Who deserves a vote?

February 13, 2013

There was a lot of voting talk in Tuesday’s speech, but no mention of the District. (Reuters)

“They deserve a vote,” President Obama repeatedly intoned near the stirring conclusion of his fifth State of the Union address Tuesday. Was this, at last, an American president putting the District’s lack of congressional representation on the world’s largest stage? It was not. “They” referred to victims of gun violence; “a vote” referred to a House floor vote on gun control legislation. As Mayor Vincent C. Gray predicted, there was no mention of D.C. voting rights, budget autonomy, or any other aspect of the city’s status vis-a-vis the rest of the country. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, who said she asked “very high level” White House officials for a SOTU mention, was “very disappointed” by the omission. “I’m going to call the White House tomorrow,” she told the Post’s Ben Pershing after the speech. “I’m going to try to find out: What do we have to do?”

In other news:

Washington’s largest ginkgo felled by mistaken National Park Service contractor (Post columnWRC-TVWJLA-TV)

Our grand municipal conversation on taxicab colors (Post)

Another dose of outrage (and finger-pointing) over our city’s treatment of homeless children (Post column)

Crowell & Moring will review report on police handling of sexual assault cases (Legal Times)

Federal judge says police force unlawfully punished detective who spoke out in newspaper (Legal TimesExaminer)

Fired Anita Bonds employee claims she was forced to do campaign work on council time (Loose Lips)

Fish fry, D.C. style (Post)

“If lawmen take down Gandhi, I’ll eat this column” (Examiner)

AG Irv Nathan and child welfare director Brenda Donald spar with D.C. Council over truancy bill (PostExaminerWTOP)

“Sweat Equity” program tries to give welfare recipients job skills and a new home (Post)

Family of Fairlawn fire victim don’t know why he was there but he was not squatting (Post)

New “combined reporting” requirement has swelled D.C. corporate income tax receipts (DCFPI)

David Sentelle out, Merrick Garland in as D.C. circuit’s chief judge (Legal Times)

Deeper inside the public school mid-year transfer numbers (GGW)

DDOT tries once again to better manage businesses’ curbside loading zones (WBJ)

City has spent $2 million of its $6 million 2013 snow budget (WRC-TV)

Woman, 92, is struck and killed in Georgia Avenue crosswalk (Crime Scene)

Unidentified pedestrian is struck and killed along New York Avenue NE (Dr. Gridlock)

More Nats games on broadcast TV (Sports Bog)

Grant will give UDC “gardens of the senses” (news release)

D.C. Schools Insider is gone, but insider schools reporting continues! (D.C. Schools Insider)

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · February 12, 2013