Archive for the '2013' Category

Why does Nathan Saunders have a job?

Why are DCPS & WTU President Saunders Downplaying the Excessing of 500-600 Teachers?

Under the current Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) Collective Bargaining Agreement, there is a great likelihood that excessing eventually leads to one’s termination as there is no longer a requirement for teachers to be placed by DCPS. With fewer positions available due to school closings, it is reasonable to conclude more teachers will be forced out. What the general pubic doesn’t understand is that Highly Effective and Effective teachers are among the pool of excessed candidates. Add to this list the number of reconstituted schools (Cardozo High School and Patterson Elementary School) and the number of yearly excessed teachers increases.

We are led to believe by WTU’s President Saunders that the majority of teachers will get re-hired without any evidence to support these claims. Erich Martel, a retired DC Public Schools high school teacher ponders- “Why Chancellor Henderson and WTU President Saunders are downplaying the number of teachers getting excess notices this year?”  

Define reform

Alan Suderman reporting on Anita Bonds victory

Bonds’ victory will likely lead to plenty of hand-wringing among self-style progressive and/or reform voters, who often tend to be white and relatively new to the city and have seen their votes split among several of their chosen candidates in the last three at-large elections. Bonds’ victory follow similarly patterned wins by Councilmember Vincent Orange in 2011 and 2012. Orange eked into office with 29 percent of the vote in the 2011 special election and won 40 percent of the vote in last year’s Democratic primary, beating Sekou Biddle by only 1,746 votes.

There’s a clear appetite among the majority of the city’s voters for fresh blood on the Council. (Orange had previously been a Ward 5 councilmember and, like Bonds, has been a fixture of the local Democratic Party.) Yet no candidate has been able to bring together the disparate groups of voters looking for change in a strong majority or even a simple plurality. That might be because the reform-oriented candidates just haven’t been that impressive, but it’s more likely because “reform” means different things to different people; there’s no organized effort or group powerful enough to make or break any candidate who wants to claim the reform mantle. It’s an open casting call, and the people who answer it are often convinced of the rightness of their crusade.

In 2006 Adrian Fenty carried every precinct in the city running on reform. 4 years later Fenty was dumped in the Democratic primary because black people thought that reform was just code for push all the black people out of the city. I could be wrong, but I think the word reform is toxic in the black community.

Now the policies of gentrification have been put in place by Democratic and predominately black city councils and mayors. Electing black Democrats does not seem a solution. But it does not surprise me that white candidates running on a reform platform are not finding much support in the black community.

Candi Patterson for the Washington Teachers Union

It’s Official – I’m Running in the WTU elections!

Good afternoon to all of you. It’s official on April 30, 2013- I declared my candidacy for Washington Teachers’ Union (WTU) General Vice President again. This time, I am running on the Elizabeth Davis (known as Liz) slate. It’s an opportunity for a new start, for new beginnings- a time to take stock of where we’ve been, where we stand and how much needs to be done for DC teachers and school personnel.

Good luck and God speed.

Candidates forum at SOME

SOME Hosts Candidates Forum for April Special Election

Statehood Green Party candidate and army veteran Perry Redd explained that he had experienced homelessness himself after leaving the military.

He contended the city has not done enough to address family homelessness, which has risen steeply since the recession. The number of homeless families in DC increased by 46 percent between 2008 and 2011, and an additional 19 percent between 2011 and 2012, according to the results of annual homeless counts.

Frumin REALLY does not get it:
Statements made about homelessness led to the topic of the city’s

scarcity of affordable housing. Frumin proposed a $500 monthly voucher for teachers, policemen, firemen and other city employees to be put towards rent or mortgage.

This will do exactly nothing for workers in food service, retail, hospital, and hospitality, the sector of our workforce most likely to become homeless. Besides we do not need vouchers, we need low cost housing.

Attorney Paul Zuckerberg (D) added that the city needs to be more meticulous in where the fund’s money is actually going.

“I want to see housing money going towards real housing units,” he said. “We need to make sure it’s going to housing and not the pockets of lobbyists and special interest groups.”

Excellent point, if there are not more units available, then DC is just chasing its tail.

Silverman is just hopeless:

“The key component to preventing homelessness is making sure folks have jobs,” said Silverman. “We need to look at who is employable and who is not.”

In other words, we have to decide who gets thrown under the bus.

Silverman, who said her work at the fiscal policy institute has given her insights into the challenges of workforce development, also spoke in support of putting money into job training programs and adult literacy programs.

In other words, she is looking for ways to direct city money into the pockets of her fellow advocates, not create a jobs program for the City’s army of unemployed.

Patrick Mara and Anita Bonds could not be bothered to show up, so we can write them off.

Perry Redd for DC Council April 23

YouTube: Perry Redd for City Council

Tim Craig

I agree, there is a war on cars, and I don’t understand why a city with a progressive nature wouldn’t come with a more balanced approach,” said Perry Redd, 48, the Statehood Green Party candidate.

Perry Redd for DC Council at Large

Perry Redd has a clear vision for the city of Washington, DC. There will be no doubt about where he stands on the issues important to the residents of the city. Fairness and quality of life issues are paramount in this special election campaign.

Perry Redd for Council on Twitter.

Paul Zuckerberg

Washington City Paper

Zukerberg has staked his campaign on one main issue: decriminalizing marijuana. (A large share of Zukerberg’s legal practice is representing accused pot smokers.) The Wilson Building has been in no rush to even ponder relaxing the laws on pot, and no one’s talked much about it in other recent local races. Decriminalization is different than legalization; Zukerberg says the city should assess civil fines to people caught with small amounts of pot, not criminal penalties. He says the only reason the idea hasn’t gotten much attention is because D.C. politicians are afraid to talk about the toll unfair drug laws have on District residents.

“It’s the largest civil rights issue we have in the District of Columbia,” Zukerberg says during a recent interview. He cites statistics showing that D.C. leads the country in per capita marijuana arrests and the fact that black residents are eight times more likely to be arrested for lighting up than white residents. “We’re saddling a lot of African Americans, mostly young black males, with criminal records.”

I don’t know if I will vote for Zuckerberg or not. I will certainly not vote for any incumbent. And Zuckerberg is certainly correct about the racist nature of our current enforcement of drug laws.

Charles Crews for DC City Council

2013 DC Council At Large Candidate Charles Crews