opinion about the move, “It made me feel very uncomfortable but the flags reminded me why I love this community so much.” Never in my 18 years of living here had I seen my community so united. Thankfully, Pence will be moving away soon (unfortunately, into the Vice President’s house), but if I have learned anything from this, it is that as long as he and his administration are in Washington, DC making decisions for our country, we will not stand down.

PHOTO COURTESY OF METRO.CO

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Students react to Pence relocating in Chevy Chase