Unhappy Jack Jack Evans says this is the worst D.C. Council in his 20 year tenure. But is he actually making it better?

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Like most good stories, the tale of how Jack Evans came to D.C. involves a girl. The son of a florist and a teacher, he’d grown up in Nanticoke, Pa. With degrees from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, he landed a Beltway job with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. On a date, a woman mocked his choice of residence: “Shirlington—that’s suburban death.”

“I said, ‘I’ll never get a date if I live in suburban death,’” Evans says. So he bought a condo in Dupont Circle. Before long, he was involved in local politics. He helped found the Ward 2 Democrats and served as treasurer on the Democratic State Committee. After serving as an ANC commissioner, Evans ran in a special election for the council in 1991. Running on a platform of trimming city government, Evans won by only 400 votes, beating Jim Zais, a former Marion Barry aide who hoped to be the first openly gay councilmember.

In light of Evans’ current reputation of the champion of development, one aspect of that first race stands out. “We’re not going to accept money from large-scale developers who have dominated the political scene,” Evans told the Post during his campaign. On election night, he said his victory “completed the revolution” that began when Sharon Pratt took over from Barry the year before. “[Voters] thought I was a fresh face. That’s what they really want.”

Twenty years on, Evans doesn’t claim to be either a fresh face or a foe of developers. At his reelection kickoff party Monday, he joked how he’d gone from the candidate of “youth, energy, and change” to “common sense, wisdom, and experience.” In an interview, he complains about being unfairly typecast as big builders’ puppet.

But even supporters say Evans’ views have changed. “I think he’s evolved, is how I would say it,” says Linda Greenan, Evans’ first chief of staff, who currently represents Georgetown University. “He has kind of walked that line of understanding the benefit of development, but with controls.”

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And Evans certainly isn’t shy about showing off the benefits brought by development—and by Jack Evans—when we hop into his spotless Sebring for a Ward 2 tour.

First stop: Verizon Center. “Clearly I was the major player in getting the Verizon Center downtown,” Evans says.

We pass the convention center. “You can’t mention the convention center without saying my name,” he adds. (In fact, the building is named for former D.C. Mayor Walter E. Washington.)

As we drive, we briefly talk about Evans’ term as Metro Board of Directors chairman in the mid-’90s. “It was working pretty well when I was the chairman,” says Evans, referring to the system’s current troubles. “My contribution was to get the system built and up and running.”

We head into Shaw, where Evans promptly takes credit for a variety of structures, including the beautiful Watha T. Daniel/Shaw branch library. Over the years, Evans has occasionally received flak for allegedly not doting on the ward’s poorest neighborhood, which will soon be redistricted out of Ward 2. Evans says he feels like he’s devoted more time to Shaw than anywhere else.

Next it’s on to Logan Circle. Evans extols his work changing a liquor law, which enabled the opening of the neighborhood-changing P Street Whole Foods. “You have to have a councilmember whose been here, who understands how to change the law, [and] to get the votes to change the law,” he says.

The sites keep coming. There’s the dog park on 17th Street: “We were absolutely responsible for getting that built.” The renovations of the Jewish Community Center: “Majorly responsible.” And the 15th street bike lane: You can thank Jack Evans for that, too.

Then it’s on to Georgetown, where Evans’ house backs up to the Bowie-Sevier mansion, one of D.C.’s most expensive homes. We pass his favorite restaurant, Café Milano. Evans tells me how “run down” Georgetown’s sidewalks and streetscapes were when he was first elected. “It was a mess,” Evans says, until he came along.

Evans knows that he’s not solely responsible for any single project, but says it’s still fair for him to make what I would learn is one of his favorite declarations: “But for me, this wouldn’t have gotten done.”

There aren’t too many people arguing. Colleagues describe Evans as a tenacious, focused, and effective legislator who knows how to find the money and the votes to get developers moving. “He’s just somebody you want to have on your side and you don’t want to have on the other side,” says former Ward 3 Councilmember Kathy Patterson. “He’s a pro,” says Wells, who’s known as a big-business skeptic and says he was initially wary of Evans.

Besides the business of building big buildings, Evans has carved out a role as the council’s fiscal hawk. During Williams’ first term, Evans put together a super majority to lower income taxes against the wishes of the mayor and the financial control board. “He is the champion we could always count on,” says Barbara Lang, president and CEO of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce.

Lang’s members show their love in return. Evans has raised millions in his twenty years in office, much of it via bundled donations from developers and business interests.

For instance, the Post reported that the owners of the city’s biggest road paving company, Fort Myer Construction, were among the biggest financial backers of Evans’ failed mayoral bid, donating $17,000. And in his most recent race Evans has already collected $6,000 from a single real estate firm, via $500 donations from 12 different LLCs.

(Evans’ campaign finance forms are a testament to how easy it is to legally get around the District’s $500 donation limits. Donors use multiple LLCs and family members to boost giving totals.)

Evans’ embrace of the business community doesn’t mean he’s necessarily consistent on fiscal policy. He called himself the “king of earmarks,” and wasn’t shy about shoveling money to pet causes before the council banned the practice. In 2008, Evans helped secure $500,000 for the Greater Washington Sports Alliance, a nonprofit that organized the national marathon, paid its CEO $415,278—and staged a fundraiser for, you guessed it, Evans. And though Evans continually speaks out about the growth of social services spending, he says most of his earmarks were for arts groups. “This city has enough money to do that,” he adds.

No one ever said that combining a reputation as a dealmaker and a fiscal hawk was easy.

“There are two people on the city council who make things happen,” Miller says. “One’s Jack and the other’s Marion Barry.”

Our Readers Say

I don't have strong feeling about Jack either way, but wow: $50,000 per year of income doesn't have to be reported? That's some bs right there. Regardless of what the letter of the law says, he needs to come clean on this.
That's misleading. His full salary from PB is available via public records. Looks like he just got a pay cut.
He’s been even more pointed in private, calling Council Chairman Kwame Brown an “idiot.”

Well Jack, we agree there.
Jack Evans = a white redneck racist = Satan
Evans may be the last of what passes for an actual adult on an inept City Council. No wonder this city is a joke.
@KFC -- It's not misleading. Suderman asked Evans if he got a pay cut. He says he didn't get a pay cut. The rules require amount of outside income to be reported, but not who pays it to them.
DC VOTER HE MAY BE AN ADULT BUT HE IS LEGALLY STEALING MONEY!


IT IS PROVEN AND HE ADMITTED TO THE SAME SHIT BARRY WAS SLAPPED ON THE HAND FOR BY GAYTANIA! CONFLICT OF INTEREST IS ABOUND WITH THIS GUY.

SO THE WORLD DOESNT HAVE TO KNOW ABOUT THE EXTRA $50K BUT FULLY LOADED IS BEING RAKED OVER THE COALS? THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE.

THIS IS NOT PENATRATING AT ALL. A FLUFF PIECE IF I EVER SAW ONE.

SO EXACTLY WHY IS HE UNHAPPY? NO ONE IS FOCUSING ON HIS SHADY DEALINGS. HE IS RAKING IN THE DOUGH WHEN EVERYONE ELSE IS PICKING UP ONE LEAF AT A TIME. HE IS LIVING IT UP ON THE GOV'T TIT WITH PRIME SEATS AT SPOTING EVENTS AND HE HAS A BEAUTY QUEEN FOR A WIFE. SO WHAT THE FUCK HE IS SO UNHAPPY ABOUT? PLEASE DONT TELL ME IT'S BECAUSE OF THE FOLKS HE HAVE TO WORK WITH ON THE COUNCIL BECAUSE IN ACTUALITY HE DONT. HE CHOOSE TO RUN FOR AN OVERPAID PART-TIME JOB!

HMMMM! MAYBE IT'S THE GUILT THAT IS MAKING HIM UNHAPPY.
I can only speak on one issue, but I can't see how Jack Evans was involved in the 15th st. cycle-track. There's a record of this event somewhere, perhaps WABA tweets, but a little over a year ago, Jack was crowing about tearing it out based on neighbor complaints. WABA arranged to take him on a bike ride, and after the fact, he thought it was a good facility worth keeping, and even called for installation of the L & M cycle-tracks to be sped up.

If he was involved at the outset, why would he call for the lanes to be removed? He was for it, before he was against it, before he was for it again? Makes no sense.

I'm happy about his change of heart, but he's jumping on the bandwagon of a successful facility cooked up and implemented by Gabe Klein & DDOT and blessed by Fenty. Leadership means defending a good, unpopular idea against the criticism of your constituents. Jack does the opposite, siding with constituents against good ideas until he has some overwhelming evidence that the constituents are in fact wrong, or just NIMBYs. See GU campus plan drama for another instance of siding with the NIMBYs' unreasonable demands to the detriment of broader citywide interests.
Jack Evans is a political institution and one of the City's great treasures. He is the quintessential down to earth, and sincere public servant that use to exist in the 1950's. Jack is also loyal to his friends and staff. He, Mayor Williams, CFO Natwar Gandhi, and Chairman Linda Cropp virtually saved this City from financial ruin. Ward 2 has come a long ways, since he was first elected.

Jack should and could have been Chairman and/or Mayor of Washington, DC; but he loves being the Councilmember for Ward 2. Public service is in his genes and character. For those of us, who reside in Ward 2, we are very grateful and lucky to have Jack Evans as our champion.

The people that speak ill will about CM Evans are either jealous, ignorant, plain rotten, or all of the above.

Try running for office several times and serving 22 years. Let's not forget also that he has been a great Dad.

Haters get over it, sincerely, get a life!
You really are Noodlez. Get a life and job. @ Dennis - get over it and move to PG County.
@NoodleztheIdiot; I am not going anywhere cracker. I was born and raised here in upper Northwest D.C. Why in the hell you don't move back to middle racist crack America? The nerve of some of you racist crackers moving into the District to tell blacks to move to Prince Georges County.
Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember is from a rural mostly white town in Pa. He's never lived around blacks and he doesn't care for them. I truly believe, Jack Evans is a racist and only care for white gays and wealthy whites in the District of Columbia. It's funny how so called liberal white Jack Evans supporters come on here and post their racial hatred for black and poor people. They would never say this crap to any black person's face.

I predict, there will be race riots in D.C. between blacks and whites in the near future. The U.S. economy is sinking and people are stressed and struggle. It's the wealthy against the poor. Many of the privilege whites moving into the District seem to have chips on their shoulders. A Jewish neighbor let it be known, he was white. The funny part, he's olive color with curly hair and he could pass for a light skin Negro. Race relations in the District of Columbia is sinking between blacks and whites and politiicans like Jack Evans, Marion Barry, and former Mayor Adrian Fenty didn't or hasn't helped race relations in the District.
Correction:

I predict, there will be race riots in D.C. between blacks and whites in the near future. The U.S. economy is sinking and people are stressed and struggling. It's the wealthy against the poor. Many of the privilege whites moving into the District seem to have chips on their shoulders. A Jewish neighbor let me and others know in an email, he is white and he doesn't feel comfortable discussing black on black violence in the District. The funny part, he has an olive color with curly hair and he could pass for a light skin Negro. Race relations in the District of Columbia is sinking between blacks and whites. Politiicans like Jack Evans, Marion Barry, and former Mayor Adrian Fenty didn't or hasn't helped race relations in the District.
D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans doesn't have a good heart. I too believe he's a racist in his heart. There are a lot of closeted white Democrat racist living in the District of Columbia. Black Ward 2 and other black D.C. resident pull Jack's card a longtime ago. He doesn't care or have any interest in blacks in the District. I am a 5th generation Washingtonian born in 1945. I attended George Washington University undergraduate and Law School. All blacks living in the District of Columbia aren't savages or are they on welfare. This is the typical thinking of some white folks about blacks in the United States. If some whites living in D.C. had their way, they would welcome Jim Crow laws back.

NoodleztheIdiot, how can you tell black folks born or natives of D.C. to move to Prince Georges County, Maryland? People can tell you to move back to where ever the hell you were born. You too are an idiot!
@cartoon character
@dennis



See you in PG County
@NoodleztheIdiot; cracker I am not going anywhere. See yourself in hell where your white Devil ass belong.
@NoodleztheIdiot-DAMN A BOILERPLATE ONE-LINER!? THATS ALL YOU GOT?

PLEASE DONT BE TYPICAL. BE CREATIVE. THERE ARE ENOUGH OF TYPICAL FOLK LIKE YOU RUNNING AROUND PRAISING BAMMAS LIKE EVANS WHEN IN FACT HE DONT GIVE A SHIT ABOUT YOU! ALL HE CARES ABOUT IS KEEPING HIS CRONY CAPITALIST FILES IN ORDER AND MONEYFLOW TO HIS POCKETS SO HE CAN GET PRIME SEATS AND TAKE PICS WITH CELEBS!

TAKE EVANS' DICK OUT YOUR ASS WHILE YOU ARE TRYING FIGURE OUT WHAT TO SAY NEXT. FLUSH WITH AN ACAI BERRY ENEMA. THAT SHOULD START YOU ON THE ROAD TO AN AWAKENING AND IT SHOULD ALSO PROVIDE YOU WITH A MOMENT OF CLARITY.
This guy has been on the Council way too long. Here is a perfect case for term limits.
Lord help....nice try on trying to prepare an objective story. Jack is the biggest P.I.M.P. on the council. One thing is for sure he hasn't sold his soul for two pieces and a biscuit that’s for sure.

Homeboy knew he couldn't make it citywide if he tried and isn't genuine enough to pass the smell test in other parts of the city. Folks in those parts that he would sell them out faster than A. Williams

Everyone knows that Jack harbors a lot of resentment because he believes that he should have gone beyond just a Ward 2 councilmember. Some think he has the white privilege or maybe it’s just that manifest destiny syndrome. Maybe it’s just plain E.G.O. Either way his self esteem has been bruised and instead of just bowing out with grace and moving on he an angry white man hell bent on sticking around to prove that the citizens of the DC were wrong for not bestowing a more precious crown of mayor or council chair on his head.

I know he was peeved that Sharon Pratt and Anthony Williams’s frog jump his ass to the Mayor’s seat…oh and then Kwame Brown snatched his last little hope of ever having some type of power. He's the angry white man behaving like one of Brovo’s house wives talking yak behind folks back. Look man you looted us citizens now just move on and take care of dem triplets.

Lastly it’s interesting that Mark Plotkin is a “friend”, Chuck Thies was a co-chair of Jacky poo’s campaingn and Sherwood was the host of the roast. These three have major influence in media and they are writing the narrative on DC’s poltics. And more interesting it’s been these three who have hammering the black politicians in this last cycle. Three white men?

Says a whole lot.

Where's the beef in this wimpy azz piece of fluff on Jack, the "make it rain” money man? And, if we are speaking of JackPac Evans, we know for damn sure he ain't shaking the money tree to benefit DC residents, but to enrich his stakeholders he represent on the dais--- Patton Boggs' clientele.

This rag could have written the entire article on Jack's conflict of interest hook-up and how he spent years brokering $272 million in taxpayers' subsidies to aid in the financing of Marriott's hotel, but instead, we get a pathetic continuum of the regurgitation of the city paper’s agenda to keep the mishaps of Black councilmembers on the front-burner, while trivializing or refusing to report the unethical and questionable acts of the White one.




The article leaves out Evans' oversight failure. He should have made sure that Tax and Revenue had reasonable internal controls - like controls to prevent refunding taxes never paid. Both Evans and Gandhi are guilty of nonfeasance if not malfeasance in this thefts.
Jack Evans will reap what he has sowed. If there is a hell, he and other corrupt self serving politicians will end up there. I seen Jack Evans on television. The man looks old, ugly, and not in good health.
I am sure David Alpert, Charles Allen, Ken Archer, and Elissa Silverman have been crying in their organic microbrews ever since Fiona Grieg dropped out. Now they realize they get Jack-o for 4 more years and aint gonna get SHIZNIT from him or his office. Bummer, man.

Alpert has his Google millions to fall back on, Charles and the Great White Hope Wells will stay the golden boyz on the Council, Silverman will be crankier than ever, and Archer will continue to make an ass of himself.

All in all - the more things change, the more they stay the same!

@ Really,

Wow, I didn't know that and great observation regarding your statement:

"Lastly it’s interesting that Mark Plotkin is a “friend”, Chuck Thies was a co-chair of Jacky poo’s campaign and Sherwood was the host of the roast. These three have major influence in media and they are writing the narrative on DC’s politics. And more interesting it’s been these three who hammered the black politicians in this last cycle. Three white men?"

These bias reporters are using the media as a tool to purge the District of its black elected officials.
In my opinion, Ward 2 D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans is the "Antichrist". He only cares about lobbyist and big business.
Poor Alan Suder"man," he's upset that Jack Evans calls his fellow council members idiots. Well, they ARE idiots, Alan. Harry Thomas took $300,000 away from little black kids' chance to play baseball. Alan doesn't care about that, he just wants a chance to be a horse's arse politically correct clown, that's all.

Jack Evans for Mayor. I actually think he has a chance to win, now that Gray has performed exactly the way I thought he would.
Its so funny to see that its the blacks that are (as always) the real racists.
They're going to hurt a lot of people in the coming collapse, but they won't survive in the long run. Too stupid.
Dennis, you're the red neck.
Madea, you're not aware that you're ignorant. You are.
@Zizzy aka Jack or his staff; I am not a cracker and from rural Pennsylvania. Many of you racist white Democrats supporting Jack Evans and kissing his ass know how you truly feel in your hearts about blacks. Stop pretending, you and Jack Evans don't care for blacks and if it was 150 years ago, you would own and support slaves and slavery. The truth will sat you free.

Sue I am not stupid. Look deep inside your heart and you know I am telling the truth at how many of the white gays and whites moving into D.C. don't prefer to live around blacks and want to run us all out of the city where we were born or have put roots down. Why don't you and Jack Evans move back to where in the hell you were born? I can assure you, the whites continuing to show their arrogance and racist dislike for blacks in D.C., there will be race riots soon. Race relations in D.C. between whites and blacks have deteriorated. I can assure you, D.C. Councilmember Jack Evans will reap what he has sowed. I agree with another comment, he doesn't look in the best of health. I don't care how much money you have or how such a great neighborhood you live in. When they Angel of Death comes for you, you will not be able to take the wealth you earned by being corrupt and treating black people like they are worthless and inferior.
Reading some of these comments sadden me. We need a serious open discuss on race relations between blacks and whites in D.C. and in the United States. Blacks need whites and whites need blacks. We are all in this together as human beings on earth. Let's try showing love to one another during this Christmas or holiday season and throughout the year.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
Kris Kringle
North Pole
PF - incorrectly wrote; "... He, Mayor Williams, CFO Natwar Gandhi, and Chairman Linda Cropp virtually saved this City from financial ruin..."

From an accounting standpoint and using common financial sense- the RESIDENTS saved this city from ruin during Ms. Alice Rivlin Financial Control Board occupation of D.C..

Mayor Wms, nor CFO Gandhi, Chairman Cropp did not WRITE OUT A BLANK CHECK TO SAVE THIS CITY.

PF...what little do you know when it is right dead in your face. For several years Mayor Wms. exponentially increased property tax as much as 49% in one year to collect the funds to take this city out of debt.

How can you give this financial torment of residents paying off this Council and Mayor's debt more grief by giving the same irresponsibles the credit for saving this city?

And as quite as it is kept Councilmember Jack Evans made sure that his Ward 2 did not incur a property tax increase or that the increase was very minimal.

PF…Jack is the best Councilmember to get things done for his constituents – he’s second to Marion Barry.

However, the dark side is; Washington Post, Metro Section, Saturday, July 31, 2004 – D.C. TAX Relief Inequitable , Study Says; and Jack Evans is pictured on the right side of the article and Phil Mendelson is picture on the left side of the article.

“…D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute…showed that a total of 49 percent of the tax relief will go to homeowners in Ward 2 and 3…a total of 16 percent will go to Wards 5,7,8.

II. The Washington Post, Metro Section, Wednesday, September 28, 2005 – JUDGE Voids Some 2002 D.C. Assessments – Tax Burden Called Unfair; …”

“…Judge ruled that “widespread discrimination” forced owners of less-expensive houses to shoulder an excessive tax burdens..”

Wake up Trusting Citizens

Calvin H. Gurley
Mr. Gurley, please go back on your meds. Many of your posts are long and ridiculous. I live in the 16th Street Heights area of Ward 4 and somehow you have been posting ridiculous comments on their list serve. You don't live in the 16th Street Heights area so stop posting your foolishness on this list serve. Myself and others are tired of receiving non sense from you. You will not win the Ward 4 council seat because Muriel Bowser will get re-elected. Calvin you have ran for several council seats. Aren't you tired of losing?

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