The Sexist

5C Commissioner Gigi Ransom Censured Over “Potential Hate Crime”

Commissioner Ransom’s note helped get her censured by her ANC.

Meetings of advisory neighborhood commission 5C are among the most scrupulously documented affairs in the city. Debbie Smith, a Ward 5 resident and former commissioner, has taken to filming the meetings in full from the back of the room, citing “crazy stuff that has been going on lately.” Edgewood resident Michael J. Henderson publishes PDF documents of laptop notes he takes at each monthly meeting. Commissioner Gigi Ransom now sits behind a tape recorder in order to preserve every comment exchanged between commissioners.

Ransom knows the importance of catching comments on the record. On June 5 [PDF], five of Ransom’s fellow commissioners voted to censure her [PDF] regarding a variety of charges—from attempting to order surplus government furniture for her home office to displaying “erratic outbursts and outlandish behavior.” The most incendiary charge, however, concerned an e-mail Ransom sent to fellow commissioner Barrie Daneker on May 6. The e-mail contained the following critique:

Please know, I really don’t appreciate a white man, especially one who is gay, who gained his civil rights on the back of slaves & those of color who fought in the civil rights movement trying to control me or devalue my efforts. I am not a slave.

The censuring of Ransom is only the latest ANC 5C spat to come from a commissioner’s use of speech. ANC 5C—which represents Bloomingdale, Edgewood, Eckington, and Pleasant Hills—is distinguishing itself for generating never-before-contemplated issues of English usage and criminal law.


In censuring Ransom, the ANC described her note as “racist and bigoted…possibly violating the Vice-Chairman’s civil and human rights; potentially committing hate crime.”

Acting Lt. Brett Parson, who heads up the D.C. Police Department’s Special Liaison Unit, discounts the possibility that Ransom’s note constituted any “threat” in violation of D.C. Code. “There’s no hate crime here,” he says. “It could—and I underline could—be construed as a hate-bias related incident, but it does not rise to the level of a criminal threat. This falls under freedom of speech. You’re allowed to hate whomever you want.”

In his reply, Daneker denounced Ransom’s e-mail as racist: “As for my civil rights, I am still waiting! How very dare you state that the civil rights of any group has been place on the backs of slaves and people of color, disgraceful!…I hope you find some happiness in your life and stop the hate and hurt that you apparently are feeling and spreading in our great city!”

Then, 5C Chairman Anita Bonds replied to the e-mail by dropping the possibility of a lawsuit against Ransom and adding: “Some say ‘we got you’ others say ‘we are going to get you.’”

Finally, the ANC made its words official. At that month’s ANC meeting, held on May 19, a coalition of commissioners came to get Ransom, distributing the “Resolution of Censuring and No Confidence Vote” and blindsiding Ransom with the allegations. If anything, the censuring of Ransom has only inspired more indecorous speech in the ANC 5C. The scene that erupted following the reading of the resolution was captured in Henderson’s monthly notes [PDF]:

Commissioner Ransom said you being white and gay means got your rights on the backs of slaves and there is nothing racist about that; I am a strong black woman and I don’t need anyone to validate me; I did not come back to serve to be subservient to anyone… Commissioner Ransom said she was told she could not read, and she was called the “B” word by Commissioner Day in a church.…Commissioner Ransom spoke at great length in defense of her integrity…the debate became rather heated; Debbie Smith stood up and began shouting loudly…at that point the meeting abruptly ended, at 9:50 p.m.


Ransom’s upset about more than just Daneker’s free ride to civil rights. Another sticking point for Ransom was Daneker’s insistence on referring to Debbie Smith in correspondence as “Mz. Smith,” instead of the more traditional salutation “Ms.” Smith—the one with the video camera—has often popped up in official correspondence for her habit of raising neighborhood concerns with the body.

After fielding several e-mails from Daneker referring to Smith as “Mz,” Ransom asked Daneker to explain his strange usage in an e-mail: “Comm. Daneker, has there been an official change to the DC Manual of Styles in which now the correct way to address a female to whom we are communicating is ‘Mz.’, as opposed to ‘Ms.’?”

Daneker replied by providing an etiquette lesson courtesy of his Rhode Island prep school education. “[I]t is proper to use Mz. for a lady who’s the martial status is unknown, and who’s age appears to be more than 25 years old.… I was educated at the Wheeler School for my secondary education, and a whole course in etiquette was required. So I thank you for your question, and I hope you have found this information useful, you never know when you might need those skills.”

Ransom wasn’t buying it. “Daneker continued to address her as Mz.,” says Ransom. “Well, I’ve heard that term used by bloggers, rapper types like that, and sometimes it’s used for prostitutes, and we’ve seen it used in the gay community. But the real thing that bothered Deborah and me is that the term is used for a very popular animated character called Mz. Gorilla.”

Sarah Baak
, the director of admissions for the Protocol School of Washington, a local authority on business etiquette, says she’s not familiar with Mz. in a business context. “The appropriate and most formal way to refer to a woman in the business world is by ‘Ms.,’” explains Baak. “I’ve never heard of Mz. It seems very informal.”

There is one context where “Mz.” is standard usage to refer to a woman, however—when she’s competing in a drag show alongside female impersonators. “Some organizations have a Miss, a Mr., and a Mz.,” Andre Hopfer, a veteran local drag performer, wrote in an e-mail. “They created the Mz. to differentiate between a real woman and a drag queen.”

Professing ignorance of the drag connection, Daneker says that he’s now stopped referring to Smith as “Mz..”


In her response to the reading of the charges against her, Ransom noted that she’s not the only commissioner to have used incendiary language in the course of official business. Ransom claims that at one ANC meeting, “she was called the ‘B’ word by Commissioner Day in a church.”

Since ANC 5C meetings are often held in local houses of God, the church in question would have been operating in a civic capacity. Besides, nothing was caught on the record. “Yes, she did reference that in that meeting,” Commissioner Tim Day says. Day, who voted to censure Ransom for her comments against Daneker, issued the following nondenial to her accusation against him: “You know what—if there were any name-calling during any meeting, no one can validate that there was name-calling. This is just a desperate attempt to lash out at anyone she possibly could have.”

Debbie Smith, too, has repeatedly complained about commissioners’ use of “the ‘B’ word.” At the beginning of most 5C meetings, Smith uses the open “community comment” period to complain that Commissioner Marshall Phillips used the term to describe her more than five years ago. At the most recent ANC meeting, Smith claimed that Phillips had never been held accountable for calling her a “dirty black whatever”—in 2004.

Phillips denounced Smith’s dated accusation with a rumination on the word bitch.

“I have never called Ms. Smith the bitch word,” says Phillips. “I haven’t had any need. I might have thought that—that she was becoming difficult—but I know that she’s a human being, and a bitch is a female dog. Now, some people have used that word to stand as a hard task to communicate with. The Golden Girls used to use it on the TV, and The View uses the words as ‘The Bitch,’ almost now like it’s a diva. And I would never give Ms. Smith the credit to call her a diva.”

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • Keith Jarrell

    This entire incident is ridiculous and a waste of tax payer time and money. Each of you were elected to represent the voters in your single member district, and currently none of you are doing it.
    It is really time that you put all of this behind you and work together for the community.

  • SSRes

    Amanda, you continue to disappoint me. So much sexism, so little sex.

  • Kappa1911

    All these Commissioners in 5C appear to be a bunch of idiots. ANC Commissioners should be taken out of the D.C. "Home Rule Charter". Most ANC Commissioners are inactive and the ones who are active think, they are powerful politicians. Why would they bring slavery and homosexuality into their topic?

  • daheyell_is_going_on_in_Ward4

    I agree with Kappa1911 about the power trip. ANC4B is a perfect example, and the current Chair acts like a dictator, shutting down citizens who ask questions. Their meetings can last for nearly 4 hours, as they spend a good majority of that time loudly bickering among themselves. For years, this ANC has mismanaged their taxpayer funded allotment, and they become indignant when they are challenged about questionable line items and expenditures. DC auditors have REFUSED citizen requests to investigate and audit a period during which a single commissioner claimed an unsubstantiated $7,000 quarterly expenditure for "postage", and also wrote a check to herself.

    While some ANCs intend good for their constituents, this one is a dysfunctional hot mess---to say nothing of past Fenty's influence and manipulation; he had at least 3 of his staff sitting on that ANC while working in his office.

    DC government gives them OUR money, yet doesn't provide adequate oversight. If ANCs are not going to be made accountable by DC government to do the business of the people they represent, they should be dismantled.

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  • Q

    Ridiculous!!! Amanda, did you read the minutes??? They clearly say that the resolution wasn't voted on. She WAS NOT CENSURED! This is a incisatory headline leading to a garbage story.

    From the minutes: "[Clarification: The Commission did not formally censure Commissioner Ransom. Certain members of the Commis-sion introduced a resolution to censure her. No vote was ever taken on the matter. According to the resolution, the ANC is supposed to convene a public meeting in the Commissioner Ransom’s Single Member District within30 days to discuss the matter and then take action.—"

    Darrow, I'm sure this "scowl" photo wasn't the only one available. Lemme guess, Amanda or someone told you to use it to make good "electronic" copy.

    This 5C ANC mess is wrong in so many ways that it isn't worth the bytes to write here. What is worth writing is that ANCs and other elected officials need some sensitivity and conflict resolution training.

    While "Ms." Ransom's note had some truth to it (to those who remember the 1960's movement) and was expressive to how she felt, it probably was in poor taste. She felt disrespected and in attempts to defend herself derided Mr. Daneker, based upon something that has nothing to do with his capability as an ANC.

    A jerk is a jerk - Black - White - Gay - Straight, etc. They come in all forms and are universally the largest class of people in the world. And besides being ANCs in Ward 5, that is something both Daneker, Ransom, Day, and Phillips have in common. Not that I hold Phillips to a higher standard because he's a reverend but even HIS conduct via the notes was out of order. The snide remarks and sniping of one another speak to a greater problem that has escalated into namecalling and stiring up inherent racism and sexism in everyone. Ms. Ransom isn't an angry black woman, no more than Daneker is a feisty gay man. And even if both were true, that alone should NOT impair their ability to conducting ANC business. But they BOTH need help --- scratch that. THEY ALL NEED HELP. The PDFs and videos only prove their psychosis and need for intervention.

  • Amanda Hess

    Q, they did not vote to censure Ransom during the May 19 meeting. They voted to censure her in a Committee of the Whole meeting on June 5, as I stated in the second paragraph of the story. You can read the notes of that meeting here [PDF]:

  • Q

    The June 5th link doesn't work. I just read the June 16th minutes ( ), but it seems that the actual text of the resolution has been modified. Blame it on the minutes, but all it says is that the "Minutes passed", not the resolution. Sounds unclear.

    Not that 5 out of 12 represents a majority even with a quorum, but something is still fishy here.

  • Q

    Amanda, I'm not going to post the same message again but the opening text I wrote is invisible. The June 5th link doesn't work. The link I posted is from a June 16th meeting.

  • Amanda Hess

    Q, at the June 16th meeting they did pass the last month's minutes into the record. They do this at every meeting, as far as I can tell. They didn't pass the resolution to censure at the June 16th meeting because they had already done it, in a meeting on June 5. I'm sorry that the PDF isn't working---I've had trouble with that PDF as well, but can get it to open without error about half the time.

    At the June 5 meeting, Bonds, Pinkney, Salatti, Wright, Daneker, Grant, and Day were present. That's 7 out of 12 Commissioners, and is a quorum according to the ANC 5c's bylaws. Salatti and Grant voted no on the resolution.

  • Q

    Hmmm, Thanks for the detail. Would've helped if presented earlier. Sounds like June 5th was a *Special* meeting. Do you know if ANC5C brought this to her consituents within the 30 days? Also, I believe she has a 30 day window to respond, did she? Answering these questions would help the story.

  • Amanda Hess

    Q, believe me, there are a lot of details to parse out here but only so much space in the column---especially one that focuses on sex & gender issues specifically and not local politics in general.

    As for the 30-day period, he text of the resolution to censure might be helpful to reference here. After the charges against Ransom, it reads: Advisory Neighborhood Commission of 5C will afford the Commissioner from 5C12, Ms. Albrette "Gigi" Ransom, the opportunity at her liberty, to call a "special," properly public noted; public meeting of the SMD 5C12 within 30 days, at an agreed to time and place in SMD 5C12 to answer the allegations set forth in this resolution. At the time of the special meeting, the Commission may elect to expunge, rescind or imposed further sanctions by way of amending and/or enforcing the bylaws."

    The ANC 5C is not obligated to bring this to Ransom's constituents, but she may choose to do so, if she wishes. She hasn't yet held a meeting.

    The resolution to censure is essentially a slap on the wrist. But other action is still possible against Ransom. The resolution notes that there are three ways to get rid of an ANC commissioner: (1) persuading her to resign; (2) defeating her in the next regular election; (3) her constituents voting to recall her. This recall cannot occur in the first or last 6 months of a commissioner's term.

    So, if anyone wants Ransom gone from 5C, it's going to have to be her constituents in 512. That 6 month waiting period will have been satisfied come July.

  • Q

    Amanda, I understand where you are coming from and won't add any more to this dialog/blog after this. I read the resolution and understood the statements, but the angle in the original story caused me to explore the full story. Sex and Gender issues aren't always black and white or male and female (sorry for the puns). I'm not part of the Ransom defense but balance and resolution were needed in this story.

    At first read, the gist of the story was that some angry black ANC woman pulled the race card referencing the 1960's Civil Rights Movement in admonishing her gay male colleague. In response, the ANC 5C members did a quasi-retalitory thing by issuing her censure. After getting by the shock and awe, the other accusatory details shined a light on the lunacy of some of the 5C meetings and the nature of some of the comments from them. The first four bloggers were basically outraged about the story and SSRes was outraged that this was even in this column. That said, this story probably was better suited for CityDesk.

    But I will give you credit, that you at least provided further detail when asked.

  • mmatch

    Q, ok. You're a moron for the following reasons:

    1. You begin by accusing ms. hess of lying. several times. YOU WERE WRONG.
    2. I assume you're not the editor of a newspaper so: 1. don't comment on the photo. 2. don't tell the paper which sections it should put its columns. 3. don't assume anyone cares about who you give credit to- you're some anonymous internet person named "Q".

    Also- the point of the story was to expose the idiocy of these people and the "sexist" used it through an hilarious exchange between 2 morons like yourself.

    3. You can't expect every single detail of the entire commission to be printed in a 1000 word column, moron.

    4. Despite your string of critical emails, your only conclusion was that she was right and you were casually tossing around blatant falsities.

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  • Q

    mmmatch, I left the story alone, but I see you want to pull me back in. The reason I wrote what I did was that the links did not present the angle that Amanda was saying. Until she produced the broken link to the vote document, all evidence (the working links) was pointing to a lack of vote on this issue. And if that took three blog comments to get that, it was worth it.

    Unlike you, I'm not easily bought by superficial fluff and lip-service via news articles or anything else. Only a MORON would simply accept being spoonfed facts that don't necessarily add up and not question them.

    No, I'm not an editor by trade by I know enough about imagery (and Darrow's work) to sense a ruse when I see one. The photo was designed to demonize the person (ala the O.J. photos after his alleged murder conviction) or convey a sense of ANGER to support the article. Only a MORON would not look at the article and the photo and not draw that conclusion. Mmatch, journalism isn't always objective, so I was looking beyond the superficial fluff of the story. Anyone can call a person a bigot and report on it. The TRUE story is what the motivation was.

    Clearly mmatch is less anonymous as "Q". Is that short for mismatch or mixed-match.

  • Gigi

    This is Gigi. I felt it was important to set the record straight. Thank you to the poster who mentioned the 60s civil right movement, which brought about the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which opened the doors for all other special classifications (minority groups) to follow and gain their rights. This includes women’s right for equal pay, those with disabilities, and the Human Rights Act (1977 in DC), which also forbades discrimination against sexual orientation. Mr. Daneker, who is openly gay, is and has publicly made it known he is included in this class. Because I stated the true history of how civil rights laws came about, I am a racist, committed a hate crime or was there something about it that Mr. Daneker could not accept?

    To correct the reference to the Edgewood site for Michael's minutes, the above is what I said during the meeting. You are right, for some reason, his minutes, especially the referenced minutes have changed. I have the originals. Michael’s minutes are not official. Know that I stood up for Michael, and his 1st Amendment rights at a March 2009 ANC meeting when chairperson Bonds attacked him for his writings, and complained about negative postings about her by others. I guess this was one of the times I was disruptive. The official ANC 5C minutes for 5/17 & 6/5/09 were voted on and approved at the 6/16/09 monthly meeting. I believe Amanda received copies. You need to read them.

    The entire e-thread that brought about my statement was also forwarded to Amanda. I know there was space/wording limitations, and Amanda correctly stated, “the email contained the following critique”. It was not the entire email. What brought about this entire scenario? I requested an OAG Legal Opinion on a $14,000 grant application from a youth services focused program, which according to the application, some of the equipment to be purchased had the potential to be used for entertainment purposes, which is against federal law. The AAG stated I was correct in bringing this to their attention. Understanding the need to service our inner-city youth (60-70) in this program and the intent of the program, legal, simple guidelines were provided so that the program could receive and properly use your hard earned tax dollars. Some of the commissioners, including Mr. Daneker felt I overstepped my boundaries. That is why the threat, “others say, we are going to get you”. Does that make sense to you, to be threatened for protecting your interests and funds?

    I feel that Amanda presented a fair and balanced article on the situation. She included expert opinions on the matters. I was disappointed with Lt. Parsons attempt to continue the "argument" by including it could be construed as a hate-bias incident. Its definition: "A bias incident is an incident of verbal or non-verbal conduct or behavior that is threatening, harassing, intimidating, discriminatory, or hostile. Bias occurs whether the act is intentional or unintentional and towards an individual or group regarding factors such as race, religion, ethnicity, disability, national origin, age, gender, or sexual orientation. Please be aware that just because the expression of an idea or point of view may be offensive or inflammatory to some, it is not necessarily a bias-related incident". Can you really say you saw any of this in the passage, and if so, where? I have no hard feelings towards Mr. Daneker. I just don't like his ways. The other experts stuck to the point in question.

    As to the improper salutation of Ms. Smith, though Mr. Daneker chose to not accept what I stated in the original e-thread, he had not choice but to accept theirs. Did you read an apology to Ms. Smith for his behavior? As to Comm. Day, he confirmed he called me a “bitch” twice, by saying “no one can validate that there was name-calling”. I have the email Anita sent out the next day which included this, and the threat to get me. We also have an attorney who is a commissioner, and there was an employee of CSOSA in the audience. Both are considered officers of the court, and have a responsibility to tell them truth. That is why I am recording all future meetings.

    I am a long time community activist, and have dealt with a lot of people. There can be disagreements, but there are people that will try to take advantage of you, some to control you for whatever their reasons, insecurities, low self-esteem, etc. The poster was right. I am a strong, assertive woman of color. There is a line, and when intentionally cross, I will tell you like it is. Mr. Daneker did that. This has been going on with him attempting to marginalize, underestimate and/or unvalued my efforts since January 2009.

    I am not a hater, bigot, racist. My “Aunt” Audre Lorde, was an esteemed poetess/gay activist, who starred in the 1985 movie, “Before Stonewall”, the story about the late 70’s Stonewall gay uprising against police injustice in New York City’s Village. I was friends with Wanda Alston, who encouraged me to return to school to get my degree. I have family members, friends, neighbors, etc who are either GLBT. We are all female or male first, everything else comes afterwards.

    There was a lot of false, redacted and mis-information in the first and second resolution, both that were released to the public. To date, I have not received an official copy of the 2nd resolution, but it was given to Edgewood via Comm. Daneker the evening of the 6/5 meeting.

    In reference to Amanda’s 2:07pm post, ANC 5C has no legal authority to censure, have a vote of no confidence, order me to hold a special meeting, etc. Also there is nothing in our by-laws to allow the censure, and there is a clause in the by-laws that limits Robert's Rule to only what is written in our by-laws. I will not be holding a special meeting, but I will be holding my own SMD meeting. I must provide further information. Also, the request to resign, etc, was redacted fromanother OAG legal opinion (5/7/97) from then CM Patterson to OAG regarding commissioners who fail to attend meetings, not for a censure/vote no confidence. Legal Opinions should not be altered for another purpose.

    Amanda’s reference for the process for a recall is correct, and applies to all DC elected officials. I know that’s what Anita and others want, because I am considered a threat to the status quo. This pious clique has had their way for a long time. Ms. Smith and I had hoped Amanda would have been able to include Ms. Smith’s quest to have Comm. Phillips publicly accept responsibility and admit that he misappropriated taxpayers funds at the cost of over $5,000.00. The DC Auditor subtracted this amount from a 5C quarterly allotment.

    If any one is interested in obtaining the full e-threads involved in this matter, so you can make an informed, educated decision on these issues in their entirety, with an open mind past the statement, and if Amada is not able to provide a link to these important documents, please contact me at:

    You could also go to the following links for previous stories written about me by the City Paper: (When ANC’s talk, Nobody is Listening-Democracy Inaction (When we were Queens) (Have we got a Job for You)

  • Steven

    I'd agree with a previous poster who said they should just abolish the whole idea of ANC's. They're pointless anyway.

    I know my (ANC 5C05) Commissioner is worthless. All she is capable of doing is forwarding emails that land in her inbox (traffic advisories, etc). I RARELY see her at community meetings and have NEVER seen her on a safety walk that members of my SMD have organized. Now, instead of going to her for problems in the community, I go directly to the respective D.C. agency for problems in my area (DCRA has been responsive, etc). I do it myself.

    ANC5C isn't able to document cash dispersements, etc - per the recent audit. The meetings are run like a fish fry with no regard for Roberts Rule of Order, etc. I have yet to see results from any ANC meetings in my block, neighborhood etc. Oh, wait, there are flower baskets clinging on to some lamp-posts, I regress. I wonder how much those "cost."

    I say get rid of the entire ANC organization.

  • Wondermachine

    Gigi. I don't know if you're a racist or not. I don't even know if you're a homophobe (well, I have my suspicions). But you're certainly ignorant as all get out.

    There's always been a long streak of homophobia in the Black community just as in any other one. That 1960s Civil Rights movement that you claim is only your own was fought for by Gay people too. Gay people marched and organized for civil liberties lady. One of them even ORGANIZED THE MOST SEMINAL MOMENT in the CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT. Do I have to school you on Bayard Rustin? A Black Gay man who organized the March on Washington? A Black Gay man who brought Gandhian non-violence to Martin Luther King, Jr.? A Black Gay man who was hounded out by petty vicious little minds like yours who wanted to blackmail King into kicking Rustin to the curb. King refused to do so and kept him on and allowed him to make his GRAND contributions to the movement -- HIS movement and EVERYONE's movement for equality and justice.

    You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself for using the Civil Right movement to push somebody down. It's a weak defense and a craven idiotic one to boot.

    Learn Your history before you start lecturing people on it.

  • NE1

    I agree, get rid of them. No need for them in modern government. We have council members, this is another unnecessary level of bureaucracy.

  • DC Proud

    For the record, I had no problem with the link to the June 5 meeting. Here's the relevant section of the minutes:

    "Commissioner Day motion to vote on the resolution to censure Commissioner Ransom would like to call for the question; Commissioner Bonds asked for dis-cussion; Commissioner Gant said he read it and he won’t support it, although he was upset by the comments made to Commissioner Daneker; Commissioner Bonds said attempting to have furniture delivered to her address and putting name calling in writing are real issues; however “disruptive” personalities are not uncommon to other commissions; Commissioner Wright made a motion to move ahead with the vote with amendments; Commissioner Bonds asked to omit three of the items (3); leaving the remainder; Commissioner Day 2nd the motion; motion passed with Commissioners Grant and Salatti voting no."

    Without the benefit of the additional information that Amanda Hess has added in the comments, your guess is as good as mine as to what actually happened based on the wording of the minutes.

    The sad bottom line in all of this is that this kind of behavior perpetuates the notion that advisory neighborhood commissions are a waste of taxpayer dollars. Worse, it reinforces the narrative that District residents are not ready for real democracy. Yes, every electoral jurisdiction has its jokers (anyone heard of Mark Sanford?) but only D.C.'s jokers get to be used as excuses -- either consciously or subconsciously -- by right-wingers in Congress to deny us congressional voting representation and the autonomy to pass our own laws. Perhaps the lesson is that we need to get some intelligent like onto these ANCs before it's too late.

  • Cassandra Costley

    I am a resident of Bloomingdale and greatly saddened to have watched this idiocy play out over the past several months. The sad truth of what happened probably lies somewhere in the middle of all that has been said, charged, and counter-charged. An even sadder truth is that none of this ought to have been allowed to happen.

    Those elected to serve the people of these great neighborhoods ought to have done anything possible to avert this public spectacle that ill serves us all. What was to be gained by giving this silliness wider circulation in the City Paper? This reminds me of the pettiness of the Mayor's handling of the baseball tickets. Surely I'm not the only one who wants politicians to begin acting like they think they've been elected to serve us and not their egos.

    A better lesson for us all would have been for the ANC to meet publicly or privately with a real intention to work through their differences and come back to us prepared to do "The People's" business. Maybe the ANC can get back to the business for which it was established that those who wanted it have had their 15 minutes of fame. I sure hope that they next time I read about any of these people they are quoted about their plan or approach to improving one of the many quality of life issues affecting the neighborhoods under the purview of ANC5C. I also hope they choose a mediated resolution over a public display of dysfunction the next time they have a problem with each other, their processes, or anything else.

  • David Smedberg

    I agree with Mrs. Costley.

    I am a member of Gigi's Single Member District and voted for her, and look forward to when we, as a District, can sit down and talk about this (hopefully w/out reporters -- no offense to Ms. Hess). None of this whole back-and-forth seems to have been worth the air it took to yell it... no good has come from it and I doubt that any will come.

    For what it's worth, I don't think that this is an argument against having ANCs, but it does go to show that not all our ANCs are what they should be. (We can point to John Salatti, also of 5C, as a good example of what an ANC can be!)

  • Matt Corrigan

    I'm in 5C and do the neighborhood walks with John Salatti. He cannot stand to be around people and not hear his own voice chattering along. When it comes to documenting, looking at things from the neighborhood's view, keeping drains free of debris, John's the MAN! I Encourage the public to go on the walks Thursdays @ 7pm. You can learn much about our community. John knows many homeowners by name and is demonsterably saddened when they move. Personally I can't stand him, but as my ANC he rocks!
    As far as this whole debacle, I cannot believe I wasted a half hour of my time that I cannot get back.
    Who cares? I sure don't wish to see "Angry Anybodies" with important titles wasting the tax that I pay. There is much to do such as having a community lawn mower so I don't see Senior Citizens with recent knee surgury cutting their lawns with shears. I know the ones on my block, give me a mower, weed eater whatever and I'll get it done free of charge. Just get John to call me. I'm the guy who told him I didn't like him and told him why. He took that quite well, and didn't miss a beat on our neighborhood walk.

  • John

    Sounds to me like Debbie Smith and Gigi Ransom have teamed up to bring down the establishment, but with a record like Ms. Ransom for finding trouble, it was bound to happen. Let's not forget when this racist wacko lived in Ward 6 and had her ties slashed 18 times. Sounds like she made a lot of progress for the residents of that SMD.
    As for Smith, she was part of the old guard she is now clamming about. Sounds more like she's a bit set back by not only her defeat in the last election, but also that she was called out at the Feb 2009 meeting for her constant bickering over grants and other matters from years past when this current commission was not seated. Sounds to me like she has a motive and it's totally political. Looks like she's drawing scandalous publicity for her own interest in a run for council. As for the comments, Gigi's got to go...she lost her temper and hung herself with her own comments, just like many others in the heat of the moment when they are losing ground, and facing defeat. They lash out. Just like Mel Gisbon and his rant, he's a anti-Semite, well then Ransom is a homophobic racist. We should all take note. With this display of hate, she could be the next shooter at the Holocaust Center.

  • pacnwjay

    When will the good people of DC rise up and force the city (congress?) to rid them of the ANC system??? They are not only embarrassing, but constantly hinder any useful community action in the city.

  • Steven

    I think residents of SMD 5C12 should make a statement that her views are not reflective of our diverse community and end her political aspirations and have her re-called. The process is simple - one person has to submit the form "intent to recall" which can be found here:

    and then just gather signatures from 10% of the population of SMD 5C12 and it will be up for a popular vote to have her ousted and her racist and homophobic views kicked to the curb.

    And then maybe she can move to another ward and become their problem as a worthless, bigot of an ANC. :)

  • Lizzie

    Reading Gigi's response and I can't stand the lies and crap she is putting out. Take for example paragraph two, where it states that Mr. Henderson has changed his posting of minutes on the Edgewood website. Come on Gigi, is everyone after you? Have you any respect? Everyone cannot be wrong and you are right!
    The next paragraph outlines your questioning a grant, key words in that were "potential to be used for entertainment purposes". Potential, sound like she has the potential to getting recalled to me. The grant was for a summer program for the kids! What a joy kill this commissioner is...
    Paragraph 3 about her awful comments...and a to define bias...Listen your comments were mean, bigotted, and down-rgiht unacceptable no matter what was said..PERIOD!
    Mr. Daneker used the wrong title, was he really that offensive? I have seen others make the same mistake. Back in the early 70's during the ERA movement, I often saw this. Many people used it to refer to woman who were divorced or widowed and didn't want to use their husbands name. Although MZ. is not fomral and he should have used Ms.; you are hanging him for using the wrong title? It appeared to be a mistake to me. I wonder if anyone else is ever made that mistake? And the refernece to Mz. Gorilla, well that was just and atttempt by Ms. Smith and Ms. Ransom to make it a political thing, and try to gain some ground after Gigi's racist email. Sounds like a HUGE leap to me.
    Now the whole "bitch" thing. She must have been really pushing buttons, and after her history in Ward 6 and all the crap she put that ANC thru, maybe she is a BITCH! But I agree it wasn't proper to do so at a meeting. Then she tries to take the high road which she obviously didn't do, in paragraph six. She is was off base, and she wants to control the ANC but because she can't she is making things difficult. I see she wsn't elected to the executive committee? You see her use the words, false, misinformation...OK Gigi you are right and all the other commissioners are wrong and so isn't the public. Come on get a grip on reality!
    Now the whole censure thing...of course they can censure you! DC is an arm of the federal gov't and Congress and the Senate have used the censure and no confidence vote for years. This crasy commissioner looks at an OAG opinion and takes the part about "the removal from office", which we all know cannot happen unless a recall is completed, so she thinks they cannot censure her. Well the Cenusre is valid. Get over it! They called you out and rightfully so. Take the shame, it surely is deserved! As for the legality of the censure, I hope WCP follows up with another story so that the OANC can state for the public just how legal it was, and that Gigi is just pulling at straws cause she was dead wrong.
    As for a copy of the resolution, Gigi is a BIG LIAR! At the June meeting when she was complaining, she got a signed copy of it, Ms. Smith should have that on tape. BTW where is that tape? What web site is that on? So again this Commissioner is a HUGE LIAR!
    On top of it, now she can't stand the fact that Robert's Rules stop her and her agenda from going forward. What a crock of crap this one puts out! Limits Robert's rules! It means if it is not in the bylaws then refer to Robert's Rule for guidance. She actually thinks everyone is that stupid. Robert's Rule are referenced so that the bylaws don't have to state everything. Gigi might want to read a bit closer. Oh that's right, someone said she couldn't read...sounds like that might be true.
    Now she rolls out the family to say she isn't a bigot, cause of her Aunt Audre Lorde. Ms. Lorde would probably smack her up side the head and give her a few lashings with a switch for making such a comment, especailly in writing! It shows just how igorant Ms. Ransom is. I agreed with John that we should be watching her, she just might be the next crasy in our community to go "Postal"!

    I agree with a lot of these comments out here and I say RECALL the CRAZY Commissioner from 5C12. It's time this city took a stand and stop these wacko, crazy, crap stirring, igorant people from controlling this city. We have had enough of it! The days of scandal in DC are OVER. It time for statesman(women) to take over and run this city with intergeity instead.

    Who has the committee to recall Gigi Ransom campaign, cause I want to contribute to it. Get involved, get her out!

  • vincentK

    ANC Commissioners as a whole are incompetent, bias; wanabe politicians who rarely know or do their jobs most don't even no the citizens they serve. I don't think this issue should have been brought up in the meeting and more so not on a listserv, video camera or in someone’s notes on a website. It only makes ward 5 look bad once again I'm with the others out with the ANC I have seen civic associations do way more recently anyway so who needs those do nothings just looking for any opportunity to put on a show... Let's get rid of the ANC before the year is out i'll lead the way!

  • Beverly Tomasso

    In regards to the comment Ms. Ransom made, I find it terribly insulting. In fact, I bet if a comment of similar content had been made by Mr. Daneker we would be hearing about it on CNBC or some other cable news station. In fact, there may have even been a lynching with a mob.

    It is sad that in this day and age, after the history we have had in this country and the freedom and rights that MOST EVERYONE had fought for,(and still are fighing for), we cannot be more greatful, accepting and loving. Yes, remember the Civil Rights movement, Remember the womans' sufforage, Remember Hitler, remember Stonewall!!! REMEMBER!!!!!Remember it ALL....!Do we need this type of history to repeat again and again? If you were in a life or death situation with many people around, will you have the time to judge, or would you accept help from one of the persons offering? Besides, the community/country has other issues you people sould be working on.

  • Gigi

    Re Lizzie's post, for one thing, I was not at the 6/5/09 meeting.

  • Monica

    Firstly, Gigi is a first class individual. She is a community activist. I live in 4d and we have high crime, gangs, shootings, drugs, etc. Gigi is one of the few activists who goes to most of the community meetings, asks questions, and demands actions. Anytime, you stop kissing a$$ and telling people how great they are, you make enemies. Most people on the ANC are do nothings and egoholics. Gigi is the exception.

    Gigi is being unfairly targeted. This cherry picking of comments, slander, and character assassination is directed at the wrong person. These allegations are baseless and are an attempt to derail the hardwork and sacrifices she's made for the community. She fights for ALL people regardless of sexuality, race, creed or color. Yes, she got her tires slashed because she refused to let the drug dealers win. They didn't. They were eventually jailed. Sometimes you HAVE to take a stand regardless of the consequences. Meanwhile, others sit back, critisize and do nothing.

  • Lizzie

    RE: Gigi at the following meeting when you were presented with it on camera. An updated version of the document and that makes sense to me,a formal copy needed to be made, one to be updated for the motion the chair made and were accepted and then signed,which you got at the June 16th meeting. So you have a copy correct? It seems Mr. Henderson gets a lot of information but it is the official copy that counts! So people check this blog on June 25 Ms. Ransom LIED AGAIN stating, "To date, I have not received an official copy of the 2nd resolution" Ms. Smith were is the tape? I bet you can see it being handed to her. So Ms. Ransom's words and now the tape.

    SO STOP THE LIES! You have a copy.

    After reading the story again this morning after Ms. Ransom's post. I wonder if someone can provide a post with a link to the image of Mz. Gorilla. I have never seen this cartoon character and wanted to ensure it exists...I have grandkids and if I can't find it on Google with a simple search then I have to call into question that reference, like I think everyone should with this commissioner.

  • John

    She's not "first class" if she used that language! She may have done some good things, but she expressed some hateful words and that cannot be overlooked. Hate is Hate No elected official should be referring to anyone nevertheless another official and using such language.

    As Micheal Jackson sang "One bad apple don't spoil the whole bunch" I know a lot of ANC's work very hard, behind the scenes, doing great work with no pay, credit or spot light. You know the good work is being done, surely, quietly, with little fanfare those are the great "first class" individual who don't need there names in the spotlight!

  • Gigi

    Re Lizzie's post again, 6/28, 10:53am; Again, I was not at the June 5th meeting. I went on the Tour, but not the meeting. See the roll call on ANC 5C's and Mr. Henderson's minutes. As to the 6/16 ANC monthly meeting, I did not receive a signed, official resolution. Don't worry, tape will be uploaded to the Internet real soon. You seems to be overly obsessed and extremely emotional about this, especially in light of the fact that there was clearly sexism involved. Your dates are wrong, giving false information as to where I was and was not, what I got and did not. Also, what's wrong with your hand that you can't perform your own search for Mz. Gorilla? Will hold you up in prayer.

  • Gigi

    Thank you Monica for your kind words.

  • Gigi

    John, to confirm your words about my hateful language, it would help all to bettter understand if you can provide the legal definition and DC Codes, to substantiate your comment, where it is applicable to my statement to make it a criminal or civil act. Thank you.

  • Gigi

    To all that have posted: thank you for sharing your thoughts on this matter. It is my hope to be able to reply to all of you. I do have a schedule to maintain this week, but will make the effort.

  • Debbie

    First let me say that it is quite clear that some of these postings are quite insidious at best. Secondly, it is one thing to make a mistake and use Mz as I have used Ms. to Mr. Daneker once, but the rest of what he said to me with the constant referral throughout his emails using Mz, referring to me while Ms. Ransom and I have tried to tolerate and deal with Mr. Daneker's way of words... it is totally disrepectful, and will not be accepted in this day and time. By the way, I was never part of the "old guard" matter of fact I have always been the one fighting against them. I have always been the one fighting for honesty and trying to make the pious cliche in ANC 5C adhere to the laws, policies and regulations.

    What could happen, is more people sould attend these meetings and see for themselves how their prespective ANC's are working, then you will get a better sense on what is going on.

    Now to recap what someof you are saying: It is okay to call me a Bitch when I am trying to hold you as the Vice Chair of the ANC 5C accountable for spending $2,700.00 of ANC funds for computers, for your newly established non profit, and you as the Vice-Chair signs the check; no computer are ever seen at his non profits' location and every agency says it's okay for him to do this - then you are right, I am the wrong one. If it is okay for the Vice-Chair's same grant to then cause the ANC 5C to lose $2,700.00 for this improper expense, and not be held accountable to repay it; then you are right, I am wrong. If it is okay for Chairs' of ANC's to run these commissions as if they are Commander and Chief, and have the other commissioners thinking that they have to go along with what they are told to do by the Chair, when in fact they home rule charter does not allow for this; which I have been fighting against this practice when I was a Commissioner), then I am wrong. If all seated commissioners have equal rights and the majority trys to hold some commissioners back because they qestioning the process because they really want to do right by their community Then I guess I am on the wrong side of this plate. What about when minutes only provide a line or two of information when cleary much more went on, and the ANC is responsible to do what the community wants done but they are pushing their personal agenda with the driving ego, then, i'm wrong again. Or what about the fact of a ANC Commissioner who has the responsibility to bring before their community a community benefit's package and the commissioner let's the councilmember work behind the scene, for 18 months, withought notifying the residents about community amentities that they are to weigh on. But your concilmember assigns $40,000, of this particular amenties package to be directed to his newly established Ward 5 Business Council. too include, during this same time this ANC Commissioner and freinds are given a $50,000.00 grant to work in the Trindad area to help reduce youth volience while we fight the same fight over here in Edgewood. But again I am wrong. Or what about the fact that for years this ANC was carrying over a different balance on a financial statement and wuarterly reposrt unitl a new treasurer is elected bu the audiotr decided that since the books moving forwarded have been corrected, the past issue is not important. It's all okay.

    I am fighting to change those dynamics, and I am the voice of all Commissioners who are going and have gone through simlar issues and if I am worng again, WOW, I guess the laws are not for the lawless huh?

    Also, let's be very clear!! Commissioner Ransom and I have not teamed up, matter of fact, I look at it as karma or divine order---- Two strong BLACK women who will not take crap from anyone who will talk down to them and try to "crack a whip". My Great-Great Uncle "The Nat Turner" went through that, but I will not. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I will fight you tooth and nail over doing the right thing for the people, so you have the wrong person sized up.

  • Bloomingdale Resident

    As a resident of Blomingdale who is concerned about his community and its representatives, I have three reactions to this episode.

    First, anger. I am angry that my ANC, rather than using its time and energy to represent the interests of its constituents, is spending its energy on these petty squabbles that further no interests except their own petty vanities.

    Second, shame. If the representatives haven't the shame to realize how carrying these personal conflicts into the public arena makes them into poor comical parodies of themselves, then I will be ashamed for them. Children behave this way.

    Third, pity. I feel sorry for the ANC members who obviously have a great deal invested in their posts, as this episode alone may be sufficient to snuff out any hope they might otherwise have for public office. I pity them the loss of potential.

    Citizent of DC, you deserve better. I encourage you to demand better, and to begin doing so with great vigor at the ballot box. I, for one, shall be around to remind my fellow residents of this episode when that time draws near.

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  • Q

    Clearly WCP is not the forum for this discussion. However, much can be gleaned from the commentary of the ANCs on this post (if this is *really* them). The problem can't be fixed here, but with all the energy expended, the common theme is that when disagreements remain unchecked or swept under the rug, they explode in other areas. From reading these posts, I get the sense that ANCs for 5C are "passionate" about issues. As contentious as they may be, you want an elected official to show enthusiasm in representing your SMD.

    The only problem with this is that WCP as a newspaper has inadvertantly become steward of this due to a simple article by Amanda, and a few questions of fact by a imperfect blogger (me).

    For those who are mentioning Bayard Rustin, (or the 1964 Civil Rights Act), imagine what he, Dr. King, Stokely Carmichael, A. Phillip Randolf, etc. would think about this ANC 5C controversy. People died for the right to vote (a bit of history that none seem to gather). DC didn't get the right to vote for ANYTHING until the 1970's. With all that in play, the BEST that ANC 5C can do in representing its constituents is name call and argue about race, history, gender, and sexual orientation? Shame on ALL of them. They ALL should be censured.

    ANC 5C is not a military tribunal, circuit court of judges, or nothing of the sort. They are not a jury designated to make decisions on personnel matters. They don't make policy. They are a group of ANCs that correspond to SMD representing a diverse group of citizens in Ward 5. Citizens who shouldn't tolerate this bickering any longer. Ms. Ransom, apologize to Mr. Daneker. Mr. Daneker, apologize to Ms. Ransom. Mr. Phillips, apologize to Ms. Smith so this foolishness can end. There are more important things to be doing and your constituents are losing out as a whole the more energy is put to this.

    ANCs. the more you comment on this blog, the more evidence can be sent to the Counsel. So please stop!

  • daheyell_is_going_on_in_Ward4

    Using this topic as a segue, I wish WCP--- or some media would be willing to spend time observing how "official business" is conducted at ANC 4B's meetings. Neither the DC council, DC auditor, nor OIG have been interested in hearing/investigating years of numerous complaints about improper accountability for the allottment. The only thing missing from our meetings is the little bear driving the car around in circles

  • Debbie

    What I believe that the people who are posting here are missing is: This would not have had to go to this level until, Commissioner Marshall Phillips, decided that he wanted to have Commissoner Ransom removed as a Commissioner. Then, at a public meeting Commssioner Phillips led the Commission into what Clarence Thomas called "a lynching". When this episode occured, at First Hope Baptist Church with a room full of people, Commissioner Ransom did not even know that this Commission was taking this action. How do you censure someone with allegations with no fact finding investigation?

    At that meeting, I brought out the facts that Commssioner Phillips who is a Minister of Mount Calvary Holy Church, called me a Dirty Black Bi@@@ because of an accountablity issue, which has never denied, until this article. So if you want to censure one Commissioner for the same thing that another has done, where nothing happened, isn't this disparity of treatment?

    Also, this information is out here asking that all citizens start participating in your ANC meetings and have your concerns met. This is it for me. Enjoy everyone.

  • Lizzie

    WOW!!! Attention SMD 5C12 and Ward 5 and the public,
    This is your ANC Commissioner Ms Ransom here blogging, saying, “she didn't get this and that; and that didn't happened, and the minutes changed, and this isn't right and that happened and this one did that and everyone's after me, and her comments back to me about the Google search, her comment back to John about the legal definition of hateful speech. I am sure the public sees hateful speech very well.” DC WAKE UP! These two pot stirrers Smith and Ransom have been around for years bringing up the same load of crap. Take a look at this article with Ms. Ransom the last time she was ANC Commissioner. Tell me that is doesn’t sound familiar to you all---

    Washington City Paper article entitled:

    For 22 years, D.C.'s advisory neighborhood commissions have been meeting and adjourning. And not much else
    Author: Ta-Nehisi Coates
    Author: Coates
    Issue: 1998/05/29
    Issue Volume: 18

    “…Ransom made enemies. Fellow commissioners, she says, occasionally snarled at her for "being a threat to the status quo," as she puts it. She also angered local drug dealers when she loudly opposed an application for a 24-hour barber shop. Ransom's penchant for controversy had a price. Over the period from August of 1997 to January 1998 Ransom's tires were slashed 18 times; she was assaulted twice and threatened with a gun.

    Although Ransom expected to catch hell from neighborhood thugs, she didn't quite expect the treatment she received from fellow commissioners and city authorities. "No respect," says Ransom, "The overall impact is that the city doesn't respect you, and of course the criminals don't respect you."

    Ransom quit her ANC and doesn't plan to return.

    And even if an ANC district votes in a full slate of commissioners, that hardly guarantees that the people's work will proceed. A commissioner with a personal agenda can cripple an ANC almost at will by preventing a quorum from being reached. Without a quorum, defined as one more than half of the commissioners, an ANC can't pass recommendations, approve a budget, or conduct any official business. When commissioners fear losing a critical vote, they can boycott the meeting and prevent the commission from acting. Personal rivalries among commissioners often drive the boycotts. "You find that ANCs tend to personalize a lot of decisions," says Ransom…”
    Ranom, what made you change you mind? Too bad you did! From this viewpoint, history is repeating itself, and you are the agent of all this controversy. But not for long! I wonder who has that campaign to Re-Call Ransom committee, who taking the contributions.

    And Ms. Smith’s comments I mean really, you haven’t teamed up. You sound like sore of losers, ready to campaign again for another seat you will never win. Every few years we hear that voice roar and slow disappear in the same old unrealible allegations that have never amount to anything. WHY? Because it’s a load of CRAP, otherwise people would be indicted, trails, pleads…

    The public see right through you two, and now the press and bloggers are having a field day with it. Silly fools!

  • Lizzie

    FYI...Where is the Mz. Gorilla? Everyone go do the search yourself. I did and checked Mz., Ms., Mz, Ms with the word Gorilla and nothing! If Mr. Daneker was using this as a reference to a popular cartoon character you think you would find it quite easy! No because they made the whole thing up. Looney Tunes has a Mrs. Gorilla from 1948, is that the one? Isn't it MZ that was used I said these two teaming up is VERY SCARY! BE AFRAID!

  • Gigi

    Lizzy, you really need to get a life! You express pent-up anger and hostilities, especially against women that is truly unreasonable. You totally ignore the fact that Mr. Daneker was proved wrong in addressing Ms. Smith as Mz. My efforts were on behalf of all women! Again, you attempted to present me in a false light with only providing a section of the CP 1998 article. Shameful! I was fighting drug dealers who were trying to destroy an historic community! I resigned because they were threatening long standing residents for supporting me, and destroying their personal property in retaliation. I have a right to change my mind, or do you feel I needed your permission?