themail.gif (3487 bytes)

September 4, 2011

Remedial Education

Dear Educators:

Dorothy’s revelation in the last issue of themail that newly appointed mayoral Deputy Chief of Staff Andrea Pringle voted in DC last year, even though she lived in Maryland, has been followed up by Washington Post reporter Nikita Stewart and by Washington City Paper’s Loose Lips, Alan Suderman. Their articles have garnered a lot of online comments, almost all from people who understand quite well what’s wrong with voting in DC while living in another state.

One person who does not understand that is Councilmember Tommy Wells. On Friday, September 2, In an interview with Mark Plotkin on WTOP-FM’s The Politics Hour, Councilmember Wells excused Pringles’ voting in DC, “She thought she was still resident in the District; sometimes people are confused about that. . . . I take her at her word that she did not intend to violate the law.”

Councilmember Wells should know better. His ward, Ward 6, is one of the most impacted by nonresident voters, the “Ward 9” voters who take advantage of a relative’s or a friend’s address, or an old and outdated address of their own, to vote in DC and dilute the votes of legitimate residents. Perhaps some of Councilmember Wells’ constituents could explain to him the ethical issues involved in voting. He could use a little remedial education.

Gary Imhoff


Corrupt Practices, Part 2
Dorothy Brizill,

In the Wednesday issue of themail, I wrote that Andrea Pringle, Mayor Gray’s new chief of staff, voted in the District’s primary election last September, even though she resides, and resided then, in Montgomery County, Maryland. On Friday, I filed a formal complaint with the DC Board of Elections and Ethics asking the Board to investigate Pringle for violating the District’s Corrupt Election Practices Act (DC Code 1-1001.14),

In response to my posting in themail and to an inquiry by The Washington Post, Pringle issued a statement on Thursday, September 1, “In September 2010, I voted in the DC primary with the understanding that since I had not severed ties with my community and established residency in Maryland, I should vote at the precinct where I had voted for the past eight years. If this was in error, I apologize,”

However, in my complaint, I note that, “It is especially troubling that Ms. Pringle chose to violate the District’s election laws given her background. As her resume notes, Ms. Pringle has an extensive background as an elections and political campaign consultant, and has worked on a variety of local and national political campaigns (for example, for Howard Dean, Carol Mosely Braun, Bill Richardson, and Vincent Orange), and in that capacity she would be expected to have gained familiarity with basic election laws and practices — for example, that only duly registered voters can vote, and only in the jurisdiction where they live, and that a voter’s possible intention to move into a jurisdiction at some time in the future does not give a voter the right to vote in that jurisdiction more than a year in advance.”


The Chairman Erred in His Statement
Karl Jeremy,

“Authorized by Congress in 1924 and dedicated by President Herbert Hoover in 1931, the Memorial was paid with private funds raised through a campaign led by Frank B. Noyes, president of the Associated Press and the Washington Evening Star. The National Park Service is in the process of restoring the DC World War I Memorial. This Memorial stands as a testament to the struggle of District residents to attain full voting rights. We assume the same responsibilities as other Americans and make the same sacrifices, yet we have no meaningful representation in matters of national importance.”

The above quote from Kwame Brown’s E-newsletter really fired me up! The WW I Memorial should not be used as a pawn in the fight for DC Voting Rights, or we may lose it. This symbol to the patriotic sacrifices of District residents who served in WW I sits in a place of prominence on the National Mall and is being restored by the National Park Service. Hello? Does the Council Chair want to stand on ceremony, have the monument moved to some pocket park and pay for the restoration? Or, is it reasonable to support one WW I memorial and add a plaque that gives its history and that it was paid for by DC residents? This is not an expense DC can or needs to undertake!

The memorial is not a testament to the struggle DC residents have undertaken to attain full voting rights. The Chairman erred in his statement.


A Friendly Tip to Washington Post Workers
Phil Shapiro,

For Washington Post workers considering post Post (i.e., their next job after the Washington Post), here’s a friendly tip: apropos post Post, not post office. The post office isn’t doing too well, either.



MuralsDC to Hold Art Exhibit Featuring Mural Works, September 6
Kevin B. Twine,

MuralsDC will conclude its 2011 program with a unique art exhibit featuring replicas of each of the murals installed during the program, mostly “graffiti-style,” and other works by MuralsDC artists on Tuesday, September 6, 6:00-9:00 p.m., at 1300 H Street, NE (the former R.L. Christian Library). The free event will also feature live art by a local sculptor.

MuralsDC was launched in 2007 as a means to deter graffiti. The program, coordinated by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, the DC Department of Public Works, and Words, Beats, and Life, positively engages District youth by teaching proper art techniques and respect for public property. Eight new murals have been installed this summer in Wards 1, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

MuralsDC has kicked off its new web site at


Mark Stein at Tenley Friendship Library Authors Series, September 7
Sue Hemberger, Friendship Heights,

The Friends of the Tenley-Friendship Library are pleased to announce the first in a series of talks by local authors this fall. Mark Stein will be discussing his latest book, How the States Got Their Shapes Too: The People Behind the Borderlines, at the new Tenley-Friendship Library this Wednesday evening, September 7, at 7 p.m. The book is a sequel to How the States Got Their Shapes, a New York Times best seller adapted for the History Channel series of the same name. In addition to nonfiction, Stein also wrote the film, Housesitter, starring Steve Martin and Goldie Hawn, and TV movies on CBS and NBC. His plays have been performed off-Broadway and at regional theaters throughout the US and Canada .

Come listen and ask questions. Copies of both books will be available for sale. The Tenley-Friendship library is located at Wisconsin and Albemarle (directly across the street from the Tenleytown Metrorail station). While you’re there, check out our new building if you haven’t already visited. We will be running a separate childrens’ authors series, but this event is one that should be of interest to some middle and high school students as well as adults and they are, of course, welcome to attend.


Environmental Health Group (EHG) Event, September 7
Allen Hengst,

World War I munitions, bottles filled with chemical warfare agents, and contaminated soil have been found in and around the Spring Valley neighborhood of northwest DC. The Environmental Health Group (EHG) seeks to raise awareness of the issues and encourage a thorough investigation and cleanup. Every Saturday at 1:00 p.m., please join the Environmental Health Group for an informal discussion about Spring Valley issues in the cafe at the Glover Park Whole Foods Market, 2323 Wisconsin Avenue, NW (one block south of Calvert Street). For more information, visit the EHG on Facebook at

Wednesday, September 7, 7:00 p.m.: presentation by Brenda Barber of the US Army Corps of Engineers on recommendations for the final cleanup of 4825 Glenbrook Road. At the monthly meeting of ANC-3D in the new medical building of Sibley Memorial Hospital, 5215 Loughboro Road, NW,


Office of Cable Television Public Input Hearing, September 12
Kenneth Borden,

The District of Columbia Office of Cable Television (OCT) will conduct a public input meeting on Monday, September 12, at 7:00 p.m. It will provide an opportunity for District residents to comment on desired future cable television public, educational, and governmental (PEG) access programming services as part of the franchise renewal process with Comcast Cablevision, LLC (Comcast), the District’s cable television provider. The September 12 meeting will take place at the Reeves Center, located at 2000 14th Street, NW (14th and U Streets, NW), 2nd Floor Community Room.

The public is being encouraged to testify and offer brief opinions and views on future needs for PEG access programming and information. Attendees wishing to testify will be asked to sign-in upon arrival at the meeting, and will have three minutes to present testimony. The input gathered from this public meeting will assist OCT in determining the future PEG access related needs and interests of the community within a new Comcast franchise agreement.

Residents may also submit comments to by September 8. Additional hearings will be held within the next six weeks.


themail@dcwatch is an E-mail discussion forum that is published every Wednesday and Sunday. To change the E-mail address for your subscription to themail, use the Update Profile/Email address link below in the E-mail edition. To unsubscribe, use the Safe Unsubscribe link in the E-mail edition. An archive of all past issues is available at

All postings should be submitted to, 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.


Send mail with questions or comments to
Web site copyright ©DCWatch (ISSN 1546-4296)