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D.C. Wire: February 22, 2009 - February 28, 2009

School Hearing Leaves the Parent Out of Transparent?

DCPS took a beating from parents and school activists last year for lack of transparency in development of the 2008-09 budget. It was May before hard information on school allocations was posted on line. Advocates also had to fight off a proposal from Mayor Adrian M. Fenty to eliminate the...

By Bill Turque  |  February 28, 2009; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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Barry to Launch Organ Donor Campaign

Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content. var thisObj = "flashobj022709X7v"; var so = new SWFObject("http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/mmedia/player/wpniplayer_blog.swf", thisObj, "454", "305", "8", "#ffffff"); so.addParam("allowScriptAccess", "always"); so.addParam("swfliveconnect", true); so.addVariable("thisObj", thisObj); so.addVariable("vid","022709-7v_title"); so.addVariable("playads", "yes"); so.addVariable("adserv",""); so.addVariable("autoStart", "no"); so.write("flashcontent022709X7v"); D.C. Council member Marion Barry, who left the hospital shortly after...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 27, 2009; 12:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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Officials Cheer Vote for D.C. Voting Representative

-- Video by Hamil R. Harris...

By Washington Post Editors  |  February 27, 2009; 8:16 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Hamil R. Harris  
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Vote React: Gray Hopeful on Bill, but Concerned About Guns

Yesterday's vote in the Senate for a bill to grant the District a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives--and its amendment stripping the city of its gun control legislation--has put D.C. in a challenging spot: Will winning a vote in Congress mean giving up legislative rights on guns? Here...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 27, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Voting Rights  
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Vote React: Fenty on the Senate Bill

Mayor Adrian M. Fenty released the following statement last night after the Senate vote. "Today's Senate vote is a historic breakthrough in the District of Columbia's 200-year-old fight for full voting rights. On behalf of District residents across the city, I wish to express thanks to the U. S. Senate,...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 27, 2009; 6:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Vote React: Norton's Statement on Senate Bill

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton didn't have much to say about the gun rider on the Senate bill during a news conference yesterday--she wanted to enjoy the moment of the vote--but her statement released last night acknowledged the battles ahead while still basking in that 61 vote count: "When this bill...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 27, 2009; 6:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Vote React: Michael Brown

Feb. 26: "We have overcome another hurdle in our quest for full voting rights and our ultimate goal of statehood for the District of Columbia. The Senate has recognized the injustices that have plagued our residents for more than 200 years and we look forward to the final passage of...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 27, 2009; 6:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Voting Rights  
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Vote React: Kwame Brown

From Feb. 26: Today, the United States Senate passed the DC Voting Rights Act (S.160) by a vote of 61 to 37. The legislation was authored by Senators Joe Lieberman (I-CT) and Orrin Hatch (R-UT) and overcame several hurdles before passing, including a filibuster, a constitutional point of order and...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 27, 2009; 6:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  D.C. Council , Voting Rights  
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Senate Approves D.C. Voting Rights Bill With Gun Amendment

The Senate approved, by a 61 to 37 vote, the D.C. Voting Rights bill that would give the city its first ever seat in the House of Representatives. However, the Senate did so only after adding a controversial amendement that would repeal most of the District's local gun-control regulations, potentially...

By David A Nakamura  |  February 26, 2009; 4:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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2010 Property Assessments: Residential Values Down 3.67 Percent

D.C. home values dropped by an average of 3.67 percent in the D.C. government's fiscal 2010 assessments, officials announced today. The average value of commercial properties increased by 1.38 percent due to new construction. The biggest drops in assessments for residential properties in the city occurred in Michigan Park, Crestwood,...

By David A Nakamura  |  February 26, 2009; 3:49 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  City Finances  
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From the Senate Floor

Mary Beth Sheridan is on the Hill watching the Senate debate D.C. voting rights. She's keeping track of the Republican amendments as they rise and fall....

By Marcia Davis  |  February 26, 2009; 2:18 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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D.C. Council to Senate: No Gun Amendments to Voting Rights Bill

The good news is that the Senate seems poised to approve a historic bill that would give the District a seat in the House of Representatives. The bad news is that opponents of the bill are trying to load it down with amendments equally controversial, including one to repeal all...

By David A Nakamura  |  February 26, 2009; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Gun Ban Case , Voting Rights  
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D.C. Wire TV: Nakamura on Property Tax Appeals

The city is expecting to lose twice as much money as in years past as property owners appeal their tax assessments. Post Reporter David Nakamura discusses this development and explains its impact with News Channel 8....

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  February 26, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Budget , David Nakamura  
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Activists Call for D.C. Budget Transparency

A coalition of advocacy groups led by the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute is calling on District officials to provide greater transparency as they develop the fiscal 2010 budget. Allowing citizens to understand and participate in creating the budget "is critical to promoting a healthy discussion of budget priorities, enabling the...

By David A Nakamura  |  February 26, 2009; 11:59 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Affordable Housing , City Finances  
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Norton: Vote Bill Moving Fast; Reid Files Motion to End Senate Debate

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is right: The District bill to grant it a vote in the U.S. House of Representatives is moving at "lightning speed." Norton's office released a statement last night cheering on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who filed a motion to cut off debate in the...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 26, 2009; 6:54 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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In Case You Missed It: Appeals to Tax Assessments Hurting District Budget

Appeals for tax assessments is looking like the next big budget pitfall for the District, a story that David Nakamura and Nikita Stewart broke on the D.C. Wire yesterday. They write about it in greater detail this morning in the Washington Post. Taxpayers, homeowners and big businesses, are aggressively pursuing...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 26, 2009; 6:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Budget  
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Driving the Chancellor

The human resources section of the DCPS website is filled with job openings, not unusual for a school system with an overwhelming level of need. Postings include a psychologist for the Head Start program, project coordinator for the Special Education "critical response team," and a "mentor teacher" to help novice...

By Bill Turque  |  February 26, 2009; 6:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (10)
Categories:  Bill Turque , Education  
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House Committee Passes D.C. Vote Bill

The House Judiciary Committee has passed the bill 24 to 12 and sent it to the floor of that chamber. The legislation enjoys widespread support in the House, which could take up the measure next week....

By Marcia Davis  |  February 25, 2009; 7:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Around the Web: Senate Debate on D.C. Vote, Day Two

The blog chatter continues today as the Senate took up debate on legislation that would give the District a full voting member of the House. While local news blogs tended to focus on the procedure and larger ramifications of the debate, niche blogs of all stripes focused on minutiae of...

By Carolyn Phenicie  |  February 25, 2009; 4:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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D.C. Vote Bill Gets Going in House

The House Judiciary Committee has begun its debate on the D.C. voting rights bill, with the panel's chairman declaring that the measure "brings democracy to a part of America that has been oddly left out." John Conyers Jr. (D-Mich.) opened a hearing this afternoon with an appeal for the bill,...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  February 25, 2009; 4:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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CFO Gandhi: "The Plot ... Sickens"

D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi this morning publicly announced the city's latest revenue shortfall, which was detailed in today's Washington Post. In a breakfast meeting with the D.C. Council, Gandhi had the line of the day when, noting that the budget problems will grow worse next year, he...

By David A Nakamura  |  February 25, 2009; 12:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  City Finances  
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Video: Post's Harris Discusses D.C. Vote Measure

Washington Post staff writer Hamil Harris appeared on News Channel 8 this morning to discuss the Senate's decision to consider giving a House seat to the District....

By Mike McPhate  |  February 25, 2009; 12:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Hamil R. Harris , Voting Rights  
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Barry Donor Goes Home From Hospital

Kim Dickens, the 47-year-old woman who donated a kidney to D.C. Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8), has been discharged from Howard University Hospital. A Howard spokesman said the donor was discharged shortly before noon Tuesday, four days after undergoing a six-hour procedure. Dickens is a District native who has...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 25, 2009; 11:18 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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Debate Goes Forward in Senate on Voting Bill

Debate on the DC Vote bill began this morning with its co-sponsor, Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.), appealing for quick action. "Let's get it done," he told a near-empty chamber. "This has strong support and the urgency of justice delayed." Lieberman said that a vote on the bill could come...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 25, 2009; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Students Get Great Seats for Obama Speech

Several District students listened to President Barack Obama's first address to Congress sitting in the presidential box with First Lady Michelle Obama. Elissa Silverman and Martin Weil report....

By Marcia Davis  |  February 25, 2009; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Education  
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Fauntroy Speaks on Vote and the "Four Too's."

Rev. Walter E. Fauntroy, the city's first non-voting delegate, said he had to "dampen the joy with the truth" today when commenting on the Senate vote. "It's a little closer to a vote in the House as we make our way to full representation," he said. Fauntroy said he remains...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  February 25, 2009; 7:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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D.C. Representatives React to Vote

By Washington Post Editors  |  February 25, 2009; 6:50 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Economic Woes: City Faces Another $500 Million Shortfall

The District government's revenue projections for the next two years have fallen by nearly $500 million during the past three months, which likely will force more cuts to services such as providing affordable housing and paving streets. D.C. Chief Financial Officer Natwar M. Gandhi delivered the bad news this evening...

By David A Nakamura  |  February 24, 2009; 9:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  City Finances  
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Brown wants prize fighting at the Armory, but would settle for roller skating

Mixed martial arts at the D.C. Armory? That's something D.C. Councilmember-At-Large Kwame Brown could fight for. He's also for big ticket boxing and a roller rink for the kids. These potential revenue generating ideas were discussed today at a hearing of the Committee on Economic Development, which Brown chairs....

By Darryl Fears  |  February 24, 2009; 8:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  City Life , D.C. Council  
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Office of Campaign Finance: Fenty Need Not Declare Trip

Mayor Fenty said yesterday that the United Arab Emirates government paid for his week-long trip to Dubai last week. But when asked by D.C. Wire how much it cost, the mayor declined to answer. We also called the D.C. Office of Campaign Finance to ask whether Fenty needs to declare...

By David A Nakamura  |  February 24, 2009; 4:43 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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Around the Web: Senate Vote Reactions

Blogs of all political stripes are chattering about the Senate's 62-34 vote to invoke cloture and move to a final vote on the passage of a bill giving the District a full voting member of the House of Representatives (the probable Democrat would be balanced with an added member from...

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  February 24, 2009; 4:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Republican Leaders React to Voting Rights Bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) held a news conference today, at which they were asked about the Senate's vote for cloture on the D.C. Voting Rights bill. McConnell opposed the move, but Murkowski voted in favor of cloture, despite having voted the other way...

By David A Nakamura  |  February 24, 2009; 3:17 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Sen. Burris Helps D.C. Celebrate Voting Rights

Illinois Sen. Roland Burris (D) posed for a picture with District officials -- from left, Michael Brown, Vincent Gray, Eleanor Holmes Norton, Harry Thomas Jr., Mary Cheh and Jim Graham -- after the Senate cloture vote on the D.C. Voting Rights bill. (Photo by Doxie McCoy.)...

By David A Nakamura  |  February 24, 2009; 3:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
 
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Del. Norton on D.C. Voting Rights: All Lights on Go

It's a heady day for District leaders on Capitol Hill. At a news conference celebrating the Senate's historic vote to allow the D.C. Voting Rights bill to reach the floor for debate, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said: "We are ready for whatever masquerades as an obstacle. ... We see...

By David A Nakamura  |  February 24, 2009; 2:34 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Press Conference on Hill Streamed Live at 2:15

Click here for live stream of D.C. Voting Rights news conference on Capitol Hill with Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty, Senate majority leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.)...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 24, 2009; 2:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Gray, Fenty, D.C. Republicans Cheer Senate Vote

D.C. Vote Executive Director Ilir Zherka, D.C. Council members Phil Mendelson, Jim Graham, Chairman Vincent C. Gray and Mary Cheh, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton and others celebrate after the Senate vote today. (Photo by Doxie McCoy.) D.C. Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray (D) was downright giddy minutes ago about...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  February 24, 2009; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Senators Vote to Consider D.C. Voting Rights Bill

For the first time in more than 30 years, a D.C. voting rights bill is headed to the Senate floor, after attracting enough votes to cross a key procedural threshold. Senators decided this morning, by a 62 to 34 tally, to consider the bill, which would give the District its...

By David A Nakamura  |  February 24, 2009; 12:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Fenty Reiterates Pledge: My Kids Will Go to DCPS

Mayor Fenty, sporting a deep tan from his week-long jaunt to Dubai, got back out in the local community last night, dropping by a meeting of the Deanwood Civic Association to run down the status of his various initiatives. He talked about the effort to clean up abandoned building, construct...

By David A Nakamura  |  February 24, 2009; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Education , Mayor Fenty  
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Mayor, Council On Hill For Voting Rights

D.C. Council members canceled and postponed hearings today to make their way to the Hill to watch the Senate debate the D.C. voting rights bill that could give the city its first seat in the House of Representatives. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty (D) has scheduled a press conference for this...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  February 24, 2009; 11:43 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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An Excited Norton Gives Update on Hill Process

The D.C. voting bill is moving on the Hill at an incredible pace. U.S. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton is beyond excited, and in recent days has done a good job in trying to keep residents informed of the step-by-step process. Here are excerpts from her news releases: As she noted...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 24, 2009; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Poll: Most Americans Support D.C. Vote in U.S. House

Nearly six in 10 Americans support legislation now under consideration in the Senate giving Washington, D.C., a full voting member in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. About a third of adults nationwide oppose the idea. Support for giving the heavily Democratic city...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 24, 2009; 7:20 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Voting Rights  
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Fenty Explains Dubai Trip -- Sort Of

D.C. Mayor Adrian M. Fenty today called his week-long vacation in Dubai last week a "personal trip" but acknowledged that the United Arab Emirates government paid for his expenses. Fenty (D) said he paid for his wife and twin sons to come with him and no public funds were used....

By David A Nakamura  |  February 23, 2009; 5:32 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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Barry Out of Intensive Care

Council member Marion Barry (D-Ward 8) has been upgraded and moved from intensive care to a regular room, his doctor said this afternoon. "He's doing very well, we transferred him this morning," said Clive O. Callender, who performed a kidney tansplant on the former mayor on Friday. Barry may be...

By Marcia Davis  |  February 23, 2009; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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Is This Why Fenty Was in Dubai...?

To hang out with long-lost twin brother and United Arab Emirates Ambassador Yousef Al Otaiba (pictured below right)? After all, last week the mayor's office said Fenty was "spending time with family" when asked where he was....

By David A Nakamura  |  February 23, 2009; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
 
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Local GOP Backs Voting Rights

The DC Republican Committee is urging GOP senators to support voting rights in a letter the group says it has hand delivered to them. "District Republicans are excited at the prospect of getting a vote in the House and as the District's Republican Party Chairman, I am proud that our...

By Nikita R Stewart  |  February 23, 2009; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  GOP , Voting Rights  
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Fenty Home From Dubai

Wondering where Mayor Adrian M. Fenty was all last week? We were, too. Turns out he was in Dubai, as reported this morning by Elissa Silverman and Martin Weil....

By Marcia Davis  |  February 23, 2009; 10:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Mayor Fenty  
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