Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: $600,000 Summit? Edition

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Good morning sweet readers! Every team LL cheered for this NFL playoff season has lost. News time.

The $600,000 Summit?: The Examiner is reporting that an upcoming citizens' summit hosted by Mayor Vince Gray is going to cost big bucks. "We are looking at a combination of public and private funding," says the mayor's spokeswoman Doxie McCoy."Citizen summits typically run about $600,000, and we anticipate a similar figure." Continues McCoy: "There will be a big screen [so] that the entire room will be able to see responses before the end of the summit ... The mayor will be there the whole time and is very excited about all this and the opportunity to hear from hundreds of residents about where the city and his administration should be headed to address their needs." Man, that better be one big screen. LL supposes the Gray administration will wait for a Friday afternoon sometime in 2013 to dump the names of the deep-pocked donors who paid for this shindig.

AFTER THE JUMP: Deputy Ed Mayor Steps In It; Leave Gas Man Alone, Says Post; Council Should Stay Home...

Say What?: Deputy Mayor for Education De’Shawn Wright sure stepped in it at a community meeting last week. Per the Post: "Wright announced that Coolidge and Roosevelt high schools would have their renovations postponed for a year under the new proposed capital budget. Then, in answering a question from the audience, he said that he wouldn’t send his child or godchild (there are conflicting versions) to either school because of the poor conditions." Wright's excuse: He says his comments were taken out of context. Whatever that means.

Stay Home: The Post editorial board isn't fond of the idea of D.C. lawmakers flying hither and tither to various state capitols making the case for voting rights when the District's new best friend, Rep. Darrell Issa, is standing at the capitol with arms wide open. In related news: an Arizona lawmaker is seeking place limits on late-term abortions in the District.

Leave Him Alone: The Post editorial board also has a message for Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh: Leave D.C. gasman Joe Mamo alone. The Post says Mamo isn't to blame for the District's high gas prices, and Cheh's divorcement bill would unfairly enrich the independent retailers who favor the bill. Mamo, who owns about half the gas stations in the District, has tried to frame this debate along racial lines and has paid lobbyist John Ray a small fortune to kill Cheh's bill. So yeah, he probably enjoyed that editorial.

It's On: So far 13 people have picked up paperwork suggesting a run for the newly vacant Ward 5 seat. Is your favorite on the list?

In Other News:

  • Family of man slain by DYRS ward sues group home.
  • "Gray has never seen a taxpayer dollar he doesn't want to spend," says Jonetta Rose Barras.
  • Councilmember Vincent Orange is really into boxing.
  • Police Chief Cathy Lanier talks information sharing.
  • Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry has minor surgery, survives.
  • Gray to United Medical Center board: "move aggressively and with rapidity" to figure out what to do with east of the river's only hospital.
  • Firefighters increasingly upset about uniform changes.
  • Step up your game, business elites.

Gray sked: 10:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.: Media Interview: The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg; 1:00 p.m. – 1:30 pm.: D.C. War Memorial Legislation Press Conference; 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.: Sustainable D.C. Green Ribbon Committee Meeting; 4:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Swearing-In Ceremony for Nancy M. Ware as Director of D.C. Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency.

Council sked: Highly effective teacher act, 10 a.m.

  • Kevin

    From reading the news, one would have no idea that the Conference of Mayors met in DC last week. Was it really that lacking of substance?

    And LL, no mention of the IG's finding of no ethical violations in the Council's awarding of the lottery contract?

  • drez

    Citizens already have the ability to express THEIR opinion through mail, phone, email, their ANC's, their civic associations, letters to various media outlets, etc.
    Summits are staged feel good pr events and little more.

  • Truth hurts

    Kevin, did you read the IG's "report of investigation" re the lottery contract?

  • LastStop

    @drez, the citizens summits were amazingly successful events under Mayor Williams. I was there. The collaboration that took place in those events between the Mayor, who then required the City Administrator and every city director to participate, was a uniquely positive interaction that cannot be duplicated through "phone, email, ANC's, civic associations, letters to various media outlets, etc.". Tony Williams actually implemented ideas and programs that grew out of those summits.

    Any time you can get local officials in the same room with the people that pay their salaries, working together to direct the city, it is a win win for everyone.

  • Drez

    Thanks. I've been to a few myself.

  • Drez

    A stable and successful government cannot depend on a self-selected sample to set policy.
    These summits (can) succeed in making those who who do show up feel as though they are being heard, but that has more PR than governance value.