Let’s talk about race


If Patrick Mara or one of three other white candidates is victorious, the council could see an unprecedented 8-5 tilt in its racial balance. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

You’ll be shocked, shocked to learn that race is an issue in the D.C. Council at-large race. But, with the prospect that the 13-member council could see an unprecedented 8-5 white majority, racial campaigning that has been oblique and encoded in recent years has become somewhat more explicit. Witness union leader Geo T. Johnson, who recently told the Post that many residents “want this council to remain black, and if they don’t get out there and put black folks in there, there will be a white city council.” Or, Monday, these comments on WAMU-FM from candidate Anita Bonds, the longtime Democratic activist: “People want to have their leadership reflect who they are. The majority of the District of Columbia is African American. … There is a natural tendency to want your own.” More from WRC-TVWUSA-TV and DCist.

In other news:

Phil Mendelson interrogates Hizzoner about the city’s growing reliance on traffic camera revenue (WTTG-TV)

Gray administration says DCPS school cuts are rooted in lower enrollments (Post)

With video system, DCPS tries to bring more consistency to IMPACT evaluations (GGW)

Cop fatally shoots person early Tuesday along Suitland Parkway (Post)

Mother of slain Woodland Terrace teen: ““I wanted to get him out of here. … I didn’t move fast enough.” (Post)

Founder of PAC tied to Jeff Thompson and David Wilmot has no idea what it was up to (Loose Lips)

Anita Bonds responds to Post editorial that “suggested that anyone with a long political history in the District must be either backward or unethical. Nothing could be further from the truth.” (Post letters)

Jonetta Rose Barras picks Patrick Mara: “Political diversity is critical.” (Examiner)

Chuck Thies picks Patrick Mara: “If you vote for anyone other than Mara, you are voting for Bonds.” (WRC-TV)

Mendelson isn’t making an at-large endorsement; he’d be fine with a Republican, in fact (Post)

At-large candidates pander to Chevy Chase apartment building opposition (Dish)

Metro’s troubled 4000-series rail cars will be replaced years ahead of schedule (Post)

Some Blue Line riders will be hurt by new Silver Line trains (Examiner)

Mary Cheh proposes eliminating statutes of limitations for sexual abuse crimes (Examiner)

Heartburn after hearing on food truck regulations is canceled (GOGBlog)

If onerous regs pass, will Arlington steal all our food trucks? (DCist)

Ginnie Cooper on MLK Library: “This building works in spite of itself” (Library Journal)

Why fixes to Florida Avenue NE can’t wait (GGW)

Judge questions whether federal government is properly offering up vacant buildings to the homeless (Post)

Paul Zukerberg says police are hiding increasing number of marijuana arrests (DCist)

Federal employee who has gone great lengths to challenge camera ticket gets no satisfaction (WTOP)

Man arrested near Capitol with guns in his car says he was fighting al-Qaeda (WaTimes)

When WPFW-FM leaves its Adams Morgan home later this month, it’s unclear where it will go (Arts Desk)

The old First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit probably isn’t coming back any time soon (UrbanTurf)

JPMorgan Chase now owns a piece of 14th Street NW (WBJ)

What the McMillan site might look like some day (UrbanTurf)

Vincent Orange honors top Nats with a ceremonial resolution (DCist)

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 · April 8, 2013