Thanks for publishing my photos in Hundreds testify that DC needs to #fixTOPA Greater Greater Washington (and I side with Prof Gallaher)

The DC Center for the LGBT Community Open House 33792
The DC Center for the LGBT Community Open House 33792 (View on

Thanks again for publishing my photos, @ggwash, of different times and places in Logan Circle, Washington, DC USA. I am fascinated that this topic is coming to me via these photos. I have personal experience with DC’s TOPA law (Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act) and lie firmly on the side of the arguments presented by Professor Carolyn Gallaher in the piece.

I can understand how realtors and sellers are quick to remember their last delayed transaction. This is recall bias in my mind, because they probably don’t remember the last time a landlord raised rents sky-high and put rental units up for sale to force tenants frustrated about upkeep to move. In these situations, all they saw was a seller with a property to transact.

I agree with Professor Gallaher (who’s performed quite a bit of scholarship on this topic) that it’s important to remember that protections are in place for a reason, and in the case of TOPA or the tenant-landlord relationship in general, the landlord is the more advantaged, favored party, even with TOPA in place.

In my (health care) world, when we don’t know what a problem is, we use a design thinking approach to see things directly, rather than from the most convenient perspective. As Tim Brown (of IDEO) mentions in this description of this critical tool:

Observation: watching what people don’t do, listening to what they don’t sayNow Reading: Change by Design – How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation, by Tim Brown – Ted Eytan, MD

Had I not had the experience that I’ve had, I might identify differently, however, that’s not the case 🙂 .

About the photos, one of them is much earlier in my photographic learning journey than the other, always pleasant to see how things have changed in Washington, DC and in how I visualize things.

Logan Circle Heritage Trail Preview 16068
Logan Circle Heritage Trail Preview 16068 (View on

Debate is raging in DC over whether the city should alter the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act (TOPA). Does TOPA need to be fixed? Two GGWash contributors weigh in on the pros and cons of amending the law.Source: Hundreds testify that DC needs to #fixTOPA, but does it need to be fixed? If so, how? – Greater Greater Washington

Ted Eytan, MD