Sept. 12 - Fenty Will Bring Change to Washington, DC
by howardpark, Sun Sep 10, 2006 at 02:15:27 PM EDT
On Sept. 12 the Democratic Primary will elect a new Mayor for Washington, DC. If you don't live in DC, just remember that it is the bluest jurisdiction in the country, something like 93% for Kerry and it is the only majority African-American city/state. We are less than a state but more than a city. We pay taxes (high taxes) but our elected representatives can't vote. It's the only capital city in the world where the residents have second class status. I think it's partly the last vestage of legal racism. If Washington, DC looked like Wisconsin racially, I think we would at least have voting rights in Congress. That is simplistic, it's also reality.
Anyway, we are going to have a new Mayor. If is is 35 year old, grassroots oriented Adrian Fenty it is significant because African-American Democrats nationally will have a new leader who represents something of a break with the past. It's too simply stated but Fenty is the neighborhood candidate. City Council Chair Linda Cropp is much more the candidate of the business community, especially the gentrification friendly developers. Fenty opposed a taxpayer underwrited baseball stadium. Cropp was for it, then against it, then for it.
Fenty is one of the most energetic campaigners I've ever seen. He has gone everywhere in Washington, DC. I knocked on doors with him a couple of afternoons for hours, partly in a very rough housing project (Greenleaf Gardens - where there is almost no green, very few leaves, lots of old, sick people and a lot of drug dealing) that sits right in the middle of rapidly gentrifying Southwest Washington.
Fenty is the frontrunner in the Mayor's race. It was a surprise that he got the endorsement of the Washington Post. As Mayor Fenty has vowed to stick to the business of governing. Fixing schools, trying to get the city bureaucracy to be accountable, etc. Fenty, however, will be a name occasionally heard outside of the beltway, hopefully for the right reasons. He is the candidate of change.
If you are a DC voter, please make sure to vote for Progressive Phil Mendelson for Council, superactivist Phil Panell for Shadow Senator, a fantastic leader and one of the few openly gay African-American leaders and Netroots Activist Make Panetta for Shadow Representative.