Friday Question of the Day

I know we don’t talk a lot of politics here at PoP but believe it or not the City Council primaries are coming up September 9th.  Right around the corner.  So I’m wondering if folks are following the races.  So for the Friday Question of the Day I’d like to know if you are going to vote in the primaries and if you are happy with the incumbents?  Personally, I have to say I’m pretty impressed with the way Muriel Bowser responded to the concerns of many regarding the YES! Organic Market liquor license fiasco.  What are the issues for you that will influence how you select your candidate for City Council?  I’m going to vote on Public Safety and Development issues.  You?

18 Comment


  • Is Kwame Brown the only at large council member who is up for election this year?

  • Kwame is the only Democratic at large council member up for re-election. But in Nov. you will have the chance to vote for up to two at large seats, which Kwame will be running for. One of the at large seats that is up must go to a non-Democrat.

    Folks can also vote for folks who will serve on the DC Dem. State Committee. I will be voting for folks on the following slate:

  • I’m totally unimpressed with Muriel. I find her to be incredibly unresponsive–her support of the YES was good, but that’s really the only issue where I’ve seen her be proactive. I think the closing of Clark School was a travesty, and she tends to just rubber stamp Fenty’s votes. The couple times she hasn’t, she’s been on what I consider the wrong side of issues. (The candidates were on the Kojo Politics Hour a couple weeks ago, and she tried to defend her record but it was pretty lame).

    On top of that, she’s ALWAYS late for community meetings (seems disrespectful), and she doesn’t seem to want to listen to what’s being said. Case in point–the Georgia Ave development meeting last night. She calls this meeting to get “community input” but then reveals at the end of the meeting that a deal had basically been cut already!

    I’m leaning toward supporting Baruti Jahi right now, though sadly I’m guessing that Muriel will win again and we’ll have 4 years of unresponsive leadership in Ward 4. I know we can do better.

  • I’ll just vote in Nov then. I don’t really care who goes to vote for Obama, and it doesn’t look like anyone is even running against Kwame. More than anything I would like to see Mendelson out because of his pro-crime stance. Guess I’ll have to wait awhile for that.

  • change the gaurd. we’ve had the same old do nothings for years. get rid of the incumbants wherever you can

  • saf

    jae – much as I hate to say it, I’m blaming the gentleman from DMPED for last night’s debacle. She pissed me off good, but last night’s waste of time was more his fault for mis-stating the purpose of the meeting, IMO. Did you stay for the whole thing?

    I do find the always late to community meetings that always start late infuriating and disrespectful. Fenty was even worse about that, and Jarvis just never showed up at all. They should just start the meetings on time, with or without her. I rush out of work and often go without dinner to get to these things on time, they should be more considerate of the time citizens take and the effort we expend to get to these meeting.

    That said, I’m still not certain how I’m voting, but I am looking at all my options.

  • Did anyone see The Post article on the Ward 4 race? How about listen to the Kojo Nnamdi candidates debate? There is a lot of criticism for Muriel and I was all ready to jump on that bandwagon until I started to listen and learn.

    For starters, she has no staff – she is a one-woman band. I see her in the community, I see her responding to blogs and list-servs, I see her making necessary changes – by herself. So if she is late to a meeting because she doesn’t have schedulers and assistants and she had to attend the last meeting by herself then so-be-it. It is not disrespect, it is over-worked.

    She was the only intelligent person in that debate. She was the only one who talked about her position on the issues (in between having to defend attacks). The rest of the lot just complained about her and said that they were, “for the community.” Well great, who isn’t, but what does that mean. I am not going to vote for someone who’s only position is bashing the last person to hold the office.

    On the subject of Clark, It may have been performing better than some other schools, but the reality is that it was severely under-enrolled. We have an open school system where students can apply to go to any school. If it was such a beacon of excellence then why weren’t people flocking to it? We need to fix the public school system. Part of that fix is to close under-enrolled schools and get rid of a huge amount of resources – buildings, salaries, admin money – that they suck up. This “as long as it is not my school mentality” is disturbing and not going to cut it. By the way, I am a parent of a DC public school 7th grader. Major changes were made at my school this year that I was not particularly happy about, but I realize that it is part of a major change that needs to take place for the good of all DC public school students.

    I want Muriel to concentrate on those things that will make Ward 4 better starting with cleaning up and developing GA Avenue. She is working hard to make that happen. I will be voting for her to continue that work. My husband went to a meeting recently where they had a “talking stick” – every one passed it and talked, no action was taken. Sometimes I feel like the residents of DC are on some huge “talking stick” mentality. We need to be vocal and make sure that our city is run to the benefit of the whole community. But we also need to allow action and decision and recognize that we will not always agree with every action and decision.

  • saf

    Uh, cupcake, no staff? I have met at least 2 of her staff!

  • I stand corrected – you are right. She doesn’t have committee staff, but she does have staff.

    That doesn’t change my position that she is out there and working hard.

  • do you know how much these people are paid??? Think about how hard you would work and how many things you would get accomplished if you had the same paycheck these people get. do you really think its earned?

  • saf

    I agree, she works very hard.

  • hey cupcake, can we get link to that post article on ward 4?

  • I think Ward 4 lost an extremely responsive Councilmember when Fenty became Mayor.
    When I had some hassles with the DMV-his staff was right on it. And I don’t mean right on it in a DC Government kinda way….

  • Muriel was late to every debate and event during the special election campaign. It has nothing to do with her staff or lack thereof. She’s disorganized and disrespectful. I’ll also say that her communications person–Kristen Barden?–has bailed her out of some email exchanges where Muriel has demonstrated a personal lack of respect. And it’s generally Kristen who responds to my queries (and the Petworth listserve, frequently).

    SAF–I didn’t stay for the entire meeting last night because like you, I rushed home for work and hadn’t eaten dinner before heading over there. I left when the presentations ended and the meeting deteriorated into a shouting match.

    Cupcake–I’m not sure which Kojo debate you were listening to. On the one I heard about 2 weeks ago, Muriel sounded more like a puppet than an independent thinker. The reason I’m supporting Jahi is because he actually said things that made a point and made sense.

    As far as Clark School–I take my dog over there and more and more frequently we see groups of adults hanging out on the playground. I thought nothing of it until one of the neighbors of the school who knows these guys said they’re associated with the shootout at Truesdale a couple months back when a young man was killed. While under-enrollment at a school may be considered bad–though I don’t see the problem, in that smaller class sizes and more attention can only be positive–the vacant building is becoming a blight. And now the field is a trash heap, with empty water bottles and garbage everywhere. It will soon be overrun with rats. I sure haven’t heard anything useful coming from Muriel on that!!!

  • That point about the pay is embarrassing. If Murial needs more money then she should go work in the private sector somewhere. People don’t go into public office for the money. They should be going because they’re passionate about the issues and their (in this case) wards. She should’ve known a long time ago, as she was getting into politices, that it was going to be a thankless job.

  • Muriel has a chief of staff, a constituent service director, a receptionist and 3 special asst. an intern and the lsit goes on. The salary for her is $114,000.00.

  • Muriel is grooming herself for her next step: real estate development. That’s the big money and where her interests lie.

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