The Voters Will Speak
There are just three more issues of themail before the primary
election, and three more chances to persuade the most involved,
influential people in Washington to vote for your candidate and against
the other guy's. There are races for offices we haven't even mentioned,
and lots left to say. And then, when the dust has settled, we'll get
back to real life.
In the first national referendum on the Tony Williams' recovery, the
voters have spoken. Despite the smoke about the strength of the
Washington bid, when the votes were counted, Tony came up short. This is
the second time — remember the Tyson fiasco — that Williams and the
downtown crowd have bent the rules and sold their constituents short in
trying to land a sporting event, and the second time that Tony was left
standing on the sidelines. The only sporting event he's been able to
land was the Grand Prix, and to get that, for which there was no
competition, the taxpayers of the city had to pony up tons of money,
ignore its own environmental laws, and turn one of its venerable
neighborhoods into an aural Afghanistan. (By the way, do we know how
much money the race brought to town?)
Tony wasn't the only one looking foolish. The Washington Post
looked like the small town paper that it is. Up until Tuesday afternoon,
the Post was reporting the Washington bid as a done deal,
dismissing New York as a candidate because — shock!, New York was
arrogant. (This is news?) For those who cannot understand how Washington
could have been overlooked, you have to turn to Ken Ringle in
Wednesday's Style section to find a story that provides a healthy dose
of reality. I suppose we will have to wait until Thursday for the Post
editorial expressing the shock and outrage of the downtown crowd at this
latest slight to their Washington Renaissance. At the moment, the only
folks who seem to be relieved by the outcome of this fiasco are the
folks in Kingman Park who have already experienced the benefits of
Tony's sports fetish.
The gamble of closing DC General to clear the way for the Olympics
looks even worse — we won't get any toney sports complexes, just more
space for developers and suburban institutions like St. Coletta. Though
it is too much to hope for, let's hope that the voters who vote in
September are as wise as the US Olympic Committee.
Olympic Ring Around the Collar
Mark Eckenwiler, eck (at) ingot (dot) org
Thank God the USOC passed us over. DC doesn't need the Olympics (or
— Bobby Goldwater, take note — Mike Tyson or the Grand Prix) to make
it attractive to visitors. We've got that in abundance already in our
museums, memorials, government institutions and buildings, and the Mall,
so there's no need to gild the lily. Instead of grand schemes — the
government equivalent of “get rich quick!” — now maybe DC
officialdom can focus on restoring the treasure we already have. Instead
of spending untold sums on a white-elephant Olympic MegaDrome, let's see
some real progress (instead of empty talk) on seizing and restoring
historic buildings now vacant and crumbling. (Hint: DCRA has fallen and
can't get up.) Instead of trying to shoot the moon for an imagined
Olympic tourism bonanza, let's spend money on programs like the Main
Street grants for local commercial corridor redevelopment. (Note to Tony
Williams and Stan Jackson: Forget the CDCs, especially H St. CDC. What
we need is real redevelopment with community involvement in the
planning, not empty rhetoric or sweetheart deals on cinderblock
Sure, it's a lot less politically sexy to solve knotty problems in
public administration than to charge off in pursuit of the Olympics,
Mike Tyson, etc., ad nauseam. (Fewer headlines for you, too.) But that's
why citizens elected you four years ago, Mr. Mayor: to bring DC
government back to serving its residents. And guess what? The more you
do to fix dysfunction in DC government, and the more you do to tangibly
improve the still-far-from-perfect basics like schools, policing, and
housing, the more people will want to live, work, or spend their tourism
dollars in the District — and in the long run, it's the way to earn a
lasting reputation for turning the city around. Isn't that the legacy
you most want?
Dismay, No — Jubilation, Yes
Ed T. Barron, edtb@aoldotcom
The Mayor may be dismayed at the deselection of Washington as a
candidate US city for the 2012 Olympics, but the taxpayers and residents
of D.C. should be dancing in the streets. The District has likely saved
about $400 million that would never have been recovered and left with
some white elephant facilities. The District taxpayers would be paying
for that fiasco for the rest of their lives.
It is timely now for the Mayor and his cronies to focus on making
real, pragmatic things happen. Let's get rid of those phony,
unachievable, goals like statehood and the Olympics, and focus on making
this city work right. The best and most productive, over the long term,
place to start is in the District's schools. Make the schools work right
and most of the problems affecting this city will go away. Graduate all
the city's kids with real grades, taking real courses, and crime in the
streets will disappear. Make the kids smart and joblessness in the ranks
of the minorities will go away. The real key to a better city lies in
our schools. If we are going to spend $400 million of taxpayer's money,
then let's spend it on something other than a mega Grand Prix, the 2012
Summer Olympics. Let the City "fathers" come up with some
realistic goals for this city and then begin to implement them.
Called the Mayor's call center about two problems. 1) In the same
block as a soon-to-be-reopened public school, a tree box has chest-high
weeds. The Call Center said I had no complaint because “DPW doesn't do
weeds, it's the responsibility of the adjacent building owner.” What
the Call Center doesn't understand is that it is the responsibility of
DPW to notify the owner to clean up the weeds or get a ticket. So no
help and score another one for the Mayor's con-the-residents Call
2) Then the Call Center transferred my call to another office. They
took the complaint that there has been a car parked on a city street for
two months with no plates, multiple flat tires, and a very difficult to
miss brightly colored TOW sticker on the window. I was promised,
“Tomorrow someone will inspect the auto and begin the process.”
Apparently a tow sticker for two months doesn't have anything to do with
the towing process in DC.
I now go back to mourning the city's failure to get the Olympic bid.
The hospitality industry and developers will lose billions in profits.
Us poor residents will lose out on paying billions in Olympic debt for
generations to come. What a tragic loss — for some.
Rev. Willie Wilson
Ron Eberhardt, email@example.com
Given the apparent interest and support of Prince George's County
residents in the mayoral candidacy of the Reverend Willie Wilson, and
given that these persons are highly likely members of the church that he
pastors, I think we ought to ask Rev. Wilson for his commitment now,
prior to the Democratic Primary next month, that he will resign and
disassociate himself financially and from any leadership role in the
church he leads. I have no idea what the DC law is regarding a Mayor's
having “outside interests,” but we ought to get clarification from
the candidate now on giving up what I am sure is quite a lucrative
financial relationship with his church. DC requires a full-time mayor.
What's your answer, Rev. Wilson?
I too am voting for Wilson. There are many issues I have against
Williams including his asking for help from the public finding a home.
If he, with all his resources, cannot figure out how to buy a home, then
it just follows that he cannot run his campaign for mayor or run the
nation's capitol of the world. I went to a better school than Harvard. I
went to Howard, therefore I'm no fool, Mr. Williams.
Reality Check, Please
John Whiteside, johnwhiteside at earthlink dot net
Reading the endorsement of Willie Wilson's campaign by Adam Chase of
the Petworth Civic Association in the last issue of themail, I found
myself longing for some substantive reason to vote for someone other
than Tony Williams. I'm frustrated with the Mayor and I am open to
seeing someone new in his place, but folks, we are looking for someone
to make a complicated city government function properly. The criticisms
of Williams — he is a “master of disguises,” he “doesn't
understand” the city, and so on. The reasons to vote for Wilson? He'll
bring us together.
Not good enough. I want to hear the specifics. Why is the new
affordable housing that's sprung up all over the city inadequate, and
how would Wilson do better? Wilson wants to reopen DC General. Fine, but
how will we pay for it and how will it improve health care over the
managed care plan that Williams is implementing? How will we make sure
that downtown development creates economic opportunities for DC
residents? Who can we expect to see running city departments who will be
better than Williams' choices? What systemic changes will Wilson make to
the school department?
Yes, that less tangible quality of leadership is important. But it's
these details that make or break a mayor and the city. Come on,
candidates, tell us what you plan to do. If you won't, how can you
expect our votes?
Blessed Are the Children, But Who Cares?
Lyla Winter, firstname.lastname@example.org
I certainly agree that paved potholes, garbage pickup, working
streetlights, DMV improvement, and a myriad of other serious problems
have been addressed by Mayor Williams. However, the Mayor, Carolyn
Graham (Deputy DC Mayor for Children) and Olivia Golden (Director of DC
Child and Family Services Agency) have been unforgivably derelict in
their concern for, and the protection of, the children living in DC —
especially those underage children living in poorly run group homes,
supposedly in the “care” of the DC government.
As The Washington Post stated, “. . . children under the
city's care continue to be treated as sexual objects.” It also gave
the Mayor's phone number for concerned taxpayers (we vote — children
don't) to make known their views about our child-protection mess. The
least we can do, for these abused little ones, is to call 727-6377.
I Am Proud of My Young Supporters
Paul Strauss, email@example.com
I am reluctant to dignify the outrageous slander by Lars Hydle. His
absurd allegations really do not merit a response. However, I did want
to thank him personally for calling attention to an aspect of my
campaign that I am frankly very proud of. I think it's terrific that so
many young people have volunteered to help on my campaign. These
energetic volunteers, working with others, secured over 5,000 legal,
proper and legitimate signatures, far many more than the needed 2,000
signatures to qualify me for the ballot. The fact that some of these
20-year-olds registered to vote for the first time is also something I
am proud of. Too many of our young people don't vote, and we all need to
do more to get young people involved in politics. I was only twenty-one
when I was elected to my first neighborhood office, as Chairperson of
Neighborhood Planning Council #3. I won my first ANC Commission office
the following year, and became Chair of my ANC the next year at age 23.
As far as I know, I remain the youngest person ever to have had that
honor. I served ten years in that capacity, and although I moved on to
another unpaid elected office, I have remained committed to encouraging
young people to get involved in public service ever since. I very am
proud of how many have joined us this year.
Unlike my unpaid service as an ANC Commissioner, the US Senator
position does not even come with a budget for staff or other expenses.
Nevertheless, the fact that I have been able to also encourage young
people to volunteer their time in support of my legislative efforts is
something that I am equally proud of. None of these volunteers (intern
is his word, not mine) receives any money from the government. The fact
that some of them work on their own time to advance DC's interests on
the Hill does not subject them to the Hatch Act or make them employees
of the government. My volunteers are not government employees at all.
Even if they were, the truth is that even the paid staff of the sitting
US Senators, not to mention the Mayor or DC Councilmembers, are
permitted to campaign for their boss (or anyone else for that matter),
so long as it's not on the taxpayers dime. My volunteers are never on
the taxpayers dime. Their time is their own, and what they donate to our
city should be appreciated by all of us who live here. However, it's not
even factually accurate to state that it was from this volunteer pool
that most of my perfectly legal petition circulators gathered the
thousands of my totally legal signatures of registered voters. Many of
the signatures were gathered by young volunteers who worked exclusively
for my campaign.
Either way, I make no secret of the fact that many of the valid
registered DC voters who volunteered their time to circulate my
petitions were young people getting involved in the process for the
first time. Even though many of my petitions were circulated by older
residents, I'm proud of all of my campaign staff who worked hard,
followed the rules, and got me plenty more signatures that were needed.
Working together with this great team, I expect they'll get me a second
term as well.
In the last edition of themail, I mentioned that incumbent shadow
Senator Paul Strauss had used interns at his office to circulate
petitions for his reelection candidacy, and that without them he would
not have collected the minimum 2,000 signatures to get on the ballot. I
now understand that incumbent Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and
incumbent shadow US Representative Ray Brown did not use interns from
their offices in their reelection bids.
When I looked at Strauss's petitions at the Board of Elections and
Ethics, I did see that he himself circulated 17 petitions, which could
have contained up to 340 signatures, ranking him eighth behind the seven
interns in numbers of petitions circulated. In contrast, his challenger
Pete Ross gathered some 2700 signatures himself, well over the minimum
required, out of the 3450 signatures he submitted. This got him out all
over the city, in personal contact with DC voters everywhere.
Erroneous Accusations About Campaign Poster
Pete Ross, firstname.lastname@example.org
I want to thank Kate Burke for bringing to my attention that
allegedly my campaign has to many signs at one location in the District.
I personally drove to the location she mentioned and found no campaign
poster violations. Ms. Burke, please feel free to contact me directly
with any further information on how I can find this supposed violation.
I want to point out that it is not my campaign that has been cited
with infractions by the office of the Clean City Coordinator. It is the
Paul Strauss campaign! In fact, if you were watching the evening news on
August 21, you would have seen Paul Strauss trying to defend his
violations. And this is the candidate you are supporting? It seems to me
that the only "loyal commitment" that Strauss has made to this
city is that of breaking the law.
Doesn’t Work Like That
Chris Kelly, Hanover Place, NW, DCReardon@aol.com
About three months ago the owners or tenants of a house in the unit
block of Q Street, NE, cleaned out their basement/garage and dumped a
six-foot-tall pile of trash in the alley that almost blocks the alley
access. As a property owner in the block, I have called 727-1000 at
least ten times, as have others in the Eckington Improvement
Association. Yesterday I saw a DPW truck pull up. The driver, in a DC
government uniform, got out and took a picture of the pile of trash,
which, by the way, is growing as others add to it. I asked the man when
the city will pick up the trash. He said, “We don't do that; we will
issue the owner a citation.” I asked him who will pick up the trash.
He said DPW will only issue a citation, not remove the trash. I asked
why DPW doesn't remove the trash and then bill the owner. He said it
“doesn't work like that.”
In my humble opinion, as a lifelong DC resident and small business
owner, the DC government doesn't work, period. A picture of the trash
pile and a citation to the owner is not an example of adequate city
It’s a Real Zoo Out There
Ed T. Barron, edtb@aoldotcom
I'm not talking about the traffic on I-95, I'm talking about all the
motorized traffic on the streets of the National Zoo, On Tuesday of this
week, with two little grandkids in tow, we found the Zoo relatively
empty of visitors. One could not for a moment let go of the hands of the
three- and five-year-olds without fear of them being run over by one or
more of the pickup trucks and other motorized vehicles going down every
major street inside the zoo. We saw, and had to get out of the way of,
at least twenty-five different motorized vehicles in less than two
hours. Each vehicle had two folks, one driving and one riding.
Now the Zoo is not a very large place. None of these vehicles was
carrying any cargo in the bed, just the two riders. Do they really need
to move from place to place in large pickup trucks, polluting the air
and consuming gasoline? Whatever happened to Sahnk's mare? Seems to me
that they could do a better job of planning and scheduling and get rid
of lots of those motorized vehicles. And, as for that 200 HP blower that
made more noise than a Boeing 737, whatever happened to brooms and
rolling baskets for litter and leaves?
Lawrence Pierce, Austin, Texas, PLegalInk@aol.com
As a reader of your excellent newsletter on the affairs of Washington
D.C., I would like to add my two cents. First, Washington, D.C., has a
chance to show the world and this nation that Black Americans are
effective leaders and are capable of running large cities, which could
lead to other offices. With a majority of the population, black
Americans (70 percent or more) have the potential of setting trends
other cities could follow from, however, the only trend this fair city
has shown is how blacks can't get along with each other. Crime rate is
high, primarily in black areas, homicides are up, primarily in black
areas, southeast and northeast. And the one thing that I never hear from
any of the so-called leaders is for the crime and violence to stop. We
are very quick to blame everyone else for our problems and are not
accepting the responsibilities for our faults. We spend more resources
on protecting the negatives of our culture, then we spend on caring for
the positive side. In closing, the black on black killings is a very
large number, nearly 95 percents of black Americans killed were killed
by blacks, which one would believe this is inherited from the African
nation who practice the intertribal genocide of massing killings. We as
a nation of blacks must learn to accept the responsibilities of living
in this country of ours and stop blaming others for the mistakes we
make. We have had some 140 years of freedom, and yet we still enslave
ourselves with negative things. If, we can't get along with each other ,
how can we get along with other races?
The mayor's race is a perfect example of this. DC needs to pull
together in this aspect. Your articles are always great and very
informative, this is the true meaning of the First Amendment: “free
My motor vehicle stories are: 1) I waited from 4:50 a.m. until 8 a.m.
to reach the head of the line on August 21, validating Pete Ross's
statement (themail, Aug. 21 edition, “A Bureaucracy Incapable of
Improvement at the DMV”) that the waits are at least three hours at
the Half Street SW Inspection Station. (I'd been by at later times on
previous days, only to leave in despair because the line snaked around
so many, many blocks.) 2) I recently got a parking ticket from a meter
near GWU that took my last two quarters, but gave me only fifteen
minutes for BOTH in a thirty-minutes-per-quarter zone. In other words,
it gave fifteen minutes, and, with another quarter, nothing more. There
were no other meters, I had to get a prescription before a pharmacy
closed, so I ran — but not fast enough.
I contested the ticket and received this answer in the mail: “We
requested a meter analysis for the ticket described. The meter was
checked and found to be properly operating prior to and after the
citation was issued. 1) The internal mechanism was removed from the
meter, 2) The status report was printed for the meter, 3) The status
report was reviewed for the date and time of your violation, 4) A
determination was made on the validity of the violation based on this
report.” If I want to contest this ticket further I must pay a fee of
$10 in order to do so.
So I see my DMV renewal in the mail and the shakes start. I have
nightmares about the Web site breaking down, which it's done twice when
I've been the best citizen I can be and followed the
"directions" to the letter. Then I think about mailing it in
and things start going bump in the night. Close to a seizure, I open the
And lo! Upon reading it, I discover I can renew at any First Union
branch (now Wachovia, but Gary won't give me the space to tell that
one.) That just happens to be my bank, and I just happen to going to a
branch that afternoon. Wisely thinking that it can't be this easy, I
nevertheless give the teller my form and my $65 check and fuhgeddaboudid.
A week later, my renewal comes in the mail. It's got everything. I did
nothing. Be still, my heart! This doesn't change my negative opinion of
Hizzoner, but it's a pleasure doing business with him when the moon is
in the seventh house and Jupiter is aligned with Mars.
On June 28th of this year I finally made my way over to the
Inspection Station but, prior to, I stopped off for supplies — coffee,
cookies and magazines. Thoroughly dreading the ordeal, I drove slowly
over to Half Street expecting the usual. After making the right turn at
the light, I scanned the street looking, of course, for the lines. I
didn't see any. So, I thought, maybe it's a bit farther down, but, no,
it was right where it's always been. So, I turned the corner, drove up
to the entrance of the station, and hesitantly, with some nervousness,
thinking “this isn't right, what's going on?” nosed my way into the
driveway. I looked ahead to the “drive to” sign and saw a man in a
blue uniform waving his arm at me. At first I thought he was waving me
away and I thought, “oh, sh*t, all for nothing,” but, no, he was
waving me in and he was smiling and I thought, “it's a trap.” But
desperation makes us do strange things, sometimes, so I continued on. He
must have recognized my expression since he said, “It's OK, it's OK,
go to lane 6,” so I did. At the bay door another smile and “May I
see your license, please?” “PLEASE!” I thought, “oh no, this
can't be happening.” Then it was “Left signal, right signal, step
out of your car,” etc. I walked to the other end and was waiting
outside and started chatting with the owner of a big SUV that was just
finishing its inspection — it failed. To him I said “too bad,”
but, I have to admit, schadenfreude took over. Two unread magazines and
a half cup of coffee later, I passed inspection with no problem. In at
2:57 p.m., out at 3:19 p.m. It gets more surreal every day.
Hmmm. I thought the mill and barn in Rock Creek Park at Beach
Drive/Park Road/Tilden Street were named for Mr. Pierce (i.e., Pierce
Mill). But this weekend I noticed that the mill has a large, brown
National Park Service sign in front identifying it as “Pierce Mill”
but a similar sign in front of the barn identifies it as “Peirce
Mill.” Does anyone know the real story?
It is a safe bet that no other poverty-ridden inner city in the US
has undertaken to build more than 10,000 low- and moderate-income houses
in its most blighted areas within the last few years. In addition, DC
has boarded up thousands of squalid dwellings, and torn down hundreds,
if not thousands, of others. Anywhere else, such actions would be highly
commended as a major managerial accomplishment melding government
grants, private sector partnerships and local politics. But DC's mayor
is branded by various activists as an uncaring scoundrel for his
efforts. There seem to be four reasons (all specious) why the mayor
should cease and desist:
1) By raising the living standards for many, he is being victimized
by the clergy and other demagogues for making it more difficult for
others to continue to live in squalor. Those who de-gentrify a
neighborhood should have the right to prevent its re-gentrification,
right? 2) He is being accused of taking credit for some housing actually
initiated while the DC Housing Authority was under a court-imposed
receivership — because his predecessors had so badly neglected the
living conditions of the poor. Obviously not fair to his predecessors,
agreed? 3) One reason there is so little affordable housing around the
US is that many occupants of low-income and subsidized housing choose
not to move to better quarters when their finances permit it, thus
preventing the worse off from taking their place. Is that un-American,
or what? 4) Low to moderate income households cost the city more than
they provide in revenues anyway. For instance, 10 households earning
$45,000 per year on average, living in homes assessed at $180,000 on
average will provide no net revenues to the city (after paying for city
services) if there are two school-age kids among them; two are below the
poverty line, one of them is headed by a single female, and together,
they live on more than half an acre. So why try?
Red-Light Cameras: A Modest, Jaundiced
Mark Eckenwiler, eck -at- ingot -dot- org
In the last issue of themail, James Treworgy suggested that longer
yellow lights, and not red-light cameras, are the way to reduce
occurrences of dangerous red-light running. The only flaw in his
proposal, as I see it, is that it does not go far enough. The more
effective approach, I submit, would be to eliminate red lights entirely
and install permanent yellow signals at all intersection in every
direction, producing an instant 100% reduction in red-light violations.
Of course, the usual motley assortments of naysayers will bleatingly
complain, alleging that I have misunderstood the problem. Stuff and
nonsense (primarily nonsense)! The National Motorists Association
conducted an extensive analysis of one whole intersection in suburban
northern Virginia that supports yellow-light timing increases.
(Small-minded quibblers may argue that the NMA “study” provides no
raw data, and that Rt. 50 in Fairfax is not comparable to the District's
typical lower-speed, urban-density streetscape — the worst sort of
Pecksniffery, I say.) The NMA's pristine record on promoting highway
safety — opposing DUI penalties for a BAC of .08, and arguing that
“more severe penalties should be phased in at a BAC of .15” and
“[l]ower penalties should be adopted for less severe DWI violations
[sic]” (see http://www.motorists.org/issues/dwi/nma_dwi_position.html)
— is good enough for me.
Re Bryce Suderow's request for comments on the police story [in the Washington
City Paper]: gratuitous assertions based on random samples.
Gary's footnote to a posting about the fine levied on the mayor's
campaign, that “when it is paid, will be paid to the DC Treasurer and
go into the city's general fund,” reminded me that I have been puzzled
about that little-understood aspect and wonder why it has to be so and
whether it might be possible for the city council to enact emergency
legislation to direct those funds otherwise.
Specifically, my concern is that the money will just get swept up
with all the other miscellaneous off-budget slush funds and effectively
be squandered in typical DC fashion. Meanwhile, the Board of Elections
will be expending far more to conduct this election than otherwise would
have been required. I seriously doubt that its budget really includes
funds to pay all the extra people who will be required to spend up to a
week counting all the unplanned write-in ballots that will be the result
of the mayor's campaign organization failures. Nor do I suppose the
budget includes funds to cover what I expect will be the costs of
dealing with multiple challenges, especially since the Board has
apparently determined that there will be a wide variety of names
suitable to use to record one's mayoral write-in preference.
The fine assessed against the mayor's campaign ought to be earmarked
to cover those expenses, otherwise it will be us taxpayers who will end
up paying the cost for something not our doing.
Short Term Pain and Long Term Gain
Paul Dionne, email@example.com
To those who question what the city has to gain by exposing
fraudulent petitions, I have some answers. Mind you, I come from the
opposite side of the spectrum than Brizill and would not consider myself
a fan of hers. However, I do commend her work and the work of others
such as the DC Republican Party challenging the petitions. First, if
such fraud went unpunished then what would the city gain by allowing the
laws to be flouted? Surely, future candidates would engage in such
behavior. Do we really want any candidate who cannot gather the
necessary amount of signatures to gain access to the ballot? Is it fair
to those candidates who work hard and follow the letter of the law to be
upstaged by million dollar plus candidates who ignore the law (not only
in petitions but also in fundraising)?
I would submit that corruption is corruption and who benefits from it
should not be the focus. A candidate or campaign worker who engages in
corruption and wins will become an office holder or appointee who
engages in corruption. Furthermore, those who recognize that the corrupt
get ahead will also engage in corruption in order to win.
Now some might argue that Mayor Williams was not to blame for this.
However, these people worked in his name and for his benefit. If we were
to allow him access to the ballot when his campaign did not earn it then
future candidates would simply leave it to underlings and play stupid if
someone got caught. I don't think that is the type of governance we
want. In this case, DC is undergoing some very acute short term pain,
but in the long term, we will all be better off for it. By saying that
we don't tolerate this type of behavior we are sending a strong message
to those who would even consider using illegal acts to win their races.
Williams Broke the Law
Vikki Kratz, firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Heymann and Dawn Dickerson ask, “What was the point in
exposing the election violations?” The point is that the mayor's
campaign broke the law. That's the point. The man charged with running
our city can't even be bothered to follow the most basic election law
and then, when he gets caught, he whines like an Enron CEO. It sucks
that there are no other viable candidates for mayor, but that's no
reason not to hold the mayor to the legal standard. If we don't, what
message are we sending? Make the DMV lines shorter and it doesn't matter
if you flout the law? Our responsibility as citizens is to hold our
elected officials accountable. Only by doing that can we ever hope to
get a decent candidate that respects us, our city, and our laws.
Usually I just lurk, but Ms. Dickerson's posting causes me to reply:
“What's the point?” How can you ask this question? Let me be clear:
I like the mayor, I think DC is clearly better off than four years ago
and I intend to vote for him. That said, I think what Dorothy Brizill
did is great! Why should we stand for wholesale fraud because we think
the person who let it happen on his watch is “decent?” It's the
fraud that makes a mockery of DC, not the uncovering of it. How would we
look if this was discovered after the election? Simply because a person
is well intentioned doesn't give them a pass on committing potentially
criminal offenses. Good people can do stupid, and even criminal, things
and why should we sit by and says it's OK? The point is we have rules
and laws and regulations for a reason. The mayor needs to be a more
involved manager and hopefully this will serve as an appropriate wake up
call. He'll be reelected but it's not going to be a coronation.
“No man in this country is so high that he is above the law. No
officer of the law may set that law at defiance with impunity. All the
officers of the government, from the highest to the lowest, are
creatures of the law and are bound to obey it. It is the only supreme
power in our system of government, and every man who by accepting office
participates in its functions is only the more strongly bound to submit
to that supremacy, and to observe the limitations which it imposes upon
the exercise of the authority which it gives.” United States v.
Lee, 106 US 196, 220 (1882)
Nearly 120 DC Neighborhoods
Mark David Richards, email@example.com
[In response to Marguerite Boudreau] I know of no source of detailed
demographic information for each neighborhood. Most areas began as
developments and are not official neighborhoods with boundaries. They
are the names people use to describe where they live, so they are
somewhat fluid and perceptual. People sometimes argue about the names
and where one area begins and another ends. There is a map showing the
general location of neighborhoods in the Washingtoniana Room of the main
(Martin Luther King, Jr.) public library http://dclibrary.org/washingtoniana/index.html.
The mayor's web site has a listing of neighborhoods which can be sorted
by the ward it is located in: http://www.washingtondc.gov/neigh_ciz/neigh_alpha.htm.
(There is also a map of DC's 37 Advisory Neighborhood Commissions(ANCs),
showing single member districts and contact information, http://anc.washingtondc.gov/main.htm.
The Office of Planning lists DC wards and census tracks: http://www.planning.dc.gov/maps/index_map.shtm,
The Newcomer's Handbook (3rd edition by Mike Livingston), The
Guide to Black Washington -- Places and Events of Historical and
Cultural Significance, and The Washington Historical Atlas: Who
Did What When and Where in the Nation's Capital all have information
on quite a few neighborhoods. They are organized differently for
different purposes. H-Net Humanities & Social Sciences OnLine has an
extensive listing of web sites associated with neighborhoods and
Advisory ANCs: http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~dclist/, http://www2.h-net.msu.edu/~dclist/neighborhoods.html.
The Historical Society of Washington, DC, also lists some neighborhoods:
And so does the DC Heritage Tourism Coalition, http://www.dcheritage.org/homepage2549/index.htm.
CLASSIFIEDS — RECOMMENDATIONS
Recommendations for Fire Place Builder?
Mary Harold, firstname.lastname@example.org
Our old gas fire place needs to be changed. We need a reputable
person to do the job.
themail@dcwatch is an E-mail discussion forum that is published every
Wednesday and Sunday. To subscribe, to change E-mail addresses, or to
switch between HTML and plain text versions of themail, use the
subscription form at http://www.dcwatch.com/themail/subscribe.htm.
To unsubscribe, send an E-mail message to email@example.com
with “unsubscribe” in the subject line. Archives of past messages
are available at http://www.dcwatch.com/themail.
All postings should also be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org,
and should be about life, government, or politics in the District of
Columbia in one way or another. All postings must be signed in order to
be printed, and messages should be reasonably short — one or two brief
paragraphs would be ideal — so that as many messages as possible can
be put into each mailing.