Tuesday, September 7, 2010

For DC Council At-Large: Clark Ray

On September 14, residents across the city will vote for an at-large member of the D.C. Council.  I support Clark Ray in his challenge to 12-year incumbent Phil Mendelson.

Why Clark Ray?  I've known Clark since his time as a service coordinator for Mayor Anthony Williams.  He continued on to head Mayor Adrian Fenty's Office of Community Relations and then the Department of Parks and Recreation.  I've interacted with him at each of these levels and found him responsive and action-oriented, whether it is fixing street lights or building parks.  His experience as a reserve police officer and training as a teacher add to his credentials.

Mendelson is, in my view, one of the most honest and down-to-earth members of the Council.  He's generally doesn't put on political shows or appear to have aspirations for some higher office.  He's raised questions where questions need to be raised. 

But while Mendelson's deliberative nature may be a strength in some areas, it's a dangerous fault for us when it comes to dealing with crime.  Mendelson, who chairs the Committee on Public Safety and the Judiciary, has never met a strong crime bill that he's liked.  Such bills repeatedly stall before his committee.  Promises to "look into" anti-gang measures amount to naught.  The obvious, serious problems with our juvenile justice system, including the lack of capacity and revolving door for juvenile offenders, occurred on his watch.

Mendelson also does not seem to have much drive left -- after a lackluster campaign, he's losing to a "shadow" - Michael D. Brown - the District's Shadow Senator, who many have confused with current at-large Councilmember Michael A. Brown.  Polls show that name confusion has given Mike D., who has raised no money and done little campaigning, a significant lead over both Mendelson and Ray. Should Brown get elected, he will have indeed fulfilled his campaign promise to bring the District's lack of voting representation to the forefront -- and perhaps dealt it its greatest setback as DC becomes the laughing stock of the nation.

Council positions were not meant to be lifetime appointments.  New blood and energy would serve us well. Clark Ray is qualified, responsive, and ready to go to work.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

off topic.... Ah, nothing like your local friendly alcohol peddler.... This morning, I bought two bottles of grappa of a group of six, that were behind the counter of Modern Liquors..... out of public sight. I went into the store, looking for grappa and after being told they didn't have any, an old stash -supposedly a left over from the previous owner- materialized, complete with a serving tray. The clerk, very friendly, told me that he could sell them to me, at about 20 dollars a piece, because he didn't know much about grappa. I agreed, and purchased two. I liked it. I went back a few minutes ago.... to purchase some for a friend with the intention of buying the rest of the stash. The clerk, all smiles, told me that they were 1972 vintage bottles, and that "the owner" had changed his mind, and that he would be willing to part with them for SIXTY DOLLARS A PIECE. I said "no way"! I don't know what the real vintage is since no information was readily available. My wife said that Ornellaia (one of the best brands of the stuff) goes for 30 dollars a bottle, and suddenly the clerk was reluctantly willing to sell them for 40 dollars a piece. Is it the owner's mind or the clerk's mind? We won't be going back any time soon. They can have all their grappa.