City Desk

Chatter: Settlers of Catania

plancWhat you said about what we said last week

Does a white, gay, reputationally cantankerous former Republican have a shot at becoming D.C.’s next mayor? Even when you put it that way, he just might, according to Will Sommer’s cover story on At-Large Councilmember David Catania. If the race is competitive, reader dcshadyboots put that on the frontrunner: “Bowser is in trouble simply because she sees the victory in the Democratic primary where only 27 percent of registered voters bothered to cast a vote as a victory. No, THAT is a repudiation and one that may very well continue into the general election.”

Tbonebullets was less sure: “Yeah, a win is unlikely...but he’s clearly a popular candidate. IF there were a stronger presence of Independent politicians on the Counsel and elsewhere, I think Catania and other Independents would have a much better chance at being elected mayor. I think THAT task is what independents should be working on...There is too much justified frustration with the Democratic party in D.C. for there not to be success in growing a third party.”

Other commenters pushed back against the Catania campaign’s presentation of its candidate as an antidote to D.C. “machine” politics. “I find it funny how Catania and all of his bullshit supporters talk about how Bowser and [candidate Carol] Schwartz are in the pockets of the contractors and developments,” wrote The Light. “Didn’t Catania work for [city contractor M.C. Dean] for 5 years?”

And then there’s the whole political party thing. “How does a lifelong Democrat support a former Republican?” asked M. “How do I get past the visions of Catania throwing a Bush fundraiser? HOW?” Betsy Donahoe’s answer: “If you look at Catania’s record he has always voted very liberally and progressively on major matters...He’s the most un-Republican person on the ballot.”

The Mural Juror

If the owners of the Potter’s House get their way and paint over the mural that’s adorned the Adams Morgan bookstore’s facade since 2010, what will the neighborhod lose? Readers of Christina Cauterucci’s arts feature were mixed. “It’s ugly and not very old either (no historic value),” AdamsMorgan wrote of the candle mural. “Paint it over. Cities change. Deal with it.”

While the bookstore’s new owners are, like the last ones, a religious group, they say the mural has a spiritual feel that keeps potential visitors away. c disagreed: “It’s not the mural that keeps people away. It’s that it’s run by a church. The mural is fun.” And TakomaNick: “I never even thought it was religious. I would love for [artist Karla Rodas-Israel] to paint some murals in my neighborhood.”

Although a city grant paid for the mural, reader Cindy argued that the public has no right to complain: “Don’t like the mural and glad it is going. But it does not matter what I think. It belongs to a private business...They can do what they want. If I buy a piece of art from someone and put it up in my house, I should not have to survey my neighbors for their approval or opinion if I decide I don’t want it anymore.”

Department of Corrections

Due to a reporting error, the feature about the Potter's House mural incorrectly stated that Rodas-Israel has lived in Adams Morgan for 14 years, when in fact she has lived in her current home for 14 years and in the neighborhood for 18.

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