July 19, 2012

In his July 15 Outlook piece, “How D.C. became a District of Corruption,” Kojo Nnamdi argued that the main reason the District suffers from poor elected leadership is that people of quality and integrity can aspire to no office beyond mayor and that the District should be admitted to the union as a state to motivate the best and brightest to run for elected office.

The number of metaphors that come to mind to illustrate the absurdity of this notion are far too numerous to begin to mention. But suffice it to say that the District’s best chance of gaining statehood is by functioning as an all-American city of which citizens across the nation can be proud. That image seems a long way off right now, and only a sustained culture of responsible government can create it. It looked as though the District was finally on its way with former mayors Anthony A. Williams (D) and Adrian M. Fenty (D), but Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) has returned it to a talk-show comedy level.

In addition to blaming certain politicians, you can point to the electorate, who threw over a successful administration for a return to the historic “I’ll take care of you” way of doing business.

Michael L. Cecere III, Annapolis