Forward to August 2005 DC Voter — Back to League of Women Voters home page — Back to May 2005 DC Voter
Making Our Voices Heard — Making Our Votes Count
733 15th Street, N.W., Suite 432, Washington, DC 20005
202/347-3020, fax: 202/347-2522
Website: http://www.dcwatch.com/lwvdc, E-mail: LWVDC@aol.com
|President’s Message by
International Relations Committee
DC League Homeless?
Welcome New Members
Unit News: AGD's Were Invited in Our May Units
June Unit Meetings
Congressional Representation: DC Voting Rights Committee
Travel with the League Program
|Education Committee: League
Meets with Dr. Janey, DCPS SuperintendentLibrary Study
Don't Be a Wuss, Ride the Bus!
Metro Trip Planner
DC's Comprehensive Plan
Schools & Communities: A National Forum
Public Libraries by Ward/School District
PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE By Grace Malakoff
I am both daunted and delighted to be here in the president's chair.
At our first meeting, the new Board (with many old hands), formed opening luncheon and fundraising committees, confirmed our education committee co-chairs as board members, and boosted our new study program of the DC public libraries by scheduling the next LWVDC board meeting at the main library.
Our leadership is stretched to take on the advocacy and service work to which League tradition calls us. This is where you - all Our members - come .-We are asking you to become a Committee of the Whole -- to become the ad hoc, on-the-ground participant observers which have always been the backbone of the work of the League.
We are looking into the production of a WISE GUIDE© to DC's 132 Boards and Commissions. Would you do what you can to help, as ad hoc committee members? For the Boards and Commissions, call and leave a message if you have specific experience to suggest what information needs to be more conveniently available. Our preliminary look indicates that times and places of meetings, openness to the public, agendas, and responsibilities are not readily located. Would you suggest a particular board or commission for more thorough reporting? Are other "open" agency operations In need of better public information availability?
Thirty-five attended the May 23rd Brown Bag Dialogue to hear Dr. Susan Rice, Senior Fellow, The Brookings Institution, speak on "Whither the US In the UN?" A report of her talk will be Included in the August DC Voter. — Sheila Keeny
We will soon need a new office. The building we presently occupy Is scheduled for renovation. Present space: 570 square feet. Maybe there is a space some League supporter would donate - In whole or in part for our use. Must be zoned for business. Transit access is important.
Kaye D. Hanson
"AGD's" WERE INVITED IN OUR MAY UNITS
[Definition: AGD, an Attention-Getting Device (from the literature on child nearing, meaning, a child).]
League members suggested the following AGD's to increase awareness of lack of Congressional Representation for DC residents:
The June meetings are designated Unit's Choice for the discussion topic. Unit meetings will begin again in September. Have a great summer. — Joan Domike
Tuesday. June 14
9:45am Southwest Day will meet in the home of Audrey Hatry, 530 N St., SW #S605 (554-4450) Northwest Day will not meet this month.
Wednesday June 1
9:45am Upper 16 Street will meet at the home of Marie Richardson, 7440 7th St. NW (829-3721) 7:00pm Capitol Hill Evening For location call Unit Chair Betty Pierce (544-5547)
Thursday. June 16
Chevy Chase/lngleside & Northwest Evening will not meet this month.
DC Voting Rights Committee
The "No Taxation without Representation Act of 2005" has been reintroduced in the House of Representatives by our delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and in the Senate by Joseph Lieberman, calling for full Congressional voting representation in Congress.
Representative Tom Davis of Virginia, Chairman of the US House Committee on Government Reform, on May 3, 2005, introduced the "District of Columbia Fairness in Representation Act" with 14 Republican and 3 Democratic cosponsors. It would temporarily increase the size of the House of Representatives by two members, but call for a return to the present size in 2010, giving DC one voting member in the House. The act would repeal the offices of nonvoting delegate, and statehood representative. A copy of the bill is available in the office of the DC League. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton's spokeswoman is quoted in ROLL CALL "She welcomes other bills but supports her own."
DC Vote is working to gamer support for hearings of the bills by the Judiciary Committee of the House of Representatives. Rallies and press conferences are being planned to show support of DC citizens for Congressional voting rights. The LWVDC will keep you informed.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has joined the Office for Security and Cooperation in Europe in finding that the United States is in violation of the Covenant on Human Rights of the United Nations by denying District citizens a vote in their federal legislature.
At the end of June and the first few days of July the OSCE parliamentary session will be held in Washington. Visit http://www.oscepa.org for more information. — Kathy Schmidt (237-5550)
LWVUS COUNCIL JUNE 11 -13, 2005
YOU'RE INVITED to National Council of the League of Women Voters of the US. This biennial meeting of leaders from the fifty states will focus on community issues. Registration for all three days Is $275, including some meals. To learn more, call 202-429-1965.
No fee Is required for Leaguers and their friends for the civil liberties panels on Monday, the 13th, at 11:00 AM and 1:30 PM. Workshops in the afternoon on fundraising and campaign finance are also free of cost and open to all. The address: Marriott Hotel at Metro Center on the Red Line, 775 12th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005. Afternoon workshops have limited space. Please RSVP to Danielle Duffy at Dduffy@lwv.org to insure enough chairs.
11:00 AM CIVIL LIBERTIES PANEL
A panel of Washington experts will discuss the intricacies and constantly evolving challenges of balancing civil liberties and homeland security in a post-September 11th environment. Panelists will focus on the state and local facets of this debate by addressing issues of access to information and transparency in government, the role of the courts and challenges to our system of checks and balances.
The panel will be Joseph N. Onek, senior counsel and the director of the Liberty and Security Initiative of the Constitution Project, Moderator, Speakers: Rick Blum is the director of the Freedom of Information Project" for OMB Watch, a nonprofit research and advocacy organization dedicated to promoting government accountability and citizen participation in public policy decisions. Mr. Blum has worked for years to promote public access to government information.
Bert Brandenburg is the executive director of Justice at Stake, a nonpartisan campaign working to keep the courts fair and impartial. They help educate the public and work for reforms to keep politics and special interests out of the courtroom.
Kareem W. Shora, JD, LLM, is Director of Legal Policy with American-Arab Anti Discrimination Committee (ADC), which is dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Arab Americans.
Michele Waslin, Ph.D., is the Director of Immigration Policy Research at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest, national, constituency-based Hispanic civil rights organization in the United States. In this capacity, Dr. Waslin tracks and analyzes immigration-related legislation at the national and state levels, advocates on behalf of the Latino community, conducts public education and media outreach, and provides technical assistance and training to community-based organizations.
1:30 PM PANELS
Afternoon workshop topics: fundraising, civil liberties, and election reform. —Marlys Robertson, Council Chair, LWVUS Board of Directors
The Student Voter Registration Workshop Saturday, April 2. The rain did not deter an estimated 25 League and non-League member volunteers who received instructions and signed up to register students during April at 89 Senior High Schools. A final report of the registration drive will be provided in the next Issue of the DC Voter. We thank the following volunteers who participated: Madlyn Calbert, Nicole DeCostello, Phoebe Fagan, Ben Griggs, Elinor Hart, Lars Hydle, Royal Kennedy, Barbara Luchs, Vivianne Mozon, Betty Pierce, Sarah Pokempner, Celeste Regan, Jamie Rose, Kathy Schmidt, Linda Scope, Sam Smith, Linda Softli, Constance Tate, Elizabeth Victoreen, Grace Watson, Joan Wilson, Betsy Worth.
New Citizens Registration to Vote following the Naturalization Ceremony held on Tuesday, May 10. Welcoming these new citizens were League members Joan Wilson and Jamie Rose, who also gathered the completed registration forms to give to the Board of Elections and Ethics for processing. The next Naturalization Ceremony will be held Tuesday, June 14. Call Judy Smith at 882-3021 for more information. The Annual DC Public Schools Student Council Elections were held May 24 and 25th at Backus Middle School. In addition to student council members, two Board of Education representatives were also elected. League volunteers who conducted the election were: Minnie Fitzhugh, Vinna Freeman, Frances Gemmill, Elinor Hart, Elaine Melmed, Jamie Rose, Constance Tate, Reggie Yancey.
HELP THE LEAGUE AS YOU TRAVEL.
2005 Cultural Tours to Better Understand the World and Its People
FOR SPECIFIC TOUR INFORMATION CONTACT
LEAGUE MEETS WITH DR. JANEY, DCPS SUPERINTENDENT
Our education committee meeting with Superintendent Clifford Janey of the DC Public Schools, and his chief of staff Peter Parham, left us with firm expectations of improvement in the performance of our public schools. We stayed for nearly two hours.
We the League of Women Voters were assured that we will obtain official school sponsorship and help to expand our ongoing program to register high school seniors to vote.
Academic plans are aiming at high standards, with incremental and identifiable steps. The standards are adapted from the Massachusetts state program. They will be in place next fall for English and mathematics, later for all other subjects. Art and music programs are to be included in all schools, as important learning approaches for students who do not relate to ordinary academic methods. Plans are also being made to include preparation for employability.
It is the goal of this administration to have at least 500 staffers with not only licenses but board certification within five years, and to seek outside funding to help staff seek this training.
Charter schools are being brought into a constructive relationship with the whole; school organization, with teachers and principals being trained and addressed as part of a functioning whole. Sharing of school buildings between charter and "regular" schools is being planned. The expectation is that each model can provide useful lessons for all.
Corporate assistance is being gained. Restocking of thirty-nine public school libraries every year for the next five years is a commitment that the Toyota Corporation has made in connection with a grant of $2.5 million to the program at Ballou high school. It will also upgrade the automobile shop, train DC teachers and offer summer institutes for both students and teachers.
Another grant from Best Buy provides $2500 to each of
100 teachers for technology to improve teaching.
We learned that efforts are under way to bring the school budget back under the control of the Superintendent. The Chief Financial Officer (CFO) of the school system now reports to the DC Mayor's CFO, rather than to the Superintendent. A memorandum of understanding, modeled on one now in force with the Water and Sewer Authority, would allow this exception to present law.
Further change will be requested to allow mufti-year
budget planning. The DC school budget must clear reviews of the DC
school board, the DC Council, and the US Congress. By the time budget
action is completed, so that information is available for making
plans, prospective new hires have seized other opportunities. Without
more timely knowledge of the annual budget, annual hiring is severely
League Study Begins
Have at the ready:
As you explore the DC libraries, make some notes:
During the study, we plan tours of libraries, brown bag seminars, and inviting speakers to unit and general meetings. Enclosed is a pull out list of the libraries sorted by ward for your use. — Kathryn Ray
The Board of Trustees generally meets the second Wednesday of each month, except August, at 6:00 PM in Room A-5 of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library. Their duties are "To provide for the care and preservation of the DC Library. To determine policy; establish rules, regulation, and set fees; make annual report to the Mayor and council; appoint a director. Members must file a personal financial disclosure statement. The nine members who are DC residents are appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council. The Librarian of the Public Library is a non-voting ex-officio member." The public is welcome. The June Board of Library Trustees will meet Wednesday, June 15, 2005 at 6:00 pm. at the Woodridge Branch Library at 18th and Rhode Island Avenue, NE.
[Info on DCPL meetings can be found at: http://www.dclibrary.org/calendar/thismonth.trustees.html.]
WHAT'S HOT? A hot topic is HOT lanes. HOT (high occupancy/toll) lanes are before the Transportation Planning Board. They are "toll facilities on which prices change automatically, based on congestion levels and other factors. As traffic gets heavier, prices typically go up. Variable pricing has become possible ... because technologies permit electronic toll collection and automatic price adjustment." Planning such lanes for existing roadways, instead of constructing additional lanes, is the focus of debate. In Virginia, use of some private funding for new lanes is being proposed for the current long range regional transportation plan.
LONG RANGE PLANNING: Criticism of the Council of Governments forecasts of job and population growth which ignore constraints on the carrying capacity of the region - air, water, housing, transportation - have precipitated a fresh look at the forecasting process. The DC League of Women Voters supported the criticism, contained in a letter from the DC Office of Planning, in its own supporting letters to TPB and COG.
WALK-TO-WORK FUTURE? The forecasts were released when suddenly the Pentagon announced plans to shift jobs away from Washington area locations. Could this open the way to a walk to work model with Federal support? The TPB Citizens Advisory Committee members are pointing out that many wartime communities built to house Federal work forces (with Federal financial resources) successfully incorporated walking to work as the chief transportation mode. Some of these are today among the most desirable of communities.
Among the plans which projected this walk-to-work model was one by the DC Department of Transportation for Washington, DC in the 1960s. It was summarily replaced by a plan projecting a spiderweb of four to six lane highways throughout the city, although only the Whitehurst and Southeast-Southwest were built.
Meanwhile, the Maryland Department of Transportation has a planning initiative which devotes public resources to making pedestrian access to and around Metro stations a subject of intensive study and innovative thinking. Starting with the Wheaton stop at the intersection of Viers Mill Road and Georgia Avenue, a broad based team has made a start that identifies pedestrian problems, and some amelioration.
AIR QUALITY UPDATE: The American Lung Association's "State of the Air: 2005" report ranked Washington, DC, as among the worst cities In the nation for ozone and particle pollution. For more information see: www.lungusa.org.
NEW READING: THE HIGH COST OF FREE PARKING EXPLAINED by David Shoup of UCLA. 734 pp. — Grace Malakoff
Don't be a Wuss, Ride the Bus!
You can help reduce pollution.
Plan your next Metro-rail/-bus trip using Metro Trip
The "comprehensive plan" for the District of Columbia, which is required by the Home Rule Act, is being developed by the Office of Planning for presentation to the DC Council for adoption in June 2006. At this writing, evening meetings directed to the Advisory Neighborhood Commissions, and open to the public, have been conducted for Wards 1, II and VI in public school buildings. A handful of ANC commissioners attended each meeting, along with a handful of others, and a similar number of Office of Planning employees.
A printed report outlined the provisions of the existing citywide and ward plans; important projects not reflected in the existing plan; important differences between the land uses called or In the existing plan and current zoning provisions; and statistics on the city as a whole and on each ward. Certain descriptive categories were omitted - number of school seats per population, number of clinic spaces per population area, transit service, auto ownership, housing and building code violations, crime incidence, parking places, etc.
Zoning was described as the "implementing tool" for the plans. Residents and commissioners raised questions about the adequacy of the process to deal with excesses of liquor licensing; threats of removal of large numbers of poor tenants through operation of the commercial housing market; rezoning pressures opening the way to disruptive real estate speculation in settled, dense row house and apartment house neighborhoods; and the usefulness of the planning to deal with these crucial issues.
Although zoning was identified clearly as a city tool of choice for implementing plans, simultaneous ongoing city development projects were not cited. — Grace Malakoff
"Schools & Communities: A National Forum"
Hosted by the Smart Schools, Smart Growth Initiative.
Monday, June 20, 2005, 2:00pm - 4:15pm
LISTING OF DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA PUBLIC LIBRARIES BY Ward/School District
Note: Hours effective January 3, 2005. Zip Code follows street address.
Ward 1 / School District 1
Ward 2 / School District 1
Ward 3 / School District 2
Ward 4 / School District 2
Ward 5 / School District 3
Ward 6 / School District 3
Robert L. Christian, 202.724.8599
1300 H St. NE 20002 (at 13th St.)
Hours: SAT & SUN: Closed
MON - FRI: 9:30am-5:30pm
Accessibility: Library is one level without barriers.
Ward 7 / School District 4
Ward 8 / School District 4
Weather related closings: Please check with individual libraries before visiting during periods of extreme heat or cold.
All D.C. Public Library locations are scheduled to be closed during federal holidays as well as a Saturday or Sunday preceding a Monday holiday.
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