March 21, 2014 at 1:00 pm EDT | by Peter Rosenstein
Voting is an important responsibility
Anita Bonds, Phil Mendelson, Vincent Gray, D.C. Council, Washington, Washington Blade, gay news, election, endorsements

From left, D.C. Council member Anita Bonds (D-At-Large), D.C. Council chair Phil Mendelson and D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray. (Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

Early voting has begun. When you cast your ballot there are many things to consider. By all statistics, the District of Columbia is doing better than ever before. Crime is down; student test scores are up; we are winning awards for the District’s environmental policies and as a new high tech center. The mayor has added more than $1 billion to the reserve fund, the envy of every other state and city. Vincent Gray is the strongest supporter we’ve ever had for the LGBT community and has backed that support with action.

We see tremendous progress in many areas and need to continue that momentum. While some pretend that none of this is the doing of the current mayor, to believe that is to live in a never-never land where all things just happen on their own. Some blame everything that happened in the mayor’s 2010 election on him, though he has not been charged with any wrongdoing.

Still others are willing to give the mayor credit for the progress our city has made. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said, “Mayor Gray knocked the ball out of the park in terms of improvement” when talking about D.C. schools. The Coalition for Non-Profit Housing said, “We applaud Mayor Gray… His plan makes strong investments in the production and preservation of affordable housing.” Then recently the mayor accomplished what many in politics say is nearly impossible to do: He won the endorsement of nearly all the unions in the District and also the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce.

I understand the problems facing the mayor and voters especially after the statements that came out in the indictment of Jeffrey Thompson. I know Jeff Thompson and if it comes to believing him or the mayor I still choose to believe the mayor. Jeff did everything he did for personal gain. But for the moment that is something each person will have to settle in their own mind and heart. There are other good and decent candidates in this race; they just don’t have the experience and record of success of the mayor.

For Council chair I urge support for Phil Mendelson. He has proven himself a steadfast supporter of progressive policies and is a stabilizing force on the Council. From his support of LGBT human and civil rights issues to his work to preserve and build affordable housing; from his efforts to make sure the criminal justice system is working fairly to his support of a cleaner environment, Mendelson has stood with and worked diligently for all the people of the District. He deserves our support and to be reelected as chair of the Council.

For Council-at-large I urge support for Anita Bonds. Like many, I was wary when she was first running for office that her connections to old-time politics in the District would not be productive on the Council. But she has impressed many with her hard work and willingness to listen to the community and make decisions based on the facts. She was willing to stand up to one of her first mentors in government when it was called for and make a stand for ethical government. Her work on issues such as raising the minimum wage, helping seniors to remain in the District and in their homes, and her support for forward-looking environmental policies make her deserving of reelection.

The District of Columbia is changing and growing. There are some good people who have been a part of making that happen. There are some politicians who should be turned out of office. But others are still forward looking and effective and should be rewarded with another term. Gray, Mendelson and Bonds are three such politicians. They are moving the District forward and have more to do and the proven ability to do it.

It is my hope that we will see huge numbers of voters come to the polls on April 1 and make their voices heard. That is what democracy is all about. Voting is not only a privilege it is a responsibility.


    Repeating lies about Mayor Shadow’s pathetic record doesn’t make them any more truthful, Peter.

    The truth is, through his police department’s coverups of anti-LGBT hate crimes case stats and MPD’s failure to apprehend the perpetrators of those anti-LGBT hate crimes, Mayor Shadow has LGBT blood on his hands.

    And don’t believe Mayor Shadow’s crime stats lies. According to FBI stats, DC is now the 5th MOST DANGEROUS CITY in its class for crime in the U.S.
    (Just GOOGLE “most dangerous cities 2013 infoplease”)

    Mayor Shadow’s Fire Department is just as negligent and malfeasant. Any of us can imagine the horror of that woman as she realized Vince Gray’s Fire Department would do nothing to help her stricken father just steps away. More blood on Mayor Shadow’s hands.

    Now Gray arrogantly declares he will NOT resign OUR mayor’s office if indicted for his corruption. Do we want this city to once again be embarrassed by the crimes and wrongdoing of its mayor?

    District Firefighters (IAFF, 36) and the DC Police Union BOTH support Tommy Wells for Mayor. So does the DC Chapter of N.O.W. and Greater Greater Washington.

    Only one candidate in this primary never took money or benefitted from Jeffrey Thompson. ONLY ONE. Tommy Wells. Tommy Wells has taken NO corporate money, NO PAC money, NO special interest money.

    That’s an outstanding Democratic Party alternative to the corruption of Mayor Shadow.

    • The repellent exploitation of race in the nickname “Mayor Shadow” undermines anything else you had to say.

      • Is it reflective of your prejudice that you wouldn’t at least consider that the nickname was a reference to Mayor Crook’s SHADOW campaign?

        Having voted for probably more people of color than not in my life, I didn’t give it a second thought. But you’re right, Stephen. “Mayor Crook” is more to the point and less distracting to the hypersensitive.

  • VOTE “YES” on ANITA and PHIL!!!

    Since her days at Berkeley, Anita Bonds has been a fierce LGBT civil rights ally. And when Ward 5 Dems were being torn apart by the Marriage Equality issue, Anita Bonds was the glue that held Ward 5’s Dem family together, guiding “swing” Ward 5 to emerge firmly on the right side of Marriage Equality history.

    Phil Mendelson Is perhaps the closest thing LGBTs have to a Chief Justice in the District government. His intellect and probity are unquestioned. Phil has been a LGBT civil rights champion forever. But Mendelson also spearheaded Council’s FIRST historic vote FOR Marriage Equality in May 2009.

    (And Phil is easily ready to be interim mayor on day one, to boot.)
    So vote early and often for Anita Bonds and Phil Mendelson!


    New information regarding Mendelson’s troubling public safety/ crime record has come to light.
    Go to…
    (Sponsored by FOP/MPD Labor Committee)

    It’s time to seriously consider whether (along with Mayor Crooked) Mendo is largely responsible for DC’s alarming crime increases… and the horrific suffering borne by so many violent crime victims in DC, including anti-LGBT hate crimes victims.

    Mendelson (and Gray)…
    — Cut MPD by 400 officers (10%) while DC’s population was shooting UP 12%
    — Did not stop GLLU’s dismantling by MPD’s homophobic, transphobic management
    — Mendo blocked mandatory sentencing for possession of illegal guns

    Since Mendelson’s Cuts, Crime Is On the Rise…
    — DC ranks as 5TH MOST DANGEROUS CITY in U.S. (tho its population rank is 24th)
    — Sharp rise in SEXUAL ASSAULTS

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