Friday, October 1, 2010
Hello good people, I have not written in a while so let me get caught up on a few major topics, starting with the next DC Mayor. So the residents spoke when they elected Vince Gray, current chair of the council, as the democratic nominee and presumptive next mayor since DC is a heavily democratic city. The next mayor has a lot to tackle: a city racially and economically divided, a budget shortfall nearly $175 million dollars, and to keep schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and a host of other cabinet members, amongst other issues. Gray has already asked that the city begin a hiring freeze and stop promotions.
On the first issue, census data recently released show that the rich is getting richer and the poor is getting poorer in DC. 1 out of every 4 black children live in poverty. The citywide median income is around $58,000 but in poor neighborhoods its way under $20,000. With the recession and recent cuts in human services many people are falling by the waste side. There is no quick remedy to this problem but I believe in helping people help themselves and in the end helping the bottom line. I think we can solve this budget crisis and help people with jobs by education and training. Lets be honest. Statistics show that black people are the biggest consumers in the United States. One of the shortfalls for the budget is because sales tax revenues fell way shorter than expected. The solution is simple, but will require businesses to hire more and preferably DC residents. Marion Barry used a similar strategy when he started the summer youth program back in the 70's by involving businesses. The business paid for the summer youth NOT the DC goverment. We need to move to smart and innovative ways of managing our government while making big government less.
I truly hope that Gray keeps Michelle Rhee as Chancellor. My opinion may not be favored upon by many but its my opinion through observation and study of the dramatic changes the DC public schools system has seen in the last 3 years. I have personally witnessed most of these schools do a 360. The kids are learning, the school buildings are FINALLY being renovated after years of dilapidation. I recommend that DC follows the charter school method of seriously holding parents more accountable. I have been a teacher and teachers cannot be the parents. It is the responsibility of the parents to make sure their child is at school on time and finishes their homework. President Obama made a remark recently that nerved up many washingtonians when he stated that DC public schools are not good enough at this time for his two daughters. I wish that the president would have rephrased that a little bit. The president has not shown much support for DC as he has not addressed the DC voting rights issue nor has he ordered the "taxation without representation" tags be put on the presidential limo as a symbolic gesture. Hopefully the next mayor and the president can sit down and discuss these issues.