Forward to Fall 1999 One Page at a Time Back to Sandra Seegars home page Back to April 1999 One Page at a Time
|Vol. 5, No. 2
Editor: Sandra "SS" Seegars
VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE! VOTE!
Registered voters of Ward 8, the primary election is about a year away, in September 2000.
The ward elections will be for wards 2, 4, 7, and 8; and two at-large seats. The two at-large members' seats that will be open for election will be Harold Brazil and Carol Schwartz.
Get involved now by learning about issues in your ward by attending meetings, reading newspapers and watching the news.
Insist on the best person to be your representative. To do that, you must inform yourself. Do not wait until the last minute to do so.
There will be several persons running for Ward 8 Council. Do not vote for them because you like them on a personal level, vote for them because you truly believe they are the best one for Ward 8.
Another thing voters can do is support the candidate of choice, by volunteering to pass out literature to neighbors and friends or make a financial contribution. A contribution as small as $5.00 will help in more ways than you can image
On Election Day volunteer a few hours to work at the polls, by handing out literature sad promoting the candidate of choice.
Most of all remember to vote. There are two elections. The primary is in September and the general is in November.
In the primacy, you have to vote within your party. In the general, you do not have to vote within your party. You may find that a candidate in another party would be best to represent your interests in your ward.
IN THE GENERAL, YOU CAN VOTE FOR ANYONE, REGARDLESS OF YOUR PARTY AFFILIATION.
WHAT IS ...
... A MAYOR
The Mayor's office is the executive branch of the District government. That office is responsible for public services, public safety, public health, jobs, recreation, street repairs, public education, and any other services imaginable.
The Mayor is the boss to all city agencies' directors/chiefs.
The Mayor appoints department heads, board and commission members. However, they all have to be approved by the Council.
The City Council is the legislative branch of the District government. The Council is responsible for laws that govern the lives and streets of the District They also oversee the budget of the District's agencies.
Together the Council and Mayor agree to a budget for the city.
It is not mandatory that councilmembers have a constituent services fund, although most of them do. Money for this has to be raised by the councilmember, it is not in their budget.
The Mayor's office should handle any residents' problems.
Usually the Council will assist you in problems you may have with the city.
The Council should spend time in the community so when the budget is due they will know what money is needed for specific items.
The Council holds public hearings, public roundtables, and public meetings with department heads to determine their budgets.
The public is always welcome at these gatherings, although only about 5% of the District's residents show up, in any given year. The public can testify at these gatherings.
The Council has to approve department heads, board and commission members the Mayor appoints.
MEDICAID OR MEDIC-OUT?
Ward 8 Councilmember Sandy Allen, chairperson of the Committee on Human Services, and Paul Offner, director of DC Medicaid, came to a fork in the road, over the budget.
(Seven months later, the two of them began working together again.)
According to Offner, Allen's decision on the budget for Medicaid expenditures will hurt the Medicaid recipients. According to Allen, more programs will be funded.
Three councilmembers, Allen, Kevin Chavous (D-W7), and David Catania (R-At-Large) wanted Mayor Anthony Williams to replace Offner.
At a Medicaid budget hearing Catania accused Offner of allowing health care fraud.
The budget passed by the Council will pay less money to providers, Offner said, by 7.5%.
The Council decided to support related programs, run by other city agencies.
The budget Offner presented to the Mayor for Council approval proposed $260 million for FY 2000, about a 5% increase up from $247 million.
Offner said the increase was needed to cover the growing 5% to 6% expenditure, whereas, the Council allowed only 1.5% instead.
Offner said he had included in his proposal an increase for inflation. He said his proposal included money that the District had been using to pay a backlog of Medicaid bills. He said Allen's budget contained no funding for this purpose.
Allen said she would reroute $9.5 million in local Medicaid funds into HIV/AIDS, substance abuse programs, Child and Family Services budget, Maternal and Child Health, and inspections for various facilities.
As reported in the Post, the District and the federal governments fund Medicaid, jointly. The US Health Care Financing Administration pays 70 cents of every dollar of the District Medicaid spending. The $9.5 million rerouted by Allen will cost the city an additional $22.2 million in matching funds.
Offner said, in a month's time he could better explain what effects Allen's budget would have on Medicaid recipients.
Allen feels her decision was a good one.
Ward 8 residents who said '`NO" to Oxon Cove, in SW, being zoned for a prison, by the Board of Zoning, celebrated a big win.
Ward 8 residents who said "YES" to a prison are regrouping, perhaps to appeal the Board of Zoning's decision, denying the application from Corrections Corporation of America (CCA).
Joyce Scott organized the Ward 8 proponents. Scott believes an appeal is in order, but they are not revealing anything just yet.
However, one point for appeal may be the fact that two weeks after the unanimous 4 to 0 vote by the Board of Zoning, against the zoning of Oxon Cove for a prison, the chairperson became the director of the Board of Zoning. She went from a position that paid zero to over $100,000 annually.
Eugene Dewitt Kinlow led the fight against the prison, without a strong financial backing, like CCA, who helped finance the proponents. Kinlow used what he had, the support of the residents, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioners and the environmental organizations.
The mayor did not want a prison in Ward 8 nor did the Ward 8 Council member, although they were not very vocal about it.
Kinlow's group, the Ward 8 Coalition, had current elected officials on its side. At-large Councilmember Phil Mendelson, was the only Councilmember to testify at the hearing, against the prison. Harold Brazil, at-large Councilmember and chair of the Judiciary Committee, sent a representative to read a statement, that basically said, the District should build and operate its own prison, not build a privately or federally run facility.
As time passed and the zoning hearing got pushed back, repeatedly, Kinlow saw it as the opposition getting stronger.
Sandra "SS" Seegars, prison opponent and former at-large City Council candidate, tried to make Kinlow see that the more time CCA had to present its case they would get weaker not stronger, and if given enough time they would, ultimately, destroy their own chances of winning the zoning decision.
Kinlow's panel, Greg Rhett, from Ward 7, former at-large City Council candidate, Committee of 100 special process consultant, and a possible candidate for the Ward 7 Council in the upcoming election in 2000; Winifred Freeman, Ward 8 ANC chairperson, former candidate in a previous Ward 8 City Council election and architect, and OV Johnson, Ward 8 ANC member and candidate in a previous Ward 8 City Council election, posed questions to the proponents.
The main question they asked the proponents were if they were or would be compensated, in any form for their efforts, by CCA. The answer was usually, yes.
Scott had many heavy hitters on her side, fighting for the prison. They included Marion Barry, former mayor; Mark Thompson, NAACP representative and former candidate in a City Council election; Norm Neverson, Ward 4 resident and one of Mayor Williams' campaign organizers (since that time he has been voted as the Ward 4 Democrats chairperson), HR Crawford, real estate czar and former Ward 7 City Council member; William Lockridge, Ward 8 Board of Education representative; Robert Yeldell, former Ward 8 ANC chairperson; and Nadine Winters, former Ward 6 City Council member.
Scott, executive director of Citizens for a Progressive Ward 8 and a possible candidate in the upcoming Ward 8 City Council election, has been working with ex-offenders, addicts and welfare families for years. Her sincere effort to "KEEP THEM HOME" was not as important to her allies.
Before the decision on the zoning of Oxon Cove the Ward 8 Coalition had planned a picnic and clean the cove rally, along with ocher 'No Prison" supporters, to include the Green Party, Friends of the Earth, New Columbia Audubon Society, New Columbia Sierra Club, Far Southwest Civic Association, United Communities Opposed to a Prison on the Potomac, Friends of Oxon Hill, DC Statehood Party and Anacostia Watershed Society.
Since the decision was in Kinlow's favor, the picnic was a victory celebration.
COMMANDER WINSTON ROBINSON OF THE SEVENTH DISTRICT CONTRIBUTED TO THE FOLLOWING ARTICLE
ONE RAPIST DEAD, HOW MANY TO GO?
During late 1997 and early 1998 there were a rash of rapes that occurred primarily in Congress Heights. A link could not be made because of the various descriptions of the suspect.
There were continuing efforts made to link some of the rapes by using the basic description of the suspect, method used during the crime, and descriptions of his clothing.
Approximately 1,200 homes in PSA's 701 703, 700, 706 and 709, in the general area where the rapes occurred, were notified by 7D, using the department's City Watch (reverse 911 system). Over 4,000 flyers were passed out throughout the community. Unfortunately, no suspects were identified.
Leon Dundas, the rape suspect, was eventually killed in a drug-infested area in Jacksonville, Florida. The FBI notified the District.
They had performed a DNA test on Dundas after his death that linked him to 8 rapes in SE and 4 in Florida. The DNA worked because physical evidence, including semen from the suspect, found on the victims, had been collected and turned over to the FBI for laboratory examining and testing.
Dundas was a Ward 8 resident, he had lived in the 1600 block of Savannah St and the 3400 block of 19 St.
The rapes occurred on the following dates and locations Nov. 5, 97 -- 100 block of Elmira St; Nov. 9, 97 -638 Condon Terrace; Nov. 27, 97 - rear of 3400 block of 19 St; Dec. L 97 - 3419 First St; Dec. 18, 97 - 4601 Livingston Rd.; Jan. 6, 98 -- 1800 block of Stanton Terrace, Jul. 23, 98 - 2000 block of Elvans Rd.; and Oct. 14, 98 4200 South Capitol St.
The Seventh District Crime Unit has contacted the victims. The FBI is checking the remaining rape evidence kits to see if Dundas was involved in other rapes.
Dundas is not the rapist in the Holiday Rape cases that occurred around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day in 1998, on Morris Rd. and Elvans Rd.
These cases are still being investigated. The police made an arrest in the Holiday Rape case, and they are building a case against him. Meanwhile, other rapes are still occurring in Ward 8.
WARD 8 MARINES
Don Matthews, long time Ward 8 resident, gets a new idea every week. This time his idea may be come a reality. His interest in youths has sustained him through the hardest part of forming his Young Marines, which is getting volunteers.
Matthews needed 6 or 7 volunteers. He was able to gee most of them. He said Comdr. Winston Robinson, 7D commander, provided the remaining volunteers needed.
Matthews was grateful to Robinson for his assistance. Now Matthews can get his charter for his National Association of Young Marines.
They will consist of males and females, from ages 8 to 20, 150 participants the first year and an additional 150 the second year. They will be in training at Patricia Harris School. The training will be similar to that of the military, in obedience, character, discipline, and leadership.
They are in need of financial contributions. The money will pay for supplies, uniforms, insurance, and transportation. They need to raise $20,000. The money will go into an account that will need three signatures in order to make transactions.
IF YOU CAN HELP, BY VOLUNTEERING TIME OR GIVING MONEY, CONTACT DON MATTHEWS 202-5741450
HALF OF $33 MILLION IS STILL A LOT OF MONEY
Ward 8 Councilmember Sandy Allen is proud of ha accomplishments on the City Council. She proudly states how she and her compeers stopped the mayor's runaway budget for fiscal year 2000, that included Mayor Williams' proposed $33 million for the youth initiative program.
Allen, chairperson of Human Services, and Councilmember Kevin Chavous (D-W7), chairperson of Education and Recreation, allowed $15 million, instead of the proposed $33 million.
Sources familiar with the mayor's budget said the $33 million was a campaign promise, and more than likely it was for the Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), who had a list of serious concerns during the campaign.
The Council. agreed thee the $33 million was not itemized in a sensible manner, hence, it was reduced to $15 million. If the youth initiative is handled properly, an increase can be approved next year.
Allen and Chavous have an ongoing effort to provide more assistance to the youths that are in the city's system, whether it's public assistance, criminal educational, or health care.
Chavous made it perfectly clear that the $15 million was not the only money allocated for the youths.
Together Allen and Chavous have united various agencies that previously worked with the same youths, but did so independently of the other.
Not only will this unification of the agencies better assist the youths; it will also stop double dipping by guardians, on behalf of the youths.
Williams who has proven to be a firm believer in contracting out and privatizing services, wanted to bring in a non-profit organization to oversee the distribution of the $33 million he had planned to put in one account.
FOOTBALL AND PANNELL?
Ward 8's hard working coordinator, Philip Pannell, is a first again. Pannell rounded up some ax-Redskins to help rejuvenate Anacostia.
Art Monk, Charles Mann and Tim Johnson joined Pannell, Councilmember Sandy Allen, the faith community, activists and residents of east of the river for breakfast at Lamont Mitchell's restaurant, Imani Cafe. Mitchell is the mayor's east of the river economic development potentate.
Pannell is working hard to get the old Carver Theater (old Anacostia Museum) renovated Mann, Monk and Johnson want to do just that.
The Good Samaritan Foundation (GSF) was founded by the three, in 1992. GSF has a program called Student Training Opportunity Program (STOP). STOP prepares youths for leadership in the community and the workplace
After an enlightening meeting at Imani Cafe, Pannell took Mann, Monk, and Johnson on a tour of Anacostia.
GSF plans to do fund raising to get the project under way.
Mitchell thought it was project for the museum. There were no spoken objections at the meeting, although, some of the ministers advised them as to what to be cautious of.
GSA will have a series of meetings with the community before the project begins.
To get more information or to attend the future meetings, contact Philip Pannell, 202-889-0123
IF YOU ARE MAD... ABOUT ANYTHING GOING ON IN YOUR COMMUNITY, DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT! CALL THE MAYOR'S OFFICE, 202-727-2980, OR CITY COUNCIL, 202-724-8000. THEN VOTE FOR BETTER OR DIFFERENT LEADERSHIP IN THE NEXT ELECTION.
POOR PEOPLE, SOON TO BE A THING OF THE PAST IN WARD 8
Ward 8 has more public housing than the other wards, or at least Ward 8 used to.
David I. Gilmore, court appointed public housing receiver, is trying to phase out public housing and replace them with mixed income housing. Or, is it the poor that are being phased out?
Thus far, Gilmore has boarded up one of the larger developments, Frederick Douglass Dwellings (FDD). The boarded up houses are locates in the 1800 block of Alabama Ave. SE, and covers at least ten acres.
Stanton Dwelling, located across the street from FDD, may be closed, in the near future.
In Ward 8, several low income housing developments have been closed in recent years, replaced by market rate housing or left vacant.
Gilmore's receivership term should be ending in about a year. He wants to remain the overseer of public housing after it comes out of court ordered receivership, and have sole custody, answering to no one. Only a few residents in public housing think he is doing a good job. In one instance 2 out of 300 residents thought he was doing a good job.
The City Council held a public hearing concerning the matter of what should happen to public housing after the court order is removed.
Gilmore managed to bring a busload of supporters to testify in his behalf. He provided lunch for the supporters.
In interviews with some of the public housing residents, they said they were afraid to go to the hearing to testify against Gilmore, because of retaliation.
SCHOOL DAYS, SCHOOL DAYS, WHAT HAPPENED TO DEAR OLD GOLDEN RULE DAYS?
Every time Cardell Shelton gets close to being awarded the Old Congress Heights Elementary School (OCHES), 3100 MLK. Jr., Ave., SE, the rules seem to change.
About two years ago OCHES was for sale. DC Public School received several bids from the public, including Shelton's.
The school has not been sold yet. The mayor, school board and Control Board are having second thoughts about selling it. They have sold many of the closed schools, however, they have come to realize that if they sale all of their properties they will not have any buildings for their own use in the future.
The first set of problems was the personnel changes within the DC Public School system. The changes kept occurring until a private real estate company took over.
The bidders were told to team up and use the school for community purposes, in 30 days, or the contract would not be awarded.
Shelton and Duane Gaitere, director of ARCH Training Center, are one group (before the partnership was underway, the partnership ended); and East of the River Community Development Corporation, William Lockridge, Ward 8's school board representative, and Liberty Church, the present tenant in the school, are the other group.
CONGRATULATIONS GO OUT TO ALL WARD EIGHT GRADUATES. MAY YOUR FUTURE BE FOREVER BRIGHT
ALLEN'S TEMPORARILY DISABLED
Ward 8 Councilmember Sandy Allen is slowly recuperating from a sprain/strain back. About two months ago she was ordered complete bed rest. When she did venture out of the house, she was in a wheel chair.
She was being wheeled around by one of her supporters, Pat Smith, treasurer of the Ward 8 Dems, when she attended her annual Health Fair at Turner Elementary School on June 12.
At her Health Fair she was able to give a speech about the fair, while outside, then give a press conference about the prison, inside.
During her physical therapy, she graduated to a cane. In mid July she began walking without the aid of the cane.
When Allen attended the Ward 8 Dem's regular monthly meeting, Seegars gave her a flyer to attend her self-defense class. Allen, jokingly, waved her cane and asked if they could teach her how to defend herself with the cane
WARD 8'S BOARDS AND COMMISSIONS MEMBERS
There are approximately 2,000 boards and commissions members in the District. Out of the approximately 2,000, less than 1% are from Ward 8.
Sandra "SS" Seegars is a new nominee to the Taxicab Commission, and her confirmation hearing is scheduled for September, when the Council comes back from recess.
Philip Pannell is on the Library Board of Trustees, and has been appointed to the Commission on Asians and Pacific Islanders Affairs. He is also the mayor's Ward 8 coordinator, and a member of the Mayor's Neighborhood Advisory Council (this is separate from the Advisory Neighborhood Commission, which is an elected position).
Vera Abbott has been appointed to the Alcohol Beverage Control Board. She is also on the Mayor's Protocol and Ceremonial Gifts Committee, and the Mayor's Neighborhood Advisory Council.
Al Williams has been appointed to the Local Business Opportunity Commission.
Arrington Dixon has been appointed to the National Capital Planning Commission (NCPC).
Maybe the mayor will make more appointments from Ward 8, soon. However, it may be Ward 8's own fault because they have not been submitting their resumes for consideration.
Cardell Shelton, who has been trying to get on the Apprenticeship Council, has submitted his name for consideration, but has not made it pass step two, which is receiving a letter from the mayor considering him for the position.
COMMUNITY DAY, HOUSING AND HOPE
Washington Highland Public Housing and Ferebee Hope Elementary School had its third annual community day on July 17, from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM.
The Child & Family Services Agency, Far Southeast Family Strengthening Collaborative, and Advisory Neighborhood Commission 8E supported this event.
The event was a fun and educational day for adults and children, with food, balloons, horseback riding, job information, health screening, and a talent show.
BRENDA WRIGHT, COMMUNITY ORGANIZER AND ACTIVIST WASHINGTON HIGHLAND ADDITION, WAS HOSPITALIZED FOR A SHORT PERIOD. SHE IS HOME, MOVING A LITTLE SLOWER THAN USUAL, BUT SHE IS ON THE MEND. GOD BLESS YOU, AND KEEP ON KEEPING ON.
Ward 8 resident, Willet Moore, hosted her first Kiddie Cabaret in June, for the youths in Ward 8.
The kiddies participated in a talent show and fashion show.
Ham and turkey sandwiches, hot dogs, and fried chicken were available at a minimal price.
Just like the adults' cabaret, there were free set ups provided, including, soda, punch, chips, pretzels, and candy.
AT LAST, THE GREEN LINE WILL OPEN IN CONGRESS HEIGHTS
When the concept of a subway system for the District was conceived, Wilhelmina Rolark was the Ward 8 Council member. The initial plan was to have the system in Ward 8 by the year 1982.
Seventeen years from the proposed date of completion the subway is still under construction.
The Green Line had ended on Howard Rd., but once the line is completed, it will extend into Oxon Hilt Md. The stop in the District will be in Ward 8, Congress Heights, in the 1300 block of Alabama Ave., SE.
The completion date for the Green Line is 2001, but the Congress Heights station is due to open in September 1999.
With no real commercial strips in Ward 8 the Green Line in SE will be transportation for 'Ward 8 residents traveling to and fro.
On June 25, 1999 the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) Undergraduate Student Government Association presented their first annual undergraduate student and leadership awards ceremony to award honorees for excellence.
Members from east of the river were honored. From 'Ward 8 the honorees were Eugene Kinlow, Control Board member, and Marion Barry, former mayor.
If you build it, will they come? If Cora Masters Barry can finagle enough money from the city, she has plans to create the Southeast Tennis Learning Center, in the 600 block of Mississippi Ave., SE.
This project will be credited to Barry's organization, Recreation Wish List Committee (RWL), non-profit service organization, established in 1995.
The Learning Center will have four classrooms, computer center, communications and multimedia center, and a multipurpose room for the center and community use.
The Tennis Center will have 10 courts, in which some will be enclosed, for year round use, with a covered pavilion containing restrooms, locker room, and a food service window.
The open space of the 15-acre development will be developed into active recreational area for fitness and walking tracks.
The total price for the center is $5 million, thus far, Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will put up $3 million.
A DHCD staff member said the $3 million will be spent on the project because the mayor said so.
Ken Johnson, ANC for that single member district, approves of the tennis court project, but he has concerns about community; members being on the board, and having a say as to the programs in the Learning Center. He said he did not want the center to be a private elitist club for Barry and her friends.
Johnson is also concerned about the center being affordable to Ward 8 residents.
DO YOU KNOW WHERE YOUR VOTE WILL GO NEXT ELECTION?
ACC, ANACOSTIA COORDINATING COUNCIL OR ANGER AND CASUAL CONFUSION?
Anacostia Coordinating Council meeting on July 27 was hotter than the 90 degrees outside.
KSI Developers, from VA, are proposing to build a group of single family homes and garden apartments in Ward 6, in the 2300 block of Good Hope Rd.
The residents in Ward 6, near the site, do not want the apartments. KSI said without the community's support the Board of Zoning denied their application to build.
The plan is to have mixed income families occupy the site. The 2 and 3 bedroom apartments will rent for $750 to $825 per month, utilities not included. In 15 years, the tenants can purchase the apartment.
The side where the houses can be built, was once a landfill. The expense to prepare the land for houses is excessive. There would not be enough houses to absorb the expense; therefore, they want to build the apartments on the side where they want to build the houses. There would be enough apartment dwellers to absorb the expense.
KSI plans to get government funds to help build because the area is considered blighted There token of appreciation to the community would be to renovate the garden apartments already in the area.
Helyn Boone, Ward 8's mayor, was almost passed over when she tried to ask a question. She said, "If the houses are built on the land fill they will cave in a few years, too."
KSI said, "The apartments will have more tenants, and their rent will cover the expenses for preparing the land. There wouldn't be enough tenants in the houses for their money to cover the expenses."
Boone asked, "We have explained to you what we want, will you be changing your plan? And, will there be a set up for the disabled? I am permanently disabled; will you charge the same rate for me as the other tenants?"
KSI only answered the question about the disability by saying, "No."
Boone said, "KSI put the Black lady up front as bait to get the Black's to approve the proposal but her proposal was denied by us."
PANNELL RETIRES FROM POLITICS, AGAIN
Capital Style, an upscale magazine, ran an article that said Philip Pannell was one of three homosexuals with an essential position with Mayor Williams. Pannell said they gave him false credit for having influence with the mayor.
Pannell has been appointed to two unpaid boards, and is an unpaid Ward 8 coordinator.
Pannell attended a press conference in Ward 6, whereas, the mayor thanked his campaign volunteers, but did not include Pannell. Pannell became so upset that he said he was retiring himself from all political activities, including the Ward 8 Dems.
Pannell said he had not been included in the planning of the mayor's Ward 8 picnic.
MAYOR ANTHONY WILLIAMS FIRST ANNUAL WARD 8 COOKOUT
The DC Office on Aging (DCOA) conducted a community briefing on the proposal of a Ward 8 Wellness Center, at MLK Jr., Ave. and Savannah St. About 30 residents from all over the city attended.
Courtney Williams, DCOA Community Planner, said the Wellness Center would be a state of the art facility. He said the center would be upbeat and lively, not the usual senior citizens nutritional style center.
The seniors agree with Williams' concept. They also want a running track, childcare center, and space for gardening. This would be in addition to the proposed programs, activities, services and departments, i.e., health screening, exercise room, food pantry, nutrition demonstration area, multipurpose room, computer lab, outside trails, pottery, photography, board games, choir, and counseling rooms.
The ground breaking will take place on October 8, 1999 at 11:00 AM, at the intersection of MLK, Ave. and Trenton Pl., SE. The construction will start in early spring 2000, and the opening is set for Valentine's Day, February 2001.
FOR MORE INFORMATION CALL COURTNEY WILLIAMS, 202-727-8370.
LET'S ALL PRAY TOGETHER, FOR NORTON
Joyce Scott, Ward 8 activist, chairperson of Citizens for a Progressive Ward 8, and prison proponent, led a prayer ceremony in front of Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton's home, in July. Norton was not home at the time.
About a dozen Ward 8 residents formed the congregation.
Scott released a press statement that said her group was praying for Divine intervention, to reverse Norton's hard-hearted opposition to locating a correctional facility in the District.
Scott said, "Congresswoman Norton once was a great leader in the fight for justice for African-Americans, with compassion for the poor. But, she has lost her way. She has succumbed to the pressures of the cite class that do not want poor people and prisons anywhere in our city.
"Her heart has turned to stone, but prayer melts even the hardest heart, and we will pray for Mrs. Norton to turn to the path of righteousness."
In the statement, Scott invited Norton to attend a special worship at a church in Ward 8, to hear about experiences from family members of inmates.
The participants believed the prayer would work for Norton. They wanted Norton to stop flip-flopping.
Scott said, "Norton did not have a son to go to prison like I did To ignore the situation was as bad as the dealers on the street."
They left a Bible on Norton's step, at the door. It was opened to Matthew 25: 25-45.
During the prison fight, Norton did not speak out, nor did she appear publicly for either side. However, Scott said Norton met with CCA employees, and had said she was in support of keeping the women prisoners here in the District.
Once the fight was over Norton was on her soapbox, ranting and raving, as if she was the reason for the opponents' victory.
Normally, Norton does not like to become involved with local issues; she likes to leave it up to the locally elected officials. That is the excuse she was using for the prison issue, however, the prison issue was federal and local because the Federal Bureau of Prisons was searching for bidders to build a prison.
NOW COMES THE HONORABLE HAROLD BRAZIL
Councilmember Harold Brazil has taken the advice from his supporters, of campaigning early. In July, he met at Player's Lounge, with some Ward 8 residents.
Several of his supporters from the mayoral election were there. A few showed up to see exactly what he had to offer. And, there were others looking for a candidate to support. One who would do more for Ward 8.
Although Ward 8 voters do not vote in a large way, the few thousands that do vote could push a candidate over the hump. By the year 2000, Brazil should have a foothold in Ward 8, if he continues the way he is going.
Since Brazil began chairing the Judiciary Committee in January 1999, he has been in Ward 8 on a regular basis. However, more residents would see him if they came out to the meetings.
Judiciary includes the police department, Department of Corrections, Board of Parole, and all related agencies dealing with justice.
Residents east of the river flood the Courts every year, therefore, it is only fining that Brazil spends time in Ward 8. If other councilmernbers, who chair committees that deal with agencies that offer preventive measures, did more, Brazil would not have as much to do.
Seegars and Joyce Scott held a press conference in January, to address the rapes on Morris Rd., and the negligent way the police handled it. Brazil was at the press conference and offered his assistant in getting better police performance in 7D. As the at-large Council member, he wrote letters to the chief expressing his concerns.
Brazil was against a prison in Ward 8, but what he did want was a District government run prison in the city, not a private or federal facility.
Providing for your own prisoners, is a direct move towards statehood.
Seegars and Scott sponsored a rape alert program at New United Baptist Church, on Hunter Pl., SE. The program consisted of police officers from several departments that dealt with rape, and ministers from the community churches. Brazil was out of town, but he sent a representative.
Brazil invited Ward 8 residents to "hangout with Harold" at a buffet at Players Lounge.
The biggest concern directed to him was how the police handled the shooting of the grandmother in Ward 7, and as the Judiciary Committee Chairperson, and an at-large councilmember, Ward 8 residents wanted him to do more.
Brazil wrote to Comdr. Rodney Monroe, commander of 6D, asking for a written account of how the crime scene and crime evidence was handled, so he could fully and accurately access the situation.
He also wrote to Chief Charles Ramsey, questioning the possibility of the crime scene being compromised. He wanted Ramsey to explain to him exactly what actions the police department would take to see that it would not happen again.
If no law is in place to assure no future mess-ups, Brazil and Ramsey will have to create one.
Brazil did a walk through East Capitol Dwelling, to hear the concerns of the residents, first hand Following the walk through he joined Mayor Williams's forum, sponsored by WPGC radio station.
On June 24, Brazil went to Sussex II Prison, after receiving complaints from family members of inmates there.
He found that there are few inmates enrolled in rehabilitative programs. He compared Sussex to the Youngstown facility and found that Youngstown measured higher than Sussex.
Brazil urged the warden there to expand and improve programs. His recommendation for inmates' lockdown, and medical attention were to be more liberal and guaranteed medical attention, even if they can not afford the $5.00 co-payment.
He said he would work with the on-site monitor, the trustee in VA, and the Director of Corrections in the District, to monitor the treatment of the District's inmates.
Brazil introduced emergency legislation, Sex Offender Registry, that passed unanimously, whereas, a sex offender in the District has to register with the local police department.
Brazil fought to put money in the budget to hire an additional 200 officers, and to move sworn officers from behind the desk.
He successfully advocated for $1.2 million in federal funding for the Citizen Complaint Review Board.
He filed legislation to increase victims' rights, and to protect senior citizens from telemarketing fraud, abuse and neglect. Brazil has scheduled a public hearing in September 1999 to review legislative solutions to the problem of halfway house escapes.
Joyce Scott read an article in the Post, on July 29, "DC Officials Press Prison Firm on Escape," whereas, two prisoners escaped while being transported The account given in the paper seemed very suspicious. Brazil realizing the same, said, "I want an investigation to find out if someone was compromised. Someone messed up. We need to get to the bottom of this."
Scott said Brazil did the correct thing, to ask for an investigation. She said, "At least someone can see that something went wrong and is doing something about it."
Brazil has been invited to Seegars' self-defense class on August 7, to explain his Sex Offender Registry Act of 1999.
GOOD LUCK IN THE UPCOMING ELECTION
AWARDS FOR ALLEN AND AMBROSE
Consortium for Child Welfare, Consortium for Youth Services, DC Action for Children, and Healthy Families/Thriving and Communities Collaboratives honored Council members Sandy Allen, (W-8), and Sharon Ambrose, (W-6), for putting money in the budget to support the collaboratives, that will help poor families and children.
The awards ceremony was at Covenant House Washington, on MLK, Jr., Ave., SE.
Max Brown, from the mayor's office, presented Allen with a proclamation. Lamont Mitchell, also from the mayor's office, presented Ambrose with a proclamation.
Mitchell said July the 30th should be proclaimed Sandy Ambrose and Sharon Allen day.
Allen publicly admitted she was in shock because of the proclamation. She said, "Tell the Mayor I had tears in my eyes from the shock that he gave the proclamation certificate."
Allen said she believes in strengthening the collaboratives because they are making it better for the nest generation.
She reflected upon her own grandchildren, who calls her G-Ma, and could visualize them in need of services, and how it would be bad if there was no one there to help them, therefore, she is reaching out and doing all she can for the grandchildren who are less fortunate than her own.
She said that she and Paul Offner, Director of Medicaid, are working together, after they had a big disagreement about the money for the Medicaid budget.
Ambrose said the collaboratives are grassroots programs that need to be preserved She said, "The collaboratives are doing a great job, so we should not have to invent the wheel when we are already on a roll."
Ambrose said Allen, who chairs Human Services, did all the hard work to find out where the money should go. When she told her where it should go she just said, "OK"
Fox 5 News ran a story on July 30 about a family living in a mouse infested house in the 100 block of 56 St., East Capitol Dwelling.
David I. Gilmore, Court appointed receiver for public housing, admitted to failing to provide adequate pest control services. However, the tenant has a responsibility as well.
The mice ran through the house night and day. They were in the kitchen, bedrooms, beds, closet, cabinets, and anywhere there was space. They had a nest in the closet. The boy said a mouse bit him on the finger.
The camera showed all of this, plus, a mouse actually running across the feet of the children, while they stood in the kitchen.
In showing the house, it also showed the conditions of the house that helped perpetuate the mice's existence.
The box spring had no frame, it was on the floor with a hole in it perfect for mice to be very comfortable.
There was a cottony looking material in the closet perfect for mice nests.
Clothes and junk were strewn all over the floors: perfect obstacle course to help the mice make their escapes.
Gilmore needs to bring in someone from Good Housekeeping or Better Homes and Gardens to give workshops on how to take care of where you live.
FIVE YEARS DOWN THE ROAD
Can the Department of Public Works (DPW) be any slower? In 1994, DPW resurfaced many of the side streets in the Congress Heights area. Savannah and 12th streets were one location.
Soon after the streets were resurfaced, water would collect on the northwest comer of 12th and Savannah streets, and stand for weeks.
The water would become stagnated, give off a foul odor, and oftentimes bred mosquitoes in the summer. In the winter it would freeze, causing a dangerous driving condition.
Seegars began calling DPW in 1994. After 5 years and dozens of calls, money has finally been put in the budget to redo the intersection.
Within the five years of calling DPW, they sent out, what seemed to be every employee they had, to look at the area.
When they say, be persistent and patent when dealing with the government, perhaps traps they meant weeks not years.
SANDRA "SS" SEEGARS IS HAVING HER THIRD, SELF-DEFENSE WORKSHOP, FOR
POLICE . . . Commander Winston Robinson has been exceeding his usual performance, since January 1999, when Sandra Seegars end Joyce Scott held a press conference to ask for him to remove himself as commander of 7D.
This request came shortly after the police department failed to notify the community about the three rapes that occurred within 6 weeks, from Thanksgiving to New Year's Day, in the same area.
The latter week in June, Robinson said they had made one arrest, in this Holiday Rape case.
Robinson is also conducting a ten-week Citizen Police Academy, taught by Sgt. M. Cook. The Second Class started on June 22.
Robinson and Seegars are working on getting high school students enrolled in the academy, for class credit.
PRISON . . . The zoning board voted unanimously not to zone Oxon Hill to accommodate a prison, thereby, it will not be built. CCA may be appealing the decision. Shortly after the unanimous decision, Congressman Jim Moran, of VA, had a notion to veto the decision, but for some reason, that is unbeknownst to the public, he pulled back from that notion.
FIRES . . . The arsonist(s) who set the fires on MLK, Jr., Ave. were never caught. No more fires have been set in the business district on the avenue.
GROCERY STORE . . . The closed Safeway on MLK, Jr., Ave. will become a charter school, run by Rehoboth Baptist Church. The building is being renovated, with plans to be completed and opened in September 1999.
CAMP SIMMS . . . As of this issue there has been no advancement on a mall at Camp Simms. Dominion Developers has not been able to sign on an anchor store. Lamont Mitchell, from the Mayor's Office on Economic Development for East of the River, said he would try to offer more incentives.
TAXICAB METERS . . . The interim chairperson of the DC Taxicab Commission did not provide pertinent information at the City Council hearing, therefore, the meter proposal has been shelved, at least for now. The chairperson did not know how the meters would be set for charging, who would install them, the installment cost, the difference in the zone fare compared to the metered fare, etc.
HELP COMING SOON
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