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Federation of Citizens Associations of the District of Columbia

Federation News

Volume 3, Issue 9, June 1998

Year-end Report Card for the City Schools: Have a year’s reforms changed the future for D.C. kids?
Regulatory reforms: Good news and bad for citizens’ agenda
Council nixes election reform bill
Federation mentioned in Washington Post editorial
Federation presidents join to protest transportation plan
Officers and Board
President’s Message
Federation Elections
Election-year Basics: A scorecard for the potential players
Election candidates
Primary election calendar
Bicentennial activities continue to build

Thursday, June 11 at 7 p.m.
Federation Assembly Meeting

Business Meeting:
Annual Election of Officers and Board


Maudine R. Cooper
Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees

The Charles Sumner School
1201 Seventeenth Street NW (at M)

Year-end Report Card for the City Schools:
Have a year’s reforms changed the future for D. C. kids?

And what will the next year bring?

It has been a tumultuous year for city schools. At this transition time — end of the school year for some, start of summer school for others — it is fitting to have an assessment from the person who recently stepped into the Chairman’s role on the Emergency Transitional Education Board of Trustees that was appointed by the Control Board.

The questions that surround public schools are many; the issues they center on include

And of course the question of the relationship between the appointed and elected school boards, and their relationships with the Council, the Mayor, and the Control Board.

Maudine R Cooper previously served as vice chair of the appointed board. Her “other job” is as president and chief executive officer of the Greater Washington Urban League, the local affiliate of the national civil rights and community service organization, where she oversees a staff of 100 and a budget of $5.4 million.

Previously Ms. Cooper served as chief of staff for Mayor Marion Barry, and held other significant appointive offices in the District Administration.

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Regulatory reforms:
Good news and bad for citizens’ agenda

A large package of “regulatory reforms’ were enacted in what appeared to be the last days of the outgoing Control Board, which was cast by the press as a pro-business coup. Unquestionably there are major undertakings that will require very close monitoring by citizens and their associations, and others that will make it much more difficult to resist large development projects that harm residential neighborhoods.

But the package also includes a raft of provisions that fulfill residents’ long sought goals for a better DCRA: tough enforcement standards; increased financial, human, and technological resources; integration of information systems; reformed administrative procedures; and timely decision making.

However, if the Mayor and/or Council do not act within 90 days, the Control Board is authorized to order implementation of the remaining elements of its reform agenda. provisions about environmental reviews and street vendors were fairly well covered by the media.

What follows is a thumb-nail version of orders from the Control Board to the agencies it controls, and “recommendations” to the Mayor and Council that will have particular resonance in residential neighborhoods.


Recognizing that the District has provided no incentive to comply with existing regulations, the Control Board endorsed: (1) establishing a code enforcement program for routine inspections and inspections in response to consumer complaints, (2) enacting measures allowing inspectors to cite violations of any of the numerous applicable housing codes, (3) amending the regulations to provide stiffer penalties for code violations (including increased daily penalties), (4) enacting measures that establish deadlines for decisions by administrative law judges in code violation hearings, (5) providing for recording orders relating to code violations in the land records, (6) allowing for revocation of a property owner's housing business license if the owner is found to be in violation of certain housing code requirements, (7) providing for increased imposition and recording of liens on properties subject to code violations, and (8) strengthening the process for civil enforcement of code violations.

In furtherance of these goals, the authority ordered its staff, with DCRA, Corporation Counsel, other departments and agencies to:

The Board directed DCRA to.

and directed the Chief Management Officer to


The Mayor and/or Council are “asked” to do, by administrative order or legislation, the following:

The Control Board staff, with DCRA, the Corporation Counsel, and other departments or agencies, are ordered to:

DCRA is directed to:

The Zoning Commission is to:

The BZA is to.


The Authority cites the competing demands for on-street parking the District as important to both residents and retail businesses It advocates allowing DPW to make changes in parking and traffic directives that “do not raise substantial parking issues” without a full-scale administrative rule making process.

The Mayor and Council are to:

DPW is to:

The CMO is to provide funding to carry out the foregoing orders.

Other areas in which the Control Board issued orders are: Street and Alley Closings, Environmental Regulations, Sale and Conversion of Rental Housing, Rent Control, Adoption of Updated Construction Codes.

Also, Self Certification in the Construction and Development Process, Business Licenses, Street Vending Regulations, Unemployment Insurance and Workers Compensation, Privatization, Out-sourcing and Managed Competition, Regulations of Professions and Occupations.

The full text of all the “regulatory reform,” orders issued by the Control Board can be found on the web site:

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Council nixes election reform bill

Efforts to correct the District’s election process suffered a setback this week. In response to a request from the D.C. Court of Appeals, Council’s Government Operations Committee held hearings about the right of citizens to challenge voters they believed were unqualified to vote in local elections. The Federation, the American Civil Liberties Union, local party officials, and citizens who have had experiences in election challenges all testified in favor of a strong reform bill that would allow such challenges to be heard in public evidentiary hearings, as the Court recommended

Government Operations prepared a bill, however, that merely transferred decision-making from the polls to the Board, with no requirement for public scrutiny and no appearances by challenger or voter, with no further production of evidence. The limitations were pointed out to Council members, with the aim of amending the bill so that its reforms would be applicable to this fall’s elections.

Unfortunately, Governmental Operations chose instead to pull the bill and do further research on other states’ practices. This means that candidates and citizens will literally have to take cases to court as the only means of challenging a Precinct Captain’s election day decision.

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Federation mentioned in Washington Post editorial

In a May 19 editorial, the Washington Post called upon the White House to get its act together for the appointment of new members of the Control Board. Under the theme “No Way to Treat the City”" the editors quoted the words of Franklin Raines at the Federation’s April 9 banquet: “We are committed to a smooth transition as the [D. C. financial control board] enters a new phase of its work.”

The White House, said the Post, had muffed its chance for any smooth transition by being so tardy in selecting potential Board members end executing their security clearances. Since that time, the White House has confirmed its intention to appoint last year’s Federation banquet speaker, Alice Rivlin, as the new Control Board chairman. A mix of holdover and new Control Board members will guide activities until additional replacement members can be appointed.

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Federation presidents join to protest transportation plan

The Potomac Conference managed to do something that has not been accomplished in living memory. It brought together the presidents of the seven umbrella organizations that represent citizens’ groups throughout the region to protest the adoption of transportation policy without citizen input.

The Potomac Conference, a gathering of some 70 elected leaders and corporate executives endorsed a regional transportation authority to speak for transportation needs for the Washington/Virginia/Maryland capital area capital region. Virginia Congressional representatives introduced legislation to create such an authority, empowered to issue bonds for large road projects.

Federation leaders from Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Prince Georges, Montgomery — and the District of Columbia — wrote to express dismay that, once again, citizens were not considered necessary participants in the Conference.

How sad that this was the one time that District residents had equity with their suburban neighbors.

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Officers and Board

Patrick Allen, Citizens Association of Georgetown, 337-8760
Gracie Baten, Shepherd Park Citizens Association, 882-6162
John Batham, West End Citizens Association, 628-3527
Allen Beach, Chevy Chase Citizens Association, 362-2239
John Brown, Southwest Community Council, 479-4658
Larry Chatman,
16th Street Heights, 291-7381
Dino Drudi, Michigan Park, 526-0891
Kay Eckles, Residential Action Coalition, 265-5961
Guy Gwynne, Burleith Citizens Association, 338-5164
William Scheirer, Kalorama Citizens Association, 232-8827
M. R. Peggy Snyder, Chancery Court, 338-1972
Miles Steele III, Hillcrest Citizens Association, 582-7832
Alice Stewart, Palisades Citizens Association, 364-1505
Al Wheeler, Oldest Inhabitants of DC, 337-00340
Barbara Zartman, Cloisters in Georgetown, 337-6505

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President’s Message

Control Board Chairman Andrew Brimmer continues his role as scold-in-chief for local government during his carry-over phase.

In a Judicial Conference in Washington this week, Brimmer recommended that all local government be permanently placed in the hands of a Chief Management Officer, all financial power in a Chief Financial Officer, and all enforcement in the Inspector General. What would be left for democratically elected representatives would appear to be very limited ceremonial functions.

Even the sharpest critics of the performance of local officials find Brimmer’s suggestions demoralizing. What would make people of talent and commitment run for local office? What reasons would citizens have to participate in elections? Why would we spend the $9 million for a City Council with no powers at all? What would motivate local government employees to pay attention to citizens’ complaints?

The Federation will join with other organizations and local leadership to persuade the new Control Board and Congressional leaders to reject Brimmer’s unforgiving recommendations.

Federation members are urged, as well, to review the Control Board orders thumbnailed above to become aware of the changes they are likely to face unless some combination of Council, citizens, and courts are able to effect changes.

It is critically important that, as needed reforms are adopted, citizens’ rights are not further limited. The best managed governmental operations in the world are not a substitute for democracy.

Barbara Zartman

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Federation Elections

All associations that are paid members in good standing are entitled to three delegates’ votes in Federation elections, which will be held during the business portion of our June Assembly meeting.

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Election-year Basics: A scorecard for the potential players

The increasing interest in this year’s elections — at all levels gives citizens— groups a rich opportunity to put their agendas before candidates.

Toward that end, the list below identifies everyone who had picked up petitions for the September primary, as of the date of publication of this newsletter.

Additional candidates will undoubtedly file; Tony Williams, for instance, had not yet begun the petition process, yet is clearly a candidate for Mayor.

This is also an opportunity for citizen leaders to serve on Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. This grass-roots political office requires that a candidate file at least 25 signatures from residents of a single-member district, each of which contains approximately 2,000 persons.

If only one candidate files valid petitions, that person is automatically elected. Since ANC elections are nonpartisan, there is no primary election.

The key dates for the ANC election process are:

August 5 / First day nominating petitions are available; also last date to challenge voter rolls
September 4 / Deadline for filing nominating petitions and declarations of candidacy
September 7 / first day for challenging nominating petitions (through September 16)
October 5 / Close of voter registration
October 20 / Revised voter list published; last day to petition for pollwatcher credentials
November 4 / Election Day

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Election Candidates

For Delegate to the House For Ward 1 Council
Eleanor Holmes Norton (Dem) 463-0184 Jim Graham (Dem) 797-3511
Pat Kidd (Sthd) 723-6666 Baruti Jahi (Dem) 232-7608
David Schwartzman (Sthd) 829-9063 Lenwood Johnson (Dem) 829-1446
For Mayor Todd Mosley (Dem) 296-9335
Ida Blocker (Dem) 387-7160 Frank Smith, Jr. (Dem) 234-2210
Harold Brazil (Dem) 955-5577 Nik Eames (Umoja) 605-0811
Kevin Chavous (Dem) 332-7400 For Ward 3 Council
John “Rafael” Deaton (Dem) 605-9933 Jim Montgomery (Dem) 244-8068
Jack Evans (Dem) 347-5555 Kathy Patterson (Dem) 537-5037
Ricardo Gatlin-Moore (Dem) 362-3001 For Ward 5 Council
Jeff Gildenhorn (Dem) 244-1949 William Boston (Dem) 518-8724
David Odell Leacraft (Dem) 396-5982 Vincent Orange (Dem) 529-4833
G.E. Maxwell (Dem) 898-0106 Harry Thomas, Sr. (Dem) 635-4682
Sylvia Robinson-Green (Dem) 889-2937 Virgil Thompson (Dem) 529-6611
Osie Thorpe (Dem) 529-9408 Edward Wolterbeek (Rep) 269-6037
James Caviness (Rep) 635-1076 For Ward 6 Council
David Mugan (Rep) 546-3802 Sharon Ambrose (Dem) 543-1554
Edward Wolterbeek (Rep) 269-6037 Benjamin Bonham (Dem) 388-5274
John Gloster (Sthd) 789-8708 George Stallings, Jr. (Dem) 889-2111
For Council Chair For U.S. Representative
Linda Cropp (Dem) 737-5667 Eduardo Burkhart (Dem) 965-0334
Yehanna Joan Malone (Dem) 546-3931 Tonie Hillyard (Dem) 635-0402
Joseph Romanow (Sthd) 232-3499 Julius Ware, II (Dem) 396-4051
For At-Large Council David Van Williams (Sthd) 399-3439
James Chapelle (Dem) 232-5337
Arrington Dixon (Dem) 889-0123
Gary Feenster (Dem) 583-3342
Charles Gaither (Dem) 723-8683
Phil Mendelson (Dem) 966-1485
Linda Moody (Dem) 563-3431
Phyllis Outlaw (Dem) 638-1112
Kathryn Pearson-West (Dem) 898-5063
Don Reeves (Dem) 364-6402
Greg Rhett (Dem) 582-7611
Sabrina Sojourner (Dem) 526-4442
Simon Stubbs (Dem) 543-2033
Joseph Agubuzo (Rep) 479-0016
David Catania (Rep) 588-7073
Christopher Ray (Rep) 882-3635
Hilda Mason (Sthd) 789-8708
Mark Thompson (Umoja) 463-8807

Additions and updates can be obtained from the Board of Elections and Ethics (727-2525), from the Board’s web site (, or from DCWatch.

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Primary Election Calendar

May 15 / First day to pick up petitions
June 15 / First day to file petitions at BOEE (through July 8)
July 11 / Challenge period opens (through July 20)
July 17 / Lottery for ballot positions
August 17 / Voter registration deadline
August 31 / In-person absentee voting at BOEE opens (through September 14)
September 1 / Deadline to petition for poll watchers
September 8 / Deadline to request absentee ballot for primary
September 15 / Primary election day
September 25 / Final count of absentee ballots; special ballot hearings; counting of accepted special ballots

Stay on top of forums and candidate nights planned around the community through the Make Our Vote Count coalition.

Contact them through the League of Women Voters Education Fund, 2025 I Street NW (#917), Washington 20006. E-mail to

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Bicentennial activities continue to build

The Nation’s Capital Bicentennial Commission, a nonprofit and nonpartisan organization of which the Federation is a part, continues to make real the promise of a wonderful year-long celebration of the 200th anniversary of the founding of our nation’s government in Washington, D.C. during year 2000.

NCBC now holds the franchise for First Night in Washington, the family oriented arts and culture festival that will celebrate the arrival of the new year 2000, and all subsequent New Year’s Eves.

Plans for the renovation of Langston Golf Course will be helped through a partnership between NCBC, the National Park Service, and PGA’s First Tee program, which will assist in raising funds for the building of the new family-oriented clubhouse and museum to commemorate the role of Langston in the development of black men's and women’s golf programs.

The Anacostia Garden Club will work with NCBC to create the Frederick Douglass Garden along the river.

How about your community? Is there a historic or discovery program in your area that could be part of the NCBC efforts? Call NCBC at 338- 6222 for information.

See you in September!

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