REP. CHARLES C. DIGGS JR., who's not one to let you forget that he's chariman of the House District Committee, has gotten himself invited to a meeting this morning with President Carter. Apparently the chairman will communicate his views of what would be good for this city and - if past activities are any indication - of how his extraordinarily well-staffed committee might continue to exercise superfluous oversight of the city. Fortunately, other members of congressional committees with responsibilities for the city have managed to be included in today's session. Unfortunately, the duly elected mayor and city council have not.
Certainly Chairman Diggs can offer an interesting personal assessment of what the House might or might not approve in the way of legislation affecting the city. We hope, however, that his presentation will be embellished with the views of others in today's congressional delegation - for they may have a different sense of what the President ought to know or do about the District of Columbia. Delegate Walter E. Fauntroy, as the city's only elected federal official and a participant in today's meeting, certainly can speak most informatively on the importance of full voting representation for the city in Congress, an increased federal payment, presidential support for Metro and additional measures of local self-determination.
President Carter's special assistant and liaison for District affairs, Bunny Mitchell, is herself knowledgeable on these matters and has been appreciative in the past of the need for more local freedom from congressional constraints. She has noted that the President is "very interested in keeping in touch with people on a full range of issues and the District can be put in that category." In that spirit, perhaps today's meeting is only the first of a series aimed at familiarizing a sympathetic President with the local problems that need his support. Perhaps, too, such a series will include sessions with the locally elected officials. For the sake of the White House's perspective, we hope so.