Posts Tagged “Vincent Gray”
Editor’s Note: Every Friday, District Digest will bring you the highlights from this week’s news around D.C. and the greater metropolitan area.
Weiner – with his creative use of twitter – is not even close to being the only man in the District with a scandal. Political scandals in the D.C. government have been producing enough energy to light up Healy Hall.
Rotten at the top
On Monday, former 2010 mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown – complete with shades – testified before the D.C. Council that Mayor Vincent Gray‘s campaign staff bribed him in exchange for criticizing former incumbent mayor and fellow primary opponent Adrian Fenty.
After the election, Brown received a $110,000 post in the Department of Health Care Finance, which was quickly terminated when rumors of the deal emerged. All this controversy has landed Gray a Council investigation and even threats of recall.
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Students running to Dixie Liquor at 9:55 p.m., rejoice!
D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray’s proposed budget includes a one percent increase of the sales tax for alcohol—from nine to ten percent—but, in return, stores in the District would be able to sell liquor two hours later on Monday through Saturday.
Stores that only sell beer and wine will also be able to offer the extended hours on Sundays as well.
Current D.C. statutes currently require that sales of alcohol cease at 10 p.m.
Gray is currently facing a $322 million gap in the budget.
If the proposed budget is approved, the tax increase and extended hours are expected to provide an additional $2.36 million in revenue for the District.
h/t: GW Hatchet
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At 6:05 PM yesterday, Capitol Police arrested Mayor Vincent Gray, Council Chair Kwame Brown, and Councilmen Tommy Wells, Muriel Bowser, Yvette Alexander, Sekou Biddle, and Michael A. Brown during a demonstration for D.C. voting rights and home rule. The lawmakers have been charged with “unlawful assembly” and face a $50 fine.
The bright side: at least the Council is sticking up for someone’s rights, and we can now also say that more D.C. mayors have been arrested for civil disobedience than for drug use (former Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly was arrested during a similar protest in the 1990′s). The downside: Mary Cheh was in charge until everyone was released.
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Late for work? Stranded in Adams Morgan? Loaded down with groceries? If these situations spell out C-A-B for you, you better budget an extra dollar for each fare.
Starting yesterday, tax rides in the District of Columbia have an additional $1 surcharge to aid taxi drivers with rising fuel costs.
Mayor Vincent Gray signed an executive order authorizing the fare hike on Saturday, after being advised by the D.C. Taxicab Commission to do so. The fuel surcharge will remain in effect until July 25th, unless the Commission chooses to repeal it in the meantime.
The surcharge does not apply to interstate rides. Does walking to Rosslyn in order to catch a taxi to Columbia Heights suddenly seem to make a little bit of sense? Vox’s shoestring budget says yes.
h/t: Georgetown Patch
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Mayor Vincent Gray joined neighborhood leaders this past Thursday morning to break ground on the street renovation project that will be taking place in Georgetown over the next year.
The project is targeted at O and P Streets—both of which feature cobblestones and trolley tracks—and will also include the sections of 33rd through 37th Streets in between O and P.
The city’s contractor plans to remove the rails and other historical elements, refurbish them, and replace them in order to preserve the historic nature of the streets while also providing a smoother ride for drivers.
The affected cross streets between O and P are expected to be resurfaced and receive granite curbs.
The project is scheduled to begin today on the 3600 block of P Street. Residents whose streets will be affected by the construction received a letter from the District last week detailing the plans.
City officials expect the project to be completed by August 2012.
h/t and photo: The Georgetown Dish
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According to Washington D.C.’s 2010 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report, Georgetown University was the city’s largest employer in 2010. Howard University, which was the largest employer in 2009, fell to fifth on the list. Howard’s fall is attributed to financial trouble and the early retirement of some of its staff members.
At a jobs summit in December, then Mayor-elect Vincent Gray said that he wanted to sweep away obstacles, like campus plans that cap enrollment and employment, in order to make D.C. a more business friendly place.
American University ranks seventh on the list, while the Catholic University of America ranks ninth. Specific numbers of employees were not included in the report.
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A member of the Georgetown University Law Center faculty is likely joining incoming Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration.
Irvin Nathan, pending confirmation from the D.C. council, will replace current Attorney General Peter Nickles.
In 2007, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi appointed Nathan as the general counsel of the U.S. House of Representatives. He previously served as a deputy attorney general at the Department of Justice.
According to The Washington Post, Nathan’s appointment came as a surprise to insiders who suspected that Gray would likely appoint an African-American or a woman to the post.
In a statement announcing his appointments, Gray said that, “Nathan will join me in taking politics out of the office of the attorney general.”
Nathan is not listed on MyAccess to teach any classes next semester.
Photo: The Georgetown Dish
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Well, what do you know—Foxhall residents have a few reasons hate the 2010 Campus Plan, too!
At last night’s mayoral candidate debate, an audience member from Foxhall, an affluent neighborhood north of both the University and Burleith, asked the three candidates what they thought of a few elements of the 2010 Campus Plan—specifically, its plans to “build a 30-foot roof over Yates [Editor's note: they mean Kehoe], which already towers above the forest behind Georgetown,” erect an 83-foot smokestack over its power plant, and build a service road on an “already fragile embankment.”
So, what do D.C. mayoral candidates think (and know) about Georgetown’s 2010 Campus Plan?
We’ll start with former TV news reporter Leo Alexander‘s answer, which was ludicrous. He began by laying out his in-touch-with-the-community creds, telling the audience that he’d actually attended a meeting about Georgetown University, where he “heard all about Georgetown and its students and all the nuisances they’ve caused returning home from bars and parties at night.” Cheap shot, Leo. Then his answer got weird.
“Georgetown University is not going anywhere. They can threaten all they want,” he concluded. “They may say, ‘If you don’t let us do whatever we want, we’re packing up,’ but they’re not going anywhere.” As a final note, he added that he wanted Georgetown to build more on-campus housing and establish a board that enlists the opinions of neighbors.
Umm … what? We’re kind of curious to know what gave Alexander the idea that (1) the oldest university in the city, which has invested its image, millions of dollars, and hundreds of jobs in three major D.C. campuses has ever threatened to leave D.C. (and go where? Rosslyn?) if the city doesn’t allow it to build a minor service road for its food delivery trucks and buses, and (2) that neighbors would be real broken up if Georgetown did leave, and need reassurance that Georgetown is here to stay.
We’re just wondering. Because Alexander’s ridiculous musings about the 2010 Campus Plan have officially made him the awardee of Vox‘s Craziest Theories About Georgetown title—usurping it from Stephen R. Brown, who thinks that a cabal of Georgetown Jesuits are planning to build an entirely new hospital facility in Burleith (and who takes secret photos of students from bushes).
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With current City Council Chairman Vincent Gray having confirmed that he will challenge Adrian Fenty for mayor in 2010, Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans (D), who represents over a dozen nearby neighborhoods along with Georgetown, where he resides, has said that he will run against At-Large Councilmember Kwame Brown (D) to fill the chairmanship that Gray will leave vacant. On Wednesday, when WTOP reported his decision, they said that Evans would get support from Fenty.
Evans is usually credited with the commercial revival that Ward 2 has seen over the last decade. He has been involved in national politics, serving as a delegate at the Democratic National Convention in Denver in 2008, an election cycle where he was initially a member of Hillary Clinton’s D.C. steering committee. As the councilmember for Ward 2 for nearly two decades, Evans enjoys a strong relationship with Georgetown University President John DeGioia.
“In Ward 2, we have worked very closely with Councilman Evans over the course of his career, and there are few men for whom I have higher regard. [Jack’s] been an extraordinary colleague to us,” DeGioia has told campus press.
Although Brown has demonstrated city-wide appeal, and already has the endorsement of Councilmember Mary Cheh (D-Ward 3), Jack Evans, who has represented one of D.C.’s wealthiest wards for the past 19 years and enjoys good relationships with the business community, will be a fundraising powerhouse.
“I know how to do it, I’m good at fundraising,” Evans told Voice reporter Juliana Brint in 2008 when he was running for reelection to the Council against his first significant challenger in over a decade. In the course of their brief interview, which took place at a fundraiser for his campaign at the house of Kevin Bacon’s sister, two people slipped into the room to hand him checks.
While Gray cannot return to his chairmanship if he loses his bid for mayor, Evans can continue to represent Ward 2 if he loses to Brown, as he is not up for reelection until 2012. Brown will also resume his At-Large chair if he loses.
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