Editorials

Re-elect Mayor Adrian Fenty this September

From the city’s dropping crime rates to the impressive development that the District of Columbia has experienced over the last four years, Mayor Adrian Fenty’s government has vastly improved the quality of life in D.C. and demonstrated a commitment to tackling some of the city’s most daunting problems. His administration has made significant improvements to many city services that were in morbid condition for most of recent history, including the police department, AIDS policy, and the city’s social services departments. In the D.C. Democratic primary, which will be held September 14, Fenty deserves voters’ support to continue delivering results like these to the District.

Perhaps most importantly, Fenty’s vision for the city’s education system remains clear, and over the past few years, his choices have proven effective in raising test scores in what was one of the nation’s most dismal public school systems. Fenty’s chief rival for mayor, City Council Chairman Vincent Gray, has some specific and solid ideas for D.C.’s schools, like the much-needed reform of the District’s special education program, but in other crucial areas, he is vague and worryingly noncommittal. His refusal to either endorse IMPACT, the evaluation tool that guided D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee when she dismissed over 200 teachers this summer, or to suggest an alternative method to identify sub-par teachers is just one example. Gray has also made grandiose promises about leading aggressive and well-funded lobbying efforts for D.C. statehood without offering any explanation of how the City could possibly pay for such a campaign.

Fenty has not been the perfect mayor. While he has brought much-needed development to the District over the last four years, the city’s black population has experienced few of the accompanying economic gains, and his dismissive attitude about accusations of favoritism in the distribution of city contracts is unsettling. But his worst quality is also his best. Undaunted by political opponents, Fenty has made sound decisions in the face of loud protest, such as his controversial school closures and teacher firings that have helped improve DCPS’s performance. Fenty also lavished funds on schools and libraries in D.C.’s poorest and richest wards in equal portions.

Even Fenty’s rivals cannot and do not deny the breadth of the progress that the city has made under his administration. A vote for Fenty next month will ensure that D.C. continues to make those important gains.



One comments on “Re-elect Mayor Adrian Fenty this September
  1. Mike P on said:

    Mr. Fenty, we trusted you before and here is what we got:

    -After 10 years of increasing school test scores, scores declined last year

    -Only 15 schools in the District of Columbia this year met the annual goals of No Child Left Behind, down from 54 in 2009

    -Public Relations stunts around teacher firings and overtstating results

    -Crime- specifically robbery, thefts, sexual assaults are up for 3 years!

    -Your police department lost DNA crime evidence in more than 200 cases

    -DC now has the highest city-wide unemployment in it’s history (30% in some areas)

    -You awarded your fraternity brothers $82 MILLION in illegal contracts that they were unqualified for. Your frat buddy Sinclair Skinner got a engineering contract. His qualification was being a failed dry cleaner.

    -You JUST vetoed a bill passed by 10 Councilmembers that made it illegal for a candidate to pay someone for their vote

    -You arrived into office with a huge budget surplus that he has turned into a large deficit. You depleted our Rainy Day Funds so he could open $400k dog parks and heat his favorite swimming pool.

    -Over the last few years, you dipped into the city’s rainy day fund to the tune of $840 million, bringing the balance in the savings account down from $1.5 billion in 2007 to just over $650 million for 2011.

    -You risk the city’s bond rating

    -You leave the country (to Jamiaca and Dubai) without telling anyone or leaving any one as custodian of the DC government

    -You have your police escorts close down roads so he and his friends can bike on them.

    -You are unwilling to hear any different opinion and anyone that doesn’t agree with you.

    -You don’t consult with the community on ANYTHING.

    -You have not held ONE news conference since becoming Mayor. Not one.

    -You miss community meetings and simply say you “couldn’t make it happen”

    -You refuses to hand over any government records- has worst record of responding to Freedom of Information Act requests

    -You are simply unable to play well with others- another example is when you refused to give City Council tickets to Nationals game

    -You led a sketchy donation of firetrucks to the Dominican Republic

    All I’m going to say is that we gave you a chance. For nearly 4 years. And you failed. Your only supporters are people you have paid or are in danger of losing their jobs: Nickles, Rhee, and Moten. You are in over your head and we need someone new that is competent, can deliver, and includes citizens in his decision-making process.

    I am going to vote for VINCE GRAY because WE CAN HAVE INCLUSIVE, TRANSPARENT GOVERNMENT THAT GETS RESULTS. It doesn’t have to be a choice between listening/thinking and getting results. We can have someone do BOTH.

    Let’s let Vince Gray lead the city in a way that brings us progress and things are done the right way! Without cronyism or corruption.

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