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.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Just because DC City Council is in session and Congress isn't, doesn't mean they make better decisions

The Post has an article today with the trope that DC City Council can "get things done" even if Congress can't.  See "DC Council meets during shutdown, delays first attorney general election to 2018."  From the article:

The mere fact that the council was at work Tuesday stood out in a city where hundreds of thousands of federal workers and contractors made only brief appearances at their offices to turn in BlackBerrys and close up shop until Congress can reach a spending agreement.

The council openly delighted in the contrast, voting unanimously to support an emergency bill calling for the mayor to keep the city open for the duration of the federal shutdown. The measure was largely symbolic but put the council squarely behind Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D), who last week defied Congress and past precedent by declaring the District’s entire 30,000-member workforce as essential personnel.

But the Council voted to postpone the first election of an Attorney General by four years, which is counter to the sentiment of the people who voted to make this position popularly elected.  They had three years to deal with the repercussions of the 2012 decision by the voters, and they punted.

And they also voted to keep the primary election in April, making it much harder for incumbents to be challenged, instead of holding the election as late as early August, which would extend the electioneering season by 14 weeks.

So they deserve zero plaudits.  They voted, but they didn't act in ways that support "democracy" and "the will of the people."

They are protecting their privileges as much as the Tea Party associated Republican Congressman are protecting their interests, by shutting down the Federal Government.

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