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Unspun with Council member Mary Cheh

mary cheh

Check out this weekend's Washington Post Magazine for an interview with first-term Ward 3 Council member Mary Cheh. Some excerpts follow.


Tell us about your biggest goof.

I wasn't always sufficiently aware of what the [D.C.] Council did before I got involved with it. On the night of my election victory ... I met some other people, and I wasn't entirely aware that they were Council members. Then someone pointed it out for me, and I went back and said, "Oh, we're going to be colleagues."

How do you relax?

By exercising. ... I've been a runner for many years. I've recently had a knee operation, so I ride my bike a lot now. And I work out at the gym. As I get older, I've had to do different things. At the gym, I've taken up boxing. I used to do touch football in the congressional league, but I had to hang up my spikes on that one.

The best part of living in your neighborhood?

I live in an area called Forest Hills. It's very close to [Rock Creek Park]. Probably the best thing is that the neighborhood feels like an extension of the park. For example, I know a lot of people are worried about pests and animals. But I like the deer, I like the raccoons. I even have tree frogs and possums. It has sort of a country feel to it.

What makes you most nervous?

Doctors ... I've been pretty healthy all my life but more recently, last year, I was diagnosed with breast cancer, and it threw me into the whole medical scenario. It was like I was sleeping at night and people from another tribe captured me and I was completely under their control with surgery, radiation, drugs, appointments with doctors. It's been kind of unnerving. I'm fine now. I have to take drugs for years, and there are issues with that, but I think it's pretty good. But it's a degree of tension that's always in the back of your mind: Will this come back?

What's the best part of being a politician?

The hugs and the free food.

What do you know now about politics that you wish someone had told you when you started?

Intellectually, I knew it might be hard to get things done, but I probably could have been better informed about having patience. Because it's really hard to get things done, harder than I thought.

Read the full interview.

-- Interview by Theola Labbé-DeBose

By Christopher Dean Hopkins  |  October 23, 2009; 1:56 PM ET
Categories:  D.C. Council , Theola Labbé-DeBose  
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Gee Mary, you are a regular ElleMae Clampett. Well for the record, ?I don't like seeing the racoons going in my supercan and I don't like seeing the possums sitting on my fence. I like the birds Mary.(cardinals, bluejays, etc.) I can still enjoy my yard when it just birds.

Posted by: candycane1 | October 23, 2009 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Must be nice to live in a part of DC where its like the country. I live off Georgia Ave., where its usually violent and nasty. Thanks DC Council, you rich elitists!

Posted by: mendelsonmustgo | October 23, 2009 3:52 PM | Report abuse

She stands for justice; it may sound cheesy but it's true! Her vote to disapprove Dr. Hartsock’s confirmation at DPR risked alienating many Ward 3 voters, but she chose justice and rationale over political gain.

Cheh is remarkable and commendable!

Posted by: dcnatives | October 24, 2009 12:34 AM | Report abuse

dcnatives: I have to agree with you. She's grown a lot in the job. I'm counting on her to speak loud to kill the contracts that were given to Fenty's friends.

I still don't like the racoons and possums.

Posted by: candycane1 | October 24, 2009 10:04 AM | Report abuse

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