I have lived in the District of Columbia for more than 30 years and I have never seen more progress than what we have made during the past 11 years under the administrations of Mayor Anthony Williams and Mayor Adrian Fenty.
The D.C. population is rising. School test scores are rising. City services have improved. Crime is down.
Mayor Fenty can proudly take responsibility for this progress.
Some oppose Mayor Fenty. Usually their opposition revolves around emotional issues, such as the baseball ticket scandal or charges that Fenty is arrogant. That’s not a solid basis for opposing his re-election.
For several decades, I saw no progress in our schools, which always rated at the bottom of any national school list. We taxpayers pay more than $14,500 per student. D.C. ranks fourth right behind New York, New Jersey and Alaska in the amount we spend per student. We deserve to see improvements.
Now, school buildings have improved and scores are slightly up, a progressive contract has been signed and court-ordered benchmarks for special education are being met, thanks to Mayor Fenty’s appointee, Chancellor Michelle Rhee. It may be true that Chancellor Rhee needs to improve her people skills, but most of us voters are more interested in results.
D.C. at one time was “the murder capital of the nation.” Now, most crimes are down with thanks to Mayor Fenty’s appointee, Chief Cathy Lanier. Chief Lanier has proceeded wisely, especially with her promotions of Patrick Burke and Diane Groomes — both having served in my police district-3D.
In summary, most of us D.C. voters do not want to go back. We want to continue to move forward as we have for the past 11 years. Mayor Fenty deserves to be re-elected so he can complete his vision for the District.
Larry Ray is a D.C. resident and has served as an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, Police Commissioner and Taxicab Commissioner. He also served as president of the Columbia Heights Civic Association.