D.C. Council members are taking advantage of this week's consecutive snowstorms to help out their neighbors - and score some political points in the process.
On Tuesday, during whiteout conditions, council member Harry Thomas (D-Ward 5) sent out a statement calling on Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) to request more federal resources. Thomas opened his news release by noting that he had spent all morning "assisting residents stuck in the snow."
Later in the afternoon, council member Kwame Brown (D-At Large) also went on snow patrol. Monica Bell of Hillcrest sent The Washington Post a letter Tuesday afternoon praising Brown, who has an all-terrain vehicle, for plowing out residents' sidewalks and driveways.
"I heard my dog barking and went to the front door to see what all the fuss was about when I saw a man digging snow from around my minivan." Bell wrote. "Once he finished with our van, he moved across the street to my neighbor's car and so on and so forth ... I was absolutely touched."
Not to be outdone, council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1) took the whole plow-out-the-neighbor theme even further. Graham hopped into a city snowplow this afternoon to ride along as it traversed Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant and Shaw.
"We have been all over," Graham said in a telephone interview from the plow.
By the end of the conversation, Graham sounded like any other snowplow driver.
"We're making progress, but part of the problem is people moving their cars and then they are getting stuck," said Graham, who chairs the committee that oversees the streets department. "Then we can't plow streets that need to be plowed."
-- Tim Craig