Archive for January, 2013

Gray, Mendelson, and Evans agree, more subsidies for banksters

Mike DeBonis

To hear it from Tuesday’s rollout of the annual District financial audit, the fate of the city’s $417 million budget surplus is a foregone conclusion: Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) and council Finance and Revenue Committee Chair Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) all agreed: The full surplus will be saved, not spent.

This is in effect, a subsidy for banksters. They can use DC’s money to loan out to their customers. It is a windfall for them. Meanwhile there are people sleeping on the street because we have no affordable housing.

Jack Evan’s priorities


“The only place where I would willingly spend money would be on police and fire,” Councilman Jack Evans, head of the Finance and Revenue Committee, told me last week. He said police and firefighters have not received raises in years. Retroactive increases could total $75 million.

I am not necessarily against this.

however, there is a reason that Evans chooses fire and police over other services. No matter how rich you are you need the fire and police to work. You can send your children to private schools. You can buy a health club membership instead of the parks and recreation department. But you can’t buy your way around fire and police.

Evans has been against poor people since he tried to shut down Miriam’s kitchen years ago.

Mayor Gray’s priorities

Mayor Gray Outlines Plans For D.C.’s $417M Budget Surplus

While council members may be clamoring to spend the budget surplus, Mayor Vincent Gray says the money will go into the savings account. He says this will help D.C. reach its goal of having two months of cash on-hand.

In other words our budget surplus will be used to make bankers even richer than they are now. Our surplus will be put into a savings account that will then be used by the bank to make loans that will make the bank rich. Which is fine, except we need that money to keep the schools open and to keep the homeless shelter at Second and D open all year long. We also need that money to open up rooms at DC General so that homeless families can be kept together rathan than have children wind up in the foster child system.

Really, Vincent Gray has truly horrible priorities and I hope that Mary Chech and the rest of them insit on doing the right thing and put poor people before bankers.

The hideous David Catania

Jonetta Rose Barras

D.C. Councilman David Catania is right: More parents should be pushed to get their children to school. It’s hard to dispute the fact that a child who is not in the classroom can’t receive any academic benefits. Still, his recently introduced legislative proposal, which would impose a series of sanctions — from written warnings to jail time or a $100 fine — on parents whose children have 10 or more unexcused absences, is no panacea for poor test scores and low graduation rates. In fact, his approach appears to ignore the reality of life in some low-income communities where truancy is highest.

Catania has spent his entire sorry career beating up on poor people that I would normally assume that this is more of the same. But I do wonder if his employer’s interests don’t include for profit prisons that are looking for additional inmates.

John Wesley Sermon: Thoughts on War

John Wesley Sermon: Thoughts on War

The Story of CCNV (Community for Creative Non-Violence)

How the homeless shelter at Second and D Street, NW was established.

Mayor Gray, Tommy Wells, and Muriel Bowser want to turn the Second Street shelter into a winter only shelter, background here and here.

I assume that Mary Cheh is OK with turning out 2,000 people onto the streets of Washington, DC.

Shame on them and shame on the rest of us for putting these heartless hacks into office.

Kaya Henderson City Council testimony FAIL

DCPS Chancellor faces lawsuit, angry City Council

Notably, this is how the Chancellor chose to end the nearly 3-hour meeting.

Dripping in flashy, bulky gold jewelry, the Chancellor bragged about all her other standing job offers and implied that she could be making a lot more money ”without all of this,” gesturing with both arms at the City Council and the cameras.

You have job offers? Fine. Take one. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Empower DC Announces Law Suit Over School Closings

Edit –
Chancellor’s Plan to Close 15 Public Schools Faces Opposition


Read about all the money the DC City Council has poured into ARCH Development Corporation, a non-profit run by a Virginia resident, whose beneficiaries are almost entirely commuters.

And how do we pay for this? By closing schools in Anacostia and cutting services for our neediest residents.

If Tommy Wells runs for mayor and I have a chance to talk with him, I will ask him why money for Archstone Development is more important for providing for current residents.

Empower DC sues over proposed school closings

Empower DC plans to sue over D.C. school closures

Grassroots community organization Empower DC plans to sue the District over Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s school-closure plan, saying that the closures disproportionately affect black students.

“The Constitution is colorblind. The proposed school closings are not,” lawyer Johnny Barnes, who will lead the litigation, said in a statement Friday. “Citizens who live in Anacostia are entitled by law to be treated the same as those who live on Albemarle.”

DC’s Ward 8 Parents Tell Mayor “Enough is Enough”

Protest outside Mayor Gray’s house

Protest held outside DC Mayor’s home over proposed school closures

Scores of D.C. residents and nearly a dozen school children staged a boisterous candlelight march outside the Branch Avenue, SE home of D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray Tuesday night. They are upset over a proposal to close as many as 20 D.C. public schools.

Mayor Vince Gray = Adrian Fenty on DC School Closures