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Back to Petition to Recall Mayor Anthony Williams

Save Our City
Five Reasons to Fire Mayor Tony Williams
January 20, 2004




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Save Our City

Save Our City: Five Reasons to Fire Mayor Tony Williams

1) Tony Williams Has Endangered Citizens' Health Care:

  • In 2001, Tony Williams and the now-defunct Control Board, over the unanimous objections of the DC Council, closed DC General Hospital and replaced it with an inadequate, more expensive, privatized health care system.
  • Since DC General closed, emergency rooms at area hospitals have been overwhelmed and the "replacement" Greater Southeast Community Hospital has been mired in scandal and financial trouble. During his 2002 reelection campaign, Williams received some $100,000 in contributions from principals and employees of Greater Southeast and its parent company.
  • Tony Williams's recent support for a new hospital, to be run by Howard University on public land, is a fiscally questionable half-measure that will not come close to the level of care previously provided.
  • The mayor told the Washington Post that he does not support creating a "poor people's hospital," but supports the "redevelopment" of the old DC General site for mixed-use retail and residential. Meanwhile, 200,000 citizens in the eastern part of the city, who once had easy access to health care, have to travel long distances in hopes of finding a hospital that can help them.
  • Tony Williams refuses to restore a true public hospital, even in the face of warnings from the medical community that the current system is in disarray and is not serving citizens adequately.

2) Tony Williams Has Ignored Citizen Concerns About Education:

  • Tony Williams has refused to fully fund the public schools and libraries, despite the overwhelming support for full funding demonstrated by parents, teachers and citizens' organizations.
  • After changing the structure of the formerly fully-elected school board to a hybrid of elected/appointed members, the mayor has failed to work with his appointees or to fill board vacancies when they occur.
  • Despite his demonstrated disinterest in the real needs of the schools, the mayor has announced plans to take over the entire school system.
  • Tony Williams has championed an unpopular school voucher plan, which has been imposed on DC by the Bush Administration and is now pending in Congress.

3) Tony Williams Subsidizes Millionaires, Yet Ignores Citizen Concerns About Housing/Homelessness:

  • Middle and lower income DC residents are being squeezed out of the city because of high rents and skyrocketing property assessments.
  • Contrary to Tony Williams's claims that DC is a growing and prosperous city, 5,800 DC residents left the city in 2002, and nearly 12,000 others were homeless at some point during the year.
  • In effect, Tony Williams is concentrating on developing high-priced luxury condominiums while ignoring the growing gap between income and rents and a dramatic increase in homelessness
  • While the mayor is willing to spend almost $1 billion to build a convention center hotel and a baseball stadium to help wealthy investors and campaign contributors, he is stingy when it comes to housing programs to help the homeless and low- and moderate-income citizens.

4) Tony Williams Has Ignored Citizen Concerns About Public Safety:

  • DC has the highest murder rate of any major city in the US with a population of 500,000-plus. In 2003, there were 247 killings in the District of Columbia.
  • DC is one of most violent cities in the country, with gang warfare, homicides, assaults, rapes and robberies threatening the security and peace of mind of DC residents.
  • According to the Washington Post, the mayor is concerned about the crime rate, not because residents are dying, but because "economic development would suffer if crime began to rise significantly."
  • Instead of serving and protecting the neighborhoods and the citizens, police officers have often been abusive to crime victims, witnesses and defendants, and have been diverted to arrest hundreds of peaceful protesters downtown, as has been documented in DC Council hearings and in citizen lawsuits.
  • The Metropolitan Police Department has the resources; it just doesn't have the leadership. But Tony Williams, who regularly praises the current police chief, pushed through a big raise for the chief.

5) Tony Williams Has Turned Back the Clock on Democracy in the District of Columbia:

  • Through his school takeover plan, the mayor would turn back the clock to pre-home-rule days by abolishing one of the few vestiges of democracy in D.C.: Our elected Board of Education.
  • Tony Williams has effectively renounced home rule by colluding with the congressionally-imposed Control Board to privatize healthcare and with the Bush administration and right-wing think tanks to impose school vouchers on the District of Columbia - over the objections of most of our other elected local and federal officials.
  • Tony Williams broke his 2002 campaign promise to raise $1 million to advance DC voting rights in Congress. By ignoring and going around citizens and our other elected representatives, he has shown his disdain for the cause of DC statehood and the democratic process.

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