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Another Williams Ally Moving On

By Yolanda Woodlee and Theola S. Labbe
Washington Post Staff Writers
Thursday, March 17, 2005; Page DZ02

P aul Savage, one of the members of the mayor's original draft committee and a top official in the city's Department of Housing and Community Development, is calling it quits.

Savage insists his decision is not related to any insider information about whether Mayor Anthony A. Williams (D) plans to run for reelection.

D.C. Attorney General Robert J. Spagnoletti honors Ballou High students who were the top three in a contest to design his office's seal. They are, from left, Nikko Randolph, Renee Bennaugh and Maurice Bryant. (Larry Morris -- The Washington Post)

Instead, Savage said he's leaving April 30, after six years in District government, to spend more time with his family. That means he'll be traveling to Detroit to visit his oldest daughter and two grandchildren and to the Netherlands, where his youngest daughter is a chief executive for a major corporation.

It doesn't mean, however, that he will stop advocating for his community in Southeast, where Savage plans to remain a civic activist. "This city has changed a great deal in four years. With Washington being on an economic roll, we want to make sure the people who have stayed, can stay," Savage said.

Residents east of the Anacostia River have not received the attention they deserved over the years, Savage said.

In 1998, Ward 7 residents launched the movement to draft Williams. One of the first criticisms of the mayor came from residents in the Hillcrest community, where Savage lives. They took Williams to task for not naming someone who lives east of the river to his personal staff. A month later, Williams appointed two Hillcrest residents -- Lamont Mitchell and Vincent Spaulding -- to Cabinet-level posts.

Savage was named deputy director of the Office of Strategy and Communications, which he calls "the only job I wanted." At the housing department, Savage was in charge of legislative affairs, communications and community outreach.

He credits the mayor with working to breathe life into two Southeast developments, Skyline and Camp Simms.

"I have been a strong advocate for neighborhoods in general, and east Washington, Wards 7 and 8, in particular. I consider myself to be a positive voice for those without a voice."

Styling for the Camera

Like a peacock with its tail feathers proudly spread, the 13 members of the D.C. Council posed for their official portrait Tuesday.

True to form, nearly every member tried to run the affair, bossing each other around and brushing lint off suit coats. Nobody paid any mind to the real expert: the photographer.

Also true to form, Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) was late. "I look handsome?" he asked as he calmly strolled in. "I want to be next to Carol," he said, positioning himself next to his former mayoral opponent, Carol Schwartz (R-At Large).

"I want to be 19 and thin for this,'' Schwartz told the photographer.

Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) threw a mini-fit, insisting that he sit next to Chairman Linda W. Cropp (D-At Large). "My entire life I've been in the back row, and I'm tired of it," Evans half-joked.

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