Don't depend on me for election predictions; my crystal ball varies
from cloudy to completely opaque. Here I said that it was a snoozer of
an election, with low energy from the candidates and little enthusiasm
from the voters. Because of that, I thought, there would be no
surprises. Even on election day, I assumed that the low voter turnout
would assure the reelection of the incumbent candidates. How little I
knew. Both the enthusiasm and the turnout may have been low, but those
who cared enough to turn out wanted to turn out the incumbents. Wherever
there was a choice on the ballot, the person not in office won the
office. (Or at least won the nomination to the office, which, in the
case of Democrats in this town, is tantamount to winning the office.)
This was true not just of the offices high on the ballot, where Kwame
Brown defeated Harold Brazil, Vincent Gray defeated Kevin Chavous, and
Marion Barry defeated Sandy Allen, but also to the lowly positions on
the Democratic State Committee. All of the Running Against Bush slate
candidates won; all of them, wherever they entered a candidate in a
race. It would be inaccurate to categorize the Running Against Bush
slate as a reform slate. It clearly wasn't; it was a slate with a couple
old-time regulars and a lot of insurgents, first-time candidates brought
into politics by the Howard Dean campaign. But it was a slate of
nonincumbents against the incumbents, who were successfully
characterized as supporters of A. Scott Bolden's brief regime as head of
the local party, whether they actually were or not. And the incumbents
lost wherever there was a choice.
Now that you know not to rely on my predictions, I'll make some more.
Looking two years ahead, I'll tell you who this election has weeded out
of the mayoral race. The losers, of course — Chavous, Brazil, and
Bolden. But also Tony Williams and Linda Cropp who, although they're not
going to admit any doubts in public, must today have second thoughts
about how fond the electorate is of the government they administer
between them. Other councilmembers may not find their mayoral ambitions
daunted by yesterday's election results — Jack Evans and Adrian Fenty
ran unopposed in their primaries this year, and can delude themselves
into thinking they are not just popular but also universally beloved;
and David Catania is contemplating leaving the Republican party, which
would leave him free to run an interesting mayoral race as an
independent. But those who should be most encouraged to run for mayor
are the dark horses, the New Faces of 2006 who haven't run before.
Harold Brazil was quoted by the Washington Post: “It can't
be the issues. It can't be the record or the results,” he said. “I'm
not sure I could have worked any harder.” Mayor Williams is also
quoted as insisting that the voting results couldn't possibly reflect
popular displeasure with the direction of the city [http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A21623-2004Sep14.html].
Can you say denial?
On gay issues, I note that with Sandy's loss, we also lose our eighth
Council supporter of equal marriage rights. Brown's opposition, Gray's
reluctance to take a stand, and Barry's silence all suggest that we're
unlikely to make up for that loss among the newcomers. But we have a
long way to go, and a lot more work to do, on the marriage front.
Sandy's terrible oversight of the Department of Health (despite the Post's
ridiculous praise on that score) makes me happy to see her go. Linda
Cropp now has an opportunity to break up Sandy's committee, which,
overseeing one-fourth of the city's budget, is too large for any one
councilmember. David Catania has expressed interest in chairing a new
Committee on Health; the reshuffling scramble will be interesting.
When Brazil wasn't giving in to his impulse for shameless
demagoguery, he was fairly reliable on gay issues. But he's such a mess,
he couldn't even hang on against a split opposition. I will not mourn
his departure. As to Chavous, anyone with his record on education
oversight deserved the boot. Let's hear more from the newcomers. As to
the inevitable hand-wringing over Marion Barry, people should get a grip
and recognize that he cannot work any mischief that people don't allow
Great line on Barry that appeared in the Post, but not on
washingtonpost.com, “In the gymnasium, he hunched over a ballot,
beneath a sign listing standards of physical education for
first-graders, including 'Safe Responsible Personal and Social
Man, was the Washington Post wrong with their endorsements.
Maybe Colby King should stay off the national talk shows and pay
attention closer to da hood. 1) Linda Cropp has no business talking
people out of competition and calling the shots like a foreman for the
plantation owner. 2) Harold Brazil was a bad joke to all the residents
of the District of Columbia, and I'm insulted that Sharon Ambrose and
all the other councilmembers endorsed Brazil and looked away when the
sleaze charge surfaced. 3) Sandy Allen had eight years to cultivate a
voter database. At least her hair looks better than when she started. 4)
Kevin Chavous should hold another book signing party in Oak Bluffs. 5)
The mayor still is renting an apartment in Foggy Bottom. Can't the dude
find a condo? There's a great cottage in Barry Farms for 60 thousand.
I'm seriously considering becoming a registered Republican.
Leonard May, firstname.lastname@example.org
Three hurricanes came to DC last night. No, it wasn't Charley,
Francis, nor Ivan. Can you guess the names of the other three? Although
most of my family has always been Barry supporters, I still couldn't
believe my eyes when I saw the paper this morning. I don't believe that
we would compare Barry to Jesus Christ, as quoted in the Post.
Though I must say, it was interesting to see who was on the front page.
Make those voters proud, Marion Barry. Next stop, City Hall?
Congratulations to those residents that voted. Remember you can make a
difference by voting in November also.
The Silver Lining
Mark Eckenwiler, themale at ingot dot org
Well, at least one enormously needy Ward 8 resident will be well
A genuine silver lining: the DC BOEE did a bang-up job of putting
election results on the web promptly. Partial results appeared Tuesday
night, on a page with a handy navigation frame; throughout Wednesday,
the Board added updates and vote breakdowns, including detailed results
for individual precincts. See http://www.dcboee.org/information/elec_2004/cong_citycouncil_2004_results.shtm.
Those Annoying Calls
Patrick Thibodeau, email@example.com
In this election and others, some DC candidates use automated
telephone recordings to solicit my vote. Why should I vote for a
candidate who uses a thoughtless and obnoxious practice to win my vote?
VIP Convoys Running Hot
Gabe Goldberg, firstname.lastname@example.org
Downtown today, a convoy of black SUVs with lights flashing was
escorted through and around narrow-street pesky traffic and red lights
by several DC police cars with sirens screaming. If DC police get grief
over hot pursuit of criminals, shouldn't there be (are there?)
restrictions on VIP caravans driving dangerously just to protect
someone's schedule or sense of self-importance? Someone once told be
that the expression is "running hot" when they're using lights
I also wonder about people griping about DC cops chasing criminals
— of course it's tragic when there's an accident, but it seems the
cops can't win: chase criminals, get grief. Don't chase criminals, get
Rep Norton has published a press release (at http://www.norton.house.gov/issues2.cfm?id=9489)
saying: “At a press conference on the reauthorization of the assault
weapons ban with Senator John Kerry today, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes
Norton (D-DC) revealed that the House soon will schedule a vote to
repeal all of DC’s gun laws and that the bill has enough cosponsors to
pass. However, she said that she believes the bill has a decent chance
of failing in the Senate.” So who sponsored this bill and how do we
contribute to the campaign of his opponent?
[More of the story is available at http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A18935-2004Sep13.html.
The DC Personal Protection Act, HR 3193 and S 1414, is sponsored by Rep.
Mark Souder (R-Ind.) and cosponsored by 228 House members, a majority of
the House of Representatives. — Gary Imhoff]
Residents of Shepherd Park recently learned that the Walter Reed Army
Medical Center has entered into an Enhanced Use Lease with a private
developer to construct a 550-car parking garage and an adjoining 600,000
sq. ft. building for office and laboratory space on 8.2 acres of its
campus at the corner of 16th Street, NW, and Alaska Avenue. That land in
question is a combination of open green space and wooded land that faces
Rock Creek Park across 16th Street as well as Shepherd Park homes on
Alaska Avenue. WRAMC does not claim that the project is essential for
its mission, but rather sees it as a way to supplement its budget
shortfall. A fire sale, if you will, with nearby residents paying the
In addition to the green space and stand of mature trees that now
gives the 16th Street side of Walter Reed an authentic college campus
look, the 8.2 acre plot also contains a handful of historic, early 20th
century houses that, under the plan, would either be moved or
demolished. Representatives of the Shepherd Park Citizens Association,
along with ANC reps and Councilmember Fenty, are meeting with
Congressional Delegate Norton this week to solicit her support in our
efforts to oppose this project. We are also hopeful of getting the
support of any relevant environmental or preservation organizations.
An incredible cultural battle is going on in Washington DC and most
of us are not even aware of it. Homosexual advocates are profoundly
affecting policies that impact the health and well being of youth and
adults. I attended my local Advisory Neighborhood Commission (ANC) 6A
meeting on Thursday, September 9 for the purpose of presenting comments
regarding a grant application for $1875 for funding the ULTRA Teen
Choice Service Club at Eastern Senior High School. When I stood to offer
comments at the beginning, I was told by Joseph Fengler, the chair, that
comments would be accepted when the issue came up on the Agenda.
Later, when the time came, a motion was offered to provide only $135
for photocopies. However, even this was too much to give to an
abstinence based peer counseling program. He said quickly “There is no
second for the motion, next item.” I said, “That’s ridiculous, you
told me to wait, and now there is no comment or discussion on this
proposal.” He babbled about Robert’s Rules, and one commissioner
asked for discussion. I made a statement rebutting the objections stated
by the review committee, and then, incredibly, there was not even one
word of comment by any of the commissioners. Later in the meeting, I
asked the commissioners to go on record as to the reason for their
opposition. Again, not one comment. However, two commissioners, Cody
Rice and Joseph Fengler, told me that they opposed the grant because
ULTRA Teen Choice promotes abstinence until marriage and homosexuals
cannot get married. Jessica Ward also said that she opposed it
“because it is very exclusive.”
Do these personal opinions take into account the welfare of the
youth? Do they represent the views of the majority of the community
these commissioners represent? No. I know as a fact that a number of
constituents called the commissioners in support of this grant, and one
of the program youth spoke at the meeting. The homosexual agenda, which
seeks to legitimize unhealthy behavior, also seeks to foist this agenda
on impressionable youth. There is no scientific evidence that same sex
attraction is hereditary. Many psychologists believe that same sex
attraction is a learned behavior and that a person can change. Yet city
officials and policies ignore this viewpoint. The announcement by the
Mayor’s office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender affairs that
homosexual adults will mentor foster care teens is an example of this.
Furthermore, HIV/AIDS and teen pregnancy prevention programs like ULTRA
Teen Choice, which emphasize abstinence until marriage, are
discriminated against by those who promote the homosexual agenda. Those
of us who value the institution of marriage between a man and a woman
and who value the family need to wake up and get to work. For more
information, the web site is http://www.ultrateenchoice.org.
CLASSIFIEDS — EVENTS AND CLASSES
Guy Mason Recreation Center Classes
Toni Ritzenberg, Taritzdc@aol.com
Registration for fall 2004 classes at the Guy Mason Recreation Center
(3600 Calvert Street, NW) began Monday, August 23, and continues through
September 27, when most of the classes begin. As always, there are art
classes, with both Understanding Painting and Studio Arts, china
painting, copper enameling, and pottery. French and Spanish are offered
along with fitness classes in Dancersize, Qigong, yoga, and Pilates. For
the very young (birth-four years of age) and accompanying adults there
is Music Together and for those over fifty years of age there is a new
class, Strength and Tone for Older Adults. The very popular classes of
ballroom dancing and bridge are back. There are few bargains offered
these days, but this is one.
To register, visit the Center on Monday-Friday (9 a.m.-10 p.m.) and
Saturday (9 a.m.-3 p.m.). For further information contact Robert
Haldeman/Caryl King at 282-2180 or check the web site, http://www.guymasonstudioarts.com.
DC Public Library Events, September 18
Debra Truhart, email@example.com
Saturday, September 18, 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Martin Luther King,
Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G Street, NW, Main Lobby. Visit the Martin
Luther King, Jr. Memorial Library during the 12th Annual Arts on Foot
Festival sponsored by the Penn Quarter neighborhood in downtown
Washington. See quilters, art exhibits, and more. Books Plus, The
Library Store, will have its second annual sidewalk book sale in front
of the Library. Public contact: 727-1183.
Saturday, September 18, 2:00 p.m., West End Neighborhood Library,
1101 24th Street, NW. A poetry reading by Marjorie Sadin. Adults. Public
National Building Museum Events, September
Brie Hensold, firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, September 18, 10:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Festival of the Building
Arts. Build a brick wall, participate in a nail-driving contest, try
stone carving and woodworking, learn the techniques involved in
surveying, build a city out of boxes, create a sculpture out of nuts and
bolts, and climb aboard vehicles at a construction equipment
"petting zoo." Visitors of all ages can work side-by-side with
as many as thirty master craftsmen in a variety of hands-on activities
to discover the skills and secrets employed in the building arts. Host
Kevin O’Connor and master carpenter Norm Abram from the popular This
Old House television series will also be on hand to offer home
improvement advice. Free; $5 donation suggested. Drop-in program.
Appropriate for all ages.
Sunday, September 19,1:00-2:30 p.m. First Person Singular: I.M. Pei.
In this film, I.M. Pei leads viewers through the Louvre, the National
Gallery of Art, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Bank of China, the
Meyerson Symphony Center, the Miho Museum, and other examples of his
extraordinary life’s work. He discusses his work in China, his years
at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard, and how he
worked with such high-profile clients as Jacqueline Kennedy, William
Zeckendorf, Francois Mitterrand, and Paul Mellon. Free. Registration not
Both events at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW,
between 4th and 5th Streets, across the street from the Judiciary Square
Metro (Red Line). Wheelchair access is available through the G Street
DC’s Newly Appointed Health Director in
First Public Appearance, September 23
Rene Wallis, email@example.com
Dr. Gregg Pane, the newly appointed director of the DC Department of
Health, will give the keynote address at a September 23 luncheon
sponsored by the DC League of Women Voters. In his first public
appearance since being appointed, Dr. Pane will talk about his agenda
for reinvigorating the District's Department of Health, and his
department's role in providing and ensuring heath care for the city's
most vulnerable. With him will be Herbert Tillery, outgoing DOH Interim
Director, who has spearheaded major reforms in the department. Following
Dr. Pane's remarks, he and Mr. Tillery will take questions from the
media and the audience. The DOH is the largest single budget in the
District, with $1.6 billion in funds, employing 1,200 people and
providing health care to more than 175,000 of the District's 572,000
residents through Medicaid, the Alliance, HIV/AIDS programs, substance
abuse and other efforts.
The luncheon will be on Thursday, September 23, with a reception at
11:30, lunch at 12:00, and the speech at 12:30. It will be held at the
Apartment Gallery of Ingleside at Rock Creek Park, 3050 Military Road,
NW. Free parking, and wheelchair accessible. The cost is $20 per person.
Respond to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Child Care for All Campaign Fundraiser,
Daynna Dixon, email@example.com
Empower DC presents “DC Doesn’t Work Without Childcare.” This
is a Child Care For All Campaign fundraiser featuring artists coming
together for the future of the children. Save the date: October 9, 8-11
p.m., at the Market 5 Gallery, 7th Street and North Carolina Avenue, SE
(near Eastern Market subway).
Featured performers: Daryl Spiers, African dance; Afi, neo-soul, http://www.afisoul.com;
Garfield Gardner and the Women of Praise, gospel; Manifest Ra, spoken
Spirit, neo-soul; and Rhythm Workers Union, drumming. RSVP to Empower
DC, 234-9119, Parisa or Linda. Suggested donation, $10. No one turned
away at the door!
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