At a recent forum, eight of the nine candidates for D.C. Council at-large endorsed legislative term limits. This is a bad idea.
It’s true that D.C.’s voters did institute term limits, but then the Council simply overturned the referendum. That’s a shame. But it’s also a shame that voters went for this shortsighted policy.
Term limits are generally popular, because most people generally think that elected representatives are all crooks and need to be thrown out of office. There are definitely some D.C. Council members I’d love to throw out of office. But forcing it is not the answer. I know, because I’ve lived in cities with legislative term limits, and it’s a problem.
Take New York. The council (and mayor) are limited to two terms, until they granted themselves a 3rd term in the last election cycle. One of the arguments behind term limits is that instead of raising money and pleasing constituencies to win reelection year after year, legislators can try to do what’s best for the city.
[Continue reading David Alpert’s post at Greater Greater Washington.]
David Alpert is founder and editor of Greater Greater Washington. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.