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April 2, 2006

Longest Ever

Dear Long-Winded Writers:

This is the longest issue of themail ever, leading me to repeat at the beginning of this issue what is at the bottom of every issue: “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.’ Please.

Gary Imhoff


Doubts about Adrian Fenty
Deborah Akel, West End,

It seemed to me that, for the six years he’ been in office, Ward 4 Councilman Adrian Fenty has always stood on the right side of the issues. Every time the council voted on a bill that was contentious, unpopular, or pitted privileged against underprivileged, Councilman Fenty always seemed to stand behind those who needed help the most. His consistency in compassionate voting led me to become one of his biggest fans. Until last week. Last week, Mayoral Candidate Fenty shook my world and stunned affordable housing and tenants’ rights groups across DC when he voted against Councilman Jim Graham’ bill aimed at strengthening rent control, and instead voted for a substitute bill written and promoted by AOBA, the association of landlords and archenemy of rent control and affordable housing.

To add insult to injury, neither Fenty nor anyone on his staff bothered to attend a hearing Friday night at the Wilson Building, sponsored by Graham, where tenants and their advocates showed up en masse to testify against the AOBA bill. One by one, well into the night, they sat before the microphone and told their heart-wrenching stories to Graham, the only councilmember who showed up (except for a cameo appearance by Kathy Patterson). It was a bit like preaching to the saved, and a big disappointment for all of us who sacrificed our Friday night so that our voices could be heard.

When the council’s Consumer and Regulatory Affairs Committee voted 4-1 last week in favor of AOBA’s bill, two of the four pro-landlord votes — Ambrose and Catania — were no surprise. Kwame Brown’s was a bit disconcerting. But Fenty . . . Fenty? Some in the tenants’ rights community are expressing their disappointment in Fenty with names like “traitor” and “turncoat.” For me, it has become an issue of credibility. As the race for mayor heats up, will Fenty again abandon his record of compassionate voting and sell out to those with the deepest pockets? Will he turn his back again on the powerless and penniless who have supported him for six years? If he is elected, will he become another Anthony Williams? When I returned home Friday night from the hearing, I peeled the Fenty sticker off my apartment door.


Flat Tax, Let’s Try It
Ed T. Barron, edtb1@macdotcom

It has been proposed in Congress that a flat tax system be offered to DC taxpayers. This is a very simplified way of collecting taxes. It’s not clear just how it would effect all taxpayers, but it sure looks tempting compared with the incredibly complex, and convoluted special interest tax code we currently have.

Armed with my MBA and some accounting experience I have been preparing my own taxes for the last fifty years. Over those years the returns have become very complex. Despite using the latest popular computer tax program, which does all the math and entries, it has been a very daunting task to prepare the tax return in each of the last several years. And I don’t have a very complex return. Pity the poor bloke who has limited accounting experience, or, God forbid, incomplete records.

So, I say, bring on the flat tax program. I’m a willing lab rat for that test. It certainly won’t affect my long term health, and it just might make my annual travail a lot simpler.


Jim Graham’s Parking
Mark Shields,

Councilmember Jim Graham, according to the achievements listed on his home page, has increased the level of parking enforcement in Adams Morgan, blaming scofflaw “out-of-state” (actually, out-of-district) drivers. I fully support this effort and would like to see a dramatic increase in parking enforcement force citywide.

Unfortunately, Mr. Graham often parks his own car illegally. I took a photo of the no-parking zone where he had chosen to leave his car last Saturday morning: Although I reported this incident to 311, I thought that readers of this newsletter might be interested as well, particularly those who are constituents of Mr. Graham.

Parking can be very difficult in these neighborhoods, but that does not excuse lawless behavior, whether by suburbanites or by our own elected officials. It is disappointing that Mr. Graham chooses to drive a car around town when he is not willing to legally find a place to leave it.


Budget Survey by DC Action for Children
Susie Cambria,

Mayor Williams included thirty-nine “opportunity enhancements” in his proposed FY 2007 budget, a portion of which are related to children, youth, and their families. The order in which additional revenue would be directed to these enhancements is not final, so you have a say in what gets funded and in what order. DC Action for Children is conducting a survey. Residents and those who work with residents are being asked to prioritize the enhancements, and we will share the results of this effort with the mayor in mid-April in time for the community’s recommendations to be incorporated prior to the new revenue estimate release on May 1.

Please identify your priorities and then forward this message to colleagues, friends, board members, clients, students, etc. Everyone with an interest in the District’s budget as it relates to children and youth needs to vote. Here is a link to the survey: The deadline is April 14. Direct any questions to Susie, 234-9404, or use the E-mail listed above.


Metro Closes Doors
Sheila Willet,

The slogan “Metro Opens Doors” is changing to “Metro Closes Doors” as public hearings on the proposal to eliminate Metrobus service and routes in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. See the events listing below for information about the hearings. Metrobus service is not “just transportation.” For those of us without cars: 1) it makes possible gainful employment within the Washington Metropolitan Region; 2) it enriches our lives with accessibility to movies, sporting events, theaters, schools, libraries, etc.; and 3) it is essential to maintain our social contacts with friends and relatives who do not live within walking distance to a Metrorail Station. These routes were originally established because a need existed. If ridership has fallen, I think WMATA should do some advertising to increase ridership instead of penalizing the existing ridership by stopping the service.

WMATA proposes to eliminate weekend Metrobus service on two routes, weekday service on five routes, and specific late night trips on fourteen routes in the District, as well as to eliminate routes within Maryland and Virginia. For those who do not use Metrobus to travel, the bus route numbers listed in the hearing notice are meaningless. Yet to those who depend on public transportation and use these routes, the routes may be essential to their daily lives for employment or for leisure. Furthermore, since we travel throughout the whole metropolitan region, the elimination of Maryland or Virginia routes are important to DC residents also. The full public notice can be viewed at

To highlight a few routes in the District, weekend travel on route X6 from Union Station to the National Arboretum should not be eliminated. Not only DC residents but out-of-town visitors without cars will lose convenient access to the Arboretum on weekends. WMATA proposes to add the Arboretum to two existing routes. This will extend the ride time on those existing routes with no central pick up location like Union Station to accommodate out of town visitors. On another weekend route, I envision the students from UDC and American University who utilize the “cross library privileges” might be concerned about the elimination of N8 Van Ness to Wesley Heights Loop. Elimination of weekday service is of concern also. I believe in shopping in DC; but occasionally I want to shop at Tyson’s Corner. The 5B route is a 38-minute ride to and from Tyson’s Corner from L’Enfant Plaza station. WMATA says there are alternative Metrobus routes available. These routes begin at the Ballston-MU, Roslyn, and West Falls Church stations. To use one of these routes would extend the ride time substantially. Other essential weekday routes WMATA proposes to eliminate include the H5, H7 Mt. Pleasant-Adams-Morgan Line and the M2 Fairfax Village to Naylor Road Station line. As to eliminating "selected late night trips," the H2, H4 crosstown line service includes two universities (CUA and UDC) as well as the VA Medical Center, Washington Hospital Center, Children’s National Medical Center. I think of those employed in the evening at these locations who use public transportation to get home after work. What options are available to them if their bus route is eliminated? Do they wait an additional hour or so? Or will they be forced to seek other employment.

I urge you to take the time to view the routes yourself. Don’t let these proposals go unnoticed. Let WMATA know that Metrobus service is important to our daily lives and should not be eliminated. Attend the public hearing or send an E-mail to Reference Docket Number B06-2 in an E-mail or letter. You can also write a letter to be received by close of business on Monday, April 17, to the Office of the Secretary, Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 600 Fifth Street, NW, Washington, DC 20001.

[Dennis Jaffe,, also sent a notice about Metro’s public meetings. — Gary Imhoff]


Education Rights Charter Amendment
Dorothy Brizill,

On Thursday, Parents United for the DC Public Schools held a press conference at the offices of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights to announce a campaign to place the DC Education Rights Charter Amendment on the November general election ballot. The entire amendment reads: “The fundamental right to free educational opportunities is a basic value of our society and serves as a foundation of our democratic system of government. Accordingly, the District of Columbia is hereby obligated to provide a system of free high quality public schools to every child.” The press release, list of endorsers, and Parents United’s talking points on the amendment are at

At the city council’s legislative session on Tuesday, nine councilmembers —- Cropp, Patterson, Fenty, Gray, Barry, Brown, Graham, Orange, and Ambrose — will introduce the amendment to start the process of adding it to the Home Rule Charter. At first reading, the amendment may sound like a harmless and high-minded statement of good intentions. However, it does not define what a “high quality” public school is, although it establishes a legal entitlement to one for every child. The Board of Education has passed a resolution supporting the charter amendment, convinced that the amendment would give it the power to demand that the city council pass any budget it proposes, with the threat that without that budget it would not be able to ensure high quality schools. But the threat could just as easily be turned against the Board of Education and DCPS. The amendment could lead to a flood of lawsuits about the failings of the public schools, and eventually to a court-ordered takeover of the school system, should a judge find that DC schools are not high quality. In the 1990’s, Parents United sued DCPS over fire code violations, leading to a federal court’s determining which schools could open and when the school system as a whole could open. Now, Parents United and the many lawyers who attended Thursday’s press conference promise that they have no intention of filing lawsuits on the basis of the charter amendment’s entitlement to “high quality public schools.” They claim that the charter amendment is "nothing more than a statement to our children" of our best wishes for them, but if it is passed it will have the full legal power of any provision of the Charter.


Smokefree Law Goes Into Effect Monday, April 3
Tac Tacelosky,

The first phase of DC’s Smokefree Workplaces Law goes into effect Monday, April 3. It covers all workplaces except for licensed taverns and nightclubs, and the bar areas of restaurants. If a restaurant serves meals adjacent to the bar, that area is considered the dining area and is also required to be smokefree. Diners who wish to smoke while eating must eat at the bar.

All restaurants, taverns and nightclubs will be required to be smokefree on January 1, 2007. Some restaurants with bars are choosing to go smokefree immediately, rather than waiting until 2007. For example, Odeon Cafe in Dupont Circle, which has a large, neighborhood-type bar, is now completely smokefree. For more information about the new law, visit


NCMC and “Truthiness”
Jim Myers,

“Truthiness” is a word that’s now in vogue. In January, the American Dialect Society named it the 2005 Word of the Year, saying it “refers to the quality of stating concepts or facts one wishes or believes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true.” Wikipedia, a web site also in vogue, defines it as “the quality by which a person purports to know something emotionally or instinctively, without regard to evidence or to what the person might conclude from intellectual examination.” TV satirist Stephen Colbert eventually described the truthiness dilemma in October, saying the nation is “divided between those who think with their head, and those who know with their heart,” an insight that could also apply to the debate about the proposed National Capital Medical Center.

There’s no question that medical services, particularly family doctors, are sadly lacking east of the Anacostia River. But what should we do? Arguments for NCMC ring with truthiness, because some District residents just seem to “know” — or have faith— that NCMC is needed, even if the factual evidence that it will change healthcare outcomes is weak. Truthiness also dictates that it is very upsetting to know that you live a few miles from the nearest Level 1 Trauma center. But wait a minute: Most Americans don’t have a Level 1 Trauma Center in their neighborhood, their town, or their city, a fact that’s apparently irrelevant when truthiness is involved. Truthiness posits that it’s possibly an injustice if anyone lives closer to a Level 1 trauma center than you do.

Truthiness also seems to have produced a belief among some in our city that people are needlessly dying every day that the NCMC is not open. Is there any evidence this is so? Probably not, or we’d have heard it by now. Knowledgeable opponents of NCMC regularly say there’s no evidence that people are dying for lack of hospital beds, emergency rooms or Level 1 trauma care in the District. But apparently a feeling persists that an unreported death toll has been rising ever since DC General Hospital closed. So where’s the evidence?

It’s little wonder that truthiness further demands that no certificate of need “process” requiring facts and medical evidence is necessary to buttress what NCMC supporters already know in their hearts is true. Hearts cry out for NCMC. Last week, Ward 5 Councilmember Vincent Orange oozed more truthiness at an Eastern High mayoral forum. He asked if those in attendance would “feel better” if the NCMC were open just down the street for anyone who might suffer a stroke, heart attack or sudden hemorrhage while listening to candidates at Eastern. There was a small murmuring of agreement. Yet Orange’s pitch for NCMC suggested a larger issue — that he or the rest of us could keel over at any of a multitude of spots in the city that are more than a block from a Level 1 trauma center. So what are we going to do, build Level 1 trauma centers at every other corner? Can we afford to? Something in my heart hopes that sooner or later we’ll listen to a little reason and logic on this subject.


The Deceit and Dishonesty of the Ward 6 Dems
Raymond S. Blanks,

The Ward 6 Democrats voted in late 2005 to oppose the proposed National Capitol Medical Center, although the lease between the city and Howard University was not signed until February 2006. The group’s resolution unfortunately reflects the degrees and disadvantage of deceit and dishonesty in its operational process. I challenged the action taken by the Ward 6 Dems in opposing the new hospital and petitioned for an opportunity to dialogue with the executive committee because the process, in my estimation, was tainted, rushed and simply not kosher.

The group’ President, Jan Eichhorn, an old Marion Barry ally, rehearsed the facts related to the development and passage of the resolution. First, Ms. Eichhorn determined alone that a resolution by Ward 6 Dems was necessary. Secondly, she selected a Ward 6 officer who is also a senior manager at a public health advocacy organization to draft the group’ resolution. Both the author and the agency are publicly known as opponents of the hospital. The resolution’s writer is bright, hard working, and deeply engaged as a talented political activist. He is no Jack Abramoff, but a decent and competent health specialist. Would the Speaker of the House appoint Tom Delay to write legislation on lobby reform? Secondly, why was only one person assigned this important task to reflect its large membership? A month earlier, more than 250 residents attended a forum on the proposed hospital. No straw poll was taken to gain the public’s input on this issue.

To add insult to injury, the resolution opposing NCMC was not reviewed nor approved by the executive committee prior to its being voted on by the membership. It must be emphasized that on the night the resolution was passed, a downpour of rain erupted and only eleven people attended the meeting. The vote was not postponed to mirror more accurately the views of nearly 40,000 voters in our ward. Jan Eichhorn controlled the whole process regarding this resolution. She initiated the resolution. She selected the author. She diminished the Executive Committee’ role in the process. But does the resolution reflect the opinion of the majority of residents or a cabal of select leaders? The author of the resolution may have no conflict of interest regarding his role in this exercise of charade. His singular role in the process, however, calls into question the appropriateness of his participation as a resolution committee of one. Finally, why was the executive committee not engaged in the process? Regretfully, some people want to win at any price even if their action calls into question the group’ integrity. A poisonous pollution penetrated the process and makes evident that the practice of deceit and dishonesty of Ward 6’s leaders in their opposition to NCMC. Only a re-vote will purify the process.


Legislation I’d Like to See
Jenefer Ellingston,

Answer to Gary Imhoff’s request for other legislative measures [themail, March 29]. In keeping with a Statehood Green policy of devolution of power, here is something we wish to have enacted: give the ANCs collectively the power to put an initiative on the ballot. Instead of the public’s collecting thousands of signatures, voters could present an Initiative to their ANC and distribute it among all ANCs. If two thirds or three fifths voted in favor of the Initiative, the ANCs would have the power to put it on the ballot.

Also, the ANCs should have subpoena power to demand documents that relate to activities pertinent to their jurisdiction.

I guess the city council would go into shock if confronted with this broadening of authority.


Electoral Legislation
Michael Bindner, mikeybdc at yahoo dot com

There are two items that I would like to see the council act on before the election. The first is to decide whether to put the New Columbia Constitution, passed in 1987, on the ballot for ratification or not. Until this constitution is ratified or withdrawn there is ambiguity as to whether the 1982 Constitution is still valid (which it is, by the way). Before putting the amendments on the ballot, it might just want to take a second look at the size of the New Columbia Legislature. The 1987 Constitution calls for a twenty-five member House of Delegates, with sixteen from either eight or sixteen wards and eight at-large, with an at-large chair. It strikes me that there are too many at-large members in this arrangement. I would urge them to consider expanding the number of wards to sixteen and expanding the number of delegates per ward to three, with only two of these from any one party. Cut the number of at-large members at five and have the House choose which one is Speaker from the five at-large members. Changing how the speaker/chair is elected will avoid what just happened in Loudon County, where the elected chair was, for all practical purposes, ousted because the majority of the members were of a different party.

The second piece of legislation is to amend the Home Rule Charter to be identical to whatever Constitution is ratified (which means drafting two possible charters, one based on the 1982 Constitution and one based on the Constitution submitted to the voters. The theory behind the 1987 Amendments was that they changed the Bill of Rights from a social experiment to one that was relatively non-controversial, and to make the new constitution match the Home Rule Act as much as possible. They got it backwards in the last case, however. Instead of making the Constitution conform to the home rule act, what is necessary is to make the Home Rule Act conform to the constitution.

Stand Up for Democracy is currently organizing a People’s Constitutional Convention to urge the council to take these actions. As details become final, they will be submitted to this space.


Cars Are the Problem
Richard Layman,

Re: “Church and City Parking” by Judy Walton, themail, March 29] Jane Jacobs would say that you are asking the wrong question, that you shouldn’t be asking why aren’t there enough parking spaces, but why are there so many cars? Suggestions that the city should build parking structures for residents — which you state that the suburbs do, which isn’t correct — is insane.

Urban living demands urban solutions, and urban solutions are pedestrian- and transit-centric, not car-centric. The fact is, in our row house neighborhoods, the space in front of a typical house can accommodate only one car (even a Mini is 12 feet long and a VW is 13.5 feet long, while the average house is maybe 18 feet wide). Inducing car purchasing through the provision of parking structures merely crowds the streets, which are getting more crowded as ex-suburbanites move to the city and bring their automobile-centric habits with them. Encouraging the acquisition of more cars to crowd this scarce inventory makes little sense. Building parking structures (tell me, does any city in the country do this for residents in urban areas?) suggests subsidizing drivers more than they are already subsidized (excise taxes and other fees cover only 50 percent of the cost of roads). But this makes little sense if mobility, rather than movement of personally owned automobiles, is the objective. One lane of road in one hour can move 900 cars, or 6,250 people by buses, 10,000 people by bus rapid transit, or 16,000 people by light rail. Walking and bicycling takes up much less space than a car as well.

That being said, with regard to church parking, I think that churches (and similar institutions) need to develop and maintain transportation demand management plans and that zoning regulations need to be changed to require this. I do think that for a few hours per week, it is possible to accommodate church parking, but the best way to do this is to address the problem systematically, rather than through a number of simultaneous but noncomprehensive methods.


Church and City Parking
Ralph Blessing,

In her response to my posting about the parking problem near downtown churches, Judy Walton notes that "going to family brunch is not serving the Lord." But that was exactly my point when I asked, rhetorically, whether I would qualify for one of DDOT’s new double-parking permits if I went to Sunday brunch: under our constitution, "serving the Lord" should not entitle one to special privileges not afforded to folks whose beliefs point them in a different direction. And remember that believers can serve the Lord in a variety of ways that don’t involve attending church services, such as volunteering at a soup kitchen, or even bagging litter to keep it out of rivers and streams. Should people engaged in those activities also be allowed to double park if no other convenient options are available?


Churches, Parking and Great Cities
Cheryl Cort,

Instead of making DC more like the suburbs, as recently suggested by one author, why not manage parking so that it’s one of several transportation options for visitors and residents? To manage parking, the costliest transportation option, it needs to not be given away for free. After all, transit isn’t given away for free.

Why would someone choose to ride transit or park and take a shuttle to church or walk three blocks when parking might be available for free in front of her destination? Alternatives that cost money or time, such as off-site parking, valet parking, or transit will never be competitive with free parking in the most valued location — at the front door of your destination. We need to price costly and valued parking so that it can be available to those who need it most, and those who prefer to save money and are willing to walk a few blocks, or take shuttle or a bus will be motivated to use that option.

A great city is not known for great parking. It’s known for its memorable streets, parks, architecture, shops, and restaurants. Great cities are built on good transit service and safe and enjoyable places to walk. Cars can be fit in, but must not dominate our streetscapes or our public budgets. We should not emulate the suburbs which were built for cars and offer few transportation choices or memorable places. We need to keep and enhance the good qualities of our city — a place built for people.


Stopping the Georgetown Stop
Peter Wolff,

Just by way of confirming long-ago Georgetowner Bob Evans’ recollection about the strong opposition by his then neighbors to allowing a Metro stop in Georgetown, as a then resident of Dupont North who regularly hoofed over there for the really good bars and restaurants (there wasn’t a lot of that east of the Park in those days), I was very aware of the opposition.

I remember when the plans for Metro were first announced and I was really excited because I assumed it meant that at long last it would be easy to get back and forth, and so felt I had an almost personal stake in the outcome of the debate. I remember well what seemed to me to be near hysterical, strident opposition from the Georgetown Citizens Association (which back then in the pre-ANC days had enormous political clout); reports in the Post left no doubt that the opponents were waging an all-out battle. They never fooled anybody with their dissembling about the dangers of construction, costs, etc.; their true agenda was understood by anyone who hadn’t just landed from Mars — they were fearful of an influx of blacks. Remember, this was the mid-to-late ‘60s and it was a time of especially tense relations between whites and blacks, with the well-to-do whites being downright fearful to the point of irrationality.

The irony, from my perspective and that of my fellow “liberals” was that, notwithstanding the lack of Metro into Georgetown, blacks (as well as whites, for that matter) from east of the Park were coming in more and more because of the tremendous growth of trendy retail stores along M and Wisconsin which were slowly replacing the stodgy merchants. It was, then, the marketplace — in true capitalist tradition — that foiled the citizens association, something many of their neighbors noticed by the substantial increase in pedestrians coming across the P and Q Street bridges and walking through their once quiet streets (much to their horror!). We “liberals” thought it was sublime justice — even more so as time went on and it became apparent that the lack of a Metro stop in Georgetown truly exacerbated the parking nightmare over there!


Myth About Georgetown Metro?
Christopher Jerry,

As I read Rob Marvin’s post about the Myth of Metro going to Georgetown, that it was about the difficulty of building to Georgetown and not the elites saying keep it out, I wonder if Mr. Marvin, or the books author, Zach Schrag, really thinks someone in this day and time would be quoted on or off the record confirming that the power brokers in the Georgetown community really didn’t want the Metro there because of concerns about bringing the so called "wrong element" in.

I’m a Metro baby, so to speak, in that for almost 28 of my 48 years I have worked for the company, and before me my father was a bus driver for over 35 years. Way back in the 60’s it was documented in newspaper stories before and during the construction of Metro that the attitude of Georgetowners, at least those quoted on the record, was they did not want Metro, and often the reason given was the easy access to that part of town that undesirables (I read that as Black folks looking to commit crimes) would have to that part of the city. By the way, Atlanta, Miami, and other cities that planned and built heavy rail subway systems in the 70’s and 80’s also trotted that excuse out to block rail in their neighborhoods, and twenty years later the same places which had been so short sighted and closed minded now regret not having it built in those places.

Maybe today, as the book suggested, the spin is that construction issues is what kept Metro out of Georgetown, but in hallways and back room lobbying at Metro’s predecessor when planning the subway, the attitude of Georgetown towards not having Metro was a major factor in not building there. Despite the alleged difficulty, had Georgetown wanted Metro, the cost to build there would not have been a roadblock, and it would have happened even if it meant building the Georgetown portion above ground instead of doing the more expensive tunneling.


Georgetown Metrorail Station
Matthew Gilmore,

[In themail, March 29, David Sobelsohn wrote:] “Professor Schrag may have written a wonderful, lucid, persuasive, accurate book. I hope soon to read it. But there is reason to approach, with skepticism, a George Mason University professor’s description of how something came to be that relies on classical economic theory. Not to say he’s wrong, just that we should be skeptical.”

Perhaps one could take Mr. Sobelsohn more seriously if he read the book. He hasn’t. So why parade one’s ignorance for us all to see? I am truly embarrassed for him. And this is the second forum he’s graced with his unabashedly uniformed opinion. “Readers of themail should know that Zach Schrag teaches at George Mason University, the DC area’s foremost academic proponent of classic economic analysis.” Pure casuistry and, dare I say, McCarthyism.

It is not based on classic economic theory. I am sure Zach would be astonished to be tarred by association with the brush of “famously conservative.” Read it — surely it’s not too much of a task. It is actually quite well written. Or listen to the interview on the Kojo Nnamdi show. Then express an opinion.


Some Candidates’ Qualifications Are Beyond Color or Class
Jamal Turner,

As a 24-year-old, college-educated, African-American male living east of the river in Ward 7, I am fully aware of the polarizing effects of race in America. However, when I see the resume of my own Councilmember Vincent Gray, who is running for council chair, and that of A. Scott Bolden, who is running for at-large city councilmember, I cannot conceive of why there would be a need to discuss race in an election with such outstanding African Americans like this. Yes, as African Americans we are proud of their accomplishments and can look at them as role models, but wouldn’t white America and other races also see their potential and value as leaders in Washington, DC? They are that good.

Certainly, Bolden and Gray are candidates that break any color mold. They both are law school graduates, which I hope to achieve one day and practice intellectual property law. They both have made significant contributions to the District of Columbia. They both work well in both white and Black worlds. They are both very articulate and sensitive to the needs of the citizens. They both are effective, results/goal/action-oriented, articulate, personable, and intelligent. If African Americans vote for these two, it will be because they are the best qualified and meet the interests of the constituents they serve. One can see Scott Bolden campaigning everywhere in this city in all communities. He is a partner in a major law firm and led the DC Democratic State Committee admirably, though not flawlessly. He raises money for causes, working earnestly to give back to the community. Gray has put Ward 7 on the map in earnest. He once managed the mammoth DC Department of Human Services. He unites people.

The E-mail discussing race in elections last Monday was somewhat inflammatory and it does a disservice to these candidates of all the people, Bolden and Gray. But it does point out that racial issues still linger in Washington, DC, and obviously it is citywide. Thankfully, we all can consider voting for candidates like Scott Bolden and Vincent Gray for citywide offices not because they are African American, but because they are exceptional candidates regardless of color or ethnicity and they are well able to champion the issues that DC voters expect them to spearhead. These types of candidates make all citizens proud and they branch out far from the color line of a society long gone. They’ve paid their dues.

All communities should come out for these candidates. Wards 7 and 8, with all the registered votes that they have, should turn out on mass because these candidates have taken them seriously and visited their communities extensively. They just happened to be born black, too. That is not a bad thing in a predominantly African American and Democratic town and it should be expected that exemplary leaders of that community would mount credible campaigns. Let’s see if all of DC is colorblind when it comes to these two. Now we need for candidates like this and others to make sure that there are more decent job opportunities in Washington, DC, for those of us that have done what we were supposed to do, gone to college, and stayed away from the crime and drug culture and have honored our families. Also, those of us that were born in the District or have lived here for a while want to be able to continue to live in this city and buy a home here. Make that possible. Make that happen for the residents that are looking for just a chance at the American dream. That will be the mark of true leaders.


No Need for the Race Card in This Election, the Candidates Are Competitive and Visible
Nichelle R. Jones,

Looking at the qualifications of the candidates running for election this year, it doesn’t seem like it would be necessary to fall back on race to win citywide elections. As a graduate of Towson University, I have become very comfortable with diversity and relate well to people of all races. I have lived in Washington, DC in Ward 1, for a very long time, am in my early 20’s, and am very much African American. I have not voted as often as I should have, but I am concerned about electoral politics and the plight of the District of Columbia and America, especially as it relates to healthcare. (I am a biology major interested in medical research.)

I would like to see candidates of all races talking about crime and education. I would love to see candidates advocate for tuition grants for those residents pursuing graduate school. I would also be interested in seeing candidates push to allow students still living in their parents house but out of undergraduate school, not married, and under thirty to be eligible to be on their parents’ health insurance until they can find permanent employment with benefits. I do not want to see DC become a racially polarized city, nor do I want citizens to vote for a person of another race to show how politically correct they are or how liberal they are. Vote for whom you like and trust to do the right thing. Vote for those that are able to deliver, those that will be effective. Don’t vote for a council member that can’t get the votes to pass a bill. That’s a waste of time and votes.

I think that when some people try to bring up the race card in an election, particularly when there is a one on one Black/White competition, I think that they are really trying to galvanize communities to get out the vote. They are also probably trying to show some Black pride. Here’s another example of the pride thing. The passing of the law making Emancipation Day a District holiday also symbolizes the pride of the race as well as a historic triumph important to all. Yet Blacks and White support the holiday and residents are looking forward to it. Though DC is a mostly African American town, with that statistic constantly changing it appears that voters vote for the best qualified regardless of race. However, if there are two equally competent candidates, one may tend to go for the one known best or the one of one’s own race or neighborhood. It may amount to the toss of a coin. I am going to vote for the best candidate whether or not that person is in my race. But from what I see, the level of African Americans running in the city wide elections (at-large and council chair as well as mayor) is quite impressive. I don’t need anyone to sound an alarm to come out to vote when the qualifications and credentials are presented and the candidates are highly visible.

Finally, there are currently three white at-large council members on the council of the District of Columbia out of four. The council is made up of thirteen members. Out of the thirteen members, seven are white. Let’s stick to the issues in 2006 and let the votes fall where they may. Just make sure that there is a turnout evident of a city seeking voting rights and statehood. Superior candidates are running. Voters have real choices. Talk to me about issues that matter. Give me reason for young America to cast their vote for the candidates running. So far, I am impressed with two running, one for the at-large and one for the chair’s seat. I’m still open and listening to all the candidates, though.


Race and Politics
Norman Metzger,

The last three mayors have all been black, and I’d say the score was one win (Williams), one loss (Barry), and one, to be generous, tie (Kelly, then). Barry almost destroyed DC government, and at the end he was in “charge,” if I remember correctly, only of DC Parks and Recreation. Williams has repaired the damage, and more; true, more needs to be done, but the results given where he started from have been spectacular. Kelly was NATO — no action, talk only. She neither worsened nor lessened the city’s problems.


Race Does Matter in Politics
Christine Frederick,

Race and ethnicity do matter in politics. They always have, and they always will. Based on all of the comments that I have been reading, it appears that most think that it is a bad thing to see color and that to do so is somehow divisive. In fact, to ignore race and pretend that we are a colorblind society is false and grossly unfair. I firmly disagree with Mr. Chittams [themail, March 29], who commented that class, cultural, and political agendas were not based on race. You cannot ignore the large numbers of blacks and Latinos who live at or below the poverty line despite their number in the general population. As for as culture goes, race is a part of culture when you are nonwhite, hence the racial/ethnic categories (as defined by Census) African-American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian. Of course, no one should vote for candidates based on their color, but I agree that the assumption is that if they are of the same race that they will understand your issues. People of color understand the intricate complexities of race and therefore do not tend to just let race alone guide their voting decisions.

Interestingly though, I have observed that those who say that race does not matter or that they “only see people and not color” (or some variation of that comment) tend to be white. Bottom line: it’s okay to see color (it’s a beautiful thing!), it’s not okay to discriminate based on that.


Leadership and Character, Not Race or Class
Kathryn A. Pearson-West,

Race should not matter in elections in the 21st century; however, divisive issues, practices, and perceptions rear their ugly heads when there is heated competition in local elections. Sometimes it appears that some citizens, white and black, are voting in blocks, and that the hue of one’s skin can be the ultimate deciding factor among fairly equal candidates. Voting patterns might support that notion to an extent, but most often citizens vote their consciences and their interests, and not race. To most what matters is what is in the minds and hearts of those that seek to lead. At a recent service at Howard University’s Rankle Chapel, Vernon Jordan mentioned that there is a "mythical colorblind society." Perhaps this year’s election will bring us closer to the concept of a society that is not so race conscious and that advocates the principles of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King who said, "I have a dream that my four children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character."

Race need not be a determining or influencing factor in this year’s election. The candidates are exceptional. Candidates like A. Scott Bolden, Vincent Gray, and Kathy Patterson are strong enough on their own and need not engage in racial politics. They are good at championing causes. As Bolden espouses, “we need to stop practicing the politics of race and the politics of mediocrity and start practicing the politics of results and excellence in leadership.” There is no reason why one would not expect predominately white areas such as Wards 2 and 3 to vote similarly as predominately Black Wards 7 and 8 when the candidates are talented and capable and are promoting the issues of concern and value to the majority of the voters. Bolden, Gray, and Patterson are campaigning vigorously in all eight wards and seem to be delivering messages that resonate with voters. Yard signs begin to tell the tale that something is catching on. DC voters should turn out strong for candidates like Bolden, Gray, and Patterson, not because of race or class, but because they are exceptionally qualified to lead people from all walks in life. They are able to connect with citizens on both sides of the Anacostia River and on both sides of the Park.

Should there be a need for a call to arms to improve voter turnout for the September 12 Democratic primary, the call should not be one of race baiting or a call for racial unity — white, black, brown, red, or yellow. A. Scott Bolden, Vincent Gray, and Kathy Patterson should be able to, can and will stand on records of service to the city, their vision, and their ability to lead the city forward representing the interests of the citizens of the District of Columbia. They can address those issues dear to many and that tend to transcend color and socioeconomic lines, e.g., education, public safety, taxes, healthcare, technology, workforce housing, government spending and management, University of the District of Columbia, economic development, childcare, consumer regulatory control, clean neighborhoods, our youth, reputation and image of Washington, DC, sports, and so forth.

Bolden, Gray, and Patterson are the types of candidates one dreams of running for citywide election and should be encouraged. They are generally charismatic, intelligent, knowledgeable on the issues, articulate, and sensitive to the needs of the average citizen. They appear to be able to work with the business, education, residential, and faith communities. They have achieved a lot in their professional lives. For example, A. Scott Bolden, candidate for At-Large DC Council, has risen through the ranks of a major law firm to become partner and is very successful. He is the son of civil rights activist parents and has a strong work ethic. He believes that “to whom much is given, much is expected.” Or as my father likes to say when he needs his four adult children or grandchildren to help him with something, “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted” (Matthew 23:11-12). Bolden is appealing to all races and socioeconomic classes and does not have to pull the race card to win. Both Black and white and otherwise can be proud of his leadership, accomplishments, talents, and abilities.

Talking about race at this juncture in 2006 is divisive and counterproductive and diminishes the very real accomplishments and message of the candidates running citywide. Yet, still be mindful that race and class do still matter in America and need to be discussed in other forums. Look at some of the policies affecting communities throughout the United States and one will see that there are still issues in this regard. But in the nation’s capital we will take the high road and not look at race or class as a barometer for success, at least not in elections. We can hate or love, support or oppose equally on the issues and on the candidates. Race and color are God-given birthrights. It’s what you do in life that matters beyond that and how you overcome obstacles and how you lift up those coming behind you that look to God’s glory for help, but also to city leadership for a leg up the proverbial ladder of success.

Clearly there is a need in the nation’s capital for strong advocates for and representatives of the citizens, regardless of color — black, white, red, yellow, or brown, race, gender, or ethnicity. There is too much at stake in this year’s pivotal elections. Washington, DC is diverse, cosmopolitan, and a true melting pot. Let’s not be distracted by racial undertones or become racially polarized. Simply elect the best candidate, and that will automatically include candidates both Black and white. Look at their credentials, their resumes, and their body of work which should speak volumes of what is possible and what good work is anticipated from them. Their leadership is beyond black or white.

In the 2006 elections, leadership, talent, vision, effectiveness, accessibility, character, and the ability to relate and connect to citizens matter most of all during these changing times. And so does a candidate’s faith and beliefs count when the least among us, the not so affluent and mighty, and those that have been here to weather the storm during the bad times need a worthy champion. They need a champion that will enable them to keep the nation’s capital as the place where they live, worship, or maintain their businesses. Let them enjoy a growing and prosperous booming urban center beyond the rhetoric of election campaigning. Let us all, in the words of Henry David Thoreau: Go confidently in the direction of your dreams! Live the life you’ve imagined.


Race in the Race
Leo Alexander,

I am amazed that some 150 years after the slaves were set free, all it still takes is a call from one white man to ask members of the black community to publicly castigate one of their own, and like obedient servants they attack. We are one wounded race. The point I was trying to make, and unfortunately was lost, is that if blacks were to turn out at all elections, like we do when Marion Barry is running, then we could possibly make real change that would positively affect the quality of life for all District residents. In my opinion, that is the dilemma for this current group of local politicians who haven’ yet tapped into what truly resonates, energizes and mobilizes the disenfranchised segment of our community to vote.

When I arrived in this city, back in May of 1995 as a young TV journalist, I was profoundly disappointed in the inequities that exist in our nation’ capital. How could the federal government allow this to happen? How could our local officials be so insensitive, incompetent, and inept? And where was the black church? Very few seemed to care. The majority of members of the black community who had achieved some measure of success through education, skin color, and/or assimilation had essentially turned their backs on the rest of their community. I remember thinking that Chocolate City was bogus. Yes, we had the numbers, but little else. Then I did a little research as to why this proud native Washingtonian community wasn’t more united, and I found that just as in other big cities around the country, even before the white power structure was legally forced to allow blacks certain accommodations; we practiced our own form of discrimination against each other. If you don’t believe me, just ask some black Washingtonians who were around during the glory days of Dunbar High School. In most cases, if you weren’t light-skinned or related to a teacher or doctor, then you were persona non grata.

If we had unity and voted as a block, think of the issues we could address which could ultimately benefit all ethnic groups. If we realized our true potential as a special interest voting block, we wouldn’t have the problems to the degree that they exist today; i.e., truancy, illiteracy, drug abuse, AIDS epidemic, disparities in health care, unemployment, the lack of vocational education and crime. I have to believe we can still fix this. However, these areas must be addressed before we broach the issue of disparity in economic distribution. Black folks must understand the connection between their vote and their survival. In that voting booth, everyone is equal. We do this by electing candidates who truly understand that by fixing the lowest rung on society’s ladder everyone benefits. If everything is great as some would want you to believe, and all Washingtonians have an equal opportunity to achieve success, then why are certain sections of this city more desirable to live in versus others? Some would have you to believe that race in 2006 couldn’t possibly be the reason.


To Vote According to Race or Not
Paul Penniman,

I went back and read Mr. Alexander’s post [themail, March 26], having read all the responses [themail, March 29] first. I agree with most all of his observations, but it is silly to conclude that a black politician will address the needs of the black community better than a white politician would. There are plenty of counterexamples in office right now.


Stunting Growth by Thinking Small
Len Sullivan,

March planning madness in the nation’s capital city is now complete. The big three problems in this city’s high-profile evolution have all fallen victim to pseudo-sociology. First the public health care aficionados insist on trying to solve the disgraceful primary health care problems of the city’s poor by building a fancy new hospital to serve the rich. Then the public education gurus produce a master plan to solve the city’s embarrassing long-term problems of illiteracy, dropouts, and substandard test scores by at best nibbling away at vastly oversized, outdated school infrastructure. And now DC’s Department of Cyclists and Trolleys has produced a long-overdue “comprehensive” transportation plan that is certain to worsen city congestion, and stunt the city’s efforts to improve its marginal residential and commercial tax base.

Describing its overarching (parochial?) goal a “safe, sustainable, transportation system founded on choice and improved neighborhood quality of life,” the plan promises that by 2030, there will be no expansion of Metrorail (other than eight-car trains); no expansion of the city’s arterial network (other than some better curbside parking controls); a worsened traffic flow (by focusing on “great streets” that “balance” pedestrian, cyclist, vehicular, and bus/trolley flow with 24/7 heavy trucks, all at grade level); and no serious plans either for high-density, off-street, city-owned parking facilities, or for express routes for emerging new “personal transport systems.” This new draft document justifies its lack of smart transportation growth by invoking the new “Concept of Latent Demand.” This crutch is supposedly based on new “research” showing that "urban traffic congestion tends to maintain a self-limiting equilibrium" (i.e., “build it and they will drive on it”). Missing is any corollary “Concept of Free Choice” (i.e., “don’t build it and they will go where the economy hasn’t stagnated”), which is not an sound option for the nation’s capital.

The city’s most influential current “long-range planners” (by no means assembled in DC’s Office of Planning) do not appear up to the job. The council’s oversight is no better, appearing to have no citywide or regional consciousness at all. Among those running for elected office this fall, have any demonstrated a natural bent to help shape a strong future for our national capital city? Should the major current planning decisions be delayed until new leadership is in place, or is it likely to be even worse?



DCPS to Update Communities on Facilities Master Plan, April 3-6
Roxanne Evans,

The DC Public Schools will hold a series of public meetings to gather community input on the facilities master plan on Monday, April 3, 6:00 p.m., at Noyes Elementary School; Tuesday, April 4, 7:00 p.m., at Patterson Elementary School; Wednesday, April 5, 6:00 p.m., at Thomas Elementary School; and Thursday, April 6, 6:00 p.m., at Janney Elementary School.

The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) is hosting several community forums to gather community input on the Facilities Master Plan, scheduled to be released in May. The sessions will enable parents and community members to learn more about the district’s plan for school consolidations and modernizations, with a focus on the use of buildings that will no longer be used by DCPS for standard K-12 enrollment. With the completion of its Master Education Plan earlier this year, DCPS has been studying the impact of the district restructuring on the current inventory of 16.2 million square feet of building space. The meetings will address such issues as enrollment trends and projections; updates on facility conditions; consolidation program objectives for school facilities; and potential future use for buildings that will no longer serve day-to-day DCPS enrollment, including alternative DCPS student use; or use as a community resource, charter school, or another alternative/adaptive reuse purpose. This may include public-private partnerships and opportunities for co-location of programs. For more information, visit


Transportation Forum and WMATA Metrobus Hearings, April 5, 6, 10, 11
Sheila Willet,

On April 5, 10, and 11, WMATA will conduct public hearings (Docket B06) on the proposed fare and parking increase for four holidays on Metrorail and Metrobus and the elimination of Metrobus Service and routes in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia. All hearings will be held at 7:00 p.m. The dates and locations are Wednesday, April 5, Arlington County Board Office, Courthouse Metro Building, 2100 Clarendon Boulevard, Room 302, Arlington, Virginia; Monday, April 10, Takoma Park Middle School Cafeteria, 7611 Piney Branch Road, Silver Spring, Maryland; and Tuesday, April 11, Jackson Graham Building, 600 Fifth Street, NW.

WMATA proposes to eliminate selected late night trips on District routes 80, 82, 94, D4, D6, E2, G8, H2, H4, L2, M6, N6, V7, and V8; Maryland routes A12, C4, J2, K6, Q2, Y9, and Z8; and Virginia routes 1F, 2A, 3E, 4B, 9A, 10A, 10B, 23A, and 38B. Eliminate all weekday service on District routes 5B; H5, H7, M2, and W9; and Virginia route 4S and off-peak service on routes 13A and 13B. Eliminate all weekend service on District routes N8 and X6 and Virginia routes 4H, 13A, 13B, and 24P. WMATA proposes to reinvest the savings from eliminated service on eighteen bus routes to reduce overcrowding and improve schedule adherence (8 in DC, 4 in MD, 6 in VA).

Fare Change. over the last five years, there has been a 19 percent increase in rail ridership and a 40 percent increase in bus ridership on Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, President’s Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans’ Day holidays. It is proposed that weekday bus and rail service be provided to meet customer demand. Also proposed is a change to charge peak fares and weekday parking fees on these holidays. The full public notice can be viewed at

Free open forum, “Maintaining Independence: The Role of Public Transportation as We Age,” will be held on Thursday, April 6, from 1:00-3:00 p.m. at Sumner School and Museum, 1201 17th Street, NW. Senior mobility and independence will be discussed from a regional public transportation point of view. Panelists include: Jon E. Burkhardt, Senior Director at WESTAT Research; Elizabeth Boehner, Director of the Montgomery County Area Agency on Aging; and Jana Lynott, Director of Transportation Planning, Northern Virginia Transportation Commission. The forum is sponsored by the National Capital Chapter of the Older Women’s League. For additional information send an E-mail to


National Building Museum Events, April 5-6
Lauren Searl,

All events except Construction Watch Tours at the National Building Museum, 401 F Street, NW, Judiciary Square stop, Metro Red Line. Register for events at

Wednesday, April 5, 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Careers in Construction EXPO 2006. Through many hands-on activities, the EXPO introduces middle and high school students to the skills needed and training available for a variety of rewarding careers in the construction industry. Free. Suitable for seventh-twelfth graders. Registration required through school. For further details visit

Wednesday, April 5, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Spotlight on Design: Emerging Voices: dECOi/George Yu Architects. Mark Goulthorpe, founding principal of dECOi in Paris, France and Cambridge, MA, will present his firm’s work ranging from pure design to architecture and urbanism. Los Angeles-based George Yu will discuss, among other projects, the creative workspaces of the Sony Design Centers in Los Angeles and Shanghai. Both architects were selected as “emerging voices” by the Architectural League in New York. $12 Museum and Architectural League members; $17 nonmembers; $10 students. Prepaid registration required. For more about each firm visit

Thursday, April 6, 6:30-8:00 p.m., Women in Architecture: Three Tracks to Success. According to the American Institute of Architects (AIA), women comprise only 12 percent of AIA members but over 40 percent of students now enrolled in architecture schools. Three successful principals of women-owned architecture practices — Suman Sorg, FAIA, principal of Washington, DC-based Sorg Associates; Joan Goody, FAIA, principal of Boston-based Goody, Clancy & Associates; and Carol Ross Barney, FAIA, principal with Chicago-based Ross Barney + Jankowski, Inc. -- will discuss their careers in a profession where the number of women is on the rise. $12 Museum and AIA members; $17 nonmembers; $10 students. Prepaid registration required.


Open House at Arts and Academics Charter School, April 7
Alicia George,

The Academy for Learning Through the Arts (ALTA), a free DC public charter school that opened its doors last September, has space available this coming fall for students in grades pre-K-6 (and will add seventh and eighth in the future). ALTA offers a demanding yet caring environment, highly-qualified teachers, a focus on individual responsibility and respect, and an innovative curriculum that integrates learning in the arts with core subjects.

To learn more, please visit, call 232-4014, or come meet staff and parents at the Open House or one of the community information sessions scheduled in April. Open House at ALTA, 2100 New Hampshire Avenue, NW (at V Street between 15th and 16th), Friday, April 7, 9:00 a.m.-11:30 a.m.; Library Information Sessions, Tuesday, April 4, 6:30 p.m.-8:30 p.m., Mt. Pleasant Branch; Monday, April 10, 6:00 p.m.-8:00 p.m., Shepherd Park Branch.


The Cultural Institute of Mexico, April 7-8
Barbara Ruesga-Pelayo,

Friday, April 7, 9:30 a.m., Woodrow Wilson Plaza, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Reservation, 691-4000. The Cultural Institute of Mexico and the Woodrow Wilson International Center present “The Central Role of Borders: Social and Cultural Dynamics of the US-Mexico Border,” by Dr. Jose Manuel Valenzuela. Dr. Valenzuela, has a Ph.D. in social sciences from the Colegio de Mexico. At present, he is a researcher associate with the School of the North Border (Escuela de la Frontera Norte). He received the Fray Bernardino de Sahagú award in social anthropology for his book “A la brava é cholos, punks, chavos, banda” (Tijuana, 1988).

Saturday, April 8, 7:00 p.m., Music: Nortec at George Mason University, Dewberry Hall of the George W. Johnson Center, 4400 University Drive, Fairfax, VA 22030. Free admission. Directions: Pre-concert talk by José Manuel Valenzuela, author of the book Paso del Nortec (This Is Tijuana) (Trilce, Mexico, 2005).


Strategies to End Poverty and Inequality, April 7-9
Joe Libertelli,

Please join us on Friday-Sunday, April 7-9, for Strategies to End Poverty and Inequality, a symposium hosted by the UDC Law Review and organized by the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law in conjunction with a wide array of local and national public interest legal organizations. The symposium will take place at the UDC David A. Clarke School of Law, located atop the Van Ness/UDC Red Line Metro station at 4200 Connecticut Avenue, NW. Park under the campus for $8/day off Van Ness Street. Wheelchair accessible.

Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Perez has joined the distinguished list of presenters, which includes the leaders of many of America’s top civil rights law organizations such as: Barbara Arnwine, Executive Director, Lawyers’ Com. for Civil Rights Under Law; Peter Edelman, Georgetown Law Center, Chair, DC Access to Justice Commission; Helaine Barnett, President, Legal Services Corporation; Theodore Shaw, Director-Counsel, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund; Prof. Edgar Cahn, UDC-DCSL and President, Time Dollar Institute; Wade Henderson, Executive Director, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights; Alan Houseman, Executive Director, Center for Law and Social Policy; JoAnn Wallace, Executive Director, National Legal Aid and Defender Association; and Florence Roisman, Indiana University School of Law.

Following the first day of the Symposium on Friday, April 7, at 6 p.m., please join us in the Firebird Inn for the fourteenth annual Joseph L. Rauh Lecture by Theodore Shaw, Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. Immediately after the Rauh Lecture you are invited to gather in with the School of Law and its supporters in celebration of its recent full accreditation by the American Bar Association -- a celebration co-hosted by Mayor Williams, Carole Clarke, DC Bar President John Cruden, the DC Legal Aid Society, Neighborhood Legal Services, the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless, and the entire Council of the District of Columbia! For more information and to register to attend any part of the program, RSVP to or to Delores Jackson at 274-7349 and indicate which part of the program you wish to attend. There is no charge for the symposium, Rauh Lecture or celebration.



Stamp Out Taxation Without Representation
Andy Catanzaro,

Stamp your way to freeing DC! For only $10.00 you can get your own rubber stamp with the slogan, “Stamp out taxation without representation in Washington DC!” and a one-year membership to the Stamp Act Congress ( Join us in fighting to free DC from taxation without representation. E-mail or go to the site and order through Paypal.


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