Greater Greater Washington

Politics


For District of Columbia Council

The DC Council races include some no-brainers, and some tougher calls. First, the no-brainers. Tommy Wells and Mary Cheh deserve your unhesitating vote.

Mr. Wells, finishing his first term representing Ward 6 (Capitol Hill, H Street, Near Southeast, Southwest Waterfront) has made "livable, walkable" communities the lynchpin of his candidacy, both four years ago and now. He's promoted bike lanes, transit, better retail, and performance parking.

His opponent, Kelvin Robinson, has attacked these policies with vague racial innuendo and tried to set up a false choice between these projects and other priorities like public safety. Wells has actually fought very hard on issues like crime and social services (he heads the social service committee), but deserves our vote for his strong urbanist leadership.

Ms. Cheh is unopposed in the primary for her first reelection in Ward 3 (upper Northwest). She won on a Smart Growth platform in a ward that, previously, many people believed was dominated by voters opposed to any development. Vocal groups of residents fight and often sue to block nearly every project, like the Wisconsin Avenue Giant in Cleveland Park or Akridge's project in Friendship Heights.

Ms. Cheh unabashedly came out for development on Wisconsin and Connecticut Avenues, and for keeping most of the rest of the ward as it is. That's the essence of Smart Growth: more development in the commercial corridors and on transit stations, less in other places. And she won.

At-large, Clark Ray and Shadow Senator Michael D. Brown are both challenging incumbent Phil Mendelson. I really appreciate Mr. Ray's strong defense of Smart Growth, streetcars and more, though he didn't really bring these issues to the forefront until recently. Also, despite talking with him a few times and asking questions on a TV debate, I haven't come away with a really strong case for where he would show definitive leadership in controversial situations.

Meanwhile, Mr. Mendelson is a smart, capable, and honest councilmember who's been strong on the environment and a staunch defender of civil liberties and champion of same-sex marriage. His civil liberty stances have often led him to oppose crime legislation, and while public safety must be a priority, it's good to have someone asking questions like "is this Constitutional?" to keep the government from overstepping its bounds. But he's also a curmudgeon who tends to oppose changes to the city, like the aforementioned Giant and streetcars moving ahead on any kind of speedy timetable.

The contributors have generally come down on the side of Mr. Mendelson, mostly on the basis of his other good work on many issues outweighing his more obstructionist actions on a few specific points (and on which he has generally lost). Today's Post poll showing Shadow Senator Michael D. Brown in the lead is another good argument to tip the scales. That Mr. Brown has not made any compelling case for being a Councilmember, but most of his support comes from confusion between him and current at-large Councilmember Michael A. Brown.

Unfortunately, the ballot will only say "Michael Brown," a very poor decision by the Board of Elections and Ethics. Therefore, I actually hope Mr. Ray will ultimately encourage his supporters to vote for Mr. Mendelson. It's very likely that there will be a special election soon for the at-large seat held by Kwame Brown, and so Mr. Ray would make a strong contender for that election. (In fact, some have speculated that this was really his game plan all along, and Vincent Orange's too.)

I'll cover the races for Council Chair and Wards 1 and 5 in a subsequent post.

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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Don't forget backyard chicken farms. Just one more reason Wells's re-election should be a no-brainer. There are no problems more deserving of CM attention than the frustrating plight of would-be urbanist fowl ranchers.

by Trulee Pist on Aug 31, 2010 2:23 pm • linkreport

Do I detect some sarcasm Mr. Pist? If so, see if I give you any of my delicious Ward 6 grown eggs! Go Tommy!

by SoFla Resident on Aug 31, 2010 2:46 pm • linkreport

Sarcasm? A touch. But then again, Thom just likes to go after Tommy whenever he can.

by FrankyG on Aug 31, 2010 2:57 pm • linkreport

Now would adding Michael D. Brown's middle initial to the ballot really clear up things? If you think that this is the same guy as Michael A. Brown, is seeing the middle initial really going going to make you stop and say, "wait a minute, that's not my Michael Brown's middle initial"?
I was thinking about voting for Clark Ray, but the fact a vote for Ray might help to get someone who hasn't really campaigned for this position elected has given me pause.

by Steven Yates on Aug 31, 2010 4:02 pm • linkreport

In regards to your statement that Kelvin Robinson is using "vague racial language," it just so happens that these issues in ward 6 disproportionately affect residents that do not reside in the neighborhood of capitol hill. And if Tommy Wells has done so well on these issues, why do we not see more accomplishments touted by him? What we get is backyard chicken farms. Kelvin isn't making race an issue, you are. I want a councilmember that is at least talking about the important issues and not spending all of his time working on "full belly" issues.

by keith on Aug 31, 2010 5:30 pm • linkreport

If Tommy Wells paid half as much attention to DYRS and his committee responsibilities as he does to coming up with hare-brained ideas based on what's being done in Europe, the city would be far better off.

And more youth in DYRS would still be alive.

by Fritz on Sep 1, 2010 8:49 am • linkreport

Tommy Wells gave money to Bryan Weaver, who is challenging Jim Graham in ward 1. http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2010/07/30/councilmember-tommy-wells-sends-check-to-graham-challenger/

by keith on Sep 1, 2010 10:38 am • linkreport

For those of us who live in parts of the city where basic public safety is all but ignored in favor of political pandering and obfuscation by Mendelson as chair of the Public Safety Committee your characterization of him as "honest" is unbelievable. Mendelson has repeatedly underplayed, or straight-out lied, about issues such as gun violence, juvenile offenders, and the council's role in the criminal justice system. At community meeting after community meeting Mendelson has done nothing but shrug his shoulders and point fingers at MPD, and when MPD is in the room he blames the US Attorney, and when an Assistant US Attorney is present then it's those darn Superior Court judges who are at fault. When common sense solutions are suggested he opposes them not out of any grand notion of "civil liberties" as you suggest, but out of political expediency. I've personally seen him tie himself in knots to oppose very basic changes to the law regarding repeat violent offenders, and after every empty canard he's raised has been shot down, he literally admited that "some citizens" just won't allow those sorts of changes because they will be seen as biased and unfair -- to repeat violent offenders (and presumably, their family members who vote). Appearances over public safety.

You clearly have never been witness to Mendelson's performances or you'd be a little more judicious about anointing him "honest". http://www.washingtonian.com/articles/people/8002.html

by Farley on Sep 1, 2010 11:35 am • linkreport

The "vague racial innuendo" was a loaded, no-win question that Robinson should have ducked. But now I see that you want to proceed with it. SHAME!

by goldfish on Sep 1, 2010 1:51 pm • linkreport

Shame? Don't be ridiculous. Since when is making issues like crime and education a centerpiece of your campaign "vague racial innuendo?" Tommy Wells is pushing bike lanes and backyard chicken farms while violent juvenile crime is up big time in his ward while he oversees DYRS. Not to mention that as chair of the human servives committee, Wells has failed to call for any oversight or any hearings whatsoever on peacoholics.

by keith on Sep 1, 2010 1:57 pm • linkreport

If Tommy Wells paid half as much attention to DYRS and his committee responsibilities as he does to coming up with hare-brained ideas based on what's being done in Europe, the city would be far better off.

This is a bit unfair, actually. Wells actually has been in the lead on legislation to allow information on juvenile information between DYRS and MPD, which has *the* main problem with getting a handle on youth crime.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brfrPQn3YDs

The idea that we haven't completely eliminated youth crime in DC because Wells also focuses on quality-of-life issues is a bit ridiculous.

by oboe on Sep 1, 2010 2:03 pm • linkreport

whatever, guy.

by keith on Sep 1, 2010 2:04 pm • linkreport

keith,

What legislation would you like to see advanced regarding juvenile crime? As oboe say, Tommy Wells has actually passed quite a bit. What else would you like to see from him?

by TimK on Sep 1, 2010 2:06 pm • linkreport

@Keith -- I am agreeing with you.

What Mr Alpert is doing is basing his recommendation on a bogus, race-baiting question, which Robinson ducked. That is a superficial and childish way to decide on who should sit on the city council for ward 6.

by goldfish on Sep 1, 2010 2:14 pm • linkreport

@keith,

Actually, my favorite Robinson quote from the debate was when he said the city shouldn't be spending so much money on "backyard chicken-coops and dog parks."

Dog parks and chicken-coops for WHO!!?!

The man's a straight-up demogogue. Sad really.

by oboe on Sep 1, 2010 2:14 pm • linkreport

Has the city spent ANY money on backyard chicken coops?

by TimK on Sep 1, 2010 2:22 pm • linkreport

@TimK The city should spend money on backyard chicken coops. You know why? Because it's a no-brainer.

If you don't agree, maybe that's some vague sorta racial innuendo thing you need to check yourself on. Are you saying you did not watch "Green Acres"?

by Trulee Pist on Sep 1, 2010 2:36 pm • linkreport

Whoa, Trulee, take it down a notch. It's not as if I stole your park bench! I'd appreciate it if you not accuse me of racial innuendo.

I asked a question, for informational purposes. Kelvin Robinson alleges we spend too much money on chicken coops. I'm not sure, but I'm pretty sure DC spends $0 on chicken coops. That's what I'm trying to figure out.

I have absolutely no interest, for or against, chicken coops. Nor do I think Tommy Wells has spent an inordinate amount of time on it.

And no, I didn't watch Green Acres. It went off the air a few years before I was born.

by TimK on Sep 1, 2010 2:43 pm • linkreport

@TimK, my apologies. My sarcasm was obviously so lame it was lost on anybody but me. I did not mean to offend you. I was trying to make fun of the tone of David's endorsement.

A no-brainer?

I know Mr. Wells a lot better than I know Mr. Robinson, but at the forum at SE Library the other day, I thought Robinson's point made an impact when he reminded people on this end of Ward 6 that Ward 6 is a big place and some parts of it feel left out during Wells' time on the Council. So, not a no-brainer. Actually, for me, a tough choice.

It's not a matter of how much money is spent on urban fowl ranching, which I assume it is now and always will be $0. It's a matter of a CM who understands what the big issues are and what doesn't merit so much time and effort.

I am sure Kelvin Robinson would appreciate it if David Albert would not accuse him of "vague racial innuendo," but too late for that, unless David wants to come back onto this discussion to take that back and apologize to Robinson.

by Trulee Pist on Sep 1, 2010 4:24 pm • linkreport

@Trulee, no apology necessary, but thanks for the clarification.

I would say that I also say that Kelvin Robinson's interview on Kojo was vague, it was racial, and it was based on innuendo. And I thought this well before David wrote it above.

by TimK on Sep 1, 2010 4:48 pm • linkreport

@Trulee

David is not alone in that assessment. The CityPaper has an article on the race titled "'Livable and Walakble for Whom?' The Case for Going Negative" which says pretty much the same thing. And I don't think Robinson was terribly offended by this characterization as he put this article in it's entirety on his website.

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/housingcomplex/2010/08/18/livable-and-walkable-for-whom-the-case-for-going-negative/

by Steven Yates on Sep 1, 2010 4:48 pm • linkreport

with regards to legislation for juvenile crime, I would like to see some stricter curfews and a focus on better after school programs, youth athletics..... you know what, guy? I would like to see a councilmember who has solutions or is looking for solutions.... a councilmember who is trying to cut down on violent juvenile crime instead of talking about bike paths, backyard chicken farms, trollies to nowhere. I do not disagree with all of these things, but I disagree with a councilmember who is ignoring the fact that DC is not just candyland for the affluent who love these full belly issues. Ward 6 is a bigger and more diverse place than that and there are people living here with real problems and there are a lot of people who can't walk five minutes to get what they need. Outdoor cafes is not a solution to crime.

by keith on Sep 1, 2010 4:51 pm • linkreport

Tommy Wells is a nice guy with a lot of harebrained ideas (chicken coops - yeah, great idea to toss out there in the wake of avian flu).

But no one can seriously argue that he has conducted forceful oversight of DYRS or DHS. His solution is to hold a hearing, hope someone from DYRS or DHS shows up, and whimper at them for a few hours. That's about it.

He's as whimpish as Mendelson when it comes to fighting crime and solving problems.

by Fritz on Sep 1, 2010 4:55 pm • linkreport

@keith,

You mean curfews like this one?

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/Wells-proposes-emergency-summer-curfew-for-DC-teens-46584377.html

Wells routinely pushes for tougher curfews but they get watered down in the Council.

by TimK on Sep 1, 2010 4:56 pm • linkreport

Speaking of hearings. Why hasn't Tommy Wells called for an oversight hearing for peacoholics? This group has wasted millions of city dollars and Tommy Wells refuses to be held accountable for his failed oversight or lack thereof.

by keith on Sep 1, 2010 4:57 pm • linkreport

@Kieth

But sidewalk cafes put more eyes on the street, which does discourage crime.

I also don't understand why having a walkable city is only good for the affluent and not better for everyone.

by Steven Yates on Sep 1, 2010 4:58 pm • linkreport

I mean stricter curfews, and Tommy Wells routinely mismanages DYRS. Juvenile crime has doubled on his watch and something like 75% of DYRS wards have reoffended within a couple of years. Face it, he is the wrong dude to be in charge of something so serious. Perhaps he could be a councilmember for a nice village full of organic farmers, where everyone rides their bike to work and makes their own clothes. DC deserves a more serious person.

by keith on Sep 1, 2010 5:04 pm • linkreport

Just to counter TPs point since he likes to beat a dead horse.

During the Kojo debate, Mr. Robinson was asked to name what neighborhood he felt wasn't being invested in and paid attention to by Wells. Sherwood kept probing the issue -- Benning Road and Rosedale? Nope, new streetscape, sidewalks, lighting and a brand new recreation center and library being built with Tommy's help. Southwest DC? Nope, 4th Street has just been reopened with new retail, better roads and a well lit pedestrian experience. Mr. Robinson continued to say there wasn't investment across the ward, but was unable to provide an example.

by FrankieG on Sep 1, 2010 5:28 pm • linkreport

Ward 6 candidate forum tonight at 7:30 pm at Christ Our Shepherd Church, 801 North Carolina Avenue SE.

Ask the candidates in person!

by goldfish on Sep 1, 2010 5:31 pm • linkreport

@FrankyG, I was going to go light on the deadest horse I like to beat, but since you insist:

You know what MY favorite quote from the Kojo debate was? It was when Tommy Wells said four times in about two minutes, "I did not propose re-routing Pennsylvania Avenue" SE between 7th and 9th Street.

"KOJO: But do you endorse it?
"CM WELLS: NO-oooooooooo!
"KOJO: Just checking!"

http://thekojonnamdishow.org/audio-player?nid=17586

Go to 19:35

You know, it's that old Town Square hobby horse of mine. I remember feeling pretty lonesome on this board a couple of years ago, getting beat up on all sides for saying Town Square is not an improvement; it would make the neighborhood less pleasant.

Here's what the local Councilmember thinks about it (now):

"CM WELLS: I am very concerned in creating a liveable community that rotors, or circling traffic around a circle, does not promote walking."

Happy to have at least one pal, Liveable Walkable Tommy Wells, on my side in opposition to Town Square. Me, Tommy, and most of the residents in the neighborhood. Thank God for contested elections.

by Trulee Pist on Sep 1, 2010 7:02 pm • linkreport

I am not sure if it was mentioned but Councilmember Mendelson was strongly supported by two of the most active environmental groups in the District, Friends of the Earth Action and the Sierra Club. Both these groups also endorsed Councilmember Mary Cheh and Tommy Wells.

by Chris Weiss on Sep 2, 2010 8:53 am • linkreport

(chicken coops - yeah, great idea to toss out there in the wake of avian flu)

You're kidding, right?

In any event, Kelvin Robinson's NOM endorsement makes him a complete non-starter as a candidate in my mind. If you want my vote, don't take money from hatemongering organizations.

by andrew on Sep 2, 2010 10:40 am • linkreport

Kelvin did not take money from NOM, he did not seek their endorsement and he is no opponent to marriage equality. NOM put his name on a list he didn't ask to be on.

by keith on Sep 2, 2010 10:49 am • linkreport

@keith

Tommy Wells routinely mismanages DYRS. Juvenile crime has doubled on his watch and something like 75% of DYRS wards have reoffended within a couple of years. Face it, he is the wrong dude to be in charge of something so serious.

Cite please? Because the numbers I've seen show that since Schiraldi became head of DYRS the number of committed youth committing crimes or getting killed while committed to DYRS has decreased. The rate of recidivism gone down and youth committing the more violent crimes spend more time locked up at the center out in Laurel behind barbed wire than they did before Schiraldi arrived.

I'd be interested in seeing where you're getting your facts--or if you're getting them at all.

by oboe on Sep 2, 2010 11:16 am • linkreport

"BROTHER COME ON " STOP PASSING THE BUCK - TOMMY WELLS
GETS A FAILING GRADE
This means juveniles are committing a higher proportion of violent crimes. The table below shows the proportion of all arrests in DC that were juveniles from 2001-2008 (annual average), compared to the percentage of the arrests that were juveniles in 2009.
Arrest category
% of Arrests that are Juveniles (Average annual, 2001-2008)
% of Arrests that are Juveniles (2009)
Homicide
6%
10%
Robbery / carjacking
31%
41%
Aggravated Assault
10%
12%
Burglary
11%
21%
Larceny / theft
8%
11%
Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle
38%
39%
Weapons Possession
11%
15%
All arrests
6%
8%
A more detailed chart for arrests for robbery (which includes carjackings) details the long-term trend and how this compares with national averages. The proportion of robberies committed by juveniles has doubled during the past decade: from 20% of robberies in 2001 and 2002, to more than 40 percent of the robberies in 2006 and 2009. And this disturbing trend is escalating. So far in 2010, over 48 percent of the robbery arrests have been juveniles. The number of juveniles arrested for robbery has increased from 143 at this point last year to 202 this year (January 1 - June 19), an increase of more than 40 percent.
-

by Peaceaholics- Tommy Wells on Sep 2, 2010 11:37 am • linkreport

Maybe Tommy Wells operates on a quid pro quo, if not comes dangerously close.

Peaceaholics is crime-fighting, gang intervention-type organization, but there are quite a few more. I believe such money be better spent on more police officers, community college and vocational training, lengthening recreation center hours, or youth sports leagues?

10 million dollars in earmarks for the Peaceaholics, by their very nature, allocate money to politically connected organizations that serve political machines and not cross section of citizens

CouncilmemberÂ’s, who repeatedly give away our money to organizations based on politics instead of merit, should face consequences at the polls. Tommy Wells failed to hold an annual oversight hearing related to the use of the previous year's erroneous earmarks.by the Peaceholics

by Peaceaholics- Tommy Wells on Sep 2, 2010 12:01 pm • linkreport

Peaceaholics- Tommy Wells:
Your recent spurt of comments is rising to the level of spamming.

It is not appropriate to post duplicate comments. Please refrain from doing so in the future.

Comments which are largely duplicates of your own previous comments will be deleted. If you want to respond to someone, you may quote them and you may quote yourself. But it is not appropriate to repeat the entire comment verbatim.

It is also not appropriate to post unsubstantiated allegations or to resort to name-calling. Ad hominem attacks will not be tolerated.

If you disagree with an author, commenter, or public official, the appropriate action is to state your case as convincingly as possible. Calling someone names and shouting is unlikely to sway our readership to your side.

Comment threads at Greater Greater Washington are a place for rational, respectful discussion of the issues. We welcome your thoughts. But please be respectful toward the other commenters and readers of the site.

Thank you for understanding.

by Matt Johnson, Assistant Editor on Sep 2, 2010 12:12 pm • linkreport

One of the things that makes me nervous about voting for someone like Robinson is that, by discounting pretty much anything that Wells has done to make life in Ward 6 better as irrelevant or "for rich people", and instead proposing to work on things like "making sure some aren't left behind", or "jobs, jobs, jobs" or the like, is that, for a local politician, most of those things are just platitudes.

So we'll go from having a Councilmember like Wells--who responds to every email I've ever sent him in less than 48 hours--to an unknown quantity who's going to spend all his time "making sure people have jobs." The naked reality is that there's very little day-to-day that a councilmember can do to lower the sky-high unemployment rate among some of our citizens. So the promise that Robinson is not going to bother doing the hard day-to-day work required, but just labor away at fixing the most basic structural inequalities of the U.S. economic system.

by oboe on Sep 2, 2010 12:16 pm • linkreport

@Peaceaholics- Tommy Wells,

Generally speaking, it's desireable to actually post a link to whatever statistics you're trying to cite. Rather than just cut-and-pasting a bunch of context-less numbers under an extravagant headline.

by oboe on Sep 2, 2010 12:57 pm • linkreport

@ Matt Johnson, Asst Editor. I am confused over why you are throwing the book at Peaceaholics--Tommy Wells.

I re-read his many posts on this link, and I do not see any unsubstantiated allegations, name-calling or ad hominem attacks. Certainly not anything that falls to the offensive level of David Albert dismissing ANC-6A Chairman and Council candidate Kelvin Robinson as guilty of "vague racial innuendo" and therefore not worthy of any further exploration by Mr. Albert regarding his views.

The Washington Post editorial board has this to say about "Kelvin Robinson, former chief of staff to Mayor Anthony A. Williams. Mr. Robinson's experience in the government and as a small-business owner would be a valuable addition to the council."

Hardly the description of a race-baiting demagogue, even if they did endorse Robinson's opponent. Can GGW rise to level of thoughtfulness of the WaPo editorial board in making its endorsements (that's a sarcastic question)?

And in observing three Ward 6 Council debates, I found Robinson to be a serious man wrestling with a couple of big issues: Employment and public safety in Ward 6. My take: Tommy Wells may be more clever, but Kelvin Robinson is smarter and sees the big picture better.

by Trulee Pist on Sep 2, 2010 1:50 pm • linkreport

@Trulee Pist:
Several of his or her comments have already been deleted.

by Matt Johnson, Assistant Editor on Sep 2, 2010 1:55 pm • linkreport

Your most recent post is vague and asserts by innuendo that there were ad hominem attacks, name calling and unsubstantiated attacks in the posts that have already been deleted.

At least it's not racial!

Go to www.thehillishome.com for more fair treatment of Robinson on the issues raised here.

David Albert did Kelvin Robinson dirty in his endorsement of One Term Tommy Wells. But it's David's sandbox, and he can mess it up any way he wants.

by Trulee Pist on Sep 2, 2010 2:24 pm • linkreport

Certainly not anything that falls to the offensive level of David Albert dismissing ANC-6A Chairman and Council candidate Kelvin Robinson as guilty of "vague racial innuendo"...

Well, all I know about Mr Robinson is what I heard on the WAMU debate with Wells. Tom Sherwood said that "you talk a lot about 'oldtimers' and 'newcomers'--when you say 'newcomers', aren't you really talking about 'white people'?

Robinson's response was pretty telling--he kind of stammered for a minute or two about how "a lot of people are talking about 'white people'. I'm not talking about 'white people', just talking about the concerns of people who are talking about 'white people'."

Pure pandering. And a classic example of 'vague racial innuendo'. I know it sucks to have someone point it out when you're blowing the dog whistle for all your might, but sometimes someone's gonna call you out.

by oboe on Sep 2, 2010 3:05 pm • linkreport

oh, and one last thing about Robinson: he's shocked, simply shocked that anyone would think he's even the *least* bit against same-sex marriage rights in DC. That's just a viscious, viscious slander.

He only wants to reverse the DC court's ruling that it's a human rights issue, and put it to a series of referendums in which, God willing, hopefully it'll be overturned.

He seems like a deeply unprincipled and opportunistic man.

by oboe on Sep 2, 2010 3:08 pm • linkreport

Oboe, you are wrong again. here is Robinson's statement which was posted on thehillishome.com:

WASHINGTON, DC] Ward 6 Council Candidate Kelvin Robinson called for an end to skepticism regarding his stance on same]sex marriage in the District of Columbia. Robinson supports the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Equality law and will not do anything to restrict or repeal it.

gWe are a Nation and a City of laws. I respect the Districtfs marriage equality law and support equal rights for all District residents including our GLBT neighbors,h said Robinson. gI have no intentions of imposing a referendum on this law nor asking the Council to repeal the law.h

Robinsonfs opposition to the language of the marriage bill came during the debate on the bill last year. As a member of the Board of Catholic Charities during that time he did not believe the bill supported adequate religious exemptions. He pushed for a measure similar to the San Francisco same]sex marriage law, which he supports, in which the Catholic Church continued to work closely with the city. Robinson hoped the District would have been able to reach a similar compromise.

It has also been reported falsely by many in the press that he had accepted campaign contributions from the National Organization of Marriage (NOM). He has not.

gI have not, nor will I, accept funding from the National Organization of Marriage and I resent the interference of any outside organization that attempts to divide our community and meddle in local District politics.h

by keith on Sep 2, 2010 3:14 pm • linkreport

PS. I hate when you try to copy and paste something and it gives you all sorts of freaky letters and symbols throughout.

by keith on Sep 2, 2010 3:15 pm • linkreport

Ah, just read the HisH piece. Looks like Robinson's staked out yet another position. While he didn't support the original bill, won't say if he supports the law, or the ruling in favor of the law, he does say "I have no intentions of imposing a referendum on this law"--whatever that means.

Glad that's cleared up.

by oboe on Sep 2, 2010 3:16 pm • linkreport

We are a Nation and a City of laws.

I think, if there's one thing you learn if you've followed politics for more than a year or two, it's that this phrase is shorthand for "I want my supporters to know I disagree with this law, but accept that it's currently binding."

It's the sort of thing that vehemently anti-abortion DAs say all the time when asked how they can possibly be trusted to protect women's clinics.

by oboe on Sep 2, 2010 3:21 pm • linkreport

Whatever, guy. You are just a hater. Robinson has been unfairly painted as against equality since that stupid NOM thing assumed he was with them. And now you, for whatever reason, are so hell bent on tearing down the man's character that you won't accept his statement as truth. You and Tommy Wells should enjoy the organic bicycle village together.

by keith on Sep 2, 2010 3:25 pm • linkreport

You and Tommy Wells should enjoy the organic bicycle village together.

It's been a pleasure debating with you. I suppose on the 14th we'll get to see whether folks prefer to keep working towards building a walkable/cycleable "village", or whether we change direction and let all the positive changes that've happened in the last few years go down the tubes.

by oboe on Sep 2, 2010 3:29 pm • linkreport

all I know about Mr Robinson is what I heard on the WAMU debate with Wells.

I can fix that for you, oboe. Go here for a full transcript of the SE Library debate:

http://www.thehillishome.com/2010/08/what-the-candidates-said/

https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0B-yOCMv7kWeCYjRhOGMwNzQtMGIzOS00NGVmLTg1MGQtYjBiMzEwNWFmYzUw&hl=en

Here's what The Hill is Home reporter took away from the discussion. Can you please point out for me the vague racial innuendo here?

"A Livable and Walkable Community:

Considering it’s plastered all over Wells’ signs, you knew it would come up. Everyone supports a livable and walkable community but the big difference in the views on this issue is that Robinson asserts that our neighborhood cannot be either of those things until we reduce crime. He points out that some sections of the neighborhood are doing great but a lot are not — and the rash of carjackings last year is an example of this continuing issue with crime.

WellsÂ’ argument is that the more businesses, outdoor seating, sports fields, development, etc. that is brought in, the more people you will see on the streets, and therefore the safer the neighborhood becomes because there will be fewer opportunities for crimes since there will be more people (i.e. witnesses).

The other thing mentioned by Robinson in this exchange was juvenile crime and the need to implement “meaningful” youth programs that will keep kids off the streets and involved in programs that will help them in the long run. Wells introduced some legislation while in office and has always been vocal about the need to reform the city’s juvenile justice system; Robinson is asserting that through all of Wells’ talk, he has not done enough.

Are there forgotten parts of the Ward?

Wells says he’s been active in all corners — this question was raised in regards to the southeast side of the neighborhood where stalled development projects and a train project have been concerning residents.

Robinson says he believes that the Kingman Park and Rosedale area have been the most forgotten and hopes to change that."

by Trulee Pist on Sep 2, 2010 3:39 pm • linkreport

Why is Tommy Wells supporting Jim Graham's opponent?

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/blogs/citydesk/2010/07/30/councilmember-tommy-wells-sends-check-to-graham-challenger/

by keith on Sep 2, 2010 5:03 pm • linkreport

It cant be true - Why would Tommy Wells not support Jim Graham - May be because jim is a Councilmember who can deliver services to his residents. It seems to me that the Ward 6 Council rep has failed to put the citizenÂ’s interest above politics. We need a rep that will (1) Create new Jobs (2) Hold down city Taxes, (3) Improve Public Education (4) Manage the city Finances... Its time we put our citizens above politics. I am sure Jim Graham

by Peaceaholics- Tommy Wells on Sep 2, 2010 7:32 pm • linkreport

Mr Aldert has done, along with some others, is make the common mistake of confusing class and race. Robinson's point, "livable and walkable for whom?" is aimed at class differences. Those getting the benefits of the changes in the ward have more money, and are mostly white. But I believe Robinson does not intend to read race into the issue. It is a mistake to confuse the two because it tars a legitimate point.

by goldfish on Sep 3, 2010 9:35 am • linkreport

Thank you goldfish, thanks for being sensible. Class does not mean race.

by keith on Sep 3, 2010 10:11 am • linkreport

WHY WHY WHY ?
Graham Challenger Weaver Gets Check From Tommy Wells
He hit all my issues, but he did it in a great fresh way.” Wells says he has not contributed to incumbent Ward One Councilmember Jim Graham’s campaign

by Peaceaholics- Tommy Wells on Sep 3, 2010 2:37 pm • linkreport

Come over here:

http://www.washingtoncitypaper.com/articles/39679/how-32-year-old-google-veteran-david-alpert-and-his/

We are having a discussion about whether David Alpert can defend his foul, pernicious lie about Kelvin Robinson. Can anyone find any evidence whatsoever to prove Kelvin Robinson engages in "vague racial innuendo," as Alpert, lying, says he does?

by Trulee Pist on Sep 4, 2010 1:43 pm • linkreport

@Trulee:
See my post on 9/1 at 4:48 pm

by Steven Yates on Sep 4, 2010 10:58 pm • linkreport

Thanks, Steve. I agree, sidewalk cafes make a street friendlier and more liveable. I have lived and walked along 8th Street SE for 22 years. At first, it was a nasty street to walk along, particularly after dark. Now it's a magnet for people from all over the neighborhood. It works! I hope the same occurs on H Street NE once the construction is done.

Sidewalk cafes and streetcars are not enough, however, and when the price tag for streetcars starts to cut into social programs and public safety campaigns, we have to have a discussion. Similarly, when a CM fails to be a bulldog about insuring that affordable housing and local resident employment rules are being followed at city construction sites, it is fair to ask whether that CM has the right priorities (* cough, urbanist fowl ranching, cough *).

I have no question in my mind that Tommy Wells is a hell of a great CM, but I do question his priorities and his ability to do what Kelvin Robinson promises to do as CM in terms of having a forthright discussion about policy priorities for all residents of Ward 6.

As a Ward 6 resident, I feel like I have an embarassment of riches--two very good candidates. That's why I was so angry when David Alpert based his entire analysis of Kelvin Robinson on an unsupported allegation ("vague racial innuendo").

Alpert has no proof that Robinson has ever engaged in that kind of campaign, the unsupported charge is the kind of ad hominem personal attack Alpert claims to deplore, and everything in Robinson's extensive record at Catholic Charities, as ANC-6A chairperson, and as Mayor Tony Williams' chief of staff suggest to me that Robinson is the exact opposite of the kind of candidate who would engage in "vague racial innuendo." I have seen 3 debates between Wells and Robinson, and I had a half-hour chat with Robinson in a living room, whom I had never met before this campaign, and I am impressed that he is a serious man with a laudable vision for Ward 6.

I am disappointed that Alpert did not delve into any of that. The total sum and substance of Alpert's analysis of Robinson in a calumny. I am amazed that Alpert will not come forward and support his charge with evidence, and Alpert's failure to do so raises questions in my mind about Alpert's credibility--and honesty.

Most of all, I certainly don't feel Alpert's "no-brainer" endorsement of Wells added anything to the information I have in making what I am finding to be an increasingly difficult choice.

by Trulee Pist on Sep 5, 2010 2:41 pm • linkreport

@Trulee

I had meant to direct you to the CityPaper article on the Ward 6 race, which pretty much says what David is saying with regards to racial innuendo.

I think David's characterization as the Wells endorsement as "no-brainer" comes from the fact that when it comes to the core issues of this blog, Wells is just about perfect. You probably don't have the exact same priorities as David. For instance you are more concerned about crime, youth services, and other things which, while important, are probably at best tangential to the focus of this blog (for instance, while education is an important issue to the future success of DC, it's not something that gets covered in depth on this blog).

by Steven Yates on Sep 5, 2010 3:21 pm • linkreport

Steven, I'm awful sorry. I went to a comment at 4:58 instead of the one at 4:48 you were directing me to read.

I see Lydia dePillis writing about a Washington Post story and claiming Robinson was using "code words," but Lydia offers no examples of that. I have the same problem with dePillis that I have with Alpert--isn't it possible to discuss differing policy priorities without accusing one side or the other of engaging in "vague racial innuendo" or "code words"? More to the point, if you use those kinds of racially explosive terms against a candidate, don't you have a responsibility to show actual evidence of the candidate engaging in the nasty behavior?

Instead, what I find in the Washington Post article that dePillis is analyzing is this: "Robinson, 49, can point to pockets of aggrieved residents who have thrown their support his way, folks upset about street crime and more-parochial concerns. Although few complain about Wells's responsiveness, many consider his focus on bags and bikes to be frivolous.

"There are a lot more serious problems that Ward 6 needs to resolve than bicycles and pedestrians," said Mary Beatty, an advisory neighborhood commissioner from Lincoln Park and a Robinson supporter."

That won't win Ms. Beatty any friends on GGW, but it gets to the point, which has nothing to do with "vague racial innuendo."

Which is exactly your point. GGW's endorsement should focus on transportation, development and growth issues, if that's what GGW is about. My hope in reading the GGW endorsement in Ward 6 is to learn what the two candidates think about the issues GGW has championed. Kelvin Robinson supports streetcars (although I did not learn that from GGW). What are his other positions on issues GGW cares about?

We got nothing, except an extraordinary, libelous, false charge by David Alpert that Robinson engages in "vague racial innuendo." When Alpert was challenged to prove it, he went silent.

If you'll be patient with me, I'll tell you a story about David Alpert that demonstrates why I feel he is being disingenuous in pretending his "no-brainer" endorsement on the Ward 6 race is a serious effort to investigate all the GGW issues being debated in that race.

Two years ago, CM Tommy Wells introduced a group of developers named that Town Square Task Force who want to reroute Pennsylvania Avenue between 7th and 9th Street SE. The reaction of residents at that meeting was hostile to the idea. Alpert felt the Town Square task force issue was one that GGW should cover, and it has covered it over the years, repeatedly.

The Town Square task force went on to hold six (6!) community meetings to present their case for rerouting Pennsylvania Avenue SE. Opposition from residents only grew--the Task Force won no converts. At the last of them that CM Wells attended, my darling wife toddled up to Wells afterward on her walker, shook her finger at him, and said, "You started this Town Square foolishness, and it's up to you to finish it." When CM Wells demurred and said he'd like to see more community meetings, she told him, "This is going to be an election issue."

That was the last we heard from CM Wells on rerouting Pennslyvania Avenue SE, until August 24, when the Eastern Market Metro Community Association (EMMCA), a residents' group, organized a Ward 6 candidates' forum. At that forum, Wells changed his tune, and said he had doubts about the advisability of rerouting Pennsylvania Avenue SE.

I sent the transcript of the forum to David Alpert, and suggested it was worth a short comment on GGW about CM Wells' new position on rerouting Pennslyvania Ave SE. I heard nothing back from Alpert.

The next day, Kojo Nnamdi held a Ward 6 candidate's debate on WAMU. Go to Trulee Pist at 9/1 7:02 pm to see the amusing lengths Wells now goes to in order to distance himself from the plan to reroute Pennsylvania Avenue SE. I wrote Alpert another email, suggesting this really is worth reporting on GGW.

Nothing.

A few days later, I sent Alpert a third email, in which I said, in effect, "You can't blame me for trying. Nobody in the whole world wide web cares about rerouting Pennsylvania Avenue SE except Ward 6 voters, who hate it, and GGW readers, who are more receptive to the idea. Why won't you cover this?"

David Alpert wrote back and said he was preparing an endorsement piece about the Ward 6 race, and would cover Wells' developing position on rerouting Pennslyvania Avenue SE in that piece.

Which he did not. Again, Alpert can do whatever he wants with this blog, but when he is being disenguous, making unsupported allegations and ad hominem attacks, or is engaged in name-calling, he will be called on it by any commenters who have not been blocked or had their comments removed.

When is David Alpert going to show us one single example of Kelvin Robinson engaging in "vague racial innuendo"? He never will, because there is not evidence to back that up. Kelvin Robinson is not the race-baiting monster David Alpert makes him out to be. He's a serious man, with serious positions on issues, and David Alpert's dismissal of him says more about David Alpert than it does about Kelvin Robinson.

by Trulee Pist on Sep 5, 2010 5:09 pm • linkreport

@Truelee

Clearly, I've been posting too much on this site recently!

Obviously David has to make certain editorial decisions, and I imagine he felt Wells's change of heart on the Penn Ave issue was not terribly relevant to the endorsement piece (perhaps David changed his views on the issue as well, I don't know).

But to your broader point about him not responding to your points, I find he doesn't always chime in on the comment threads, particularly when others rise to his defense. When Robinson says "Livable and Walkable for whom?" I imagine David views that as tow things:

1. An attack on smart growth (or at least skepticism on an issue David and many readers see as a settled issue) and thus would slow down progress on that front. Hence the ease with which David endorses Wells.
2. the "for whom" I think is a code word for rich white people who recently moved to DC. Thus, race baiting. If you don't think that this constitutes evidence "vague racial innuendo" then I think it's an issue of agree to disagree. Like I stated before, CityPaper agrees with this assessment and Robinson put the article up on his website with no objection to this characterization. I also think his link to the TBD story constitutes an example.

I think that David views this racial characterization of these issues as damaging to our society. He states that it presents a false choice.I think he correctly calls out these dog whistle politics (personally, I'd like to see a post or series of posts on why there is a racial divide in some of these issues). Nowhere does David characterize Robinson as a monster, just not the best choice for Ward 6. Even if Robinson does support streetcars, his other comments on smart growth issues (and trivializing of them) I think are clear enough reasons for him not to be endorsed on this blog.

As a semantics issue, I don't think anything David said is an ad hominem attack. He didn't call Robinson a racist, he said he uses "vague racial innuendo," which attacks his words or actions.

I would also support the deleting of the "Peaceaholics- Tommy Wells" comments, they were bordering on spam (and making me begin to regret signing up for follow up comments). To the best of my knowledge, none of your comments, which are relevant, well thought out and engaging with the rest of the discussion, were not deleted.

by Steven Yates on Sep 5, 2010 5:49 pm • linkreport

You are right. We have got to stop meeting this way.

"Liveable, walkable for whom" means, to me, that a focus on bike lanes and urbanist fowl ranching might feel irrelevant to some people, not black people or white people, but someone who has a relative who needs intensive drug addiction treatment or somebody who is afraid to walk down the block at night or somebody who thinks my life will be better if the problems those other people face are addressed as aggresively as "smart growth" issues are being pursued today.

That is not a racial issue.

The only people who are making it a racial issue are those who hear Kelvin Robinson say that and accuse him of "vague racial innuendo." If you call Robinson's campaign a dog whistle for black voters, then you are denigrating the decisionmaking ability of black voters in Ward 6. There's no need to do that.

Robinson says the same thing to every audience he faces in every part of Ward 6. What I thought made the greatest impact in Robinson's favor at the EMMCA forum was his explanation that Ward 6 is a big place, has lots of people in need, and getting their needs addressed is just as important to the liveability of Ward 6 residents in a wealthy area where those needs rarely come up as it is to residents who are the immediate, direct victims of those problems.

Getting a CM to focus on employment, job training, school vouchers, recreation and public safety means losing a CM who focuses on bike-rider rights, a bag tax and streetcars.

You can't promise to focus totally on both. That's not credible.

One guy went one way, and earned the endorsement of David Alpert. The other guy wants to go another way, for what he perceives as the greater benefit of the greatest number, white and black.

David Alpert has no business saying the challenger is engaged in "vague racial innuendo," because he is not. I think Alpert has to be a grown-up about this, and respond. It's not like we are having a polite discussion about the impact of overhead wires on the view in Rotterdam. He, personally, and no one else, has tossed something smelly into the middle of this Ward 6 Councilmember campaign. David Alpert, and no one else, characterized Kelvin Robinson's campaign as "vague racial innuendo."

This is personal to Alpert. Take it back, or defend it, but do not engage in this kind of drive-by character assassination.

On the contrary, Kelvin Robinson says he is trying to defeat the trend that creates an environment hospitable to "vague racial innuendo" with his current work on his ANC, and promises he will keep trying as CM by bringing these issues and policy debates out into the open so we can discuss them as adults, without the race-baiting, code words or vague racial innuendo. (As we say over at the City Paper discussion of this same topic, "I'm looking at you, Sally!")

by Trulee Pist on Sep 5, 2010 7:02 pm • linkreport

There are large sections of ward 6 near RFK and DC general that do not get the benefits of the "5-minute living", but instead get bad pass-through commuter traffic and the undesirable effects of being close to DC jail. We must be careful where and when we walk in the evenings, and we are not monochromatic.

From where I sit, "Livable and walkable for whom" is valid criticism of Mr. Wells's tenure. Mr Alpert has probably been careless. Nevertheless his race-baiting endorsement is a dirty deed.

Clearly Mr Alpert does not live in ward 6 and is unfamiliar with our issues. Given that Mr Wells and Mr Alpert agree on so many things, and that this blog has some influence on the voters, it begs the question, has been some deal between them?

by goldfish on Sep 7, 2010 1:26 pm • linkreport

There are large sections of ward 6 near RFK and DC general that do not get the benefits of the "5-minute living", but instead get bad pass-through commuter traffic and the undesirable effects of being close to DC jail. We must be careful where and when we walk in the evenings, and we are not monochromatic.

Hey! We must be neighbors. Quick question, though: What does monochromatic have to do with anything? It reads like a complete nonsequiter.

Or does it take white and black folks different amounts of time to walk to the Stadium/Armory or Potomac Ave Metro stops? Sort of like how black folks aren't allowed to use the bike lanes, and don't own dogs?

Please explain.

by oboe on Sep 7, 2010 1:46 pm • linkreport

Some people have the impression that RFK is a black neighborhood. It isn't.

by goldfish on Sep 7, 2010 2:21 pm • linkreport

@goldfish

Of course it's not. I'm just not sure what your point was. You said "livable and walkable for whom?" and "we must be careful where and when we walk in the evenings, and we are not monochromatic." But seemed to be dancing around some subject. You seemed to want to make a point, but I couldn't understand it, and thought you might clarify a bit.

by oboe on Sep 7, 2010 2:44 pm • linkreport

The point is that RFK is a mixed neighborhood, nothing more.

If you think that "livable and walkable for whom" is "racial innuendo," then where this kind of thinking gains votes is in a neighborhood that is not white. But since RFK is mixed, then that sort of characterization is just wrong, both demographically and philosophically.

by goldfish on Sep 7, 2010 3:03 pm • linkreport

I think you'd have to show that there's not a racial disparity in support for bike lanes, dog parks, streetcars, and walk-to-school initiatives, etc, etc... I actually agree that the divide actually falls along lines of socio-economic status, and, I would argue, more relevantly than anything else, *age*.

Of course, most of the older (and poorer) residents are black, and most of the younger (and wealthier) are white.

by oboe on Sep 7, 2010 3:28 pm • linkreport

@Oboe: thanks for pointing out the age demographics. Partly why Mr Alpert's endorsement drives me nuts is because I greatly respect the opinions of my older neighbors.

by goldfish on Sep 7, 2010 4:00 pm • linkreport

@goldfish:

Sure. It's one of the things that bugs me too. There's no reason why older folks think bike lanes, dog parks, and the like are ridiculous ideas, and that we should focus on crime to the exclusion of all else. Also, folks whose children (and grandchildren) are long grown would tend to think school reform isn't quite the burning issue that younger parents might.

Especially when they've seen several generations of their own kids graduate from DCPS and do just fine.

by oboe on Sep 7, 2010 5:31 pm • linkreport

For Peaceoholics, Lots of Money, Little Oversight
was Tommy Wells is responsible for Peaceoholics

by Can you spell Cover UP on Sep 7, 2010 8:49 pm • linkreport

What bugs me is Kelvin Robinson gets no credit for the sterling grammar and faultless diction of that "...for whom?"

by David Alpert's Sixth Grade English Teacher on Sep 8, 2010 2:21 am • linkreport

@Oboe -- You need to speak to some other older neighbors. Mine are indifferent toward dog parks and bike lanes, because such things have little effect on their lives. What concerns them are the things that do, such as property taxes.

by goldfish on Sep 8, 2010 9:12 am • linkreport

David Alpert - Race Baiting Again - Its Time for a Change

The history of racist
liberals, who have always claimed to be the authoritative source of progressive attitudes on race, have actually become one of the centers of racist thinking in the ward six race over the last six weeks, a period of time in which liberalism itself was being reconfigured by the radical back yard chicken farmers. Kelvin Robinson is endorsed by The Honorable Anthony Williams can surely have an intellectual disagreement about a strategy for improving education and recreation in Ward Six; without a bitter personal component. Its only black radicals like the Peaceoholics their limosine Liberal- supporters who need to need to forget the middle /working class people of Ward Six.”

Most of those who had expressed contempt for Kelvin Robinson and his common sense good governement will never embraced his vision of an integrated social world.

Thats the race politics of David Alpert might allow us to hope for a day when all gods children will have back yard chicken farms administered by the Peaceoholics and Tommy Wells .

by Tony the DA- Mayor on Sep 8, 2010 5:17 pm • linkreport

@Tony the DA- Mayor:
Having consistent "handles" or nicknames facilitates open discussion at Greater Greater Washington. We don't require that you give your real name, but we do want you to be consistent in what you call yourself.

Since you are a regular commenter, you need to use the same name each time. In the past, you have typically commented under the name "Peaceaholics- Tommy Wells".

Please pick a name and stick with it.

by Matt Johnson, Assistant Editor on Sep 8, 2010 5:30 pm • linkreport

THE RETURN OF THE LIBERALS AND BLACK RADICALS -THE FENTY WELLS TEAM==David Alpert - Race Baiting Again - ItÂ’s Time for a Change
The history of racist
liberals, who have always claimed to be the authoritative source of progressive attitudes on race, have actually become one of the centers of racist thinking in the ward six race over the last six weeks, a period of time in which liberalism itself was being reconfigured by the radical back yard chicken farmers. Kelvin Robinson is endorsed by The Honorable Anthony Williams, he can surely have an intellectual disagreement about a strategy for improving education and recreation in Ward Six; its only black radicals like the Peaceoholics and their limousine Liberal- supporters who need to forget the middle /working class people of Ward six”
Most of those who had expressed contempt for Kelvin Robinson and his common sense good government approach will never embrace his vision of an integrated social world.
The race politics of David Alpert might allow us to hope for a day when all GodÂ’s children will have back yard chicken farms administered by the Peaceaholics and Tommy Wells.

by peaceohilics- Tommy Wells on Sep 8, 2010 5:47 pm • linkreport

WELLS URGES MORE DRUGS IN OUR LIVEABLE WALKABLE NEIGHBORHOODS

Night in the Jack Morton Auditorium.

Councilmember Tommy Wells, who represents Ward 6, said that the surge of heroin use and cases of HIV in the District is a crisis that demands an aggressive and maybe even unconventional approach to combat - treatment for heroin addiction with heroin itself. TOMMY WELLS

by Peaceoholics- Tommy Wells on Sep 9, 2010 1:26 pm • linkreport

Tommy Wells lives in la-la land. In La-la land the most important issues are bike lanes, dog parks, back yard chicken farms and.... wait for it...... heroin. I can't believe I missed this. Back in January, CM Tommy Wells proposed heroin shooting galleries for DC. This is a practice becoming more common in europe. Crazy talk. http://media.www.gwhatchet.com/media/storage/paper332/news/2010/01/21/News/Best-Cure.For.Heroin.Addiction.Is.Heroin-3855758.shtml#4

by keith on Sep 9, 2010 3:56 pm • linkreport

WHAT A TEAM - THE RETURN OF THE LIMOSINE LIBERAL & BLACK RADICAL -

Despite the fact that Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells recalls Ron Moten calling him "a liar and a double-crosser" at a recent hearing regarding the Peaceaholics, the two men currently find themselves agreeing about something: The D.C. Council has gone too far with its anti-vote-buying legislation.

ITS TIME FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS STAND UP

CODE-- WARD SIX DEMOCRATS -- CODE

by peaceoholics- tommy wells on Sep 9, 2010 7:27 pm • linkreport

Former D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams Endorses Kelvin Robinson For Ward 6 Council Seat

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Former DC Mayor Anthony Williams endorsed Kelvin Robinson for the Ward 6 Council seat in his challenge against incumbent Tommy Wells. In a letter to Ward 6 residents Mayor Williams encourages voters that Robinson “can deliver the kind of leadership needed to move our Ward and our City forward.”

Read the full text of letter below:

Dear Neighbors,
As former Mayor of the District of Columbia and a current Ward 6 resident, I am proud to offer this letter of support for Kelvin RobinsonÂ’s candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the City Council seat representing our Ward.

During my administration, Kelvin served as my Chief of Staff from 2001 to 2004. He was an integral part of my team that laid the foundation for our CityÂ’s remarkable renaissance, which we all now enjoy. KelvinÂ’s professionalism, expertise and capabilities in local government have been put to the test in a variety of leadership roles that undoubtedly have prepared him to effectively serve as our next councilman.

Whether working with me to bring our City from a major fiscal deficit to a record surplus; or working with me on cross border initiatives with regional partners to address crime and our public transportation issues; or working with the White House and Congress to ensure record level funding for public schools and affordable housing; or in his present capacity as chair of Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6A, Kelvin has demonstrated that he is a leader genuinely committed to public service. A highly skilled manager, he is able to handle competing priorities and objectives, and bring together divergent perspectives to advance the common goals of our Ward and our City.

As the husband of an elementary school teacher and father of two teenage sons (one of whom is a championship fencer), Kelvin is concerned about continuing school reform and rebuilding recreation centers to provide education and after-school options for our children; reducing juvenile crime to make our neighborhoods safer; providing employment and skills training so that unemployed residents can work in well-paying and sustainable jobs; and ensuring smart and responsible development to expand business opportunities and neighborhood amenities.

I agree with the Washington Post’s assessment of Kelvin’s “experience in the government and as a small-business owner would be a valuable addition to the council…” and as your Mayor from 1999 to 2007, I have no doubt that Kelvin can deliver the kind of leadership needed to move our Ward and our City forward.

I am voting for Kelvin Robinson who is number one (#1) on the ballot on September 14th, and I strongly encourage you to do the same, so that together we can continue our progress for a stronger and more prosperous City.

With kind regards,

by peaceholics-tommy wells on Sep 9, 2010 7:42 pm • linkreport

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