City Desk

Fighting The Patriarchy In Ward 5?

Looks like there's something of a battle of the sexes shaping up in the Ward 5 D.C. Council special election. LL reported yesterday that a supporter of one candidate said something silly:

At a campaign event for Ward 5 D.C. Council candidate Frank Wilds this morning, former Ward 1 Councilmember Frank Smith told the small crowd of supporters that Wilds was the best man for the job because he's, well, a man.

"Sometimes you need to send a man to do a man's job," Smith said, after prefacing that he didn't mean for his comments to come off as sexist.

Yeah, okay. Meanwhile the Informer notes some comments from candidates at an April 28 forum who think it's time to put ladies first:

"It's time for a woman to represent Ward 5 on the [D.C.] Council, to take her seat at the table and fight for power and access. Black women were the cornerstone of the Civil Rights movement. We vote; we carry the mantel of the church; and now it's time for a female councilmember to advocate on behalf of Ward 5," said candidate Shelly Gardner, 55, an educator and lawyer, who contends that almost 30 years of the Thomas dynasty and several decades of patriarchal leadership in the ward has run its  course.

Saturday, April 28, at the New Samaritan Baptist Church (NSBC) in Northeast, Kathy Henderson (D) and Raenelle Zapata (D) echoed Gardner's sentiments regarding female leadership during the Ward 5 City Council Candidate Forum.

"In terms of leadership, women with our experience on the home front and high standards for public trust have always delivered," Henderson said.

Obviously gender has little to do with corruption (though LL does point out that it's been a long time since the city had a woman-led ethics problem), but the rhetoric is a clear sign that each candidate is trying hard to distinguish themselves from the 10 other people they're running against.

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Comments

  1. #1

    Funny you should say, "it's been a long time since the city had a woman-led ethics problem", because one of the women on that stage, Raenelle Zapata, lost her high-ranking position at DCRA after colluding in less-than-ethical efforts to circumvent rent control and the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act. Check out "The Painmaker", the City Paper's front-page article of January 13-19, 2006.

  2. #2
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