“It was a visit that was seemingly staged to the extent that it could have been a scene from the TV show, Parks and Rec”

Photo of Girard Street Playground by PoPville flickr user Erin

“Dear PoPville:

The mayor visited Columbia Heights last week for what our councilwoman billed as a public meeting “to discuss community concerns, including public safety.” Though it had been scheduled for some time, my wife and I were encouraged by the timing of the visit, coming so soon after the July 7 shoot-out at the Girard Street playground. Our three-year old daughter, numerous friends, and dozens of others – children, nannies, camp counselors – were at the playground that morning when the near-deadly incident occurred. It rattled us greatly, and we know we’re not alone feeling so unsettled by this and other recent violent activity in the neighborhood. We viewed the mayor’s visit as an important opportunity to engage with her and her staff. Unfortunately, the mayor’s outing was designed to limit public engagement to pre-scheduled appointments.

We also viewed the mayor’s visit as an opportunity for her to get an honest view of our neighborhood – both the good and the bad. From what I saw, she did not. It was a visit that was seemingly staged to the extent that it could have been a scene from the TV show, Parks and Rec. As such, it was a far cry from what we see on a daily basis. Some observations from the mayor’s time here:

The young men who regularly hang out on the sidewalk smoking weed and sitting on parked cars on the 1400 block of Girard Street were nowhere to be seen, and the block was – uncharacteristically for any Columbia Heights street – entirely free of litter.

When I (and others from the neighborhood) caught up to the Mayor and a cohort of senior officials from DPW, DPR and MPD on the playground, we could hardly hear her questions or their responses. Curiously enough for a 4:30pm on a Thursday, there was a very noisy, very visible and very timely street cleaning vehicle directly behind the Mayor where University Place meets Fairmont Street. Yellow-vested men on foot with brooms and shovels followed closely behind the truck, vigorously sweeping and disposing of litter. Wonderful to see, but definitely not the norm.

And speaking of litter, if you’ve ever been to the Girard Street Park – though beautiful as it is after its renovation – it is often plastered with it, especially on afternoons and weekends. (We held our daughter’s third birthday party there earlier this summer and knew enough to go at 8am to clean the park before guests arrived at 10:00am. We filled 5 trash bags.) The day of the Mayor’s visit, the park was spotless and there were young people actively sweeping throughout her time there. I can still see the look on the Mayor’s face when, perched on an elevated stand, she looked out over the park and said with a satisfied smile: “It’s just so clean.” Again, yes, wonderful to see, but definitely not the norm.

When the Mayor headed from the playground to the Rec Center for her by-appointment-only “office hours,” a group of young people congregating at the nearby tables broke into a hushed but beautiful singing of “God Bless America.”

A friend who lives across the street from the park told me that while the mayor was in the Rec Center, a DPR truck arrived to distribute goodies (scooters, etc.) for children, only to collect them again after she walked from the building to her car.

It was wonderful that the Mayor visited Columbia Heights and spent time walking our sidewalks, but how it was carried out leaves me wondering what it was meant to accomplish. Was it meant to check a box and provide talking points about attention paid to the neighborhood? Was it an opportunity to film B-roll of street sweepers in action over the Mayor’s shoulder? I’m hoping the rest of the Mayor’s walkabout wasn’t similarly as staged. When I exited the Columbia Heights metro at 4pm, the first people I saw were four young men sitting on the Five Guys windowsill looking so out of it that I doubt they could have told you their names if asked. Did the mayor see the same scene when she started her walk there at 3pm? Did she see the same volume of litter, the public urination, or the drug use that is a daily occurrence there?

On the whole, Columbia Heights is a wonderful neighborhood. I love it. It’s diverse and walkable, it’s lively and creative, and I knew more of my neighbors within the first three weeks of living here than I did in three years in my previous neighborhood. But if the Mayor wants to have a serious, non-theatrical view of our community – especially that two-block radius in and around the Girard Street Park that has been host to no fewer than three shootings in recent months – I hope the Mayor will plan to return unscheduled and unannounced.

-Jon in Columbia Heights”

92 Comment

  • I’m shocked *shocked* to hear this. Unfortunately nothing will change. City Hall is Muriel’s reward for her incompetence at WMATA. Cozying to unions does pay off.

  • “a DPR truck arrived to distribute goodies (scooters, etc.) for children, only to collect them again after she walked from the building to her car.”

    LOL. If true, this is embarrassing.

    • It’s embarrassing that they were giving out free goodies and equally embarrassing that they were taking them back. But considering that we are hearing this 3rd-hand from an unnamed source, I think we need some corroboration.

    • I’ve seen a DPR roller skate truck at our local park but it was for a camp/lessons they had going on. So, my guess is that they were using the equipment in a similar fashion here but not charging people for the rental like they do through the cost of DPR camps. It does seem like they could have extended the time for rental past the time the mayor was there though. That seems to confirm OP’s hypothesis that it was all a show.

  • This is honestly depressing. But hey, I guess DC got exactly what they wanted in a new mayor, right? Good for her, acting like she cares about anyone but herself.

    -Former resident of Columbia Heights

  • saf

    I’d be interested to hear how Muriel responds when you send this to her.

  • Why what a lovely Potemkin village

    • Was going to make the same reference. This is like a bad Soviet-era soap opera. Where’s Mao?

  • This sounds almost as nefarious as the Hunger Games

  • Same thing happened when we had weeks of shots fired at the Petworth metro… Muriel did a “safety walk”, but all the agency crews came in beforehand to clean up the streets and riffraff. I don’t know if this is the agency heads protecting themselves or if the mayor is behind it, but it doesn’t give an accurate account of what is happening in our community. I’m tired of these “public safety meetings” and “safety walks.” We need to see results.
    Unfortunately, Bowser and Nadeau care more about expanding affordable housing than they do violent crime. Ask the neighborhoods in Ward 1 and 4 what their top priority is. It’ll be crime. Brandon Todd has over 200 people show up to his public safety meeting last night. What’s that tell you? Time for MPD to show results, but the buck stops at the Mayor’s Office.

    • A “safety walk” when you’re surrounded by armed guards does sort of defeat the purpose, right? And this comment by Anonymous is spot on. Poor quality of life and crime in Ward 1 is what drives people out. You’d think the city would have figured that out by now.

    • i wouldn’t say that it’s “unfortunate” that nadeau is focused on affordable housing. in fact, i would say that it’s a good thing. i also don’t think that affordable housing and violent crime are one-and-the-other as i think you’re suggesting.

      it’s ridiculous that the mayor’s visit to columbia heights and petwork are so whitewashed (pun sort of intended). i wonder if she’ll come when trash isn’t picked up for 3 weeks or snow plows don’t make it to 14th street, much less the harvards/girards/fairmonts. i doubt it. my not-high-to-begin-with confidence in our mayor is now less than 0, but i think you’re barking up the wrong tree by saying affordable housing isn’t also a serious problem in dc.

  • This descriptive summary is hilarious.

  • I still DON”T know what the Mayor can do to prevent someone from pulling out a gun an shooting at another person regardless of location and time of day. I am sorry that you happened to be in the area at the time of the shooting- but even if the person was caught or killed by police- it wouldn’t have prevented the shooting. The police can’t and won’t know every time someone is going to pull out a gun and start shooting. What the Mayor can rally for is harsher sentences to make sure these repeat offenders of violent crimes are removed from the streets for longer periods.

    • I read an interesting report yesterday that stated there has been a reduction of ~500 officers from MPD since the beginning of the year. That’s staggering. A lot of them are resignations or retirements. I would think that the Mayor could work with Lanier to identify and address what is making MPD so unattractive. A reduction in the force surely hinders MPD’s abilities.
      I agree that the Mayor’s main tool is through the council to push for harsher fines and stricter enforcement of current laws. It does seem that the DC Courts are very lenient, and that needs to change.
      One thought though – how much of this is gang related? It seems like a lot of shootings/violent crimes in DC are muggings, but are they being perpetrated by known gangs? I”m sure the police know who some of these gangs are. What are the requirements for a warrant to raid a house occupied by known gang members? I read occasionally about raids that remove illegal guns and drugs from the streets, which is awesome, but could this sort of pro-active enforcement occur more frequently?

      • In defense of the DC police, this is not because of layoffs, the police right now are in the midst of a retirement bubble, and the spike in crime may be a result of that. DC police are actually actively recruiting both experienced officers, as well as locals for the police academy. But considering the size of the bubble (around 700 officers),
        DC is likely to recruit these officers, and replace those who left, but it is not going to happen overnight. http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/DC-Police-Face-Shortage-of-Officers-295820471.html

        • west_egg

          If only this could have been anticipated somehow!
          “The head of the police union, who has been warning about this problem for years, said it has become a crisis.”
          Oh. So everyone sat on their hands until we got to the point of a “crisis” and now they’re talking about the present situation as if there was no way to prevent it. Typical DC BS.

          • This is America, nobody does anything until it’s a crisis.

          • At the 4 District meeting last night Chief Lanier actually spoke about this for a while, and her efforts to get the city to increase police recruitment knowing this was coming for years. I haven’t verified this, but it sounds as though this isn’t simply her fault. To make matters worse she stated a high percentage of officers are of retirement time now, including many ranking officers the city is about to lose. She mentioned simply adding new recruits won’t offset this for quite some time as they have to go through the academy.

        • They have the same problem recruiting experienced and quality police as other cities that don’t pay enough given the stress and risk involved in the job. If dc really thought quality police presence was a priority they would have to pay more like Oakland, starting around 90k base.

          • Accountering

            I am on board with this. We should not be losing our best officers to the suburbs. I would much prefer we spend that $100,000,000 million extra we plugged into affordable housing (much of it to jam more poverty into neighborhoods with too much already) on giving EVERY one of the 4,000 officers a $25,000 raise.

        • I wasn’t meaning layoffs at all. The report I saw was that there was a wave of resignations and retirements. I don’t know how big the DC police force was before, but surely a reduction of 500 officers is a significant percentage. Not saying this is solely to blame, but less resources surely has an impact on the ability of MPD to handle this spike in crime. Whether proactive or reactive.

          • actually this retirement bubble may be for the good. That bubble of officers of this vintage were the lowered-standard guys/gals hired during Barry’s reign. I know many of these officers personally and they are bad news. Remember the dreadlocked captain on the front page of the Post who beat up a topless waitress after spending 5 hours drinking at the bar?

    • I think you missed the writer’s point. He wasn’t demanding bowser lower the crime rate or was in any way responsible for the violence. Hell, I think he wouldn’t have even bothered to write if Bowser had showed up and made some really dumb answers and/or statements. Thats par for the course sadly. The disturbing part is the staging and alternate reality that was created. Hard to solve a problem you can’t accurately assess.

      • So he “heard” from someone else that the DPR truck delivered scooters…Again he “heard”- didn’t witness, but “heard” so I guess that makes it gospel. I’m also willing to bet that you believe someone walked around and paid the usual loiters a $100 bucks to go away for a few hours.

        • Looks like bowser has a staffer assigned to the comment section here now too.

          • Staffer my a**. I’m just being real about the situation. If there is trash in the parks- I would think it was caused by the patrons that utilize the park. How about the community clean up after themselves as a start? I’m sure there are trash cans on available for them to dispose of their garbage. How is it the mayor’s fault that people chose to throw liter on the ground? The community has to be just as much involved for things to work. There’s trash on my block- I blame NO ONE else except my neighbors that hang out front and leave their trash behind. I see the street sweeper on my block as scheduled regularly. Maybe they community should ask for street sweeper to come more often since Columbia Heights has more density?
            And trust me I hate this practice just as much as anyone else- because it reminds me of when I was in military- Hey guys we have a General coming through next week- fresh paint on walls, floors polished etc,

          • There’s trash on the street partly because people leave it there, but partly because the mayor’s staff including MPD and the city attorneys office have all but abandoned the streets. They allow people to sell and use drugs in public, to rob and assault people at will, and when perpetrators are finally arrested they are let go instead of charged.
            The mayor is responsible for lax enforcement. And it’s even more infuriating that she create this complete sham of a media opportunity to walk around the community without any real effort to reach out to residents and solve problems.

          • the mayor may have some small measure of responsibility for ‘enforcement’ (the council actually makes the laws, remember), but the real issue is prosecution, not enforcement.
            As a victim of street crime myself I find the circumstances as frustrating as the rest of you, but I’m also not naive enough to think there’s something the mayor can do in the short term to reverse crimes caused by decades of dysfunction and pathology among some residents of the district. Kind of like how the school system can’t by itself create “good schools” without the active participation of parents who are deeply engaged in their children’s education. Replacing the principal (or teachers) of a failing school doesn’t reverse the problems in the neighborhood surrounding it.

        • Accountering

          No, he saw the majority of the things he mentioned. Super clean park, street sweeper, people actively cleaning. He is a resident of Columbia Heights, and says these are very unusual to see. The fact that it coincides with Bowsers visit is disgusting. She should see the real Columbia Heights, not some made for TV version.

        • And he “saw” a lot of the staging too, as accountering noted.

        • it doesn’t help that city trash pickup is suddenly unreliable. full trash cans will overflow and blow around if not emptied appropriately. i’ve lived in the neighborhood for 5 years, and this is only in the last 9 months that i’ve seen.

    • Last winter, anytime there was even a hing of snow, Bowser released press releases about how she was mobilizing trucks and getting the roads treated. She made a big show that she took the situation seriously and was on the job.

      It would be great if she did something to show that she takes shoot outs near playgrounds as seriously as she does an inch of snow. Instead, she tries to downplay the seriousness of the problem and throws around cliches in carefully managed events.

      • west_egg

        I have literally never seen her do anything but spout cliches and non-speak. Her administration engages in “top-to-bottom reviews” and we’re assured that “everyone will be brought to the table” but there’s never any kind of meaningful action. It’s shameful, really.

  • As a resident of Ward 4, the rest of the city hasn’t seen nothing yet. She is in completely over her head.

  • “When the Mayor headed from the playground to the Rec Center for her by-appointment-only “office hours,” a group of young people congregating at the nearby tables broke into a hushed but beautiful singing of ‘God Bless America.'”

    This is ridiculous hahahaha…did they really plant some kids there to sing??

  • You lost me at “nannies”. This is a long, tedious naive screed from a well-off, clueless person about our hackish mayor. You need to put the latte aside and organize if you’re going to get her attention and you better engage your council person to make sure they’re not as clueless and disengaged as the last one.

    • You are troubled by the childcare provider the OP has chosen? His choice makes him naive and clueless? I think this says more about you than him.

      • I didn’t get the impression that the nannies, camp counselors, dozens of friends, etc. he cited were all his entourage, just that they were among the crowd.

    • Thank goodness the experts have arrived to tell us everything that’s wrong and help in zero ways.

    • What a clueless prick. The op has childcare and would prefer there not be extended gunfights in their playground and is therefore privileged? That’s some worthless bloviating.

      • I wouldn’t go as far as calling him privileged, but for as long I lived in DC(15yrs) now and having gone through several Mayors- Columbia Heights has always have this type of violence. It was actually 10 times worse back then. It never stopped. All the Bowser bashers- are acting as if this area and Petworth were crime free all these years and all of a sudden now that she is mayor- that this violence started happening. Maybe if they be realistic about their neighborhoods history they would be able to be fair and truly tackle the issues instead of bashing and blaming the mayor.

        • I dont think we are saying the crime is her fault, so in that sense, I think you misunderstand the anger from the people who live in that area. I think they are saying that, as mayor, she has to be part of a solution or at least present solutions to the crime problems.

          And I will agree with you, things are better then they were 15 years ago. And 15 years ago, things were better then they were 15 years before that. To think the population of this city has to be complacent where things are crime-wise because they are better then they used to be is a logical fallacy. That dog dont hunt. I dont want to live in a place where things are just good enough because there is shooting or stabbing at a public space every week as opposed to every other day like it was 15 years ago/30 years ago.

          • See and that is my point. Majority of the long term residents don’t want to live like that either. But because they are poorer, less educated etc- they were neglected for decades. Now because more affluent people are moving in- they are now demanding with a louder voice what those same long term residents have been doing. But the “new” residents feel that the older residents like living in those conditions and don’t want change- which has and will always be- bs!

          • I dont see how you extrapolate that “newer” residents think “older” residents like living with crime.

          • Just a thought, but could better coverage in the news/media be creating an impression that people are less tolerant/more upset about crime these days? I’m just thinking that 15 years ago blogs like POPville,, and listservs, were in their infancy. ITs easier for people to speak out about things they don’t like in their community these days.

    • You realize the cost of daycare is so exorbitant in this city that some families opt for a just-a-little-more-expensive nanny who can provide very specialized care to their children, and help around the house? Why are you upset at the OP for making a perfectly rational decision?

      • Or two families get together and hire one nanny, for LESS than the cost of daycare. Good daycare is for the wealthy in this town.

    • Say what you will about Jim Graham, but he was NOT disengaged. I didn’t like him as my CM, but he would respond to emails personally, very quickly, and actually get things organized. They didn’t always pan out, but to say that he was disengaged is absurd.

      • west_egg

        I have to agree with this — Graham was engaged and effective. Always responded to emails personally and got things DONE.

      • HaileUnlikely

        Agreed. Jim Graham was never my councilmember (I have always lived in Ward 4 and included my address in my emails) but when I had an issue with something going on in Ward 1 and contacted him, he responded quickly, took action, and got stuff done.

    • I’m not sure what your criticism is, though it sounds like you’re just pigeonholing this person into a cultural group that you have disdain for as a way of dismissing his concerns.

  • well, she did this because it works. it works for the people who voted her in, and that’s really all that matters, no? dc politics are predictable.

    until the transients that temporarily live in this city (which is why they don’t vote – cuz they’re “leaving” soon anyway…) get out and do something, this is what will continue to happen. dog and pony shows catering to the largely uninformed/uneducated voting public. the kinds of people that fall for these stints that are covered by the media – sometimes. AND the media doesn’t “expose” the realities anyway. it’s not in their interest.

    i agree with the other poster on here somewhere – get out and make a difference. you voted? great. that’s your civic duty. now it’s time to go above and beyond and actually do something extraordinary for your city. join the others that are doing just that! the only problem with that is that i can count them all on one hand….

    • ” you voted? great. that’s your civic duty. now it’s time to go above and beyond and actually do something extraordinary for your city. join the others that are doing just that! the only problem with that is that i can count them all on one hand….”
      Exactly. This is the big issue that newcomers to DC don’t understand yet. It’s not enough to just vote, take out a big mortgage, and pay your property taxes like a good citizen. You actually need to become an organized voting block to have clout in DC. This is why DC churches are so powerful as political organizing constituencies. Same for the unions. And the competing developers in DC. These act as political organizing organs, showering votes and dollars on preferred candidates.
      Unfortunately, there’s no formal political organizing group for well educated, wealthy, (largely) white New Urbanites. So yeah, your concerns will continue to be ignored until you pay to play.

  • From what I have been told this was how her other neighborhood walk throughs and office hours have worked. It looks really good on Twitter and Facebook but it doesn’t really amount to any actual discussion or change.

  • Of course the violence is an issue but the other things the OP talks about (litter, loitering, urination etc.) have always been an issue in Columbia Heights and most walkable, urban areas that I know about. Was Columbia Heights like this when you chose to move there? Why would you expect it to be any different years later?

    • Why would you expect someone to not desire progress?

      • There’s nothing wrong with desiring progress but EXPECTING a dense urban area to all of a sudden not have litter, loitering etc. once you move there (and I assume don’t do anything proactive about it beyond cleaning up a park for your child’s birthday party) is silly.

        • west_egg

          I don’t think anyone is EXPECTING to have anything happen “suddenly,” but shootouts in the middle of playgrounds + PR stunts from the mayor are antithetical to the slow and steady progress residents *should* reasonably EXPECT.

    • I think the poster’s main point was that it took a visit by the mayor to clean this all up. That is problematic both because it shouldn’t take that to make progress in a community and because the mayor isn’t able to see the real state of communities in the city.

  • would it be completely nuts to do a recall vote? If she’s this deaf/blind to the real situation, then it’s either time she goes, or realizes her job is at risk and is compelled into action. Either way, the end result is a response to the “uptick” in crime and downslide of services.

    • Not going to happen in a million years for so many different reasons.
      If you even have the most basic understanding of how DC politics operate, you’d see that a recall is delusional.

      • Agreed. I don’t know if a recall is even allowed in DC, but even if it is, this suggestion is nuts. And what would a recall result in? Someone better than Bowser? No way.

  • The issue of crime in this city is wrapped up in its obsession with race, and no one, for that reason, wants to touch it. It’s not just the downscale demographic which is conflicted (safety versus cop brutality), but the gentrifiers also don’t want to get involved because of white guilt or associating “tough on crime” with crazy right wing social policies.

    I think the Props to the Cops posts are fine, but I’d rather hear about Props to the Prosecutors, assuming that prosecutions are happening. Can anyone find stats that show the extent to which thugs (including underage) are actually punished? I’ve tried to find them but have given up. I’m sure DC (Mayor’s administration and the Council) makes this info hard to come by for a reason.

    • Ask an MPD officer and they will tell you that DC’s juvenile justice system is a joke. Juvenile offenders are often not subject to criminal penalties despite committing serious crimes (assault and battery, auto theft). Moreover, I suspect you will have lots of trouble getting this data without a lawyer drafting a FOIA request. Juvenile records are sealed and thus normally not available to the public.

    • west_egg

      “I think the Props to the Cops posts are fine, but I’d rather hear about Props to the Prosecutors.
      Agreed. We need somebody following up on crimes & arrests to see what happens next. Arrests don’t count for anything if they don’t lead to a conviction.

  • MPD needs to get their priorities straight. Yesterday evening officers were issuing jay-walking tickets to people getting off the Woodley park metro- like a lot of tickets. It is not that big a deal, but I live off Georgia Ave. and often people blatantly drink alcohol, loiter, and yes “jay walk,” right in front of police without any consequence… Not a big deal either, but as a tax-paying supporter of MPD the disparity in treatment irks me.

    • Two different police districts, with two different priorities. The priority in the 4th District is Kennedy Street and 3rd and Upshur gun violence. Commander Manlapaz who manages the 4th District has been very upfront with this being his focus over non-violent issues like drinking. I really encourage people who think police resources are misallocated to go to their PSA meeting or the 4D meetings and share your opinions.

    • i know plenty of people who have gotten jaywalking tickets in the 3rd district, so anecdotes aren’t as helpful here. but if commander manlapaz does things you want to see, i agree with commenter jonah that you should go to PSA and 3D meetings.

  • Can I invite the mayor to my block of Columbia Heights? Just one afternoon without the drunk dudes who sit on my building’s front steps harassing women would be a welcome relief.

  • She is out of ideas. Lots of unhappy DC govt folks because everything is just for show and everyone knows it.

  • I saw this exact MO play out in person before Bowser visited one of the District’s public schools for a publicity event. I saw hundreds of guys painting the school interior the day before she arrived for the event. The school staff was surprised. The army of painters were so intent on painting every last inch of the place that they went so far as to paint over much brighter (and more attractive in my opinion) colors beloved by the students.

    Potemkin village indeed. Image making is an understandable part of governing, but it shouldn’t be the strategy for governing.

  • Wow for residents of DC I”m surprised how little people seem to know about politics. This is not a Bowser thing, this is an all politician thing. Every politician does this type of event–from President Obama to Senators to Mayors to Dog Catchers in Iowa. It’s a political event designed for photos and news coverage. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong but to act like this is some nefarious plot by Bowser is kind of silly.

    • The problem is not that she had a photo op. The problem is that the work done to prepare for her photo op was directly related to the stated purpose of the event – public safety. It’s a waste of her/the CMs’ constituents’ time to attend a community meeting about public safety when the neighborhood is uncommonly and unrealistically clean and safe.

    • I think a lot of people would give her a pass if she did the photo op, but also did something about the problem. The fact that ALL Bowser ever does are photo ops and cliches are the problem. I’m not sure she gets that.

      • That’s a totally valid complaint but that’s not what the story is about. It’s about how staged the event was and how surprised this person was by the staging/cleaning/event management, which I think is silly. They also talk about how they want her to see the “good and bad” of Columbia Heights. Muriel Bowser is from DC and lives here. She knows what Columbia Heights is like and doesn’t need to walk around to figure that out. Now call her to task on her policies, that’s fine but whether her advance team does litter pick up or not isn’t really the most important thing to focus on.

        • I disagree, the first paragraph of the original post includes this sentence: “We viewed the mayor’s visit as an important opportunity to engage with her and her staff,” clearly the writer wants to talk to the mayor about substantive issues, but doesn’t get the chance because the event is stage managed.

          What makes this so frustrating is that will likely be our ONLY chance to talk to Bowser on this. She only holds staged photo ops and it is impossible to engage her in any real way. That’s the problem.

  • The focus on Bowser is important, but let’s not let Brianne Nadeau off the hook. Looking out for Ward 1 is her job and this is going to be one of the hardest parts of her new job. It’s been underwhelming thus far. The longing for Graham’s decisiveness is warranted. Seems like its time to create the Ward 1 Family Coalition to press for safe streets.

  • This is what a large portion of DC wanted, and this is what they got. I for one, did not want another vapid smile in and empty suit. She’s full of it.

  • SusanRH

    I am no Bowser fan, but I also wonder why there hasn’t been a larger call for Chief Lanier to be fired or resign? Clearly part of the problem is her policing strategy, no?

  • Clearly voicing complaints and waiting on the mayor/city/politicians/someone else isn’t working.

    1. What are some things we can actually do to make things better?
    2. Anyone want to get together and actually do something?

    • Organize in a single, coherent voting block with identified leaders. Be able to reliably mobilize that voting block and get them to the polls. Fund raise and vote for hand picked candidates.
      Honestly, I think there’s room in DC for a legit 3rd party to represent the views of a lot of the new upper middle-class, well-educated families and individuals that have moved into DC in the recent years. The old Democratic machine the currently run DC does not reliably represent their interests. The Republican Party is absolutely toxic. There needs to be a new party and the best way to make gains is to get in power via ANC reps and Council seats. Start small.

      • Hear hear. I am a dyed-in-the-wool Dem who wouldn’t vote for a Republican on the national level even if you paid me, but I always vote against the local DC Democratic candidates because I despise the political machine and what it’s done to the city. I would be extremely open to local, third-party candidates. And i suspect that there might be a lot of common ground with local DC Republicans who are much more socially liberal than the national party but still concerned about crime and fiscal responsibility.

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