District Digest: Vincent Gray—the mayor, the myth, the legend
Mayor Gray is on everyone’s payroll, even the U.N.’s
Mayor Vincent Gray’s new plan for a greener D.C., revealed last week, has drawn significant criticism from a variety of sources.
The plan’s most ambitious ideas include requiring every new building in the city to create as much energy as it uses and shifting a quarter of all commuter traffic to foot, bicycle, or public transportation by 2032. Gray maintains a certain level of realism when it comes to such goals. “Not every proposal will work out just as envisioned,” he told the Post. “Some details will be refined over time, and some actions may fail, but with this implementation plan, we will move forward with clear goals in sight.”
Regardless of whether these policies could possibly be implemented, Gray’s critics are questioning spending so much money on green issues when the city has so many other problems. “Gardens on roofs are fine, but if you are hungry, it’s not enough,” said D.C. Council member Marion Barry, according to the Post. “You might have clean air to breathe, but it doesn’t matter if you are also broke.”
The most unique criticism of the plan, however, questions Gray’s motive in implementing the green changes. The Canadian Free Press seems to believe that Gray is really working for the U.N., as part of their Agenda 21 initiative.
Coincidence or corruption?
Such a suggestion would be just fine, if adjacent property weren’t owned by Jeff Thompson, a city contractor who allegedly ran an illegal shadow campaign in support of Gray during the 2010 mayoral election.
In the 2010 election, more than a third of Gray’s money allegedly came from an illegal operation run by Thompson. Additionally, Thompson allegedly purchased nearly exact replicas of Gray’s official campaign materials and even had them delivered to Gray’s office.
An investigation into the possible shadow campaign yielded no hard evidence of wrongdoing, and Thompson was not charged with a crime.
Now, in an unfortunate coincidence, the place Gray highlighted as an excellent area for the new FBI headquarters is next to property owned by Thompson. While this certainly looks odd, it’s easy to see how this could be a coincidence, given the large amount of property Thompson holds in the District.
Gun charges dropped on 10 year old
Earlier in February, a fifth-grader from Alexandria, Va. was taken into custody and charged with brandishing a weapon when he showed a toy gun to a friend on the bus. Another student saw and told her mother, who called school officials. Later in the week, the boy’s backpack was searched and the toy gun was found.
The boy faced expulsion from school and potential legal action, but the charges have been dropped.
The incident comes at a time of more heightened awareness for gun violence in schools, following the Newton, Conn. school shooting. School officials have adopted a “better safe than sorry” attitude toward dealing with any sort of violence related issues in schools.
But the Alexandria boy’s attorney, Melinda Douglas, argued that such over-cautiousness can be harmful to students as well. “It’s not all’s well that ends well,” she said. “I think people have to be mindful that it really affects the child.”
Photo: lpcmidst0128 via Flickr