Greater Greater Washington

Would Gray maintain or reverse DC's momentum?

With so much happening around local budgets and WMATA, we haven't focused very much on politics, including the race for Mayor in DC. But it's time for that to change.


Images from the Fenty and Gray campaigns.

As Ann Marimow discussed in Sunday's Post, there are a lot of new voters in DC, who have decided to settle in the city because of its improving quality of life, retail options, housing choices, transportation, and schools. Many of these voters read Greater Greater Washington, though we also have plenty of long-time residents as well.

From talking to many new residents, the dominant theme I keep hearing is: The variety of mini-scandals involving Mayor Fenty trouble many people, but ultimately, they want to know that the schools will be better, the streets safer, the neighborhoods more vibrant, and the transportation options more diverse in 5, 10, and 20 years as they and their future, unborn children need jobs, schools, playgrounds, nice neighborhoods, ways to get around, and places to eat and shop.

The process by which government makes decisions is important, but the decisions they make are even more important. Gray is running on process, Fenty on results. Which matters more? Reader Martin wrote in recently pondering this very question:

I simply LOVE the renaissance we are experiencing here in DC. Much of those changes are driven by the mayor through DDOT: Great Streets, streetcars, express buses, bus priority, bike lanes, sidewalk improvements and streetscaping.
These projects are reconnecting our neighborhoods and injecting them with new life. All this is happening at a time when folks in the burbs are experiencing the terrible traffic an reduced quality of life. Suddenly, after decades of decline, the city is looking pretty good. I believe DC has developed incredible momentum and that the mayor has the right DDOT projects in place to keep it going.

I assume that, if Mayor Fenty is ousted in this next election, Gabe Klein (and most of the city administration) will be a casualty. If our transportation projects are vital to DC's renaissance, how will a change in city administration affect those projects? Will Gray promise to connect us with street cars? Will he continue to make our streets a priority? Or is it all just wasteful spending to him? What would he do different?

What does our vote mean for transportation in this next election?

I'm trying to arrange to meet with both Fenty and Gray to discuss this very question. Since, as I've repeatedly emphasized, Greater Greater Washington is not just a transportation blog, it won't be confined to just DDOT, though that's certainly a part.

Stay tuned.

David Alpert is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Greater Greater Washington and Greater Greater Education. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He loves the area which is, in many ways, greater than those others, and wants to see it become even greater. 

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I'm not a huge fan of Fenty, personally.

However, I've said to a few of my friends that I'd like for him to be re-elected because I believe most of the changes he's made are positiive.

If he loses, Gabe will probably be gone. in 2004, I can recall one Bike lane in DC. In 2010 they are almost everywhere.

Fenty is for white people and Gray is for black people.

by DCbureaucrat on Jun 21, 2010 2:19 pm • linkreport

#1 - Wait for The Mail to bash this posting. And get your name or the website name wrong.

#2 - There's a whole lotta people that either don't see the renaissance or aren't benefiting from it.

#3 - The meme of DDOT as all that's good about DC doesn't really translate into anything meaningful for lots of DC residents who don't care about streetcars, bike lanes, and sidewalks. My view is that number is a majority of the city's residents; whether they come out to vote is another question entirely.

by Fritz on Jun 21, 2010 2:20 pm • linkreport

Thank you for looking into this. While I'm somewhat neutral on Fenty the man, I'd vote for him as a proxy vote for (some of) the people in his administration. I'd like to see what Rhee can do in the next 4 years, what Klein can do, what Tregonning can do. With the other mayoral challengers, I don't know what to expect in terms of policies, programs, and plans but am open to hearing more.

by Stefanie on Jun 21, 2010 2:27 pm • linkreport

I think it's an important question, but it depends on another very important one: how much does the "renaissance" we are experiencing have to do with Fenty's policies?

Most of the big improvements were in the works and well underway before he ever set foot in the Wilson Building. Crime stats in DC mimic those of many large cities in this country, this is a national trend. There is no compelling evidence that such PR stunts as "all hands on deck" have anything at all to do with the improvements we've seen.

Schools are a big question mark, but again, it's entirely unclear what effect Rhee is having and even if she'll be around much longer anyway. The most significant recent change, charter schools, did not happen under Fenty and again, it's very unclear whether that's going to be good or bad ultimately.

The biggest thing that Fenty can claim credit for is a lot of improvements to public parks and playgrounds. That is great, but it's also mired in scandal, and like many other of Fenty's initiatives, has no clear long-term planning. It'll just be a lot of money spent for nothing if we haven't also planned and budgeted for maintenance of all our shiny new facilities.

Almost everything that people are getting excited about is because it's the realizations of projects that had their hard work done - planning, politicking - by Anthony Williams administration. The question is, what's going to happen next, and how are we going to pay for it, as well as the upkeep on all this stuff?

by Jamie on Jun 21, 2010 2:28 pm • linkreport

I'm looking forward to their answers. My primary reason for not supporting Gray now is I fear that he would do away with all the great new thinking on transportation and transit.

by Matt on Jun 21, 2010 2:28 pm • linkreport

All I know is that as a whole, DC is a lot safer and better to live in than it was pre-Fenty. But I also know that in order to enjoy these fruits, you've gotta make a lot of money. There isn't much in-between in terms of housing. You're either making a lot of dough and living in the nice parts of town, or making a low-to-modest amount of money and living in dangerous, underserved areas of the city. Or you just move out to the suburbs.

by Martin on Jun 21, 2010 2:29 pm • linkreport

There's a whole lotta people that either don't see the renaissance or aren't benefiting from it.

I think one of the difficulties here is that in some ways the interests of the two groups are diametrically opposed. One of the reasons that Barry was re-elected over and over again was that he *did* serve DC's poorest very effectively. The city became essentially uninhabitable for all but the very, very rich and those who had no other choice. The very poor were inundated with services and job creation. Barry was quite successful in creating a black middle-class, who then largely out of the city.

We can either have a healthy thriving city, or a city as engine that turns the urban poor into middle-class suburbanites. You can't have both. Poor folks may not care about bike paths (yet), but they sure as Hell care about schools. And if DC looses the gains it's made in middle-class population growth, you can kiss any gains made by DCPS goodbye. Same with reductions in crime.

by oboe on Jun 21, 2010 2:36 pm • linkreport

The most significant recent change, charter schools

I would take issue with this point. I'm neutral on charter schools, but the number of children served by excellent charter schools is dwarfed by the number served by improved DCPS schools. Unless you meant "most high-profile recent change"...

by oboe on Jun 21, 2010 2:39 pm • linkreport

Some good things have happened in recent years, although how much credit the mayor should get for long-term and wide spread trends like the reduction in crime is debatable but I will be voting for Gray as a protest against the corruption and secrecy of the Fenty administration. The District doesn't need a George W Bush style unitary executive funneling tax money to his cronies, failing to respond to FOIA requests and simply ignoring laws he finds inconvenient even if he does get some things right.

by Jacob on Jun 21, 2010 2:39 pm • linkreport

Too bad Williams isn't on the ballot, he was the one who started the ball rolling on a lot of what was finished during Fenty's reign. At least I know Fenty, Gray for leading the city council hasn't done anything to win my vote. Most of his campaign is 'not Fenty' rather than offering a credible alternative. His latest meeting in Shaw shows how little his staffers had to offer. (remember, they are the ones you will be talking to when you call/e-mail)

I see Fenty as the lesser of two evils, too bad there's nobody better.

by m on Jun 21, 2010 2:39 pm • linkreport

"DC is a lot safer and better to live in than it was pre-Fenty"

That's a pretty short bit of hindsight. I moved to Columbia Heights, probably the place that has had the most dramatic transformation since Fenty took office in January 2007, in May 2007. But I've been in Ward 1 (Adams Morgan, Mt. Pleasant) for 20 years.

I'm not in any way dismissing how profound the transformation here has been in that time, but Fenty had nothing at all to do with that.

In 1991 when I moved here, U street hardly existed, the 9:30 club was in it's original location, there was no U Street Metro or Columbia Heights or Petworth metro, the MCI (Verizon) center didn't exist. The new convention center didn't exist. There were few reasons to go to U Street, what we now call "downtown" (e.g. gallery place/chinatown) because nothing was there. Logan Circle was where you went to get a prostitute. Anything east of 16th near dupont circle was "Dupont East." There were fewer world-class restaurants than you could count on one hand. The waterfront was scary as hell. There were something like 500 homicides a year.

This all changed dramatically under SPK, Barry and Williams in the mid-late 90's and early 2000's. And the first two had precious little do do with it. Williams drove the development downtown and made DC a more business friendly place. That, combined with a booming economy and a national trend towards re-urbanization, were the overwhelming factors.

DC compared to 20 years ago is night and day. DC compared to 3 years ago is hardly a blip.

by Jamie on Jun 21, 2010 2:45 pm • linkreport

@oboe, I'm fine with "most high-profile recent change." I don't have a dog in that fight, but it was a pretty significant structural change. But I don't have a well thought out opinion on whether it was good or bad. It seems to be a very mixed bag.

by Jamie on Jun 21, 2010 2:48 pm • linkreport

"I see Fenty as the lesser of two evils, too bad there's nobody better."

@m:

Sounds a lot like our gubernatorial race between O'Malley and Ehrlich. I'd vote for O'Malley since he's at least visibly and vocally in support of the Purple Line.

by C. R. on Jun 21, 2010 2:54 pm • linkreport

DC compared to 20 years ago is night and day. DC compared to 3 years ago is hardly a blip.

Just a thought: I wonder how many folks were arguing to deny Tony Williams a second term during his first re-election campaign. After all, he'd only been in office for 3 years, and any improvement would have been credited to Barry or SPK, right?

This stuff cuts both ways. Gray's candidacy is pretty clearly based on channeling "old-school Washington" anger at Fenty, because his policy positions have been a continuation of Williams' (whether or not we agree he's been effective). The opposition comes because he's "pro-development", and to be frank, too solicitous of the interests of "the newcomers".

This is pretty much the *exact* same line of arguments you saw against Williams.

Let's not pretend Gray's candidacy is fueled in large part by concerns about open government. It's an argument about whether we'll continue progressive policies, or return to the patronage machine of the 80s and early 90s.

by oboe on Jun 21, 2010 3:07 pm • linkreport

I love Fenty's dapper hats.

by ed on Jun 21, 2010 3:19 pm • linkreport

@oboe - my problem with Fenty has little to do with his policies, actually. I agree that in many ways, on paper, he's a continuation of Williams -- at least, he finished what Williams started. But I also don't think that VG's policies would be substantially different.

For me it is very much about open government. Most people seem to think of Gray as the lesser of two evils. I'm there too, and I can appreciate those who think of Fenty as "the devil you know." Is Gray any less pro development than Fenty?

At the end of the day Fenty has been obstructionist, opaque and plagued with mini-scandals. The fact that it's so hard to figure out what's really going on (e.g. FOIA denials and just flat our refusal to have open discussions with, well, anyone) reeks very strongly and it's impossibly to believe that what we have seen isn't just the tip of the iceberg.

The only rational thing for voters to do with with a leader who acts this way is to vote them out. No, I am not in love with Gray, nor am I convinced that he'll do a better job. But at the same time, I think most of the good things happening have had little to do with Fenty and I don't think trading him for someone else is a huge risk. If we want things to be better, the only tool we have is our vote. And voting for someone who's betrayed you - even if you are thrilled with the alternative - is just throwing that one tool out the window. At least we have a chance for something better with Gray, and if it doesn't work out then maybe next time around we'll have a better option. But I can't in good conscience vote for Fenty.

by Jamie on Jun 21, 2010 3:19 pm • linkreport

Fenty's not perfect, but Gray's streetcar stunt makes me really, really apprehensive about having him as mayor.

Not because he pulled funding for a project I supported, but because of the way he did it.

DDOT and DCPS have both made huge strides, although these improvements have made their remaining shortcomings even more apparent.

by andrew on Jun 21, 2010 3:19 pm • linkreport

Most of the core names I have seen in support of Gray are associated with the Community Association and city wide advocacy groups often vilified in this and other forums. I am not sure how one can assume that a Mayor Gray will be able to dis-associate himself from that support in maintaining the progressive transportation and education initiatives started under Williams and continued under Fenty.

by William on Jun 21, 2010 3:25 pm • linkreport

@oboe "patronage machine"? What do you think Fenty has been doing with his contracts to his cronies, who were totally unqualified to do the work and triple charged the city, while underpaying the contractors who actually did the work? I like Gray-he's a thoughtful intelligent person who will do good for this city. I moved to DC in 1994 so I've seen Pratt Kelly, Barry, Control Board, Williams and now Fenty. The city has been on an upward trajectory that was really started under Williams, and Fenty has enjoyed the benefits of that. I have kids in DCPS too, and honestly, from where my kids sit, we have had no renovations, little improvement in leadership and some of our best (really! there are some in DCPS) teachers got so stressed out by Rhee's policies that they quit, and easily found jobs in the suburbs. I ride a bike every day to work and love the bike lanes, but I think Gray is smarter and better than it's a bike lanes or no, trolleys or no, black/white, new/old residents, rhee/or no rhee argument that every Fenty booster is trying to sell us on. I voted for Fenty the first time, but I am not voting for him this time.

by gina on Jun 21, 2010 3:25 pm • linkreport

I really think you are all missing the fundamental difference here between Williams (who I generally liked) and Fenty (who I am "eh" about). That difference...MONEY.

Williams took office in 1999, the same year that an unforseen and historic real estate bubble took hold, both nationally and to a greater extent, locally.

Williams was no financial genius. The City blew past their budgets year after year all the while Williams was mayor, the difference was that the budget surplus DC was experiencing as a result of the RE Boom and everything related, covered those yearly loses, and then some. The size of DC government increased by almost 40% between day one of Williams and day one of Fenty. DC Gov programs that never existed when he took office now consume hundreds of millions of dollars a year in dedicated funding. I am not saying all his spending was bad, but I am saying it was completely unsustainable.

The second and related benefit to DC during that 8 year period was a literal doubling of Federal Spending in the DC Metro specifically, from 71 billion per year to 139 billion per year...all in 8 years. An additional 70 billion dollars ~ per year is now dumped into the DC Metro economy that wasn't there a decade ago. With that money comes all the associated jobs, and then all the associated supportive retail all those jobs supports. Will this level of largess continue in DC? To some extent, because of where we are, but even if we don't shrink the federal presence in dc, you should expect a serious cooling.

Anyone can govern a city during flush times. It takes someone with backbone and verve to do it the rest of the time. I don't think Fenty is the best person for that, but he is sure as heck of alot better than Gray. Gray would flat out be a return to Barry, minus the crack hoes.

by nookie on Jun 21, 2010 3:31 pm • linkreport

@oboe,

The patronage machine you complain about never went away. As far as patronage goes all that changed under Williams and then Fenty is who was getting the patronage appointments, crony contracts, etc. Unless, that is, you believe that it was really in the best interests of the taxpayers to pay Sinclair Skinner $358,000 for work that would have cost closer to $70,000 had their been a competitive bidding processing.

by Jacob on Jun 21, 2010 3:36 pm • linkreport

Patronage lurks behind Fenty's lack of transparency. And Williams' policies were more successful due to national economic/developmental timing than inherant wisdom.

But I would vote for whomever promises the most diverse and integrated transit systems. I beliebe strongly that density and transit are integral to DC's future. Whomever writes the most federally-backed IOU's for transit development is my candidate.

by MikeS on Jun 21, 2010 3:42 pm • linkreport

But I also don't think that VG's policies would be substantially different.

I don't necessarily agree. But there's no question that Gray is running a campaign which attacks Fenty's continuation of Williams' policies. More than likely, if Gray won, he'd simply continue those policies. On the other hand, there will be a lot of pressure from those who elected him to live up to the implied promise of his campaign.

Sorry, maybe it's the time I spent in Chicago, but I'm going to need more than "obstructionist, opaque, and plagued with mini-scandals". You sound like you've been around long enough to know that that's just DC government. There were a million "mini-scandals" Williams was "embroiled" in. Remember all the flak he took over international trips? The "signature scandal"?

Fenty's detractors are great at name-checking these "mini-scandals" ("What about giving jobs to his fraternity brothers? What about witholding tickets from the Council? He rode his bicycle with a police escort!!") But every time you look into them, the scandal turns out to be laughably thin (hence "mini-scandal").

Give me something on Fenty that's not an obviously ginned-up controversy and you might have a point about "holding our leaders accountable".

by oboe on Jun 21, 2010 3:43 pm • linkreport

I'm for Fenty. Gray represents the people who are angry with the progress and change that has made DC a better place for the rest of us.

by KFLO on Jun 21, 2010 3:50 pm • linkreport

@oboe I haven't forgotten what it was like under Williams. And I remember very well that he was accused frequently of being a bad politician who was out of touch with his constituents.

But something was different about it. Williams was a bean counter and he was a political outsider. Through it all, he always seemed honest in the big picture. He didn't stonewall the press. And he didn't have any buddies in town to steer contracts to.

How do you feel about routing $120 million through the DC housing authority directly to Banneker Ventures, Sinclair Skinner and the like? I don't think that is a mini-scandal.

How do you feel about replacing the AG with a close personal friend, who has obstructed the efforts of any outsiders, including Federal courts, to provide transparency and due process? I think that is a huge problem. The previous AG, the extraordinarily competent Linda Singer, resigned in disgust at basically having her hands tied. This is the single check and balance that we have for our government, and he's a personal friend of the Mayors? Huh?

How do you feel about the many other appointments of Fenty's personal friends, often having no relevant experience, to agency head positions?

This is serious, Barry-style cronyism. I don't see how Gray could possibly be any worse.

by Jamie on Jun 21, 2010 3:52 pm • linkreport

@Jacob,
Its these "forest for the trees" strawmen that Fenty opponents bring up that make me laugh.

So this entire Fenty "friend" Parks scandal came down to spending ~$400K on something (to a friends company) that reasonable people claim could have been done for ~$100K.

Ok, fine. lets assume you are right, but complaining about 300K of "gasp" patronage spending over a 3 year period on a city budget of 5.3 billion per year (or ~15 billion in spending over the same period) is just plain ridiculous.

Do I think he should have gotten the contract? No, Do I think it could have been done "better", sure. Do I think we should be spending so much money on "parks", no, not really in a time of economic distress.

But all of this over a contract (where the work actually got done mind you) compared to the decades of "no show jobs" (ala Tony Soprano) patronage Barry handed out, costing the city untold hundreds of millions of dollars, something that I would bet the deed to my homes that Gray would return us too?

Lets call Fenty the lesser of two evils and call it a day.

by nookie on Jun 21, 2010 3:52 pm • linkreport

How do you feel about routing $120 million through the DC housing authority directly to Banneker Ventures, Sinclair Skinner and the like? I don't think that is a mini-scandal.

True. If Fenty had given $120 million dollars to Sinclair Skinner for nothing that would be a serious scandal. Fortunately nothing like that has happened.

From what I can untangle from this mess, it's closer to how nookie characterized it: "this entire Fenty "friend" Parks scandal came down to spending ~$400K on something (to a friends company) that reasonable people claim could have been done for ~$100K."

Again, maybe Gray gets elected and turns out to be Tony Williams II, and all this tea-leaf reading is irrelevant. I certainly hope so. But if he does, he'll have a lot of very angry erstwhile supporters.

by oboe on Jun 21, 2010 4:09 pm • linkreport

I think you are glossing over some pretty heavy stuff by saying "it comes down to a few hundred k." It doesn't. He violated the law in order to direct a ton of money to organizations owned by his friends. Organizations, which, by the way, did not exist until Adrian Fenty decided to run for Mayor.

I have no idea why you think that $72 million in contracts that were sole-sourced could only possibly mean only $300K in overspending, or why you think it's OK to break the law and funnel that kind of cash directly to your buddies, regardless of where you get the end figure.

Do you really think that if there had been a competitive bidding process it would have worked out the same way?

Even if these guys were the cheapest bidders, had there been a competitive bidding process which we will never know, that there's no inherent conflict of interest in circumventing the law, and the city council, to send huge contracts to close friends?

I can't believe anyone could be anything other than appalled by this.

by Jamie on Jun 21, 2010 4:22 pm • linkreport

Maybe I'm living in the dark as a recent returner to DC (lived here under Williams/Fenty, but left during Pratt Kelly), but I thought the DCist piece on Kojo Nnamdi's mayoral race discussion pretty much hit the nail on the head, re: Adrian Fenty's supposed "arrogance" and how people hate him for it.

Fenty is a favored quadrant mayor, and Gray is not. Whoever wins is going to do a lot for those that voted him in, and I would bet that returns will be pretty dichotomous. I do get worried that if Gray is anything like Barry, newcomers may get fed up and flee. Right now, I enjoy seeing my my tax dollars at work in this city. I use the bike lanes, enjoy the parks, and appreciate how different incentives and credits have allowed new businesses to enter the district and add to my quality of life, not to mention the improved tax base (not all Fenty's doing) that support the welfare programs DC's most maligned residents rely on.

I would have a hard time getting excited about Ward 8 job creation projects, though. Not saying that this is what Gray is running on, but if the concerns about Fenty are based on his opacity and arrogance, you should be pretty worried when his chief opponent isn't really running on anything other than "I'm not Fenty." Maybe that runs really well in River East, something Gray won't forget if he's elected. If this is an anti-gentrification candidate, the city would be better off electing him in 10-15 years when population is at a new equilibrium and we understand how this demographic shakeup is going to play out. Now's not the time to scare off the new people and their money, if that's what this is about.

by MCS on Jun 21, 2010 4:25 pm • linkreport

Ok, I'm going to need a link to an article that breaks down all this. Because everything I've found to date makes it sound like the BCCI scandal of the early-nineties--only less clearly defined. As it is, we seem to know that Fenty has "cronies" and that the cronies where somehow "funneled" between $290k and $120 million in unearned booty by Fenty.

Seriously, not to be snarky, and I don't doubt that there was some taint of hanky-panky, but "Link Please."

by oboe on Jun 21, 2010 4:33 pm • linkreport

@Jamie Never say never about getting someone worse than Fenty.

From everything that I can find, his platform is TBD, or vague, I'll make things better. Personally, I care about what he's going to do for Ward 5. The ward-5 link on his campaign site lets you get a sign, nothing more. His Kojo Nnamdi appearance showed no platform.

If you're going to be different from Fenty, tell me how, give me a list of specifics, give me a plan. Saying, we'll involve the community in school decision making, and work to create jobs means nothing. What, as opposed to the alternative, drive jobs away, piss on the communities opinion? How will you accomplish these things.

Kerry tried the not-Bush campaign, but when he couldn't deliver specifics he didn't win, plain and simple.

by m on Jun 21, 2010 4:36 pm • linkreport

Full disclosure: Not a DC resident, would like to be if that counts for anything

Personality aside, I think Fenty has done a lot for the city putting in a number of sensible policies and people to implement them. I think Fenty's good outweighs his bad and would like to see that continue since my feeling is that with Gray in place a lot of those steps would be halted and/or reversed.

by Canaan on Jun 21, 2010 4:41 pm • linkreport

I'm probably holding my nose and voting for Fenty, again because of transportation issues. Gray absolutely lost my vote with his shenanigans over the streetcar issue. 2 a.m.? That doesn't promise transparency to me.

Whatever else you can say about Rhee, she seems to have recruited a lot of talented principals to DC and they do seem to be making a difference. That "mini-scandal" over the grant requiring Rhee to stay on was a bunch of BS. Every huge foundation grant to schools makes that requirement. Pittsburgh schools lost their grant because the board fired the superintendent.

by lou on Jun 21, 2010 4:43 pm • linkreport

@oboe - if you really think the only thing wrong with the whole thing is that one of the contracts wasn't structured ideally and they got paid some management fees - then I don't think links will help you.

If you give money to your condo board treasurer every month, and then he goes and hires his best friend to replace all the windows in your condo, would you have any problem with that?

What if you then found out that he went ahead and did this without running the project by the condo board at all?

What if you then found out that his friend's company didn't exist when the treasurer started in that role a couple years ago, and also has almost no experience replacing windows. Would you then have any problem with this?

What if you then looked at the contract he wrote up with his buddy, and you saw something obviously amiss such as an unusual fee, would you still have no problem with it beyond just this unusual thing?

Don't you think the whole transaction is pretty unusual at this point?

You wouldn't think that, perhaps, with all this shady business, there are other in-kind remunerations taking place off the books?

If my condo treasurer did this he'd be getting a lawsuit. Funny you think that exactly this is fine for the Mayor to do, and the only problem is the one odd thing that's obvious from just looking at the contract, which was illegally obtained in the first place.

by Jamie on Jun 21, 2010 4:47 pm • linkreport

@Jamie:

if you really think the only thing wrong with the whole thing is that one of the contracts wasn't structured ideally and they got paid some management fees - then I don't think links will help you.

Do you actually *have* these third party links? I know I'm just one person, and a semi-anonymous Internet person at that, and I'm not narcissistic enough to think that convincing me is some sort of worthy political goal, but I'm sure I'm not the only one who's on the fence, and might be swayed by a cogent, balanced, third-party breakdown of the Crimes of Fenty.

I don't doubt it's out there. Little help?

by oboe on Jun 21, 2010 5:03 pm • linkreport

The Fenty administration has dismantled all social programs that help people who need help. This city will be bankrupted if Fenty is re-elected.

by Five to Go on Jun 21, 2010 5:10 pm • linkreport

@oboe, do you really dispute that Fenty circumvented the city coucil and sole-sourced management to Banneker Ventures, owned by buddy Omar Karim, who then hired Sinclair Skinners' firm among others? This is a matter of public record. If you didn't know this then apparently you were out of town for the last year and haven't read any of the coverage in the news.

There are dozens upon dozens of articles about it. Try googling "fenty parks contract," here are a couple.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/38061/why-speed-doesnt-excuse-adrian-fentys-parks-contract-scheme

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/14/AR2010041405015.html

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/07/AR2010030701156.html?sub=AR

"In addition to holding parks contracts now under investigation by the special counsel, Karim's company was on the team the Fenty administration chose for the $700 million redevelopment of the area around the Sursum Corda housing complex near North Capitol Street."

"Another Fenty friend who has prospered is Keith Lomax, a substitute teacher at Mackin High School in the 1980s, when Fenty was a student there. Lomax's construction company has received nearly $16 million in D.C. contracts since Fenty took office, records show. Bolden, also Lomax's attorney, said the contractor would not comment for this art"

I mean, really, three is so much out there that's easily found, I shouldn't have to read the paper to you.

Here's a chioce piece of testimony cited by that article:

"A contract described the scope of the work to be done for several projects—in some cases costing taxpayers more than $10 million—in a single paragraph of about 100 words. (A top official in the Office of the Inspector General noted that the language was “problematic” and “needs to be redone.”)"

by Jamie on Jun 21, 2010 5:13 pm • linkreport

Here are a few quick reasons to support Fenty. The move last month by Vince Gray to de-fund the H Street streetcar route, after construction already began and much new development already began in the corridor in expectation of the improved mobility, is just one more reason to vote for Fenty this November.

* Improved schools— Fenty and Michelle Rhee are making serious attempts to improve DC’s public schools and replace under-performing/unqualified teachers and administrators.

* Streetcars– DDOT/Fenty’s proposal for the 37-mile streetcar network will significantly improve mobility in the District and will help to reduce pollution and congestion.

*Bicycle infrastructure– Under Fenty, the miles of new bike lanes has increased significantly and DC began the nation’s first bike-sharing program. See above about pollution and congestion reduction.

*Population growth– after decades of decline, the District now has over 600K residents, bringing much-needed income and property tax revenue to fund new/improved govt services such as schools and libraries.

*New businesses and continued construction— the area around the US DOT headquarters and the baseball stadium was largely surface parking lots and car-repair establishments 5 years ago and now is a bustling neighborhood. Ditto for H Street and the continued redevelopment of the 14th/U Street corridors.

*Improved public safety– The District had the lowest number of murders in 2009 in over 4 decades.

*Competent municipal administration. DDOT hired the project manager who was responsible for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and the Dulles metro extension from the Virginia Dept. of Transportation to manage the construction of the new 11th Street bridge.

by Ben on Jun 21, 2010 5:13 pm • linkreport

@Five please provide to cut programs please, and links to Gray's specific commitment to restore them?

by m on Jun 21, 2010 5:13 pm • linkreport

@Five - how does cutting programs contribute to bankrupting the city?

by JTS on Jun 21, 2010 5:17 pm • linkreport

@Five to Go-- All of the new residents who've moved (and stayed) to the District under Anthony Williams and Fenty provides significant new property, sales, and income taxes to pay for these social programs. If you want good social services, you need to expand tax revenues to fund it and you do this by attracting new residents to the District. All of the middle/upper income families with children that are staying in the District (rather than moving to the neighboring suburbs) because of the improved schools under Fenty-Rhee generates even more tax revenue for the District.

by Ben on Jun 21, 2010 5:18 pm • linkreport

"Of course I give jobs and favors to my friends. Who the hell do you think I should give them to? My enemies?"

-- Harry S Truman

True then. True today. True tomorrow. No matter who gets elected.

by Mike on Jun 21, 2010 8:03 pm • linkreport

@Ben (and others)
1. "Streetcars" - Gray supports streetcars -- he didn't vote to kill them, just to do a more comprehensive plan to answer some of what are still unanswered questions. When he heard the facts from streetcar supporters, he admitted a mistake and changed his approach. When was the last time you heard Mr. Fenty admit any mistake?
2. "New business and construction around the stadium" - That would be the stadium that Fenty ardently tried to kill, and the businesses that were there partly because of the Anacostia Waterfront Corporation, which he did kill?
3. "60,000 new residents" - that would be the residents that came as a result of Williams' administration focus on developing residential projects in Downtown, Mt. Vernon Triangle and Columbia Heights, Camp Simms, Wheeler Creek, Henson Ridge, where development mostly on vacant land meant new residents with no or minimal displacement of existing residents.
4. Improved schools - as I remember it, Vince Gray played a major role in getting the Council to approve minimizing the power of the elected School Board and centralizing power in the Mayor's office so the Mayor could hire a superintendent who had the power to make real change. Fenty rewarded that heavy lifting by having Gray find out that a new superintendent had been hired by reading it in the paper.
5. Lack of transparency - Not only has Fenty refused to honor 4 times as many Freedom of Information requests as his predecessor, he apparently is perfectly ok with his department heads not showing up for oversight hearings before the Council, not letting anybody know where he is, sending bills to dispose of city property like the West End Library and the I-395 Air Rights to the Council right before they are about to recess, as emergencies, too late to hold public hearings or get any public information to the media, sending contracts for parks and other facilities to the Housing Authority to let, so they didn't go through the Council for approval, as the law requires.

Vince Gray is smart, honest, balanced and interested in serving all the city - rich, poor, white, black, Hispanic, newcomers, long-time residents. He has my vote.

by Mom on Jun 21, 2010 8:08 pm • linkreport

i think it's odd to suggest that Gray is about 'process' when he ripped streetcar funding in the middle of the night. streetcars are important to me, but democracy/process/legitimacy are more important to me. Gray tried to subvert the will of the people -- he should be in jail, not being given the option to run for Mayor.

the bigger lesson is the importance of organizing -- which this blog has been a big part of. this blog and its readers were able to help stop Gray's treachery -- the same organizing power, with even more organization of more people with collectively more power, is needed regardless of who the next mayor is. so, keep organizing, keep educating, keep working, and we'll have a lot less to worry about, no matter who the next Mayor is.

that said, the ideal is to be in a situation, maybe in another election or two, to be able to choose our own candidates for Mayor, get them on the ballot, and have them carry our legislative agenda forward -- like they do in real democracies, like Honduras.

by Peter Smith on Jun 21, 2010 8:39 pm • linkreport

I just want to say how much I appreciate that this forum is interesting to read today, and respectful for once. Whomever OBOE is has pretty much summed up all of my thoughts, so thanks. Probably voting Fenty because I like the progressive, results oriented managers he has brought in, and don't want to risk the progress that has been painstakingly built over the last 12 years in a city that was run by a Control Board when Gray was in the government.

by OldSkool on Jun 21, 2010 9:06 pm • linkreport

I think Gray's knowledge of government, his inclination to *talk about the details of government, and his not having yet articulated a resonant, compelling message makes it sound like he's running on process.

by Dennis Jaffe on Jun 21, 2010 9:29 pm • linkreport

Fenty has been the right person for getting new ideas started. But is he the right person for getting new ideas carried out? I dunno. Look at all the problems with DDOT. Great ideas, but no real expertise in their execution. In the end, their ineptitude could kill delay for decades that which had to come here anyways ... irrespective of which person was mayor.

Gray might not have been the person to think about great ideas, but might he be someone that can actually carry them out? I dunno. I do know though I am extremely bothered by the corruption I've heard about in regards to the contracts Fenty gave out to friends who were 'ill qualified' to do the work to put it politely.

Most of what we're getting today really has absolutely nothing to do with Fenty. If we're to thank anyone for all this stuff it's Evans. There's a reason the vast majority of growth in the city occured in Ward 2. Fenty listened well and did what Evans would have done if he could have been elected mayor.

by Lance on Jun 21, 2010 10:27 pm • linkreport

I was neutral until I got a $2000 fine from DCRA for taking my ice-filled gutters down without a permit and putting them in my front yard the day after the 38" blizzard. Had to pay the $2000 under protest plus buy a permit to put them back up. I may be seeing Mr. Gray at Administrative Appeals for his $2800 fine for replacing his 5 foot fence with a new five foot fence.

Together with the new fees for everything and the multiplied traffic tickets for dubious infractions this is just too much nuisance revenuing on the backs of ordinary citizens. Fines should be for deterrence, not revenue. Taxes are for that.

by Tom Coumaris on Jun 21, 2010 10:42 pm • linkreport

Education is the most important issue to me and that's why I'm supporting Gray.

I like Chancellor Rhee and I think DCPS is lucky to have her, but the Mayor has tunnel vision on education, focusing solely on DCPS at the expense of charter schools, which educate 27,000 DC kids and growing.

Mayor Fenty tried to cut facilities funding for charter schools, which are already at a major disadvantage, and Gray tried to restore it.

Fenty has failed to honor a law that gives charter schools the right of first offer on excess space, so DC taxpayers are paying twice-- once for the vacant buildings that DCPS doesn't fill and again for the buildings the charters must buy. Instead he's courted developers unsuccessfully to privatize former city buildings and left charter schools to fend for themselves.

I want DCPS to succeed and I want to see Chancellor Rhee's policies continue regardless of whether she herself sticks around, but we need a Mayor who has a broader view of education, embracing both sectors of public education in the District -- traditional and charter. Time is running out for Fenty to show that he sees the value of charter schools for innovation and economic development and to support them just as vigorously as he supports DCPS.

by Ward 1 Guy on Jun 21, 2010 11:51 pm • linkreport

"Fines should be for deterrence, not revenue. Taxes are for that"

Careful my friend. This is GGW, where the rule is "hey, you were breaking the law so quit complaining," regardless of whether the law in question is fair and enforced consistently.

Unless you were on a bike, of course, in which case DDOT and the city council will get flooded with emails and the law will be changed.

by Jamie on Jun 22, 2010 7:28 am • linkreport

Put me down as someone who scratches her head at the Fenty hate/anger. I don't understand the intensity of it. But I am not voting for him

If the "new residents" like him vis a vis what he's done for transit, I don't understand that. Express buses? Bus priority? Buses are worse than ever. Cuts everywhere. In fact, public transportation seems to be worse than ever. Is it all talk and no true commitment? Seems to be.

A focus on a lifestyle (and by lifestyle, I mean basically a commuting lifestyle) experienced by a somewhat narrow set of the population, aged 25-45, is questionable. Bikes, bikes, bikes, vote for me, bikes.

by Jazzy on Jun 22, 2010 8:18 am • linkreport

The 'Swing Black' vote will decide the race....and I never hear anything from them, who do you believe they support???

I love reading the remarks about DC in the past, you cannot imagine how popular Barry was with Blacks and Whites in those days, pre Coke - but there was no tax revenue and the white middle class suburban commuters were happy enough to move business to NOVA. I think they ought to name the Dulles Corridor "Taj Barry" as all this started as reactionary to Barry's perceived unfriendly to business high tax approach. Think of what that revenue would have meant to DC - we should remember the past!

by Swing Vote on Jun 22, 2010 9:37 am • linkreport

Gray won't reverse the District's momentum, and neither will Fenty. The local economy will. The budget is broke, and if you look up from the beloved trolley tracks for a brief moment, you'll see what's coming down the track are huge cuts in all the goodies that are near and dear to your hearts.

by mtp on Jun 22, 2010 12:32 pm • linkreport

I have yet to hear anyone say why they are voting FOR Gray. All I ever hear Gray supporters say is that they don't like Fenty personally. I hope people will stop and think about why they are voting for Gray -- and not simply why they are voting AGAINST Fenty.

What will be different if Gray is mayor, other than Fenty not being around to offend people. Is that it? Is that the whole game>

by mattyillini on Jun 22, 2010 1:01 pm • linkreport

I don't buy into the 'people are upset with Fenty because of arrogance/personality and don't pay attention to results' claim. That seems like an easy way to paint non-Fenty supporters as superficial when their are a lot of credible reasons not to support Fenty. Similarly, attempts to say Gray would somehow return things to the SPK/Barry days (because he served then) ring hollow to me - Gray is, if anything, more fiscally responsible than Fenty. My main gripe with Fenty is that he has not unified the city and has antagonized many old timers. While a lot of attention was paid to the streetcar funding, much less was paid to Fenty cutting work-training programs. With the current unemployment levels in some parts of DC that just makes me wonder whether Fenty is really acting in the best interests of all residents. I'm not discounting Fenty though. His focus on schools does benefit all residents (new and old alike - it's all the same school system), and he has appointed some good people - Klein, Lanier. I just get irritated with some of the straw men arguments that get trotted out about his opponent.

by DCster on Jun 22, 2010 1:08 pm • linkreport

One thing I have noticed during the campaign so far: Many of Gray's supporters are expecting a return to the Barry days. I think Gray would be under tremendous pressure to govern like Barry from many of his supporters.

by mattyillini on Jun 22, 2010 1:15 pm • linkreport

It seems to me that some people have a problem with Marion Barry. There are some people who really think that Vince Gray will govern DC as Mr. Barry did. Let's give Mr. Gray a chance, if he is the mayor, to govern in his own way. This city has let Mr. Fenty govern, and look at the mess he has made of this city. I have had plenty of Fenty.

by Five to Go on Jun 22, 2010 4:24 pm • linkreport

This city has let Mr. Fenty govern, and look at the mess he has made of this city.

Yes, look at the mess the city's in! Wait... What mess are you talking about? Not sure if you've heard the news, but the city's in the midst of a 70-year renaissance.

by oboe on Jun 22, 2010 4:42 pm • linkreport

Right On Oboe

DC is better by far now than any of my 30 years here.

Stay the Course seems the smart thing to do !!

by Swing Vote on Jun 22, 2010 4:47 pm • linkreport

The mess or should I say the scandals, Office of Risk Management,Parks-Recreation , No-bid contracts. The Fenty administration closed federally funded daycare centers and fired the workers, some had been working for over 20 years. There are homeless families that live in the old DC General hospital. The mayor doesn't even address the high rates of unemployment in DC. Please tell me what 70- year renaissance you are referring to. Do you mean new construction, roads,schools, and housing? If yes, this has been going on for about 40 years.

by Five TO GO on Jun 22, 2010 5:30 pm • linkreport

"A problem with Barry?" Yes, I do! I lived here during part of his third term and all of his fourth term. The only good thing that came out of Republican control of Congress in 1995 was the Control Board. The city was a disaster.

Will we again have 43,000 city employees under Gray as we did under Barry? There are some hard questions that need to be asked of Gray.

by mattyillini on Jun 22, 2010 5:53 pm • linkreport

Ah, ok. At least we know where you're coming from: Fenty hasn't single-handedly eliminated DC unemployment during the worst recession since the Great Depression so he's a failure. Should he put every single unemployed person in DC on the District payroll?

That worked out so well for DC in the seventies and eighties.

by oboe on Jun 22, 2010 5:55 pm • linkreport

@ FIVE TO GO: I have lived here since 1992 (and 1981-83). Trust me on this one: DC began to take off and recover in January 1999, the very month Barry left office.

I admit to being less than thrilled at the excitement Gray is generating among long-time Barryites.

by mattyillini on Jun 22, 2010 6:13 pm • linkreport

@mattyillini , you said you have been here since 1991 (and 1981-83). Well, I have lived in DC since 1962, and my husband is a native Washingtonian. Between the two of us we have been gainfully employed by the DC Government for years. My husband is a retired DC Government/Federal Government worker. I have about 4 years before I retire. I am thrilled about Vince Gray for mayor. You seem to have a problem with a man that is a proven leader.

by Five To Go on Jun 22, 2010 6:47 pm • linkreport

This is for all new comer to D.C. This is not the first rebuilding of Washington, D.C. But it still remains the same . The black family that you are replace are still being destroyed by the Governmnet they vote for, such a our mayor catering to all you folk that think you are going to make it here . Just think about all the people you have just displaced. All of you think you made it . That,s funny.

by Bernard A. Lee on Jun 22, 2010 7:08 pm • linkreport

This is for all new comer to D.C. This is not the first rebuilding of Washington, D.C. But it still remains the same . The black family that you are replace are still being destroyed by the Governmnet they vote for, such a our mayor catering to all you folk that think you are going to make it here . Just think about all the people you have just displaced. All of you think you made it . That,s funny.

@Mr Lee:

Okay, native Washingtonian here. You, Mr Lee, may have super-powers that allow you to tell the race and socioeconomic class of folks simply by looking at their anonymous posts on the internet, but most of us don't.

In any case, plenty of families that were "replaced" by newcomers made a killing when they cashed out and moved to larger houses, to retire, or to take jobs in other regions whether PG county, Atlanta, or elsewhere in the country. And you know what? It's actually a *good* thing that those folks finally had the upward mobility to make their own choices and live wherever they preferred.

"Displaced"? Most of the old families cashed out, packed it up, and never looked back.

by oboe on Jun 22, 2010 7:24 pm • linkreport

Oboe, I don't think your characterization of things is accurate at all.

by Jazzy on Jun 22, 2010 11:06 pm • linkreport

I hope we can keep this nice, It's clear many old timers feel alienated by the changes to DC, Fenty seems to encompass the blame enough for a large number of folks. I also think Gray is a very good person, I'm just inclined to keep down the current path despite the grumblings. I've lived here over 30 years and my breathe is taken away every time I head to SW, up 14th Street to Columbia Hts or Petworth... I wish we all felt good about the changes.

My absolute bewilderment comes in that not ONE issue tossed about is new, they were around even before Barry -The Russians used to use photos of the poverty in old SW as propaganda to prove how bad off the US was in the early 60's. I can't imagine the faded days of astronomical crime, dismal economy (no one could sell any house, much less at a profit) jobs moving away from DC at lightening speed, Stan Hoyer going at the District from every angle-and winning- I'm at a complete loss to feel nostalgic about that. The good ole days were not (for anyone)

by Swing Vote on Jun 23, 2010 1:55 am • linkreport

@Bernard A. Lee -

It's funny. I remember buying my house from a very nice, middle aged (50ish) black couple five years ago. The signing session was very cordial. Lots of laughing and making fun of lawyers. They bought me a drink afterwards. They were both sad to leave their house, but excited to move to Alexandria. Nobody put a gun to their head.

And, if I am to believe the placards that dot my Shaw neighborhood, what's happening isn't so much gentrification as it is a return to equilibrium, when whites made up a much larger percentage of the city (like in the 1930s/1940s).

by in Shaw on Jun 23, 2010 7:04 am • linkreport

I am glad that all of you are living so grandly off of the suffering of the people of the past. Everything looks so bright. I wonder how you all will be doing 10 or 15 years from now. I don't think things are going to be so rosey. I have lived here all my life and I learned to make it in the tough time as well as the good. I hope you can do the same. This city has an untold history and all of you need to learn quickly, because it's coming for you.

by Bernard A. Lee on Jun 23, 2010 4:54 pm • linkreport

I am glad that all of you are living so grandly off of the suffering of the people of the past.

Look, I understand the resentment felt by poor people towards their middle-class neighbors. I understand the anger felt by anyone, of any group who sees the neighborhoods they grew up in change at all. Heck, my racist cousin spouts off about all the Central American immigrants who "took over" the neighborhood he grew up in every chance he gets.

Want to know why DC's demographics are trending away from 80% African American towards more diversity? Because over the last half-century de facto and de jure racist policies have been lifted, allowing an emerging black middle class to actually exercise *choices* to live where they like. Meanwhile, there are a) middle-class blacks who chose to stay; and b) poor folks for whom giving up DC's generous social services would be impractical.

I think there's a huge amount of buried resentment from 'old-timers' towards folks who used to live in the community, but who cashed in and moved elsewhere--a resentment that gets projected onto the 'newcomers'. After all, if you can construct a conspiracy theory about "white interlopers evicting 'old timers'" then you don't have to confront the reality of one's sons, daughters, and grandchildren moving out to a 3500 sq ft McMansion on a Clinton, MD cul-de-sac, and tearing apart the social fabric of the old neighborhood.

by oboe on Jun 24, 2010 10:02 am • linkreport

That's real funny that you think that's what I am saying. The truth is that most of the new commers are running from the poverty and restriction of their rural upbring to embrace all of the freedoms that those poor black folks struggled to overcome, so all of you can come out of the closet, and become all that you can be, pretending to be normal and knowing that you are not.

by Bernard A. Lee on Jun 24, 2010 3:13 pm • linkreport

The truth is that most of the new commers are running from the poverty and restriction of their rural upbring..

Well, that's certainly a novel take on it. If you've got any stats to back up the assertion that the middle-class "newcomers" are all hayseeds off the farm who struck it rich and moved to the big city, I'd sure be interested in seeing it.

We can call it "The Beverly Hillbillies Effect"....

by oboe on Jun 24, 2010 3:26 pm • linkreport

Or by "come out of the closet" were you implying that all the newcomers are homosexual. Requires more study.

by oboe on Jun 24, 2010 3:28 pm • linkreport

I liked what @Bernard A. Lee said about the newbies.
As far as I'm concerned, every four years( presidential elections) there are new hicks from the sticks. The people who are lifelong citizens of DC have to constantly be told by outsiders, that we don't know how to govern our city. The outsiders could not make it in their own hometowns. How about going back from where you originated, and live as well as I am in my hometown. Oh, that's right you all have lousy economy's in your hometown. Lastly, there are a lot of affluent people of all races that call DC home. We don't bash your digs, please don't try to pretend that you know DC so well, after just arriving.

by Five To Go on Jun 24, 2010 4:23 pm • linkreport

Again you are trying to think for me (: I am saying that inorder to be middle class in this city you need to be worth $5.5 million in cash or property. White or Black most of you don,t have that!

by Bernard A. Lee on Jun 24, 2010 5:06 pm • linkreport

Tell us your top three issues in our reader poll:
http://www.borderstan.com/06/2010-dc-elections-what-are-your-top-3-issues/

by mattyillini on Jun 24, 2010 6:10 pm • linkreport

I think mayors have a problem understanding we expect BOTH efficiency AND honest government.

Barry was actually the 1st mayor to turn the city completely over to the business interests, in spite of his racial charade. Many of us old reformers were disgusted that the corruption then was winked at while his racial tirades were pandered to. Kelly and Williams and now Fenty have followed in that tradition of being tied to the money interests while moving away from the racism. Fenty just seems too efficient at not only doing the corruption bit, but also making life miserable for average people who he nickles and dimes to death.

by Tom Coumaris on Jun 25, 2010 12:32 am • linkreport

The tide has turned; many DC residents and outsiders felt that Mr. Fenty would sweep the Ward 2 Straw Poll because that is his base, however a victory of 97 votes to Mr. Grays 63 votes is NOT a sweep in Ward that has in the past been nearly 93-100% pro Fenty.

I for one could care less about bike lanes, trolley cars or sidewalks, look at the debocle of bike lanes, need to be redone at taxpayer expense because they are TOOOOO large for use; trolley cars who have no beginnign and no ending.

I want to know how and when DC will stop being the employment agency for MD and VA residents and begin to put DC residents back to work. I want to know that my Mayor will stem the tide of age discrimination in employment in this city and racial bias. I want to know that I can make a living wage and my son can return to college. Mr. Fenty has destroyed the American dream for many DC residents by his governance. He was elected and now we are going to elect someone else.

Ward 2 residents can see that change is needed in this city and are voting for that change.

The Gray momentum is growing by leaps and bounds and the strength of an informed and knowledgeable candidate outweighs rhetoric, strong-arm bullying by Mr. Ronald Moten (who was conspicuously absent last night) and race-baiting cannot mute a message of true educational reform (birth -24 yrs); economic development (bringing business development to underserved communities and focusing on hiring DC residents) and public safety (truly supporting our first responders, MPD, Fire/EMS and Homeland Security). Mr. Gray's message on Healthcare in the Distirct is also a salient point that Mr. Fenty has no concrete answers on. I think Mr. Fenty's blackberry must be broke, he has not been informed or crisp on any of the above mentioned issues when face to face debating.
Mr. Gray, keep your message strong and knowledge of the issues as in-depth as they have been at each of the Forums and the citizens will listen and reward your knowledge with a Victory at the polls on September 14. Knowledge, Skill and Ability will always trump, reading from a blackberry, riding your predecessors coat-tails, and pandering to a racial divide in this city.

by LaCaiRaine on Jul 22, 2010 10:41 am • linkreport

I want to know that my Mayor will stem the tide of age discrimination in employment in this city and racial bias. I want to know that I can make a living wage and my son can return to college. Mr. Fenty has destroyed the American dream for many DC residents by his governance.

Can't say I disagree, you've outlined the choice pretty clearly: a vote for Gray is a vote to return to the pre-Williams era when the overriding concern for DC government was to provide jobs to folks who are unemployable in the private sector.

A vote for Fenty is a vote to continue the trend of the last decade of middle-class growth.

by oboe on Jul 22, 2010 11:02 am • linkreport

oboe, I hope your analysis is incorrect. There are definitely Gray supporters who hope that DC government will go back to a jobs for votes operation, but I believe that Vince Gray himself is not going to realize those misplaced hopes. He will continue the progress that the District has made in the last decade or so, but he will do so in a more thoughtful and inclusive manner. Fenty is drunk with power and his administration is not responsive to the people who elected him. That has to change. I'm willing to try a new approach and Chairman Gray seems like a good bet for the future.

by Ward 1 Guy on Jul 22, 2010 12:00 pm • linkreport

@Ward 1 Guy:

I hope you're right. Though there are plenty of folks like the previous poster who earnestly believe that Gray will do just that. Hopefully he's just playing election year politics, is misleading them, and will have the stones to continue the policies of the Williams / Fenty administrations without the scandals.

by oboe on Jul 22, 2010 12:20 pm • linkreport

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