Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

DC Governance is looking pretty ugly these days

book cover, Corrupt Cities: A Practical Guide to Cure and Prevention by Robert Klitgaard, H. Lindsey Parris

1. Allegations that the Mayor's campaign paid someone to keep running, and hired lots of cronies/children for jobs. See "From behind his shades, Sulaimon Brown talks to council" from the Post.

2. Conflict of interest with regard to online gaming on the part of At-Large Councilman Michael Brown. See "Gambling man " from the Post.

3. The "smooth ride" desire on the part of the Council Chairman. See "Kwame Brown's SUV saga continues " from the Post.

4. The alleged misuse of funds to the tune of more than $300,000 by Ward 5 City Councilman Harry Thomas, Jr. See "D.C. attorney general: Thomas diverted funds " from the Post. How is that different from the graft that gets former Prince George's County Executive Jack Johnson a long stay in prison? (See "The rise and fall of Jack B. Johnson " from the Post.)

I have always thought that with the campaign for DC Statehood, that local government officials would want to demonstrate a high capacity for quality in governance and ethics, but that doesn't seem to be on the agenda.

Pretty scary.

Also see "Dream City: Race, Power, and the Decline of Washington, D.C., 1964 to 1994," the book review from the Washington Monthly, and "City as a Growth Machine: Toward a Political Economy of Place" from the American Journal of Sociology (1976).

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