Greater Greater Washington

Politics


Future at-large member will sit on important committees

The DC Council's committees have been assigned, but some important slots are still yet to be filled when the DC Democratic State Committee, and later the voters, selects an at-large member to fill Kwame Brown's seat.


Photo by dbking on Flickr.

The committee assignments announced today place five members on each committee, like last year. However, four committees only have four members. This presumably means that the at-large member will take the fifth seat on each committee.

Those committees are:

  • Public Works and Transportation, which sets transportation policy, oversees the transportation agencies and DPW, and will be helmed by Tommy Wells;
  • Economic Development, which handles public land deals and will have Harry Thomas, Jr. as chair;
  • Housing and Workforce Development, whose portfolio includes the various housing agencies and is chaired by Michael Brown; and
  • Public Services and Consumer Affairs, headed by Yvette Alexander and overseeing DCRA and the many other regulatory agencies (except ABRA, which stays with Jim Graham).
The choice from the State Committee and then in the special election was always extremely important, but for those who care about development, transportation, affordable housing and more, it's made even more important.

I've obtained a scan of the list that was handed out at the meeting of committees, members, and which agencies each oversees.

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. 

Comments

I'd run, except:

1 - I fall short on the 1-yr residency requirement.
2 - I have crazy heretical ideas, such as espousing that German Shepherds come from Holland.
3 - No one knows who I am.

by Bossi on Dec 22, 2010 11:56 pm • linkreport

Anyone else concerned about Harry Thomas, Jr. - who seems to think that Wal-Mart is the answer to creating jobs and revitalizing neighborhoods - being chair of Economic Development?

by James on Dec 24, 2010 3:53 pm • linkreport

People shop at Wal-Mart because they like Wal-Mart; nobody forces them to do it. Don't blame Harry Thomas for giving his constituents what they want.

Half the concerns that are typically raised about Wal-Marts is that they often open up in the suburbs or exurbs and have an enormous spatial footprint (and then close their doors in a few years, leaving a giant empty box and acres of untended asphalt). The thing is, Wal-Mart in this case is setting up shop *in the city.* So at least that concern is quieted here. Smart growth it is, or at least smarter than opening shop outside the city.

People are desperate for jobs, and Wal-Mart can give them some. God knows there aren't bunches of cutesy mom-and-pops opening up to hire our residents. Many of our residents just don't have a lot to offer to an employer, and they aren't willing or able to become employers themselves. The government can't afford to put them to work directly (okay, fair enough: we should stop handing out tax exemptions with such recklessness, yes, but the point still holds), so who the heck other than Wal-Mart is going to ride in on a white horse and start hiring poor, undereducated DC residents? I mean, really? There's just no other demand for their services.

It's not hard to work at Wal-Mart, and a lot of people are willing to do it. That's why Wal-Mart's model works, to the extent that it does work. It's very easy to hate on Wal-Mart, but unfortunately, people are the problem. We aren't willing to unionize or boycott to the extent necessary to turn political action into the economic force it needs to become in order to matter.

If you want to fight Wal-Mart, go convince people that they shouldn't work or shop there. But good luck.

by Just a guy on Dec 27, 2010 10:41 am • linkreport

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