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.

Saturday, July 07, 2007

All politics is local

From the Columbia Heights e-list:

Jim Graham wrote:

Dear Friends:

Three persons filed for the remaining year of this vacant State School Board seat. Two filed invalid petitions. For example, Lenwood Johnson had a third of his signatures declared invalid, nearly all of whom were not even registered voters. So he was disqualified.

The remaining candidate--Mary Lord of Ward 2--has qualified as the only candidate for the August 21 election. Please check out her qualifications on her
web site

I think she will serve us well. The next election, November 2008 will be the first under the newly constituted all elected State Board of Education. There will then be a single representative from Ward One alone.

Lenwood Johnson wrote:


You need to get your story straight. First, no one declared any part of my petition invalid. There were several signers who currently live in Ward One but are still registered to vote elsewhere in the city. Under D.C. election law, I could have made valid those signers with conflicting addresses if I had gone to the "invalid" signers and had them submit a "change of address" to the BOEE by July 5. I chose not to do that because I would have had to give up my longstanding Independence Day vacation. Your email announcing my "failure" is inaccurate and intended to make me look bad; however, it did not.

However, you have once again demonstrated- -through your antics--that you are a cancer on our ward and city and that you are a world-class motherfucker.

--Lenwood O. Johnson


Based on Mr. Johnson's email, I think it is quite apparent that the school board missed out on a unequal candidate. As you know, the public schools in DC are in terrible shape. With buildings in need of rehab, problems recuriting talented young teachers, and gangs threatening the future of our youth, Mr. Johnson appears to have the character, vision, and leadership to encourage this failed school system to become "world class". I recommend the city council act immediately to enact emergency legislation that would allow the filing date for those that missed out due to long planned vacations and dogs that ate their homework to run for this important seat.



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