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Graham's Not In The Bag

Plenty of council members have signed on to join D.C. Council member Tommy Wells (D-Ward 6) to rid the city of plastic bags by imposing a five-cent fee on plastic and paper bags at grocery stores and other places where food is sold.

Yesterday, he introduced the legislation aimed at cleaning up the Anacostia River.

But someone is conspicuously missing from the list: D.C. Council member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), the same legislator who championed green buildings in the District.

"I consider myself an environmentalist," Graham said.

But Graham, who represents the home of fairly new Giant and Harris Teeter supermarkets, is hesistant. "I'm generally concerned about considering the impact on poor people and what we can do," he said. "We know we want it to work a certain way. How it works in practice could be very different?"

By Nikita R Stewart  |  February 18, 2009; 6:00 AM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council  
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AHAHAHA! When the going get's tough, Grahm leaves and claims he's an "environmentalist." HIGH-larious!

Posted by: monkeyrotica | February 18, 2009 7:00 AM | Report abuse


Jim Graham, who most of the time I like, is funny. Concern for poor people. Well, maybe someone really has been mobilizing against it and he's feeling their heat. Maybe. (Question is, is it a citizens' group or a money group.) But I wonder if more likely it's a case of which way the wind blows for the Councilmember. Not exactly a courageous stand when it's 11-1, and people like BARRY (!) are for it.

Let's hope this issue does not turn into the bottle bill redux.

It's not about poor people, it's really not.

Come on Graham, get on board. Or not.

Posted by: sugarstreet | February 18, 2009 8:05 AM | Report abuse

This just in:

WASHINGTON (AP) - D.C. Council member Jim Graham is proposing anti-loitering legislation that would allow police to disperse two or more people gathered in areas known for illegal activity.

The Ward 1 Democrat introduced the measure on Tuesday.

The police chief would use statistics about arrests for drug, gang, theft and violent crimes to create "hot spot loitering zones." Violators could face a $300 fine.

In the past, civil rights activists have questioned whether similar legislation would infringe on residents' right to assemble. The new bill would give the mayor authority to create rules to protect "persons who are engaged in assembly protected by the Constitution."

Is it STILL concern for poor people?

Ok, I will stop now.

Posted by: sugarstreet | February 18, 2009 8:15 AM | Report abuse

Jim Graham is exactly right. The grocery bag tax will be hard on poor people. And we are in the midst of the worst recession ever! People are loosing jobs and homes. People cannot afford a new tax right now.

Posted by: larrydrakeford | February 18, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

Jimmy...Jimmy...Jimmy. Like a torn plastic grocery bag floating down the Anacostia, your economic argument holds not water. Neither does your's, LarryDrakeford. Not only have poorer countries than the USA implemented similar laws, but the law being proposed for DC has a program to distribute free re-usable bags to low income residents. You are looking out for yourself and whatever money and interest is lobbying you, not the poor.

Posted by: jrubin7 | February 18, 2009 10:46 AM | Report abuse

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